JUNE 16 2009 12:18h
Poland hopes Croatia will join the European Union soon and is disappointed with Slovenia blocking its entry talks.
Poland is marking its fifth anniversary of accessing the European Union this year. Just like in Croatia, there were many Eurosceptics in Poland before the integration was realised. These included former president Lech Kaczynski.
- The situation in Poland before European Union accession was very negative, but since we accessed the EU, things drastically changed. The number of Eurosceptics has gone down in Poland, only 9 percent of Polls think negatively of living in the Union – Ireneusz Krezeminski said while taking part in Croatian Television show “Otvoreno”.
Eurosceptics are the happiest people today
However, things are completely different today, the biggest Eurosceptics are the happiest and most satisfied people in Poland now, like the peasants. Labour force mobility has contributed to people changing the way they think and the culture, which turned out to be a good thing for Poland.
With all of the good things that come with EU accession, there are also bad ones.
- Poland has prepared well, it has taken on a firm stand and you will probably take the same step – Krezeminski said.
Apart from the issue of Eurosceptics, Poland and Croatia are similar when it comes to the privatisation process, shipyards and the communist regime, which Croatia has been inserted in for nearly half a century.
Privatisation and shipyards
Privatisation in Poland has turned out better than in Croatia, there are no loose ends 20 years later. The situation is similar regarding shipyards. The Polish government is spending lot of money to prevent layoffs and shipyards from closing down, much like Croatia.
- Shipyards are not a symbol of Poland, this is more a political issue. We have privatised companies based on economic efficiency, and not from a political point of view – Pawel Zalewski said.
However, nobody dares to take a difficult step because of politics, just like former Croatian prime minister Nikica Valentic wanted, which is to divide shipyards into smaller centres which would be competitive.
- We have to be competitive in order to fight on the world market, we can protect production which is important, but one has to come to terms with certain things. A line has to be drawn with things we are not good at – Marijan Kostrencic said.
Slovenia is not acting in accordance with European rules
Regarding the communist regime, president of the Croatian Helsinki Committee Ivo Banac and the Polish guest agreed that they would not allow anyone who was a part of the political apparatus in the previous system to perform any role in the current authorities.
Although he was honest and said he did not follow the Croatian EU accession process diligently, Polish politician Pawel Zalewski said he is disappointed with Slovenia blocking Croatian EU accession.
- The negotiating process is a time when difficult decisions are made and a dear price is paid. Our GDP has gone up, because we have established firm foundations. The EU requires co-operation and Slovenia is not acting in accordance with these rules. We are keeping our fingers crossed for you – Pawel Zalewski concluded.