On the whole, one gets the impression that Dowgielewicz sees Poland as a country with a firm, bright future. “We’re gaining in confidence. We’re going to be the seventh largest economy in the EU this year. If the economic crisis continues for several more years, we may even overtake other economies.”
Poland joined the EU in 2004 and hold prospects for adopting the euro as early as 2012.
Dowgielewicz also isn’t shy about his opinion of Poland’s exclusion from the G20. His remarks reflected the irritation held by smaller member states that important decisions are made at higher levels. However, EU diplomats don’t foresee any quick changes to the Group of 20 industrialized and developing nations meetings. Better that the EU should have a single representative team rather than individual European countries should insist on independent representation, Dowgielewicz says. “It’s completely unacceptable that four, five, six countries go to the G20 thinking that they can speak on behalf of the whole EU.” Generally, G20 summits – meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors – are attended by Britain, Germany, France and Italy with Spain occasionally attending as well.
When it comes to role models and aspirations, Poland has a few. “We used to say Ireland was the role model for every new member state, but now that’s a bit difficult,” Dowgielewicz says referring to the financial crisis and recession. He continues: “When it come to EU budget negotiations, we’ll draw lessons from Spain. When it comes to promoting our own nationals in Brussels, we’ll draw from the British. And when it comes to Euro-enthusiasm, we’ll draw from the Italians.”