Andrzej Duda made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
The president urged lawmakers to approve the bill “without delay” and expressed hope the plan would show that “on issues of the highest importance to Poland, the entire political class is able to work harmoniously together.”
20 years since Poland’s EU accession referendum
Duda noted that this week marked 20 years since the national referendum on Poland’s accession to the EU.
He told the nation: “On June 7-8, 2003, Polish people made a historic decision as they voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining the EU and therefore confirmed that Poland belonged to the Western world.”
The president said that he was among “the millions of Poles voting ‘yes’ at the time,” adding that he was drawing inspiration from the Polish-born Pope John Paul II, whose message was that “Poland needs Europe and Europe needs Poland,” and that Poland should “join the EU and help shape it” according to Christian values.
'It’s clear what a good decision it was for Poland to have joined EU'
Duda stated: “In hindsight, it’s clear what a good decision it was for Poland to have joined the EU. Membership of the European community has brought us economic growth, it has allowed us to open our borders and it has strengthened our security in many respects.”
He added: “Through these years, we have also demonstrated that we are doing an excellent job in the EU, that we have used this time well, that we have accomplished success. A faster growth for our country, many investments, and making excellent use of EU funds are just some of our achievements.”
The president told the nation that “Poland owes its success in the EU to millions of Polish men and women, to many groups, local governments and organisations,” as well as political parties of “various persuasions.”
“I would like to thank you all. You’ve done a good service to Poland,” he said.
Poland’s EU presidency in first half of 2025
Duda said that, amid “new challenges” facing Europe due to “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its consequences,” there is a need for “cooperation and advance planning” on key issues, such as “Poland’s presidency of the Council of the EU 18 months from now.”
The president added that, on the anniversary of Poland’s accession to the EU, on May 1, he and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki set out three main goals for Poland’s presidency of the EU: “to deepen transatlantic cooperation and strengthen relations between the EU and the United States; to help foster further enlargement of the EU to include Ukraine, Moldova and the Western Balkans, as well as other aspiring countries in the future; and to bolster Europe’s energy security.”
Duda announced: “This is an ambitious mission and to accomplish it, we need close cooperation between the president, government and both houses of parliament. And so tomorrow I will submit a bill setting out the rules for this cooperation regarding Poland’s presidency of the Council of the EU.”
He added: “My wish is for this initiative to prove that on the issues of the highest importance to Poland, the entire political class is able to work harmoniously together.”
In conclusion, the president said: “I appeal to parliament to approve this bill without delay. I am convinced that only through cooperation will we be able to seize the unique opportunity offered by the presidency of the EU, and therefore effectively secure the implementation of Poland’s interests on the international stage.”
2003: Poland votes to join EU
The national referendum on Poland’s accession to the EU was held on June 7-8, 2003, the PAP news agency reported.
More than three-quarters of those taking part, or 77.45 percent, voted ‘yes,” while 22.55 percent voted ‘no,’ and turnout was 58.85 percent, according to historians.
A large majority of political parties represented in parliament, from the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) to the centrist Civic Platform (PO), the rural-based Polish People’s Party (PSL) and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) backed Poland’s accession as negotiated with the EU, the PAP news agency reported.
Poland, along with nine other countries, formally became a full member of the European Union on May 1, 2004, PAP noted.
Tuesday was day 468 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: PAP, prezydent.pl, Polsat News