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  • pg 1
June 98

by Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of the Republic of Poland, at the meeting with
representatives of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church and foreign representatives of
autocephalous churches in connection with the ingress of the Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland
Sawa, Warsaw, 1 June, 1998
by Mr. Ryszard Czarnecki, Minister-Head of the European Integration Committee, to the Diet of the
Republic of Poland, Warsaw, 3 June, 1998
by Mr. Bronisław Geremek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland (read by Ambassador
Jerzy M. Nowak), at the Seminar „OSCE - European Council”, The Hague, 5 June, 1998
by Mr. Jerzy Buzek, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, at the Conference on „Common
Securing of Europe’s Future”, Göttweig, 6 June, 1998
by Mr. Longin Komołowski, Minister of Labour and Social Policy, before the 86 International Labour
Conference, Geneva, 9 June, 1998
of Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of the Republic of Poland, during the official awarding of the
Leo Beck Prize to Mr. Roman Herzog, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Berlin, 10 June,
by Mr. Janusz Tomaszewski, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of
Poland, at the forum of the United Nations, New York, 10 June, 1998
by Mr. Ryszard Czarnecki, Minister-Head of the European Integration Committee, during the working
breakfast with members of the Forum of European Chambers of Commerce, Warsaw, 10 June, 1998
by Mr. Jerzy Buzek, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, on the occasion of the official opening of
the European Home of Young People’s Meetings, Krzyżowa, 11 June, 1998
by Ms. Alicja Grześkowiak, Speaker of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, at the Meeting of Heads
of Houses of Parliament, Stockholm, 12 June, 1998
by Mr. Jerzy Buzek, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, at the opening of the XXXVI International
Congress of the Association of European Journalists, Warsaw, 13 June, 1998
by Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of the Republic of Poland, at a meeting with participants of
the XXVI Congress of European Journalists, Warsaw 14 June, 1998
by Mr. Bronisław Geremek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, on a need to
strengthen OSCE performance in conflict prevention and developing comprehensive security,
Permanent Council, Vienna, 17 June, 1998

by Mr. Ryszard Czarnecki, Minister-Head of the European Integration Committee, at the V International
Conference „From Communism to Capitalism”, Pułtusk, 17 June, 1998
by Mr. Jerzy Buzek, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, during the official opening of the
conference „Poland in the Process of European Integration”, Warsaw, 18 June, 1998
by Mr. Maciej Płażyński, Diet Speaker of the Republic of Poland, during the inaugural session of the IX
meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Commission of the Republic of Poland and the European Union,
Warsaw, 22 June, 1998
by Mr. Bronisław Geremek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, XV International
NATO Workshop, Vienna, 22 June 1998
by Mr. Bronisław Geremek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, VII Ministerial Session
                                                   nd   rd
of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Nyborg, 22 - 23 June, 1998
by Mr. Jerzy Buzek, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, during the meeting of the Joint
Parliamentary Commission of the Republic of Poland and the European Union, Warsaw, 23 June,
by Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of the Republic of Poland, at the NATO Workshops,
Vienna, 23 June, 1998
by Mr. Ryszard Czarnecki, Minister-Head of the European Integration Committee, at the Conference of
Ministers of German Länder for European Affairs, Bonn, 25 June, 1998
by Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of the Republic of Poland, in the Academy of Law, Kharkov,
26 June, 1998
by Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of the Republic of Poland, at the ceremony of laying the
cornerstone under the Polish military cemetery, Kharkov, 27 June, 1998
by Mr. Jerzy Buzek, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, at the conference of the U.S. - E.U. -
Poland Action Commission, Warsaw, 30 June, 1998

June 1998

                           by Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski
                         President of the Republic of Poland
                      at the meeting with representatives of the
         Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church and foreign representatives
                    of autocephalous churches in connection with
          the ingress of the Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Sawa.
                               Warsaw, 1st June, 1998

                              Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Your Eminence,
Prince Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland,
Your Eminencies and Excellencies, representatives of
autocephalous Orthodox Churches,
Worthy members of the clergy,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

      Today I have the great honour of hosting in the Presidential Palace the worthy

hierarchs of Orthodox Churches from all over the world. Yesterday, the day of Your

Eminence’s ingress, was a special one both in the life of Your Eminence and of the

Polish Orthodox Church; and since the Orthodox Church is an inseparable part of

our common Polish home, it was also an important national event.

For me this is all the more a festive occasion, because I always had great respect for

the Orthodox Church and its teachings. Here I wish to pay special attention to the

element of reconciliation contributed by Orthodoxy to the contemporary world and

also emphasise the educational and intellectual influence of Orthodoxy.

Also deserving esteem is the ecumenical commitment of the Orthodox Churches,

understood in categories of the Christian world, free from all political initiatives and

pressures, without the domination of any religion or its dogmas, open to a wide

dialogue, lacking proselytism and interfaith syncretism.

Just as Orthodoxy cares for the purity of its faith, it also cares about preserving the

purity of nature, of which an ardent spokesman is His Holiness the Patriarch of

Constantinople Bartholomew I, and in which one can perceive the environmental

message of Orthodoxy.

Your Eminence!

Yesterday You ascended to the throne of Orthodox metropolitans. Your Eminence

became the head of a church whose roots go back to the beginnings of the Polish

state, a church which in Byzantine form and Slavic liturgical vestment was and

remains a faithful son of its Country.

I wish to express the conviction that by preserving internal and external unity with

other Orthodox churches in the world, guided by the principles of respect for the

human being, democracy, the integration of society for the sake of the common

good, the Polish Orthodox Church may become a plane of self-realisation of the

mission of the Church. In its ecclesiasticism Orthodoxy harks back to the tradition of

the indivisible Church of early centuries, being the common past of all historical

churches, and this awareness of the uninterrupted tradition of faith should help other

churches to perceive their own essential dimensions without abandoning their own

cultural legacy and without losing their uniqueness.

      Today we       refer back to       the   illustrious tradition   of   the   multi-faith

Commonwealth, when tolerance, respect for other faiths and convictions was the

foundation for the stability of our State. We should appeal to those splendid

traditions also today and build a common future in which all citizens of different

religious denominations will have equal rights before the state and society.

Over the course of centuries we had many eminent statesmen of the Orthodox faith.

Here one should mention the Chodkiewiczs, Sanguszkis, Prince Konstanty

Ostrogski, Metropolitans Piotr Mohyła, Sylwester Kossów, Józef Tekalski, Dionizy

Walendyński. Your Eminence is a worthy continuator of that line.

Here I would like to emphasise the contributions of Your Eminence’s predecessor,

Metropolitan Basil. For many years he worked with great effort to rebuild the

structures of the Polish Orthodox Church destroyed by Stalinist persecution and the

„Vistula” campaign, and his unquestioned achievement was the creation of a strong


The transformations that took place in our country and in Europe gave rise to a

number of problems that the societies of many countries had to face. Changes of the

political and economic system are accompanied by experiences that are sometimes

painful for many people.

Our aspirations for integration with the European structures and NATO require a

rethinking of many views and traditional stereotypes. I am confident that the changes

taking place recently in the Polish Orthodox Church will foster the realisation of these

national goals and that the three newly appointed bishops, young and energetic

people, will be up to the new challenges.

Your Eminence also performs the function of Orthodox Ordinary of the Polish Army,

thereby with your person uniting the good of the State and the Church and thus

going back to the spirit of the New Testament community - canonry, and the military

uniforms of Orthodox officers - Chaplains of the Polish Army are the best proof of


This festive ingress of Your Eminence and the presence here of so many prominent

guests testify to the standing of the event that we witnesses yesterday. I wish Your

Eminence that Your service for the Church and our Country will bring you a lot of

satisfaction and serve the good of all of us.

      I also wish to thank my guests - the worthy hierarchs representing

autocephalous Orthodox churches from all over the world for coming today to the

Presidential Palace.

I wish Your Eminencies and Excellencies many years of health and the strength to

perform your noble arch-pastoral mission for the good of your faithful, for inculcating

the ideas of love of one’s neighbour, tolerance and reconciliation.

                              by Mr. Ryszard Czarnecki
                Minister-Head of the European Integration Committee
                         to the Diet of the Republic of Poland

                                Warsaw, 3 June, 1998

                               Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Mr. Speaker, High Diet,

It is a real honour for me in the name of the Government of the Republic of Poland to

present information concerning the decision of the European Commission on the

granting of PHARE funds to Poland. I am pleased that I can do so to you, deputies,

in the hope that thanks to the Polish parliament the knowledge of the public on this

subject will be based not on hysterical, untrue press headlines and commentaries,

but on the facts. Even if these facts contradict prior assumptions and judgements

passed on the supposed culprits.

High Chamber,

This year’s programming of PHARE assistance differs totally from the one used

before this.

First - the time of submitting and accepting the projects,

Second - new criteria.

       As regards the first factor - this can be seen by the times Poland signed

agreements with the European Commission on non-repayable aid. The agreement

on funds for 1995 was signed in February 1996. For 1996 the first part in October

1996, the second part not until June 1997. Finally, for 1997 I did this personally in

December of last year, after being in office for one and a half months. This time

these projects had to be submitted at an unusually early date, already in May. The

tempo of preparatory work was never so feverish.

       As regards the second factor - the new PHARE orientation means first and

foremost the subordination of European assistance to the needs of Poland’s

integration with the structures of the European Union. Furthermore, it also means a

reform of the management of funds by delegating to Poland a considerable part of

the management powers that in the past had been reserved for Brussels.

      A considerable breakthrough also took place in the programming of

assistance - shifting the burden of preparing programmes in the initial phase of

programming in order to facilitate the carrying out of the projects contained in them

and to shorten the completion time - up to two years and an additional year for

making final payments, without the possibility of prolonging the validity of the

financial memoranda, which until now had been routine.

      This year, in contrast to prior years, the priorities of programming the PHARE

allocation for Poland were supposed to be spelled out clearly in the programmes

„Partnership for Membership of the European Commission” and our „National

Programme of Preparations for Membership in the European Union”. At the time of

putting forward the proposal of such a way of programming, these two documents

were not yet ready.

Based on the goals and priorities set forth in those two documents, the Polish side

this year was supposed to present detailed projects ready for immediate

implementation, instead of as till now a general programme of support to individual

areas and sectors.

According to the declarations of our partners made during the meeting of 28-29 April,

the most important criterion of qualification of these projects in the European

Commission was to be their acceptability. Putting the matter this way gave the

Commission a completely free hand in evaluating the projects.

The guidelines of the Commission set forth the following formal requirements that

had to be met by projects comprising the National Operational Programme:

1. Writing up the project application in the format of a Standard Project Summary

  Sheet. Among the eight annexes to the Sheet required by the Commission, at

  least the first one had to be presented by May 15 logical matrix), the others at the

  beginning of June.

2. The possibility of starting the project already in 1998. The project had to contain

  information demonstrating that it is „mature” and completely ready for


3. Feasibility of the project during the period of validity of the Financial Memorandum

  of the National Operational programme 1998. In accordance with the new PHARE

  orientation, the prolongation of financial memoranda was out of the question, and

  for this reason every approved project has to be finished before the expiration of

  the validity of the memorandum, under the threat of forfeiting the programme


4. Co-financing from domestic funds. The projects submitted for financing were

  supposed to be financed in part from domestic means - state budget, earmarked

  funds, local government funds or from other sources. The European Commission

  did not impose an inflexible requirement in respect to the amount of the co-

  financing. What was important was the activation of domestic resources to

  demonstrate interest of individual departments in carrying out their projects.

The main responsibility for the substantive assessment of the projects submitted

rested on the departments that prepared the projects. For this purpose most of the

ministries used the services of the units carrying out PHARE assistance programmes

in their sectors (so-called PMU - Programme Management Unit). In addition, the

departments used the help of foreign experts, who expressed opinions on the

projects or even edited the aforementioned project sheets. These were people with a

lot of experience in working for or with the European Commission. These projects - I

emphasise - were consulted with individual Boards of Directors - counterparts of our

departments - in the European Commission. The Polish side submitted these

projects after only a few months of preparations.

The first corrected project sheets appeared in the European Integration Committee

Office on Thursday, May 7, at 16.00. The formal assessment of the documentation

was made during one night, and then on the next day the EIC asked some

departments for additional documentation (to send in missing parts, adjust the value

of the projects, etc.). Most of the departments approached made the suggested

corrections and sent them by courier immediately to EIC on diskettes or by electronic

mail and in printed form. EIC did not modify the projects of other departments on its

own, because they were an author’s work.

Unfortunately, some of the projects came in so late that it was impossible to send

them back to the departments for the required corrections. The only possibility of

influencing the quality of the Polish PHARE propositions at that time was to eliminate

projects that did not meet the criteria of the European Commission. On account of

the fact that the number of projects sent in to the EIC considerably exceeded the

possibility of funding them, the elimination procedures of projects was entirely

feasible. This resulted in the dissatisfaction of many institutions that had put in a lot

of time and effort to prepare the projects. However, this procedure made it possible

to submit to Brussels a balanced financial proposal that only slightly exceeded the

means available (233.5 mn ECU versus 212 mn ECU allocation for Poland).

The projects accepted were sent by electronic mail to the European Commission on

the evening of May 8th. The only modification made in the documents sent in

electronic version was to change the name of the files to make it easier for the

addressee to identify their contents. The principle used by EIC of assigning names

had been sent prior to this in a letter to the departments working on the projects, but

some of them failed to adhere to this requirement despite meeting the condition of

the format of the documents submitted and the size of the files. A change of the

names of the files only made in some of scores received from the departments is

only a cosmetic modification and has no bearing on the contents of these


Besides electronic mail, the projects were submitted in the printed version sent in by

the departments. No changes were made in the sheets sent in, the pages were not

even numbered, which would have made it easier to read a document hundreds of

pages long. The cover letter to the Polish PHARE proposal was sent together with

the printed version of the document.

