Tough talking

Alan Heath
10-04-2001, 00:00

Tough talking

Minister Jan Kułakowski, Poland’s head negotiator with the EU on membership, will take a one day visit to Brussels today. He is hoping to drop in on Mario Montim amongst others who is the EU commissioner on competition in order to discuss the question of special economic zones, one of the most difficult questions of all in relations with the EU. He will be accompanied by Elżbieta Modzelewska-Wąchal, deputy head of competition watchdog UOKiK and Jarosław Pietras, under secretary of state at the EU integration committee.

Competition policy has not been discussed between the two sides for nearly one year. The Polish side is insisting that the EU show a little understanding of the relationship it already has with investors in the zones who risked their money for the promise of tax concessions. Poland has asked for a transitory arrangement which will take it to 2017 when the last contract will finish. Brussels considers that the very creation of the zones was enough to breach agreements reached with the union.

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