“Who’s representing Poland?” is the standing question here at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries council in Luxembourg. The fact of the matter is that nobody knows.
Poland had a general election on Sunday, and the ruling party’s majority was wiped out by a landslide victory for the opposition. Of course, there is no new government in place yet – it seems as if there will be coalition negotiations – but on Tuesday, Poland is supposed to take part in discussions over fishery quotas.
The problem, as I have already written in this blog, is that Poland is already allowing itself a virtually unlimited quota, as the previous government refused to stop pirate fisheries, and Poland is supposed to be a key player at this meeting. But it also seems that Poland will have a new and more EU-friendly government, and the talk here is that the other member states wouldn’t want to come down too hard on such a government for fear of alienating them.
Meanwhile, a delegate confided that the black-market fisheries is probably a far bigger threat to e.g. cod stocks than the regular fish quotas, overly generous as they may seem. So something has to be done – but who is going to do it?
On a more positive note, delegates have had troubles hiding their joy at the change of government in Poland. “Yess!” is a word that probably describes the sentiment among many in an accurate way.