Schroeder meets Polish leaders on EU

26th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

26 May 2004 , WARSAW - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder focused his attention on issues of vital political and economic importance to the enlarged European Union in meetings with Polish leaders during a one-day visit to the Polish capital Warsaw on Wednesday. Speaking to delegates at a conference on the European Union's so-called Lisbon Agenda for economic growth and job creation in the bloc, Schroeder called for a new EU commissioner to coordinate the execution of the Lisbon strategy in the newly enlar

26 May 2004

WARSAW - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder focused his attention on issues of vital political and economic importance to the enlarged European Union in meetings with Polish leaders during a one-day visit to the Polish capital Warsaw on Wednesday.

Speaking to delegates at a conference on the European Union's so-called Lisbon Agenda for economic growth and job creation in the bloc, Schroeder called for a new EU commissioner to coordinate the execution of the Lisbon strategy in the newly enlarged 25-member EU.

The German chancellor also urged a stronger focus within the EU on industrial development policies, especially in the 10 new member states. He also repeated calls for the harmonization of corporate taxes across the newly enlarged 25-member bloc.

Schroeder met Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski at the conference organised by Poland's Institute for Market Economy and held in Warsaw's sumptuous Royal Castle. The German leader also held talks with acting Prime Minister Marek Belka later in the day.

The leaders focussed primarily on the June EU summit in Brussels where completion of the bloc's future constitution will top the agenda.

Germany and Poland were at loggerheads over a proposed EU constitution at a summit last December and the 25-nation bloc failed to approve a draft treaty.

Speaking at Wednesday's conference, Schroeder once again called for the adoption of so-called "double majority" voting system for the bloc under which decisions could be made by 50 percent of the member states with at least 60 percent of the EU population.

"We cannot allow ourselves a fiasco at the June summit," Schroeder warned.

Following talks with Prime Minister Belka, Schroeder said both he and Belka were optimistic a compromise could be struck by the 17-18 June summit.

A staunch opponent of the "double-majority" voting system, Poland has insisted the so-called "Nice" voting system be retained. It gives smaller EU states almost as much voting clout as their larger partners in the bloc.

Responding to Schroeder's call for the harmonization of corporate tax rates across the EU, Belka said Poland would be more inclined to respond favourably to such a move once its economy reaches a level of development on par with highly-developed EU states such as Germany.

In a bid to boost economic growth by attracting investment, Poland lowered corporate tax to 19 percent this year, down from 27 percent in the past. The move has sparked consternation in some older EU states where corporate tax rates are considerably higher.

Poland is the largest of 10 mainly ex-communist states that joined the European Union in a 1 May big-bang enlargement.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

 

 

 

0 Comments To This Article