Polish ambassador names Polish EU presidency's priorities (UPDATE)

Politics Materials 8 July 2011 19:27 (UTC +04:00)
Poland will focus on the three main areas of development, security and open Europe during its EU presidency over the following six months.
Polish ambassador names Polish EU presidency's priorities (UPDATE)

Details and quotes of representative of the EU delegation were added (the first version was posted at 18:37)

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 8 / Trend E.Ostapenko /

Poland will focus on the three main areas of development, security and open Europe during its EU presidency over the following six months.

"Poland was preparing for this important period - the EU presidency, since joining the structure in 2004," Polish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Michal Labenda said at a press conference on the Polish presidency priorities.

The rotational presidency in the EU moved from Hungary to Poland on July 1.

Labenda said Poland sets itself numerous tasks, which can be grouped into three main areas of work - development, security and openness.

"The first area involves economic development," he said. "Poland will focus on developing e-commerce in this area."

E-commerce was well established in each EU country, but difficulties arise when it comes to implementing e-trade between the EU countries, the ambassador said.

The second area involves food security, energy security and defense.

"We plan to concentrate on development of the border control," Labenda said. "We believe Europe should be prepared to respond to threats like the current situation in North Africa and Middle East."

As for the direction of "open Europe", then, Poland believes the entire EU will benefit from the openness in all, Labenda added.

Regarding the foreign policy, he said that Poland will contribute to further development of the "Eastern Partnership" with the EU's eastern neighbors, as well as support the process of Turkey's accession to the EU.

Eastern Partnership includes Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. Poland was one of the initiators of the program, which offers partner countries to facilitate the visa regime, energy cooperation, to introduce free trade zones and develop cooperation in other spheres.

"We are very pleased to be able to take place in Warsaw in September, the second summit of the" Eastern Partnership "- the ambassador said.

"We are very pleased to be able to conduct the second summit of the Eastern Partnership participating countries in Warsaw in September," the ambassador said.

The representative of the EU delegation in Azerbaijan Jerome Pons stressed the importance of holding a summit to develop and possibly to accelerate the process of negotiations with the participating countries and achieving association agreements and readmission agreements with each of these.

However, after the restructuring of the European Union on the Lisbon Treaty basis in 2009, the presiding country does not lead the two main European Councils: General Affairs and External Relations. Therefore the role of the President Country in the EU enlargement issues, conflict resolution and other foreign policy issues is limited.

The General Affairs Council and External Relations Council are chaired by Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton, respectively, on a permanent basis. Representatives of all EU member states may participate in the work of the Councils as a member country, but not chairman.

The questions of foreign policy in relations of Azerbaijan still remain in the competence of the EU delegation in Baku. The activities in this regard are coordinated with the European External Action Service (EEAS), led by Ashton.

Among the priorities of the EEAS in relation to partner countries, there are three major, including foreign policy of security, political dialogue between the EU and partner countries, as well as the formation of the EU's position on all major international issues, said Pons.
Speaking about the work in the field of security policy, Pons said that the EU is interested in strengthening its role in resolving the protracted conflicts in the ENP area, remembering the recent discussions in the European Parliament over the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"In the discussions within the EU, Nagorno-Karabakh has always been referred as to the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, which is confirmed by international legal papers," he said.