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Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has called on politicians to exclude security issues from a political dispute in the 2023 election year as Poland’s security was absolutely a top priority.
“The security of Poland and the security of the Polish people are today of utmost importance,” Duda said in a televised New Year’s message on Saturday evening.
Referring to this year’s parliamentary election, Duda appealed for excluding security issues from a political dispute, and added that they should be debated “above political divisions.”
Having assured the public that Poland was a safe country, the president said that “an unprecedented growth of spending on the army development and modernisation” was designed to increase Poland’s military security.”
“Poland’s Nato and EU membership is this country’s reason of state,” the president said, adding that the membership of the North Atlantic Alliance and the alliance with the US meant Poland’s military security.
Referring to the ongoing dispute with the European Commission that had led to Poland being denied access to billions of euros in post-pandemic recovery funding, Duda said that a wise compromise was needed.
“The European Union means Poland’s economic security and development possibilities. And this development is badly needed,” the president said, adding that Poland was entitled to post-pandemic funds.
Poland is due to receive EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in cheap loans from the EU’s post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Facility.
But the European Commission (EC) has blocked Poland’s access to it due to a rule-of-law dispute, even though the Commission has approved Poland’s National Recovery Plan (KPO), which outlines how the Polish government will spend the money.
In a bid to gain access to the funds, on December 13, the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party tabled a bill in the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, amending a law on the Supreme Court to satisfy one of the rule-of-law milestones.
The draft proposes that all disciplinary issues concerning judges be settled by the top administrative court instead of the Supreme Court’s Chamber of Professional Responsibility.
The bill, however, has been opposed by Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, the leader of Solidary Poland, a junior member of Poland’s governing coalition.