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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Arraiolos Group states committed to EU: Polish president

16.09.2021 09:00
Polish President Andrzej Duda has said that European Union member states belonging to the so-called Arraiolos Group share a deep attachment to the bloc.
Audio
Andrzej Duda in Rome on Wednesday.
Andrzej Duda in Rome on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik

Speaking after the group's 16th summit in Rome on Wednesday, Duda told reporters: “What certainly unites us all is a deep conviction and deep devotion to the European project.”

He described the European Union as "absolutely the most magnificent thing to have been conceived for Europe over the past centuries,” Poland's PAP news agency reported.

This year’s Arraiolos Group get-together in Rome focused on the future of the EU, and one of the plenary sessions concerned the bloc’s "strategic autonomy."

According to Duda, for the EU to become a truly global player, it must work with NATO, ”open its doors” to new members, and “respect the nation states” which “remain the owners of the European project.”

Moreover, “with the rivalry between superpowers growing ever more intense,” the Polish president told the news conference, “a multilateral approach is a necessity,” and the EU should seek out allies who share its values, "such as the rule of law."

Let's not be 'naïve' about Russia

During the summit, Duda deplored Europe's "naivete" with regard to Russia, slamming projects such as the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, the PAP news agency reported.

The Polish president called Nord Stream 2 "a big, strategic blunder" that may have "immediate consequences."

Duda later tweeted his appreciation for what he said was a "frank exchange of views within the Arraiolos Group” and thanked fellow member countries for their "solidarity" and support for "the Polish stance that the EU should be enlarged and its borders protected."

He also announced that Poland had been selected to host "Arraiolos 2024.” 

Photo: Photo: Jakub Szymczuk/KPRP

In Rome, the Polish president met with his counterparts from Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Croatia, Latvia, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The Arraiolos Group brings together heads of state from EU member countries that have parliamentary rather than presidential models of government. Its meetings are held approximately once a year.

Next year’s summit will be held in Malta, followed by Portugal for the club’s 20th anniversary in 2023, and Poland in 2024.

The group is named after the small Portuguese town where the first such meeting took place in 2003.

(pm/gs)

Source: PAP, IAR, prezydent.pl

Click on the audio player above to listen to a report by Radio Poland's Elżbieta Krajewska.