Poland wants to exclude defense investments from the public deficit count within the European Union

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Poland wants to exclude defense investments from the public deficit count within the European Union

Engaged in an unprecedented defense effort, Poland wants to put pressure on the European Union so that defense investments are no longer taken into account in the calculation of the public deficit.

On July 11-12, the next NATO summit which will, as one would expect, be largely devoted to the support provided by Alliance members to Ukraine, as well as 'to the modernization and strengthening of the defensive posture in the face of the Russian threat.

If, during previous summits, the United States and the countries of Western Europe had mainly a say, the Eastern Europeans, today, are in a position of strength, in particular because of their role key in the direct control of Russia, but also by the support they have given so far to Ukraine.

Among them, Poland serves not only as a spokesperson, but now as a representative playing on par with the best endowed European nations such as Germany, Great Britain or France, due to an unprecedented effort and without equivalent to equip itself with a defense tool capable of containing the Russian threat.

In an interview given to the Defense24.pl site , the now well-known Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak clarified the ambitions that Warsaw intends to carry during this summit, in order to respond to the evolving threat.

If the main part of the interview concerns the measures taken in Poland to strengthen the armies, whether in terms of acquisition of equipment, industrial partnerships but also recruitment and increase in power of the reserve, the minister also presented two measures that he intends to propose during the summit: bringing the floor of defense investments to 2.5% of GDP against 2% today, and above all obtaining from the European Union that it does not count, at less for a time, defense spending from the calculation of the public deficit of member countries.

K2 Black Panther PL 01
With 1000 K2/K2PL tanks and 250 M1A2 Abrams ordered, the Polish armies will field nearly half of the heavy tanks deployed in Europe within NATO

To support these measures, and unlike for example the French position which, for years, has been essentially declarative, Poland intends to put forward its own example, the country having undertaken to bring its own budget to 4% of its GDP, the alliance's largest defense effort, at a level not seen since the Cold War.

However, Warsaw is perfectly aware that its own economic situation, with debt below 50% of GDP, allows it certain latitudes inaccessible to many other European countries whose debt is more than twice as high, particularly after the Covid crisis.

In addition, the country still uses the Zloty as its national currency, and finds itself, in fact, less affected by European constraints in terms of respecting deficits, the country having in 2022 a public deficit of $26 billion or 3.5% of its GDP and above all the same amount as its defense investments ($22.3 billion).

In fact, Warsaw is naturally pleading here for its own parish, since to join the Euro zone, the country must respect the Maastricht criteria and therefore a public deficit of less than 3%. But there is no doubt that these two proposals could appeal to many European chancelleries, well beyond just Eastern European countries.

AH64E Apache
Warsaw recently announced the order for 96 AH-64E combat helicopters to support its mechanized forces

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolfhttps://meta-defense.fr/fabrice-wolf/
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the Meta-defense.fr site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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