Sejm: IV Polish-Swedish Forum

The future of the European Union, security in the Baltic Sea region and cooperation on innovation were discussed today in the Sejm by MPs and Riksdag deputies. The meeting was jointly opened by Speaker Marek Kuchciński and Speaker Urban Ahlin. This is the fourth session of this inter-parliamentary convention.

- The forum brings us closer to solving problems and enhances our cooperation, it is a discussion meeting where we can freely exchange our views - said the Speaker of the Sejm opening today's Polish-Swedish parliamentary session. The Speaker referred in his speech to the examples of Polish-Swedish cooperation and stressed how effective joining forces on the basis of a basic principle can be: Equal to equal, free to free. - We Poles need an efficient European Union based on the maxim "united in diversity - said Marek Kuchciński. The Speaker also recalled the idea he put forward at the meetings of EU Presidents to strengthen the European Union by returning to its foundations, namely the right of nations to self-determination. He added that mutual respect for sovereignty remains equally important. According to Mr. Kuchciński, strengthening of the EU can be achieved by organizing competencies of particular European institutions and strengthening the role of national parliaments.

President Urban Ahlin spoke about the importance of being ready to cooperate with each other. In his opinion it is the Lisbon Treaty that gives a lot of possibilities to act, but still many European parliaments don't use it. As he stressed Brexit will have a big impact on both Poland and Sweden. The United Kingdom is an important economic partner for all countries of the Community. President Ahlin also drew attention to the security in the Baltic Sea region. The political environment in the Baltic Sea region is very important for Sweden. The President also said that the political environment in his country is critical of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. He explained that this is a huge challenge for Europe, and the European Union must be united in the face of such events.

Representatives of the Committees for European Union Affairs Konrad Głębocki and for Foreign Affairs Andrzej Halicki took part in the discussion on the future of the European Union in the context of Brexit. Monika Rosa participated in the discussion on behalf of the Polish-Swedish Parliamentary Group. It was emphasized that the European Union needs changes and repair, but we should also remember why it was created. Attention was also drawn to the mechanisms provided by the Treaty of Lisbon and the fact that they are not used to a large extent. It was also emphasized that the competences of national parliaments are still too weak. During this part of the meeting views on migration were exchanged.

The second part of the meeting dealt with security issues in the Baltic Sea Region. Representatives of the Committees presented their opinions on this issue: Waldemar Andzel, Committee on National Defence, and Norbert Obrycki, Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Polish-Swedish Parliamentary Group was represented by Arkadiusz Marchewka. During the discussion it was emphasized that cooperation between our countries in the field of security is strategic. The Eastern Partnership provides a good foundation for it, and it is in this area that joint activities should be intensified and strengthened. During the forum issues of energy solidarity and cooperation with the United States were also raised.

Today's meeting was also an opportunity to discuss economic innovation and cooperation in this field. The Committee on Digitization, Innovation and New Technologies was represented by Witold Czarnecki and the Committee on Economy and Development by Daniel Milewski. Krzysztof Truskolaski took the floor on behalf of the Polish-Swedish Parliamentary Group. It was emphasized that Sweden is one of the leaders in innovation - it is one of the country's economic priorities.

Today's IV Polish-Swedish Forum was preceded by a meeting of the Speaker of the Sejm with the President of the Riksdag. Politicians discussed, among others, the exchange of experience in regional cooperation, the growing importance of macro-regions - on the example of the Baltic Sea basin and the Carpathian region, and the need to adopt regional strategies. The topic of the meeting between Marek Kuchciński and Urban Ahlin was also tightening parliamentary cooperation with Central-Eastern Europe and strengthening the Eastern Partnership.

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