Warsaw, 17th July 2019
The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employer on the new authorities of the European Union: the biggest challenges from the point of view of the Polish economy are issues related to social affairs, the climate, and the future of the community
The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers published a memorandum of its Representation in Brussels on the greatest threats and opportunities for the Polish economy resulting from the election of new authorities of institutions of the European Union. Therein the Union identifies key challenges and proposes specific recommendations for Poland.
A significant part of the law presently in force in our country are regulations developed and adopted at the level of the European Union. The impact of the Union on Polish entrepreneurs is twofold. Firstly, by implementing the regulations adopted in Brussels, we are changing the regulatory environment for companies operating in our market. Secondly, by adopting specific directives and regulations, the Union shapes the principles of functioning within the European Sigle Market, and this is a key issue for many Polish entrepreneurs.
“There can be no doubt that what is happening in the EU has a very large, and perhaps an increasing even, influence on Polish companies,” claims the President of the Union Cezary Kaźmierczak. “It was evident, for inexample, in the case of the famous GDPR and recent amendments to the regulations on posted workers. More and more key decisions are being made in Brussels, which is why we must carefully monitor the systems of interests that arise there.”
The full picture of the Union’s regulatory priorities for the nearest future will become known when the commissioners are elected and the European Commission’s agenda for the next term is announced. We can already at this moment assume basing on, for instance, the priorities of the Finnish presidency or the strategy adopted by the European Council, which areas may be the most important for the Union’s policy. From the point of view of the Polish economy, two of them are of highest importance: social issues and climate policy. Moreover, as a result of the increasingly bold concept of a multi-speed Europe, the third element key from the Polish perspective is the future of the Union iteslf.
“These three issues are areas where the interests and agendas of Western countries and Poland are most visible,” emphasises the Vice-President of the Union Marcin Nowacki. “Wealthier states are pushing for an ambitious climate policy, striving at the same time to standardise social protection standards in individual EU member states, or at least to eliminate the advantage of lower levying costs, which is a certain competitive advantage. At the same time, they consolidate within the eurozone which threatens to leave all other member states on the Union’s outskirts.”
From the Polish viewpoint, it is crucial that the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights does not entail the implementation of far-reaching solutions that affect the competitiveness of Polish companies, and climate policy objectives were defined realistically and taking into account the costs of energy transformation borne by individual countries. These in the case of Poland can be gargantuan and amount up to PLN 400 billion.
“Therefore, it is essential to monitor subsequent initiatives related to social protection, such as the introduction of European regulations on minimum wages or the revision of regulations on the coordination of social security systems,” says Jakub Bińkowski, the Union’s Secretary of the Law and Legislation Department. “Another highly important issue are the amendments proceeded as part of the mobility package. We must also strive for a good distribution of financial support for Poland from the Innovation Fund and the Modernisation Fund. Challenges ahead are plentiful.”
The Union’s experts emphasise that attention should also be paid to further development of European integration. The ‘two-speed Europe’ may mean less money for Poland from the EU budget and further access restrictions with regard to Western markets.
“So there is a multitude of challenges ahead, and therefore we should not focus on deliberating whether the Union’s elected authorities are good or not,” concludes Cezary Kaźmierczak. “Since one is able to identify both opportunities and threats, one needs to focus on making proper use all options in order to take advantage of the opportunities and to neutralise the threats.”