EU budget - Polish aspect

Marian Miszalski

When the EU budget for 2007-13 was agreed on the situation is as follows: in these years we are to receive 59,659,000,000 euros for the so-called policy coherence, 26 bn euros on aid to farmers and 5 bn for 'other purposes'. However, we are only certain that in the years 2007-2013 we are to contribute at least 18 bn euros to the EU and that Polish farmers are to get 26 bn. Because of the fatal negotiations of Miller's government Polish farmers will get twice less per a hectare than farmers of the old EU countries, so one cannot speak about any 'balance of chances', on the contrary, the disproportion between the agriculture of the old EU and the new EU countries will increase...
In the meantime, numerous Polish farmers, especially the small and middle ones, complain that the aid to a hectare does not cover the costs of the increase of prices of goods, necessary to run a farm (fuel, electricity, coal, fertilisers, machines, services, etc.). The agricultural policy of the European Union aims at gradual, top-down liquidation of agriculture of small and middle-scale producers according to the accepted dogmatic assumptions that only large farms are profitable. Similarly, in another epoch it was assumed that only collective farms, the so-called PGR and farming cooperatives could develop agriculture... It does not answer the question: 'What should we do with small and middle farms, with people who are living on them, who have and will have children there, in the situation where 'common agriculture policy' aims at liquidating these farms? There are none, even the least guarantees, that EU policy will ensure jobs for these people outside agriculture; on the contrary, observing the high unemployment, which is the cause of the EU tax policy (including the farming policy) one can have justified fears that these people lose their ways of earning money from land and they will not get other chances to work somewhere else. Although the sum of 59,656 million euros for the years 2007-2012 for Poland seems enormous one should remember that so far we have used not more than ....3%, and there were two fundamental reasons for this. Firstly, receiving this aid depends on our own contribution, which heavily indebted Poland so chronically lacks. Secondly, the European Union imposed some conditions of obvious 'barrage' character and not 'balancing chances', which Polish subjects can hardly meet and which will make it possible to use the assistance. The very procedure of filling in the EU applications is difficult, costly for small and middle-scale companies that must employ lawyers (many a time that causes corruption among officers who are to accept these forms...) and that's why the number of the small and average-sized businessmen who have received the aid is so small. Furthermore, there is the risk, which is impossible to assess and which must be taken into account by a entrepreneur who applies for aid because he cannot foresee the new standards, which the EU bureaucrats will set in the future for those who have got the aid, if they can meet these standards or if they get bankrupt, since they must most frequently take a bank loan to have the own contribution, which enables them to apply for the EU aid...
One can easily notice that if the utilisation of the EU means were still 3 % the sum of almost 60 nb euros, granted to us for the years 2007-2017, we would actually gain not more than our contribution, which we must absolutely pay.
We can clearly see that the European Union does not only lose the economic contest with the United States but also with the Asian countries because of the socialist model of 'common agricultural policy', detailed economic regulations, which hinder enterprise and the system of compulsory social insurance that has not been reformed for several years. The two main EU countries, France and Germany, are experiencing a clear economic stagnation; consider the attempts of less or more strategic 'partnership' with Russia at the cost of 'European solidarity' and energy security (i.e. political security) of the new EU members, including Poland. The German-Russian gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea is an obvious and meaningful example. Therefore, we can make the reflection that even now when Poland's sovereignty is hindered by its accession to the European Union there is the need of an intensive work of the Polish legislator and government so that Poland would not become only a reservoir of cheap labour work and easy market in the future for the old EU countries. The new EU budget, including the 'funds for Poland', does not protect us against such danger. It seems that in the field of reducing taxes, simplifying the procedures and cutting costs of charging and also in the field of reducing to minimum the bureaucracy the Polish authorities still have considerable room for manoeuvre. For example, in spite of the policy of getting rid of centralised economy the very central bureaucracy, submitted to the government, has increased since 1990: from 40,000 to over 120,000 clerks (laborious research carried out by Prof. Witold Kiezun, presented in a TV Trwam programme). Furthermore, when we consider that concessions, granted by the bureaucracy, are obligatory to over 200 the so-called economic spaces, only these two parameters (increase of bureaucracy, degree of market regulations by the clerks) show that the real Polish problem is not the 'excess of free market' but the 'post-socialist burden', which the economy is still crashed by. The burden that is more and more heavy to bear by hired workers, farmers or businessmen... The EU budget and the sums granted to Poland do not promise any relief in this respect.

"Niedziela" 2/2006

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: