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Is Poland the EU's 'new Britain' (or the 'new Ireland')?

Nicolas Sarkozy is pursuing an ambitious agenda at today's EU summit as Mark Mardell blogs.

Dtuskg At the heart of this summit though is the proposed deal on climate change. Leading the 'awkward squad' is Poland. Poland's Donald Tusk wants a combination of more time or/ and money to help Poland convert from coal.

A reporter on the BBC's Today programme, Jonny Diamond, asked if Poland was the EU's new Britain - the nation always holding out against EU policies?  It's certainly true that this is not the first time that this relatively recent EU entrant has threatened to block a Union-wide deal.  Poland also had eleventh hour objections to the Lisbon Treaty.

But Poland may be more like Ireland than Britain. Less notable for being the odd one out and more notable for its success at winning a large share of EU subsidies.  Already due to receive £57bn over the next seven years for infrastructure improvements, Reuters is reporting that a new €40 to €50 billion "solidarity fund" (where solidarity = subsidy) might be Tusk's price for agreeing to Sarkozy's 20/20/20 pact.

> Roger Helmer MEP predicts a costly deal from the UN summit in Poznan: "Cutting through the jargon, the probable deal seems to be this.  The Eastern accession countries of the EU will blackmail France, and Germany, and Britain, into transferring vast sums in exchange for their agreement.  Then the developing countries will blackmail the developed countries of the West into transferring even vaster sums to secure their agreement.  For us, it’s a double whammy — the huge damage that any “Son of Kyoto” would do in its own right, plus the costs of bribing other countries to join in (or at least to save our faces by pretending to join in)."

> FT writers profile the variety of challenges facing Donald Tusk and his Civic Platform party.


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