In the previous manner of programming, projects of such detail as proposed by

Poland this year did not appear earlier than one year after signing the financial

memoranda of the programmes. Taking into consideration programming at least a

half-year in advance and the planned launch of the projects immediately after signing

the National Operational Programme, one can speak of a two-year acceleration of

the carrying out of PHARE in Poland.

The preparation process of the national PHARE proposal was planned in the middle

of March in the form of agreeing upon a precise timetable. It was filled out in entirety

by the Polish side. Despite enormous time pressure, all deadlines - which I firmly

stress - were kept.

This year’s process of PHARE programming started formally with a letter from

Commissioner Van den Broek of February 17 th, in which the amount of the PHARE

allocation for this year was stated (203 mn ECU). Despite rumours of hints in this

letter of the future decision of the Commission, the letter does not contain any

warnings that the 1998 allocation for Poland could be reduced in any case. It only

contains the remark that next year’s allocation will be smaller for those countries -

beneficiaries of assistance, in which the implementation of the programmes is too


Not until the priorities of this year’s assistance were elaborated was it possible to

start preparing the project proposals. This happened on March 31 st. Then one and a

half months later the European Commission announced without warning that many

of these projects did not meet its expectations.

The rejection of some Polish proposals took place without substantive consultation

and even contrary to prior official assessments expressed by substantive employees

of the Commission.

High Diet!

The projects sent to Brussels met the formal and technical requirements imposed by

the European Commission. Before the final submission of our proposal the

Commission did not inform Poland of the manner in which the projects would be

evaluated. Even today it is hard to say exactly what deficiencies or shortcomings

determined the rejection of some projects. The European Commission did not give

us any information on this subject. The decisive criterion could not have been

inconsistency with accession priorities, because proposals were also rejected that

entirely met the priorities set forth in the Union document „Partnership for

Membership”, e.g. in the areas of agriculture, environmental protection or protection

of competition. Individual department did not expect such a decision of the European


       Today a group of representatives of the European Commission is coming to

Poland to hold consultations on the projects accepted. The process of Poland’s

approach to membership in the European Union definitely will not be slowed down by

the decision of the Commission on PHARE. The non-repayable assistance of the

Union, which in the years ahead will increase rapidly (500-600 mn ECU by 2000, 6-8

bn ECU after entry into the EU), is important but only a part of our mutual relations.

We will certainly draw lessons for the future from this situation.


             by Mr. Bronisław Geremek Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE

                 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

                        (read by Ambassador Jerzy M. Nowak)

                      at the Seminar "OSCE - European Council"

                              The Hague, 5th June, 1998

       I have the honour to present to you the following message from Professor

Bronisław Geremek, Chairman-in-Office, who regrets not being able to come

personally to The Hague and participate in this important event.

      The subject of this seminar is the relationship between the Council of Europe

and the OSCE. It sounds somewhat dry, but contains an important message. It is to

make a contribution to a common cause – a further improvement in the state of

human rights protection. Introducing his proposal on ”Alliance for Human Rights and

Democracy”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Mr. Hans van Mierlo,

very rightly pointed out the need for true co-operation and genuine complementarity

between the two organisations. As I understand it, the objective of this seminar is to

discuss possibilities of converting these words into a tangible and concrete reality.

      Permit me at this point to make a personal remark. I should like to recall those

people who, like the „Solidarity” movement in Poland, were engaged in the struggle

for democracy and human rights and against communism. They were inspired by the

ideas and principles of the Council of Europe and the OSCE. I am convinced that we

are now living under better conditions than those prevailing before 1989, but new

challenges, risks and threats are looming ahead. We can stand up to them, but only

if we act together, and using OSCE language, develop co-operation between

mutually reinforcing institutions. Certainly, co-operation between the OSCE and the

Council of Europe is indispensable for the new architecture of Europe which is slowly

evolving. Both organisations continue to be relevant under the better conditions.

      The acquis of both the Council of Europe and the OSCE constitute an

important point of reference. The potential of the Council of Europe and the human

dimension of the OSCE are important sources of inspiration in democracy-building,

promoting the rule of law and strengthening the universality of human rights all over

the OSCE area. This is our joint contribution to stability and security in Europe.

      One of the main features of the OSCE is its so-called comprehensive

approach to security, which consists in regarding of politico-military, economic,

environmental and human dimension issues as relevant to security in Europe and as

closely inter-linked. In recent weeks, the OSCE has intensified its work on the future

”Document-Charter on European Security”. Lots of questions and problems are

looming ahead. The direct challenge is to strengthen security and democracy in the

OSCE area. The non-hierarchic, mutually reinforcing nature of the relationship

between organisations and institutions dealing directly or indirectly with European

security may help us in solving our problems, rather than ideas based on old

balance-of-power concepts.

       Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE has to be seen

also from the perspective of the OSCE’s work on the ”Platform for Co-operative

Security”, which will be part of the ”Document-Charter”. I hope that it will create the

framework for contacts between the OSCE and its partners, particularly the Council

of Europe, and that the Council of Europe will contribute actively to the refining of this

concept. This should not, of course, prevent us from intensifying practical forms of

co-operation pending the adoption of the ”Platform”.

       Future understanding of the democratic order in Europe should be based on

the role of international law, on fundamental common heritage of political and moral

values in the European tradition, and on solidarity with countries threatened by the

use of force, hegemonic tendencies, natural man-made disasters, terrorism and

other plagues.

       We should work to develop mutual assurances which will replace the balance

of power and produce new and more democratic conditions of European

international life. Advancing security requires us, to use President Clinton´s words

from his Berlin Statement, ”to stand against intolerance and injustice as much as

military aggression”.

      The future of European security lies in a flexible co-operative system based on

mutually supporting institutions, including enlarged Atlantic Alliance working closely

with States which are not members of the Alliance and an enlarged European Union

co-operating with its partners. The OSCE and the Council of Europe have an

important role to play in this concert. Nobody should be left on the margin of our

endeavours. My recent trip to Central Asia showed that nations living there look to

the OSCE and the Council of Europe for assistance and inspiration. I have come to

the conclusion that we should do our best to demonstrate universality in our

organisations and not be enclosed within eurocentric limits.

      The co-operative security system should strengthen our common values and

co-operation in the implementation of our principles. The OSCE and the Council of

Europe have an important role to play here. What is important in the present

circumstances, and what the OSCE is successfully doing, is to link human rights with

early-warning and conflict prevention activities. The two institutions are indispensable

in laying the foundations for common, comprehensive and indivisible security in the

OSCE area.

