News BlogEuropean policy

The little music of the Polish presidency

(BRUSSELS2) The country of Chopin did not waltz Europe for six months. But he will have at least made his little music heard, voluntary, in favor of European integration.

Well prepared, ambitious – a little too much perhaps – the Poles gave voice during their six months of presidency, a proactive speech which stood out in these gloomy times. A little " drafts ", as a seasoned European diplomat remarks, they have nevertheless demonstrated that a country which does not belong to the " founders could very well embody the European idea.

Admittedly, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the weight of the rotating presidency is less important than before. At the European Council, it is the permanent president, Herman Van Rompuy, who leads the debates. On the external level, it is the High Representative Catherine Ashton who ensures the European presence. And, above all, it is difficult for a country that does not belong to the euro zone to manage an economic crisis in which the French and Germans are at work. A difficult situation, as recognized by Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister. “This crisis is not only financial, it is a crisis of confidence, a political crisis”.

Poland has succeeded in making its little music heard. She thus pleaded for countries outside the Euro Zone to be associated with the work of the 17, defended the strengthening of economic governance and a more active role for the European Central Bank. To those who feared that enlargement was synonymous with less European integration, the Polish presidency demonstrated the opposite. Several issues such as the food program for the most deprived, the labeling of foodstuffs and synthetic drugs have been resolved. Finally, it was under his presidency that Russia received the green light to join the WTO. An ironic snub to history… 30 years after the proclamation of a state of war in Warsaw.


(paper published in Ouest-France, December 2011)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).