Ukraine is set to be approved as an EU candidate today, after the European Commission voiced its approval yesterday.
Ukraine applied to join the EU just after the Russian invasion in February, and the process has since moved at a record speed.
Its ambassador to the EU Vsevolod Chentsov told the BBC it would be a psychological boost for Ukrainians, although „real integration” could only start when the war was over, saying however it would take months, not years, to move on to the next stage.
Candidate status is the first official step towards EU membership. France’s representative has said this week there was „total consensus” on Ukraine. There are also hopes that North Macedonia and Albania may make progress But it can take many years to join and there’s no guarantee of success, as the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, and who will also be in Brussels today for further negotiations, have discovered.
Changes in the Polish Government
President Andrzej Duda made changes to the government yesterday following the resignation by the Deputy prime minister and head of the Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The head of the Ministry of Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak, has been appointed deputy prime minister. Agnieszka Ścigaj, Włodzimierz Tomaszewski and Zbigniew Hoffmann were appointed as members of the Council of Ministers.
Jarosław Kaczyński, resigned from the post of deputy prime minister a few days ago. In an interview with the Polish Press Agency PAP, Kaczyński said that he would have left the government several months ago, had it not been for the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Kaczyński says he will now focus on party activities.
Błaszczak will also head the National Security Committee.
Kaczyński went on to say that this was a completely natural decision. There is a war going on, and Mr Blaszczak is the minister of defence, so in the situation we have found ourselves in, such a combination of abilities and powers has great advantages.
Earlier this week, motoring fans in the Tri-city had quite a surprise walking down Long Market or through the streets of Gdańsk. All thanks to the visit of some unexpected guests – Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. The brilliant presenters were shooting the next episode of their car show „Grand Tour”.
Seeing Jeremy Clarkson at the wheel of a Mitsuoka Le-Seyde on the streets of Gdańsk it is a real treat. The Mitsuoka is probably one of only 500 ever made. Richard Hammond could be seen on the roads of Gdańsk in a Chevrolet SSR, and James May was driving a Crosley Convertible.
The British trio, famous primarily for „Top Gear”, one of the most popular motoring programs in history are now working on their new series, „The Grand Tour”.
We wish them a pleasant stay and suggest they drive carefully as speeding fines can be an unpleasant surprise in Poland.
And finally, a chance to enjoy a great cultural event
The Euro Chamber Music festival has begun in Gdansk. It is the largest chamber music festival in Poland, and it’s celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.
Performance will take place at various venues around the city of Gdansk including the Baltic Cultural Centre NCK, and the Museum of the Second World War.
You will be able to hear acclaimed Polish artists such as Mirosław Baka, reading the poetry of Ukraine or the Orchestra of the Polish Young Philharmonic under the baton of Sylwia Janiak Kobylinska with a brilliant selection of pieces, as well as a selection of chamber groups.
Performances are free and details can be found on http://www.eurochambermusicfestival.com.
Today will continue to be pleasant and warm. Any passing cloud will be gone by later this afternoon. Daytime temperatures will be higher than yesterday reaching the low 30’s Celsius (85 Fahrenheit) but cooling down to 17 degrees (62 Fahrenheit) overnight.
The outlook for the Friday and the weekend : pleasant and warm.