      I am fully aware that the discussion on the relations between the Council of

Europe and the OSCE has entered a specific and constructive phase. If we compare

the activities of the two organisations, we see that one of main differences is the

OSCE’s comprehensive approach to security. Its human dimension activities play

what is in a sense an instrumental role with regard to the principal goal - preserving

peace and security. The main emphasis is being placed on early warning, the

development of operational capabilities and establishing field presence, but always

with due attention paid to their human dimension component and to universal

character of human rights. As a result, the OSCE has adopted a proactive,

operational approach to human rights protection - an approach unmatched in many

areas by the approaches of other organisations. This has been illustrated by the

OSCE´s contribution not only to standard-setting but also to the implementation of

existing international standards. The OSCE has managed to establish various

organs and mechanisms through which the OSCE participating States can follow

closely and affect the human rights situation in individual States. The participation of

the United States, Canada, five Central Asian and three Caucasus States contributes

to the more universal implementation of human dimension standards.

       Seen from the OSCE perspective, the Council of Europe is basing its activities

on a specific concept, placing emphasis on the development of legal infrastructures.

Such an approach requires that the Council of Europe, unlike the OSCE, organise its

activities around a very strong Secretariat. It has developed high-quality legal

expertise and commands remarkable resources - both human and financial - in

support of its activities.

       The Council of Europe and the OSCE are united by their universal approach

to human rights protection. At the same time, however, they are using different

methods and instruments to achieve their common objectives. Thus, a need for close

co-operation is evident, but the field of possible overlap in their activities is not so

large as is often presented. Each organisation has comparative advantages, and

each is indispensable to the other’s efforts to act more effectively.

       It goes without saying that there is a need to increase the synergy between

the OSCE and the Council of Europe rather than introducing compartmentalisation

and promoting a division of labour. We should act in a spirit of partnership and look

for ways to increase the complementarity of our activities. In this context, I fully agree

with Minister Hans van Mierlo that the OSCE and the Council of Europe should

ensure conditions favouring maximum use of their comparative advantages.

       There is a need to identify where we can work together, but first we must

define clearly what we mean by that. This issue is currently being discussed by the

OSCE participating States and representatives of the OSCE institutions. The OSCE

approach is an open one. The prevailing view is that co-operation between the two

organisations should be based on a pragmatic approach, with                the focus on

intensifying contacts in the field. Instead, we should concentrate on building upon

what has been achieved so far. The main stress should be on the flexibility of future

relations. Both organisations should avoid all forms of subordination, „OSCE-

centrism” or „CoE”-centrism”. They should preserve their identities while co-operating

more closely.

       Against this background, I would like to propose the following definition of the

notion „joint” when used in the context of discussions on the relationship between the

Council of Europe and the OSCE. In our opinion „acting jointly” should mean

increasing complementarity and synergy, trying to avoid duplication, maintaining

mechanisms for consultations at various levels, organising more target-oriented

expert meetings, exchanging information on each other’s procedures and activities,

and seeking advice about ideas under discussion.

       What can the OSCE contribute to this process?

       The OSCE with its inclusive membership and moral authority can offer

institutional flexibility and rapid reaction capabilities like those demonstrated during

the Albanian crisis. For addition, it could provide strong political impetus for practical

work on human rights issues and exercise external political pressure for the

promotion of universal standards, especially in these areas where democracy´s roots

are still fragile. Finally, it could be in some cases a door-opener for the Council of

Europe, enabling it to be present in many places to the mutual benefit of both


      The Council of Europe has also embarked upon a reform exercise, entrusted

to a Committee of Wise Persons, and intends to evolve towards a more political and

outward-looking institution. We hope that these ideas will be taken into account.

      When we think about co-operation mechanisms, we should not forget about

making the involvement of parliaments in the contacts between the two organisations

more effective. It is no secret that there are some problems regarding co-ordination

between the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and the Council of Europe. The

co-operation between them is slowly improving, however, and we should do our best

to encourage this process and to involve the parliamentarians more in the

mainstream of our activities.

      I would like to stress once again that solidarity and – where possible –

integration based on common values should be hallmarks of the new order in

Europe. We should promote co-operation based on exchanges of experience in a

search for solutions to old and new problems of democracy.

      Finally, Mr. Chairman, I wish you and all participants in this seminar a very

fruitful and interesting meeting. My suggestion in this regard would be concentrate on

ways of improving pragmatic co-operation and on specific cases where the situation

might be improved, rather then engaging in a philosophical, general discussion. I

look forward to hearing about the findings of the seminar.

      Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

                                by Mr. Jerzy Buzek
                      Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
           at the Conference on „Common Securing of Europe’s Future”
                              Göttweig, 6th June, 1998

Mr. Prime Minister,
Mr. Chancellor,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

      Today we meet a few weeks before Austria will take over the presidency of the

European Union. Austria - one of the new member countries of the European Union -

is facing one of the great challenges of our times - another enlargement. This task

cannot be carried out without answering what will be the future share of unified

Europe. I am very happy to be invited to the beautiful Wachau valley together with

Mr. Aznar, Prime Minister of Spain and my personal friend. I appreciate this idea and

understand it as a proposal to involve both member states and the applicant

countries in the debate on our common future.

      Let me begin with the thesis that the political borders of Europe are delimited

primarily by the feeling of co-responsibility for the community of European nations. I

am deeply convinced that the topic formulated by the organisers of this conference

devoted to the common guarantee of Europe’s future concerns member states as

well as states aspiring to membership.

      In the case of countries which have applied for membership, they need to

demonstrate a willingness for making internal efforts to adopt the standards of

political, economic and social life existing in the European Union. Europe’s prosperity

depends equally on the will to conduct internal reforms in the Union. These

processes, in my opinion, should run in parallel.

      When thinking about the future of the European Union, we cannot fail to

notice the emerging threats. The position taken by certain European states which

place primacy on the deepening of co-operation within the framework of European

structures over its enlargement concerns us. We are obviously interested in the

results of the financial reform, the reform of regional policy and of the Common

Agricultural Policy. They have a direct impact on the shape of Poland’s future

membership in the European Union. It is with a feeling of disappointment that we

would accept deviations from the agreed timetable, even if they were to be motivated

by the necessity to carry out the necessary reforms which benefit enlargement.

      Although it cost us a lot, I assure you that Poland will fulfil the obligations of a

future EU member. The political parties that form the ruling coalition went to the

parliamentary elections last September with a programme of fundamental reforms of

the state. In my exposé I said that we had won power in order to give it to the

citizens. Such was the programme of „Solidarity” from the time of its creation, and

such is the programme of the parties stemming from this movement today. Since the

historic moment which led to our victory in 1989, we have been trying consistently

and with no effort spared to implement this programme. We are building a state of

free and co-responsible citizens. Our goal is to establish structures subservient to the

citizen, to enact just laws, to re-establish respect for fundamental moral principles in

public life.

       The process of rebirth of democracy is accompanied by a strengthening of

market mechanisms in the economy. The first „Solidarity”-led governments have

created democratic institutions of power at the central level, have introduced market

mechanisms in the economy and started privatising state-owned enterprises. We are

continuing to restructure such important sectors of the economy as mining and heavy

industry. This entails fundamental changes in economic and employment policies.

