Polish, Latvian presidents discuss new EC composition, defence issues

2019-09-11 18:53 update: 2019-09-17, 13:04
Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
President Andrzej Duda and his Latvian counterpart Egils Levits at a Wednesday meeting in Warsaw talked about EU institutions, including the composition of the European Commission proposed by its President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, as well as defence issues.

The Polish president said after the talks that other topics raised by the two presidents were mutual relations, NATO and such current positions of the EU agenda as migration and Brexit. Duda added that they both expressed satisfaction with the election of von der Leyen for the European Commission (EC) new president as she is "an excellent politician here who will certainly deal with these issues very well."

In reference to the EC composition proposed on Tuesday by von der Leyen, Duda said it must now be accepted by the European Parliament and since it is important to get support for Poland's candidate for EC commissioner for agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski he asked Levits to appeal to Latvian MEPs to back the Pole for this particular portfolio.

The two politicians also talked about defence issues, in particular the prospect of expanding the American military presence in Poland.

"We both acknowledged how important this is for the security of our part of Europe, to show that we are together, that these transatlantic and Euro-Atlantic ties are very strong," Duda said.

The Latvian president said that his country "greatly appreciates the cooperation between Poland and the United States to increase the presence of US troops in Poland" as it also strengthens the security of his country. He also thanked for the presence of Polish soldiers in Latvia and their contribution to the "security of the region".

"We are creating a joint transatlantic security alliance and our countries are central to NATO security," Levits said.

He also pointed to the similar approach of Poland and Latvia to the next Multiannual Financial Framework, including maintaining an ambitious cohesion policy. Referring to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, he said it is important for both Poland and Latvia to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

The Polish president said that he and Levits also discussed the Polish-Croatian initiative of cooperation of countries situated between the Black, Adriatic and Baltic seas, the so-called Three Seas Initiative. "I have indicated the objectives for our part of Europe, between Poland and Latvia, and further, as regards the functioning of the Three Seas," Duda said, adding that they also discussed transport connections and infrastructure in the region.

"The openness to cooperation on the part of the President shows that we will continue to develop Polish-Latvian friendship and our care for the interests of our part of Europe," Duda said. (PAP)