Source: www.tradingeconomics.com World Bank FOREIGN RELATIONS POLICY:
The foreign policy of the Republic of Poland is conducted by the Council of Ministers. The Minister of Foreign Affairs coordinates the Polish foreign policy and is responsible for maintaining relations with other states, pursuing the interests of the Polish state and its citizens, and caring for Poland’s global image.
In March 2012, the Council of Ministers adopted the Polish Foreign Policy Priorities for 2012-2016, the first multiannual strategy of Polish foreign and European policy since 1989, which presents citizens with a vision of Polish foreign policy and portrays the key tasks facing Polish diplomacy in the years leading up to 2016.
Polish diplomacy’s most important role is to support the drive to modernization. The primary Polish strategic goal over the next two or three decades is to attain the level of Western European per capita GDP. NATO and cooperation with the United States also remain a priority in the Polish foreign policy agenda, as well as the gradual implementation of the US-Poland Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement.
Poland’s actions in the international arena are directed to the foundation of its statehood: democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and solidarity. Polish foreign policy is meant to guard the state’s independence and territorial integrity. It seeks to ensure national security, the preservation of its heritage, the protection of its natural environment and the increase of its prosperity and high level of civilizational and economic development.
POLISH DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION - POLISH AID:
For the period 2012-2015, Poland’s development cooperation strategy is centered on promoting democracy and human rights; increasing the role of development cooperation to contribute to the security and the stability of its neighbors and partners in cooperation; supporting measures to disseminate human rights, the rule of law and democracy in order to create a friendly international environment and to prevent conflicts.
This policy also aims to create conditions for sustainable development of partner countries by promoting and consolidating democracy, creating modern and efficient state institutions, undertaking actions to reduce poverty and improve health conditions and levels of education and professional qualifications of the Polish people.
Poland is engaged in development cooperation in two areas. The first covers the Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The second group comprises selected countries with high poverty levels and/or countries facing significant transformation challenges. The group consists of eight countries from East Africa (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda), two from North Africa (Libya and Tunisia), as well as Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the framework of the Small Grants System and the Volunteering Program, Polish development cooperation is implemented in other geographical areas, for instance in South-East Asia, the Balkans, and Latin America.
Poland also provides humanitarian assistance in natural and man-made disasters, with the objective to save lives and alleviate suffering of victims in developing countries, while maintaining their human dignity.
Polish humanitarian aid is delivered in two ways: i) in the form of contributions to international humanitarian organizations (particularly United Nations agencies and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement) and ii) in the form of co-financing operations of Polish entities (mainly NGOs and National Headquarters of the State Fire Service). Additionally, actions are taken to build the capacity of the Polish humanitarian aid system as well as promoting humanitarianism in Poland and abroad.
INVOLVEMENT WITH THE AMERICAS:
Poland has diplomatic relations with all OAS Member States and maintains embassies in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, United States of America and Venezuela.
The mechanism for Poland’s relations with most Latin American countries is that of political and economic consultations at the level of deputy ministers or MFA political directors.
Parliamentary cooperation plays a key role, with bilateral contacts at the level of speakers of parliamentary chambers, foreign affairs committees, and parliamentary groups. The Polish Parliament currently comprises groups dealing with bilateral cooperation with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.
Pursuant to the 2012-2016 Polish Foreign Policy Priorities with regard to Latin America, Poland will focus primarily on developing economic ties, in particular with Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Peru. The issue of human rights protection in Cuba and Venezuela are matters of important attention in Poland’s relations with Latin America.
A key factor in Poland-LAC relations is Polish participation in drafting and implementing EU policy towards the region. Poland welcomed the ratification of the EU-Central America Association Agreement, and the EU Trade Agreement with Peru and Colombia (both agreements were signed in June 2012) and is in favor of further negotiations on the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement.
In 2012, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs organized a series of economic missions to Peru, Chile, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil headed by Undersecretary of State Beata Stelmach, as part of the broader initiative to promote and support Polish companies in emerging markets, including those in Latin America. The Ministry of Economy counts Brazil as one of the five countries with a positive outlook (alongside Algeria, Canada, Kazakhstan and Turkey) in which Poland will promote its international economic projects in the years 2014-2020.
Since 2007, Poland’s development aid has been allocated towards the Latin American region through the Small Grants Programme (2009 – PLN 500,000, 2010 – PLN 200,000, 2011 – PLN 300,000). Countries which have benefitted from development aid in this period included: Ecuador, Peru, Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Ten development projects (in the Small Grants format) were carried out in 2012 – in Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Cuba and Haiti. Furthermore, 8 projects with a total grant element of PLN 483,055 were carried out in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Jamaica as part of the Polish Aid 2012 Volunteering Programme.