We are now working on a fundamental reform of the political system which will

involve the creation of two new levels of local self-government. This reform is, at the

same time, a reform of the public finances; it will establish new rules of their transfer

and expenditure. We have undertaken preparations to change the rules of financing

of such socially sensitive areas as social insurance and health care. The programme

implemented by AWS (Solidarity Electoral Action) and UW (Freedom Union) coalition

government will be completed when full power is transferred to Poles at the local

level and the basic sectors of public services are reformed.

       This is an ambitious programme but also a realistic one. Its success will

determine whether my compatriots in the near future will be able to decide about

Poland’s affiliation to a union of free European nations. Public support for Poland’s

membership in the EU has been constantly high despite the fact that the society has

borne enormous costs of the reforms. Poles are the biggest Euroenthusiasts in

Central and Eastern Europe. This is proven by the recently published results of

surveys conducted at the request of the European Commission. These surveys dealt

with the general attitude to the EU and the voting preferences in a referendum about

membership. Over two-thirds of those polled were in favour of EU membership.

These surveys have confirmed that Poles are the most enthusiastic in the region

about a market economy, about a democratic system and about the direction of

changes underway in Poland. In order to maintain support for reforms at its present

level, the public has to be shown a clear time perspective. This is why it is so

important to unequivocally indicate the moment when Poland will be able to become

a full-fledged member of the EU.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

      The new Europe, the Community of Europeans, has to rely on a foundation of

values espoused by all of its members. The opening up of the EU to accept new

members is not a purely technical problem. The principle of solidarity lies at the

sources of the creation of the European Union. The feeling of co-responsibility for the

fate of Europe, including also for those states which for different reasons cannot

become EU members as yet, is the cornerstone of integration. Security and peace in

Europe to a great extent depends on the success of transformations in those states

which are grappling with the legacy of a totalitarian system. How heavy this burden is

to bear we can see by looking at those states that have made this effort.

      States which cannot yet become members of the European Union should

have an open road to European structures. Only then will it be possible to continue

the process which has been demonstrated to be the only effective way of

implementing pan-European goals, going beyond the 19 th century doctrine of the

raison d’état of a nation state. The prospect of membership has a mobilising effect.

May other European nations also benefit from the experiences of Western Europe.

States which have regained or won their sovereignty as a result of the collapse of the

Soviet empire are facing the need to define their foreign policy and their economic

and social policy.

       Poland supports the aspirations of the Baltic States that have embarked on

the road leading to full integration and that have been implementing reforms with

commendable consistency. We have started to co-operate with Ukraine, which is at

the beginning of the road of internal transformations. To the best of our efforts we

are supporting those actions of Ukraine that favour closer alignment with European

structures. We believe that we cannot turn away from Belarus. Although a dialogue

with this state is still difficult, we believe that it is our duty to search for planes on

which this co-operation may bring tangible results. These states should not remain in

the European „grey zone”. Consent to the creation of such a zone would mean a

negation of the post-war political legacy of free and democratic Europe and would

carry real risks.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

       The accession of new states to the European Union is not only a political

problem. This is demonstrated by, among other things, a resolution adopted in

January 1998 in Graz during a meeting of representatives of border regions of the

European Union. Conference participants presented a catalogue of threats and

problems which arise in connection with the accession of CEEC to the EU. The

economy, the labour market, agriculture, transportation, the technical infrastructure

were listed as particularly sensitive areas.

       A major problem for people living in border regions, as indicated by the

document adopted in Graz, is the increase of organised crime and the deterioration

of the standard of living of citizens. The resolution proposes to start a special EU

programme intended to provide assistance to the „threatened regions of the EU”.

The text of the resolution demonstrates strong public fear existing in EU member

states in connection with enlargement. We do understand such feelings. However, if

the CEEC are left outside the European structures, this may lead to a deepening of

the disproportion and to an intensification of negative trends. The conviction that

problems can be solved by means of a policy of isolation is an illusion.

      In our opinion, the accession of new members to the European Union will

result not only in an enlargement of the sphere of stability and co-operation, but will

also boost the economies in member states, Taking Poland as an example, the

economic results of the reforms initiated in 1989 are clearly visible. The Polish

economy is characterised by relatively high growth of the GDP and output. We have

noted a substantial drop of inflation and unemployment. Three-quarters of our trade

exchange is with the EU countries. A dynamic economic development boosts

imports, in the first place from EU member states.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

      One often hears opinions about the defensive nature of democratic structures

which, allegedly, being too much concentrated on resolving their own internal

problems, lose in the confrontation with better organised authoritarian or totalitarian

states. However, the history of the Cold War demonstrates that democratic

structures can come out as winners from the confrontation that was forced upon

them. Today, when the unjust and painful division of Europe no longer decides about

the face of Europe, an opportunity has appeared to establish a pan-European order.

For the first time in Europe’s history, this order may come about not by means of

armed conquest, but through co-operation and respect for common values.

       The accession of reform-minded CEEC to the European Union will be a

materialisation of the European idea of unity, which has been present in European

culture and politics since the Middle Ages. Failure to meet this historic challenge

could provoke the creation of new divisions and walls between Europeans and the

rival of historical resentments. The idea which in the 1950s, following the painful war

experiences, gave rise to a deepened co-operation between former enemies turned

out to be the most effective instrument leading to lasting peace and prosperity.

       I am convinced that the permanence and strength of European democracy,

when the external threat is gone, is not diminished in relation to what it was during

the Cold War. For it is based on a solid foundation of values stemming from the

Judeo-Christian tradition of personal responsibility. Europe will be changing in the

near future. It will have to face new challenges and threats. As long as the

Community of European nations remains faithful to the message of their Christian

Democratic Founding Fathers, it will successfully cope with the emerging hardships.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

       Poland’s return to Europe’s fold was made possible because of Poland’s

consistent adherence to proven values during one thousand years of history. We

were able to survive the tragic years of World War II and the post-war isolation by

holding on to these values. They are the basis on which we are building a sovereign

Republic of Poland. For this reason I am not concerned about Poland’s return to the

family of free European nations. We have never left this community in the realm of

the spirit and ideas.

       An independent Poland will contribute to the EU a long tradition of functioning

in supranational structures. Modern-age Poland, the Commonwealth of Two Nations,

was a multinational state. A state which guaranteed its inhabitants rights with which

Europeans have always identified. Poland’s tradition as a tolerant, naturally open

country fosters our aspirations. We appeal to this tradition in the policy that we have

been implementing since 1990.

       Poland is vitally interested in the reforms going on in Eastern Europe.

Contributing to the stability of this region and an active opening up to the East is our

important European role. Only a Poland anchored in European and Euro-Atlantic

structures can provide effective assistance to its eastern neighbours. The Polish-

German agreement modelled on the German-French one which has been forged

over the last few years may become a model for resolving problems stemming from,

among other things, historical events in Central and Eastern Europe. In this way,

Poland drawing from the experiences of the recent past may contribute to the „export

of stability” in the region as a whole.

