Last week’s Citizens’ Dialogues held by Commissioner Bieńkowska in Poland complete her tour of six events within two weeks. The Citizens’ Dialogue in Tarnow on 20 May 2019 focused on the 15 years of membership of Poland in the EU, the European Parliament elections, and the European funds for innovation and business. In turn, on 23 May in Poznan the main theme was a sustainable development and the future of green cities. Both events gathered together more than 400 people.
The Citizens’ Dialogue in Tarnow was a good opportunity for the Commissioner to remind young people in the audience to go vote in the European elections.
She also commented on the last 15 years of Poland’s membership in the EU and the financial aspect of the membership: "We received a huge financial support from the EU, much bigger than any other country in Europe. But it is important to remember that the EU is not only about money but about many other values, like EU-wide medical help, no roaming charges, and much more", she said.
When asked about the psychological, sociological and financial consequences of robotisation and implementing new technologies, the Commissioner said that data and information are now crucial. "Who has our data is now of great importance. The EU is a leader in privacy protection. There are limits and we need to decide on our lives, not some virtual reality", she underlined.
The discussion in Poznan focused on sustainable development, green cities and greenhouse gas emissions.
When asked about the EU’s role in shaping the environmental future of Europe, she underlined that the EU has decided to limit greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and 2050. In this context she reminded the audience that the Polish government in Poland says, "coal forever" and at the European level agreed to reduce emissions. "One should not declare one thing in Poland and something else in the EU", she underlined. In her view, Poland is also hindering investments related to renewable sources of energy.
As a conclusion, Commissioner Bieńkowska said: "The EU is you. In Europe, we talk about our future together. Only by cooperating we can maintain our standards of living. If we want to live in a rich and clean place, we (Poland) should contribute, and become a part of the solution."