Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

In the Polish news, in the shadow of the anniversary of the Smolensk tragedy, there is the American struggle for the presidency and behind it – the efforts for the abolition of visas to the United States. Officially, the proud leaders of my country do not ask the Americans for anything, but the practice is different.

The Polish Embassy in Washington has just released a special web publication dedicated to Poland and the “suspension of visas” programme. From the five selected pages of a carefully prepared text we can learn that the implementation of the programme will be good for America and business, it will increase the level of US national security and give the American public diplomacy a strong argument.

Next, we learn why Poland is not in the programme despite its successes. The Embassy reminds readers that we fight in Afghanistan, we bear losses and they have been able to come to our country without visas since 1991. Then it gets even harder. They write that every year 7 million Poles go abroad, and only 100 thousand from them go to US. Not enough.

The best of all, however, is at the end. It turns out that despite the promises of President Obama, the support of the American Chamber of Commerce and others, the great project is supported by 9 senators (out of 100) and 30 congressmen (out of 435)… Let me remind that in autumn the Americans will elect not only their president, but also one third of senators and the entire composition of the House of Representatives…

We must decide whether at the current stage of Polish-American relations the maintenance of visas is a Polish or American problem. If the problem is Polish, then such publications make sense. But if we are going to proudly wait until the Americans get softer, giving out pleading leaflets on the Internet does not make any sense.

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