The AGM of the APPG on Poland took place on the 22nd of March. It opened up with the elections – Daniel Kawczynski MP has been re-elected as Chairman, and Lord Rogan, Viscount Waverley, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Martin Vickers, Robert Halfon, Bob Stewart, Rupa Huq, Andrew Slaughter and Lord Panteg were elected and re-elected as Officers. The Members of the APPG also celebrated increasing the group’s membership to 80, making APPG on Poland one of the biggest groups in Parliament.
After the formalities, HE Prof. Arkady Rzegocki joined the meeting and gave a speech about Poland’s economic and political successes, highlighting the resilience of the Polish economy during the pandemic with Poland’s record low unemployment rate in the EU. The Ambassador also mentioned an ‘impressive’ number of EU Settled Status applications from Polish citizens living in the United Kingdom.
Following the speech, Ambassador Rzegocki invited Members to a Q/A session. The discussion touched upon a number of issues suc as the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline, women’s strikes in Poland over abortion laws, Polish-British academic cooperation and the views of the Polish community in the UK on Brexit. With regards to the pipeline, the Ambassador underlined the geopolitical and national security threat of Nord Stream 2 to NATO’s Eastern Flank and Poland’s close allies such as Ukraine. Members additionally raised the environmental impact of the pipeline. Moreover, the participants discussed the growth of the Visegrad Group and the Three Seas Initiative as vehicles strengthening the cooperation in the Central and Eastern European region. The Three Seas aims to focus on economic development of the region in a north-south axis.
The meeting ended with the Ambassador giving his closing remarks and thanking all Members for strengthening British-Polish relations.