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Parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committees in favor of Poland’s full membership in the Eurocorps

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There have been a number of changes in the Eurocorps itself, and due to the increase in its role, the Polish side decided to aspire to the status of a framework nation again, says Deputy Defense Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz. The parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committees on Tuesday voted in favor of works on the bill aimed at obtaining the status of a full member of the Eurocorps by Poland. The draft is to be the subject of the plenary session of the Sejm on Thursday.

At the meeting of the foreign affairs and defense committee on Tuesday, the first reading of the draft law authorizing the president to ratify the Eurocorps treaty took place. It is necessary for Poland from an associated state to become a framework state – a full member of this multinational military organization. Poland intends to increase its involvement and fill 120 positions, in 2023 the rotating position of the commander is to be taken by a Polish general.

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Eurocorps (EC) is a high readiness command tasked with planning and conducting military operations under the auspices of the EU, NATO and the United Nations. The seat of the EC is in Strasbourg. The corps can be used – as Deputy Defense Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz pointed out – as part of collective defense under Art. 5 of the Washington Treaty establishing NATO. Eurocorps can command formations of up to 60,000. soldiers in operations in Europe and beyond. The draft is to be the subject of the plenary session of the Sejm on Thursday.

Eurocorps plans and conducts military operations under the auspices of the EU, NATO and the UNHOSLET OLIVIER / EPA / PAP

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Skurkiewicz recalled that the initiative to obtain the status of a framework state by Poland was taken in 2006, and in 2017, efforts were suspended. The decision to gradually reduce the number of Polish soldiers in the EC was justified by the reduced involvement of the EC in NATO activities and Poland’s increased effort to strengthen the eastern flank.

– Currently, due to the fact that there have been a number of changes in the Eurocorps itself, and due to the increase in its role, the Polish side has decided to aspire to the status of a framework nation again – said Skurkiewicz. The cost of delegating 120 soldiers to the Eurocorps and 10 logisticians to the so-called the national support element (NSE), the Ministry of National Defense estimates at PLN 58-60 million.

PiS explains the discontinuation of work on full membership in the Eurocorps

Czesław Mroczek (KO), deputy head of the Ministry of National Defense in the PO-PSL government, expressed “full agreement” with the aspiration to membership. He added that the PiS government had stopped efforts to change the status of an associated state into a framework state when Antoni Macierewicz was the minister of defense. He assessed that it was “an act to a clear detriment to the interests of our country” in the face of the deteriorating security situation. Macierewicz described the allegation as “absurd lies”.

– At that time, I supported the minister’s decision with full conviction, now I will vote in favor of this bill with both hands – declared chairman Michał Jach (PiS). He noted that the perception of threats has evolved, which was manifested, among others, by positions of the NATO summits in Newport in 2014 and in Warsaw in 2016.

Skurkiewicz noted that the Eurocorps changed between 2015 and 2021 and its approach to allied missions and the role that the EU and NATO may play in ensuring military security have changed.

Poland is associated with the Eurocorps among the countries

The Eurocorps, established in 1992 by France and Germany, started operating in 1993. Soon after, the two founding countries decided to open the unit to other countries of the Western European Union.

The framework states of the Eurocorps – deciding on the tasks, structure and future of this formation – include, in addition to the founding countries, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg. Associated countries – with limited obligations and rights – are Austria, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Romania and Poland.

Main photo source: HOSLET OLIVIER / EPA / PAP



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