Outgoing President Andrzej Duda (Law and Justice, PiS) came out ahead in the first round of the presidential election in Poland on June 28. He won 43.67% of the vote and Rafal Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw and former Minister of Administration and Digital Affairs (2013-2014), candidate of the Civic Platform (PO) led by Grzegorz Schetyna, who obtained 30.34% of the votes. The two men will face on July 12 for a second round of voting.
Given the new challenges and in particular the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the multiannual financial framework 2021/2027 will be particularly decisive for the survival of the European project launched by Robert Schuman 70 years ago. According to José Manuel Fernandes, the recovery plan proposed by the Commission is courageous and Parliament is maintaining an ambitious and united position. It is up to the Heads of State and Government to rise to the challenge.
The crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is accentuating the technological, economic and security challenges that the Union faces in its relations with China, Russia and the United States. Its neighbourhood policy, particularly in the Western Balkans, is an important instrument for the promotion of its strategic interests.
An area of trade and conflict since antiquity, the Mediterranean Sea remains a major crossroads for the interaction of the main strategic competitors. The multiplication of actors, and the inevitable duplicity that goes with it, generate the ambiguity of stated or real intentions. But Europe is best placed to understand this uncertain space and take a more active part.
The European Union is one of the main promoters of free trade agreements (FTAs). This position is not new: since the mid-2000s, and even more so in the decade now ending, the Commission, supported by the Council and the European Parliament, has constantly sought to negotiate and conclude new trade agreements. This strategy has paid off. In 2018, almost a third of trade between Europe and the rest of the world was covered by the preferential provisions of an FTA, a figure that is expected to increase significantly in 2020, following the entry into force of the agreement with Vietnam, and to rise in the coming years to more than 40% if the agreements currently being negotiated with Mercosur, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and possibly the United Kingdom come into force.