Poland may host ‘anti-crisis lunch’ for EU members not invited to founders’ post-Brexit meeting

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) talks with Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski at the start of an European Union foreign ministers meeting at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, January 18, 2016. © Yves Herman
Poland wants to hold an alternative meeting of EU foreign ministers who weren’t invited to a hastily arranged gathering, which on Saturday urged the UK to leave as soon as possible to avoid damaging the Union any further, Polish media report.

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The invitations to the foreign ministers’ meeting, which is to take shape of a “working lunch”, were sent out over the weekend to the European embassies, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. The meeting will be hosted by Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, who apparently did not invite the six founding members of the EU.

“We must decide how the EU will function in this [Brexit] situation, which negotiations model with Britain should be selected,” Waszczykowski told the paper. “We believe that there is no reason to hurry. As long as the United Kingdom remains in the EU, we will treat it as a full member of the Union.”

When asked about the possibility of foreign ministers’ attendance on Monday in Warsaw, government spokesman Rafał Bochenek told Polskie Radio, that “it is difficult to expect that all the ministers,” will manage to free their schedules to meet in Poland.

The spokesman added that unlike the meeting of the six that took place in Berlin on Saturday, “We believe that you have to talk to everyone, hence the initiative of the minister.”

The spokesman expressed hope the meeting would produce “some initial outlines,” in which direction the EU should be headed, but said it’s too early to tell the outcome as “each minister might come with their own intentions and assumptions.”

Bochenek said all member states have the same weight in the decision-making process, asserting that “the entire organization should take into account the interests of its members,” without jeopardizing the “strong foundations” of the union and its “recognized values.”

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Following the meeting in Berlin, a joint statement from the six founding nations – France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg – said they want a fast decision and clear actions from the UK.

“We now expect the UK government to provide clarity and give effect to this decision as soon as possible,” a statement from the foreign ministers read.