UPDATE: On Wednesday evening, the Kopacz cabinet received approval from the Sejm, with 259 votes in its favor.
Poland’s new Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz addressed a wide range of issues during her inaugural speech in parliament on Wednesday, putting emphasis on security, both in the economic and international sense.
Kopacz talked about a number of economy-related problems that the country has to face. She promised that the minister of finance would prepare a new, simpler tax regulation and that the minister of economy would propose a new law on economic activity.
State-owned lender BGK would extend its support for small and medium-sized enterprises, Kopacz said. The government would also prepare a special anti-crisis regulation to help battle the effects of Russia’s embargo on Polish food products.
She underlined the importance of Poland’s energy security and said that her government would push for an energy union in the EU. She said that the country would not agree to policies that raise energy costs.
“In Poland, coal is of strategic importance,” she said, promising to make sure that the country’s coal mining sector is protected from unfair competition and that it becomes profitable.
The costs of energy should be affordable for the average household, Kopacz also said.
In terms of foreign policy, the new PM said that Poland should continue to enhance its position in the European Union. She added that the country would put emphasis on the signing of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
In terms of defense, Kopacz promised an increase of spending to 2 percent of Poland’s GDP, starting from 2016. She added that Polish soldiers would receive an additional PLN 36 million starting from 2015.
The PM said that in the current international situation it is important for Poland to maintain close ties with the USA. In view of the situation in Ukraine her government will work on “unity and solidarity in the democratic bloc,” she added.