Poland’s EU office wins praise as the only Polish embassy in the world to welcome pets

Poland’s EU office wins praise as the only Polish embassy in the world to welcome pets

Poland’s permanent representation to the European Union has won praise for being the only Polish embassy in the world to allow staff to bring their pets to the office. Ambassador Andrzej Sadoś, who introduced the policy, said the animals help reduce workplace stress.

While pets are not permitted in European Union institutions such as the commission, council and parliament, Poland’s permanent representation to the EU encourages its staff to bring their canine companies to work, especially if the animals would otherwise be left home alone.

“Here you sometimes work several hours a day, seven days a week,” Sadoś told news service RMF24, whose Brussels correspondent visited the embassy along with his own dog. “It’s very good for morale if an employee has no one to leave the dog with but can come here with them.”

Sadoś also told RMF24 that the presence of four-legged friends in the office reduces stress and has a very positive effect on work.

The inspiration for the pet-friendly policy came from similar ones at international institutions in Switzerland, where Sadoś previously served as deputy head of the Polish embassy in Bern and as permanent representative of Poland to the United Nations in Geneva.

The ambassador’s own pet, an English cocker spaniel called Mini, is a regular at the embassy in Brussels. However, the office’s official pet is Wilczek, an 11-year-old adoptee from a dog shelter. Wilczek is described as a “protocol officer” and greets all incoming guests.

Other regular canine staff at the workplace include a three-month-old Chihuahua called Poli, belonging to Marta from accounting and who is often seen sleeping in a basket, and Angy, an excitable labradoodle owned by Ilona ​​from the office of the deputy ambassadors.

Every year, the office publishes calendars featuring employees’ cats and dogs as models. Among those included in this year’s issue is Ludwik, an older dog who has since passed away. “I am glad that in the autumn of his life he made a career in diplomacy,” Ludwik’s owner, Małgorzata, told RMF24.

In March this year, the European Commission announced that it would explore the possibility of allowing pets inside its buildings and would organize pilot schemes in which staff could come to work with their pets.

The announcement followed a formal request made last November by a group of MEPs, in which they asked if pets could come to work in a bid to improve the mental health of EU staff.

Main image credit: PLPermRepEU/Twitter

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