French President Francois Hollande pledged Friday that Paris will do all it can to smooth Poland's path into the eurozone, while Warsaw insists the troubled currency union must get its house in order first.
"France will do everything in order for Poland to be able to join the eurozone, when it decides to do so," Hollande said in a speech to the Polish parliament during a one-day official visit to Warsaw.
He said doing so was not only the interests of Poland but also of the euro itself.
"I have no intention of setting the eurozone's current geography in stone and insulating it from the rest of Europe," he added.
"We didn't abolish the borders that divided Europe simply to raise new ones."
With 38 million people, Poland is one of the largest economies in the 27-nation that remains outside the eurozone, and the only one to have remained in growth throughout the crisis.
Switching from the Polish zloty to the euro was part of the country's 2004 EU entry deal, although there was no fixed deadline for accession.
Warsaw is now insisting that it will wait for the 17-member single currency bloc to resolve its problems before joining.
Polish leaders have nonetheless vowed that the country will by 2015 meet the eurozone's Maastricht criteria, covering areas such as inflation, debt and deficit levels that are now roundly breached by most members of the 17-nation currency bloc.
"I hope that as soon as it decides to do so, Poland will be able to take part in crafting a strengthened Europe built on the eurozone," Hollande said.
Under Hollande's predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, who left office in May after losing in his bid for a second term, France was opposed to non-eurozone members taking part in talks on the currency bloc's policy.
That led to tensions with Poland, notably when Warsaw held the full EU's rotating presidency in the second half of 2011 and demanded observer status at eurozone meetings, arguing that the currency union's decisions affected would-be members.
Hollande insisted that it was time for a change.
"Without delay, Poland must be involved fully in our work on the future of economic monetary union," he said.
After talks later Friday with Hollande, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk hailed his stance.
"We've been waiting for a long time for a French president to state that Poland's place is in the heart of Europe, and that Poland will be present at each meeting regarding the future of Europe," Tusk told reporters.
"We fully intend to join the eurozone when we are 100 percent ready," he added.