       An important element that will determine the shape of the future, enlarged and

reformed Europe is the „Weimar Triangle”. Co-operation with the framework of this

triangle is exemplary, because it involves the joint actions of EU member states with

a candidate country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

       An important component of European security is a balance maintained

between Euro-Atlantic links and European foreign and security policy. In Polish

foreign policy we are trying to harmonise the „transatlantic” with the „European”

direction. We are devoting considerable attention to the construction of the European

Security and Defence Identity. We are going to become a member of the Western

European Union. In our opinion, one should strive to maintain the United States

presence in Europe, while at the same time deepening military co-operation among

European alliances. This is promoted by Polish involvement in bi- and multilateral

structures. An important contribution of Poland to the development of European

security will be the creation of a German-Danish-Polish Corps stationed in Szczecin.

      Poland is engaged in the construction of a system of co-operative security

which involves organisations and institutions co-operating with each other, such as

the OSCE and the Council of Europe as well as numerous regional and subregional

bodies. We will reply on our experiences stemming from our involvement in the

OSCE and the UN.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

      At the end of this short address, permit me to quote from a statement made by

the President of Austria, Thomas Klestil, who said: „I think that a project of this

century which is the unification of Europe has to be pursued in an atmosphere that

will give the nations of Eastern Europe a feeling that they are indeed welcomed

newcomers - and at the same time alleviate the fears of EU citizens that what they

have accomplished is threatened” (Ich glaube, dass Jahrhundertprojekt der

Einbinding Europas, in einer Atmosphäre erfolgen muss, die den so lange

getrennten Nationen im Osten das Gefühl gibt, wirklich willkommen zu sein - und die

auch den EU-Bürgen die Ängste vor einer Gefärdung des bisher Erreichten nimmt.”)

I am deeply convinced that this perspective opens up an opportunity for successful

completion of the common task undertaken by us which is to realise the unity of our


      Thank you for your attention.

                             by Mr. Longin Komołowski
                        Minister of Labour and Social Policy
                  before the 86th International Labour Conference
                               Geneva, 9th June, 1998

Mr. President,
Mr. Director General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

      On behalf of the Government of Poland and the Polish Delegation I would like

to wish this year’s Conference a great success. The Conference will take up very

important issues: fundamental rights of employees, child labour, forced labour, job

creation in small and medium-size enterprises, as well as contract labour. This is the

response of the International Labour Organisation to the challenges of our century,

one of which is how to the widest protection of employees’ rights and permanent

economic and social development simultaneously.

      Poland is facing very similar challenges. Social policies being implemented

under those conditions are increasingly complying with the needs of the society in a

transforming and developing economy. We are also doing our best to ensure that

these policies meet ILO standards. A broad catalogue of social and economic rights

has been included in the newly adopted Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

      The new Government that came to power in 1997 has launched a number of

ambitious social reforms. It also is continuing the reforms started by previous


      We introduced a broad reform of social security and a reform of education by

adjusting curricula to the needs of the labour market. A new model of health care will

be introduced as well as a new scheme of its public financing. We are at the outset

of a reform that will decentralise the state, a reform under which authority in many

areas of social policy will be delegated to regions and lower levels of local

government. This reform should improve the performance of social policy institutions,

while ensuring respect for standards contained in various international documents,

including conventions of the International Labour Organisation.

       I would like to take this opportunity to announce that Poland has instituted

ratification procedures of the ILO Convention No. 97 on migrant workers, No. 102 on

minimum standards of social security and No. 176 on safety and health in mines.

       In preparing for further stages of economic transformation and the necessary

restructuring of obsolete industries, we have due regard to the implementation of

appropriate social protection measures. Institutions of social dialogue, continuously

developing in Poland, serve as venues for finding partner-like solutions to these and

other social problems.

       The Government of Poland is convinced that even the most difficult issues

may be resolved in a climate of social dialogue. Some of those issues date back to

the pre-1989 period of lack of trade union freedom in Poland and relate to the

division of assets among trade unions. The Government has undertaken intensive

efforts towards a final solution of that dispute.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

       Child labour is one of the most humiliating phenomena in the present-day

world. I do hope that the debate we are having at this Conference, including on the

most extreme forms of child labour, will lead to the adoption of appropriate

international standards next year. With an eye to the need for strengthening the ILO

activities in this field, my Government has recently decided to join the International

Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour - IPEC and to support it financially. I

am convinced that the programme will receive wide support from significant donors.

       Also, Poland is particularly interested in adopting new documents concerning

contract labour and job creation through the development of small and medium-size


Ladies and Gentlemen,

       We have taken on the momentous task of adopting at this Conference a

Declaration of Principles concerning fundamental rights. The Government of the

Republic of Poland firmly supports this effort.

       A declaration of this kind will strengthen the effectiveness of our Organisation

in promoting and protecting widely recognised basic human rights. It will have

particular significance in an era of increasing globalisation of economic activity.

       The Declaration of Principles concerning fundamental rights has to be

accompanied by an efficient, reliable follow-up mechanism acceptable to all. I hope

we will succeed in coming up with a mechanism of periodic assessment of

compliance and implementation of core labour standards by states which have not

ratified the relevant ILO conventions.

       As Minister of Labour with many years of trade union experience, I do hope

that the Declaration we are currently working on will became a firm base on which to

strengthen further international co-operation in support of ensuring for all employees

the rights and living standards worthy of the end of the 20 th century.

       Wishing all of you a very fruitful debate, I thank you for your attention.

                            of Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski
                          President of the Republic of Poland

                 during the official awarding of the Leo Beck Prize to
                                 Mr. Roman Herzog
                   President of the Federal Republic of Germany
                               Berlin, 10th June, 1998

                              Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Honourable Chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany!
Honourable Mr. Federal President - Dear Friend!
Ladies and Gentlemen!

The suggestion of the Chairman of the Central Council of Jews, Mr. Ignatz Bubis, to

have the Polish President deliver a laudation in honour of this year’s winner of the

Doctor Leo Beck Prize, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany Professor

Roman Herzog, was a truly European idea and for me a great privilege.

On the occasion of this prestigious award and the contributions to Europe of this

year’s laureate, we can speak about matters of great consequence for our common

future. We can speak here - in the centre of Europe - in a place which until not so

long ago was a symbol of the division of Germany, of Europe and the world into two

opposing blocs, while today, almost before our eyes, Berlin is becoming a great

metropolis, the capital of Germany and one of the main cities of our continent, in a

place located almost on the Polish-German border.

Berlin was always a city of many cultures, built over the past eight hundred years by

Germans and Slavs, by French Huguenots and Dutch artisans, and today by Turkish,

Portuguese and also Polish workers, working illegally and legally.

One cannot imagine the history of Berlin without the Berlin Jews, who came to this

city from the west and from the east, attracted by the liberal settlement policy of

successive Prussian governments, at a time when wars and intolerance were rife in

other regions of Europe.

Neither can one write the history of this city without mentioning the contribution of the

Berlin Jews to its culture, science, economy and politics. One cannot write the history

of Berlin without recalling that on the turn of the century for thousands of Jews from

the East Berlin was a gate to the West, of which today one can still find reminders in

the district of Scheunenvierte near the railroad station.

