Macron accused of pursuing ‘protectionism’ in EU by Polish PM

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo on Wednesday accused French President Emmanuel Macron of "trying to introduce protectionism" amid their clash over his proposals to overhaul a controversial EU rule on sending workers abroad.

Macron accused of pursuing 'protectionism' in EU by Polish PM
“It really worries me that the French president is currently undermining the pillars of the European Union and trying to introduce protectionism, striking at the free market and the circulation of people and services,” Szydlo said on the TVP Info news channel.
“These are worrisome signals. I think now is the time when at least some of the EU's leaders must answer the question of whether unity is important to them… or whether some of these leaders want to divide the European Union.”
France and Poland clash over EU cheap labour rule
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo. Photo: Thierry Charlier/AFP
Macron made overhauling the so-called Posted Workers Directive one of his key election promises, and is set to push for it at an EU summit on October 19-20.
The regulation lets companies send workers from low-wage countries like Poland to wealthier economies on short-term assignments without paying the host country's social charges.
The rule has caused resentment in western countries like France, Germany and Austria, which argue it amounts to “social dumping” that creates unfair competition on their labour markets.
But there has been staunch resistance in eastern and central Europe, where most of the less expensive workers come from. Poland is the EU member that benefits most from the regulation.
Addressing Warsaw's opposing views on the matter last month, Macron said Poland was “a country that has decided to go against European interests in many areas” and risks finding itself “on the margins” of the EU in the future.
Szydlo responded at the time by calling Macron's criticisms “arrogant”, but on Tuesday she spoke of the possibility of a “compromise”.


Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

French president Emmanuel Macron will make a live TV broadcast to the nation about the war in Ukraine.

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

Macron will be on TV on Wednesday at 8pm, the Elysée confirmed earlier on Wednesday.

Macron also tweeted the announcement, saying that his speech will be on the subject of the war in Ukraine.

His office added that the president’s speech “will not touch on other matters” – Macron has only until Friday to confirm whether or not he is running for re-election.

It is widely considered to be extremely unlikely that he would not stand in the April elections, but all candidates have until Friday, March 4th, to make their declaration.

Macron’s team had previously announced a rally in Marseille on Saturday, March 5th, which was expected to be the first official campaign event, but on Tuesday this was cancelled because of the ongoing international crisis.

Macron was at the forefront of international efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, and since Russia invaded Ukraine he has remained in close contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and has also spoken – at the request of Zelensky – to Russian premier Vladimir Putin.

The Local will be following Macron’s speech live from 8pm HERE.