The Polish EU Council presidency : Poland as a mediator


On July 1, 2011, Poland will assume the rotating Pre- sidency of the Council of the European Union for six months, taking over from Hungary. Following several less-than-successful Central and Eastern European EU Council presidencies (in particular, an erratic Czech pre- sidency and the controversial current Hungarian presi- dency), expectations for the impending Polish presiden- cy are running high. As the largest of the new member states to head the EU Council Presidency, Poland hopes its tenure will serve to advance its regional leadership ambitions. Furthermore, the Polish presidency will take place amidst the new EU financial framework 2014– 2020 negotiations, which are of vital importance to the European Union. Among the issues at stake during the budget negotiations, for example, is the appropriation of billions of euros in EU structural aid. While the UK wishes to drastically reduce or even abolish cohesion funds, the former communist countries are determined to preserve them. The Council presidency thus offers Warsaw occa- sion to build upon its role as mediator between old and new member states as it seeks to become a major player in the EU. Despite the diminished role of the presiden- cy since the Treaty of Lisbon, the upcoming presidency undoubtedly will constitute Poland’s most significant op- portunity to exert influence within the European Union in the coming years.





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Copyright by Ireneusz Paweł Karolewski   Copyright by Monika Sus