Unfortunately, one also cannot write the history of Berlin if one omits the fact that in

1993-45 there were people in the government district who not only conceived the

hellish plan of conquest of the world, the enslavement and decimation of the Slavic

nations and the extermination of the „Jewish race”, but also largely carried out their

plan from here.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as they say in German - I do not wish „to bring owls to

Athens”, or in Polish - „to bring trees to the forest” and relate the history of the

German Jews, especially in the presence of such experts on the subject. However,

since on the occasion of the Leo Beck prize I want to say a few words about Jewish-

German-Polish relations, let me recall one of the most interesting Jewish thinkers of

the Enlightenment, Salomon Maimon, who also spent some time in Berlin in the 18 th


Salomon Maimon came from the eastern borderland of the ancient Polish-Lithuanian

Commonwealth. From a book that happened to fall into his hands he learned

German and driven by the thirst for knowledge went to study in Berlin. However, he

was not admitted to the capital of Prussia as a „tattered Pole”, so he returned by foot

to Poznań, from where three years later, now as a university student, he came to

Berlin, where he was taken under the wing of Moses Mendelssohn, the same one of

whom in 1743 a Berlin customs officer wrote the famous words that, on that day

through his gate „passed six oxen, seven swine and one Jew („sechs Ochsen,

sieben Schweine und ein Jude” sein Tor passierten). In time Maimon became a

philosopher about whom Immanuel Kant spoke in nothing but superlatives and whom

Goethe invited to Weimar. Toward the end of his life, when torn to pieces by Prussia,

Russia and Austria the Commonwealth of the Two Nations desperately but

unsuccessfully tried to save itself from disaster with reforms, Maimon in 1790

dedicated his „Versuch ueber die Transcendentalphilosophie” to the Polish

Reformer-King, Stanisław Augustus, calling upon the Jewish nation to cultivate

education and justice so that „it would try to gain the greatest respect from the nation

among which it lives.”

Very many prominent Berlin and German Jews had - and have - their roots in Poland

or in the eastern provinces of Prussia, which today are part of Poland. The patron of

today’s award, Dr. Leo Beck, was born in Leszno, a city in which Amos Comenius,

the great Czech pedagogue, found refuge in the 17 th century; following this Beck

studied in Wrocław and became a rabbi in 1897 in Opole. I believe that he also came

in contact with Polish there.

I am pleased that the Polish inhabitants of the former German cities in Lower Silesia

or Pomerania are slowly starting to discover these roots and acknowledge their

predecessors. That it how it is today in Wrocław, where before the auditorium of the

university the portraits of Wrocław Nobel Prize winners from German times once

again hang, for example Theodore Mommsen and Max Born, and where the old

Jewish cemetery is being painstakingly restored, including the grave of Lassalle.

That is how it is in Barlink, where the Emanuel Lasker museum is being built to

honour the world chess champion. That is how it should also be in Jarocin, the home

of the liberal 19th century politician Eduard Lasker, and in many other Polish cities

and towns, in which the unfalsified local history - Polish, German and Jewish - ought

to speak out in a louder voice. This is a glorious and tragic history at the same time,

full of mutual fascination and animosity, interpenetration and rejection, in which on

the German side anti-Semitism met with anti-Slavism, on the Polish side with hostility

to everything that is German. Yet, for entire centuries in Central-Eastern Europe this

German-Jewish symbiosis was a fact. It was only destroyed by the Nazi madness.

Millions of Jews, both German and Polish, fell victim to the Holocaust. Millions of

Poles fell victim to extermination. Millions of guilty and innocent Germans fell victim

to the military activities and to the wartime and post-war storms. I mention these

victims in one breath, though I am aware that this should not be done. For - it is said

- the victims of planned, industrial genocide on an entire nation is one thing,

something else the victims of savage policy of destroying the entire leadership class

of some nation and reducing the others to servility and slavery, and finally something

else again the victims of the revenge of the victims. That is more or less how the

discussion is going on here in Berlin in connection with the planned mausoleum of

victims of the Holocaust. I do not wish to get involved in this debate.

On the other hand, taking up the thought of Milan Kundera and Gyögy Konrad of the

eighties - I do want to say that the destruction of this, our German-Jewish-Polish

symbiosis, like the German-Jewish-Czech or the German-Jewish-Hungarian,

paralysed all our Central Europe, which was deprived of cultural exchange, mental

penetration and osmosis of civilisations. Our part of Europe always had been a

mixtures of cultures, religions, languages and temperaments, and Jews, Germans

and Poles very often belonged here to people of the frontier, living in different states

and at home in different cultures. That is why - with all of the differences - it is easy

to find analogies of attitudes and compare individual fates. For example, the attitude

of Doctor Leo Beck, Chairman of the Berlin Jewish Community during the Third

Reich, prisoner of Theresienstadt, with the attitude of Adam Czerniaków, Senator of

the Polish Republic, Chairman of the Warsaw Jewish Community - from September

1939 until his suicide at the start of the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942 -

until the very end a portrait of Marshal Piłsudski hung in his office in the Judenrat.

If we are saying today that our part of Europe after forty years of isolation - which

many have compared with the Biblical wandering of the Jews through the desert - is

returning to normality, we must be aware that the litmus test of this normality is also

the rebirth of Jewish communities in Central Europe, including in Poland, which

centuries ago was called the „paradise of the Jews” and in which, as a result of the

Nazi genocide, are the biggest cemeteries of millions of Jews from all over Europe,

including three million Polish Jews. Today our normality is also the feeling of shame

for the disgraceful anti-Semitic campaign of 1968, whose consequences we are

trying to mitigate by restoring Polish citizenship to Polish Jews who were forced to

emigrate at that time. The rebirth of Jewish community as well as of the German

minority in Poland and - let us hope - of the Polish cultural-ethnic group living in

Germany are proof of the Europeanisation of our societies, the opening up of nations

more or less closed during the times of the Cold War, of mutual penetration and

social mobility.

I do not wish to take up here the discussion on multi-cultural societies or on threats

posed by new egoisms concealed behind the slogans „the priority of internal over

foreign policy”, of a new definition of national interests, of restricting access to the

labour market for foreigners while simultaneously calling for privileges for the sale of

one’s own goods abroad, etc. These are all subjects that will absorb us in the near

future. Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends. If I delved into history a while ago it is

because the memory of the Berlin rabbi Leo Beck required this, as did that of the

Czech compatriot from 17 century Leszno, Amos Comenius, the great humanist. I

spoke of the acceptance of „someone else’s” history in Poland and of the

acceptance of „someone else’s” history here in Berlin, but neither for us in Poland

nor here in Berlin is this entirely „someone else’s” history. In the end we are all heirs

of all European history. If I speak of this without fear, without weighing words, so as

not to commit a faux pas by comparing the incomparable and throwing up bridges

where many a guardian of national exclusivity prefers to entrench himself in

imagining the exclusiveness of his own nation, it is because in recent years older and

more experienced people than I had the courage and moral fortitude to utter the right

words, at the right time, in the right place. I have in mind all of those who after that

horrible war had the courage, despite the ruins, cemeteries, terrible ill-feelings of

hostility and hatred to hold out their hand to their neighbour and ask for forgiveness,

who had the courage and at the same time were able in a credible, captivating and

sincere way to sketch a vision of a future worth working for.

