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Poland prioritises metro and motorways

ICE News

DEVELOPING A motorway and metro network are Poland's priorities now it is a member of the European Union, Polish ambassador Stanislaw Komorowski told ICE members.

He was delivering the annual European lecture at the Institution's headquarters last month, just two weeks after Poland's accession to the EU.

Poland received $13.3bn in funding when it joined the EU, of which $5.7bn has been earmarked for civil engineering projects (NCEI last month). The largest country to enter the EU on 1 May, Poland also received the biggest grant - almost five times that received by the other accession countries.

Komorowski painted the picture of a growing Polish economy with a rise of 3.7% in 2003 and expected rise of 5% this year compared with 2002.

However, he warned that as the number of jobs increased, so would the cost of labour.

'This may have an impact on our competitiveness in Europe, ' he added.

But he welcomed the opportunity to influence central European decisions. He was particularly keen to dissolve the impression of an EU 'frontier'.

'We will certainly push for closer relations between the EU and our eastern neighbours Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, ' he said.

But he added that Poland's relationship with America would be its 'trump card' in being able to influence Europe.

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