President: Bigger defence budget necessary
It is necessary to increase Poland’s' defence budget as more money is needed for the army's modernisation and transformation as well as increasing its headcount, President Andrzej Duda said after he approved a bill that gradually raises defence spending.
"This is a very important and joyful moment for me as the Polish president and at the same time the supreme commander of the Armed Forces", Andrzej Duda said after he signed the bill into law.
President Duda stressed that PM Beata Szydlo and her ministers also saw the necessity of raising the defence budget.
"We need more money to modernise the Polish army, to transform it and to increase its headcount. At the same time, we need very good legislation to be able to fulfil our NATO obligations in a clear way and based on well-drafted regulations", Andrzej Duda said.
In 2018 and 2019, Poland will spend at least 2 percent of its GDP on defence, and the level will start to grow afterwards, from 2.1 percent of GDP in 2020 to the ultimate level of 2.5 percent by 2030.
Despite remaining at 2 percent throughout 2018 and 2019, "the budget will increase in real terms thanks to the calculation methodology", according to head of Poland's National Security Bureau (BBN) Pawel Soloch, who has explained it will be calculated with reference to GDP in the current year, in line with NATO practice. Previously, the spending was determined on the basis of the previous year's GDP. (PAP)