Today’s laureate belongs to this group of persons. One can say that Roman Herzog

did not have an easy start as president. In 1994 the junction-signals of German

politics were already set after 1989. His predecessor with great intuition and sagacity

gave sense to the German disputes with the future and the present. However, it was

Roman Herzog, already during his first foreign visit as head of the German state - in

Warsaw on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising - who found

simple, clear words for which millions of Poles had been waiting for nearly thirty

years. For thirty years the words of the Polish bishops addressed to the German

bishops - „we forgive and ask for forgiveness” - were suspended in mid air.

You, Mr. President, dear friend, answered them at the Krasinski Square in Warsaw

by addressing Poles, victims of the war, and asking their forgiveness for „everything

that had been done to them by the Germans” and not as was usually said „in the

German name”. From that moment the ice was finally broken in Poland. The past

obviously continues to exist in the minds of many people, but it no longer poisons us,

and in many of us you gained sincere friends, who in the following years of your

presidency carefully listened to your words, and when necessary - for example, in

January 1995 during the sad and unnecessary Polish-Jewish dispute over who

Oświęcim belongs to - also to your tactful silence. The Central Council of Jews in

Germany awards the Leo Beck Prize to those persons who have made significant

contributions to the Jewish community in Germany. Your merits in this respect

extend beyond Germany. For it has fallen to you to continue the historic work of

German-Israeli reconciliation, which your predecessors in this office started in past

decades. Noteworthy were the words you uttered during your first visit to Israel: „We

Germans have the task of preserving the memory of the darkest period of our history

and making the next generations aware of what the Germans were capable of, of

what people were capable of. I do not say this to support the thesis of collective guilt.

I do not believe in it. Most of my countrymen were born after the fall of the Third

Reich or in the final days of the Nazi dictatorship wore children’s shoes. That

generation is free from individual guilt, but it is not free from the obligation to draw

lessons from history.” We remember your words, Mr. President.

Yet, how can we counteract the disappearance of the memory of history in our light-

hearted, fast and superficial times? How can we fight the cancer of amnesia that

infects the nations of Europe, especially when it concerns memory of „not one’s own”

victims, even if - like the Jews - they were or have been our domestic neighbours for

centuries? As a practical and matter-of-fact person you chose not only words - wise

and apt ones - but also supported concrete measures with the authority of your

office. You assumed patronage over the construction of a museum of Polish Jews in

Warsaw, an institution that is necessary for our Polish but also European memory.

This museum at least in part will restore the no longer existing material world of the

Polish Jews and remind Poles, especially those residing in today’s eastern Poland,

that they are living - as we say in a word untranslatable into German - in „homes

formerly belonging to Jews”, and of what a culturally rich heritage they are heirs. The

children of that world smashed by Nazi barbarity were such splendid figures as

Janusz Korczak, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Ludwik Zamenhof and millions of nameless

Hassidic „eastern Jews”, who time and again were treated with such impatience by

enlightened and modern Berlin Jews. And yet, it was they, those „gaberdine-wearing

Jews” from the East, who created the splendid culture in Yiddish murdered by the

Nazis and their collaborators. I express sincere words of thanks to you, Mr. Federal

President, for your initiative. I also thank you, Mr. Chairman Ignatz Bubis, and believe

that in the future your initiative will help to erase not only many Polish-Jewish but

also Jewish-Jewish disputes.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is impossible to speak of the future of Europe of closer

relations between our nations, of the open Europe professed by today’s laureate in

many speeches, of „expansion of the island of prosperity to the East” - as you said

and of the role of Poland in this process, as we imagine it, without referring to this

rich past of our continent. But today’s ceremony is very special on account of its

patron, its laureate and - I believe - also on account of your, Ladies and Gentlemen,

choice of the author of this laudation. The Jewish-German-Polish triangle, full of such

painful ill-feelings, so unequal-sided, one may say, requires a very delicate dialogue

about the future and also about the past. In conveying my sincere congratulations to

today’s laureate, I thank you for inviting me to today’s ceremony and for your kind


                            by Mr. Janusz Tomaszewski
                Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs
                    and Administration of the Republic of Poland
                         at the forum of the United Nations
                             New York, 10th June, 1998

                             Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Mr. Chairman!
Dear Delegates!
Ladies and Gentlemen!

       When 10 years ago the United Nations adopted the Convention against the

illegal trade in narcotics and psychotropic substances it could only be surmised that it

concerned a problem that soon would seriously afflict my country.

       Today drug addiction is a serious social problem in Poland. All groups and

circles of society, irrespective of region, age, education and material status, are

threatened by it. Drug-related crime is rapidly on the rise.

       According to estimates, around 40 thousand persons in Poland today are hard

users, and the number is increasing. The most often used narcotics are marihuana

and hashish imported from Western Europe as well as amphetamines and other

synthetic narcotics also produced in Poland. Polish marihuana has also appeared on

the market coming from native plantations of hemp.

       The main users of narcotics are persons aged 15-25. We are observing a

systematic lowering of the age of drug users.

       A specific phenomenon is the constant number of drug addicts using so-called

Polish heroine. The vast majority of them are people who produce narcotics for their

own use and also sell it to others to pay for their habit.

       On the basis of the available information, one can state that organised

criminal groups are taking control of local narcotics markets. These groups are

striving to monopolise the markets, to completely subordinate it to themselves by

exacting extortion or directly by organising deliveries of narcotics. Groups with

extensive contacts at home and abroad and with considerable financial means and

appropriate technical facilities are taking over the distribution of drugs.

       An ever more serious problem is the illegal production of synthetic narcotics in

Poland from raw materials provided from outside. Criminal laboratories operating in

Poland and with professional equipment and a skilled staff are producing

amphetamines both for the domestic market and for export.

       An unquestionable success of the Polish Police in 1997 was the liquidation of

ten illegal plants.

       Criminal groups engaged in the illegal production of amphetamines are very

flexible in their operations. Besides the drug business, they are also involved in other

criminal activities - stealing and selling cars, armed robbery, counterfeiting money

and documents, smuggling alcohol, cigarettes and guns.

       Poland is a country whose borders are open to the flow of persons and goods.

Poland’s central location in Europe - where many road, sea and air routes cross -

makes it an idea transit country for moving drugs. The Balkan trail runs through

Poland - the smuggling of heroine from the so-called Golden Triangle and the

Golden Crescent, and cocaine from South America and cannabis from Southern

Asia and South America is also shipped across Poland.

       We are observing ever closer ties between Polish criminal groups and those in

other countries, especially in the production of synthetic narcotics, transit and

smuggling of narcotics. Polish citizens are used by international criminal

organisations and by local groups as drug couriers active on the most important

smuggling routes.

       In 1994-1997 the number of major drug crimes such as production, distribution

and smuggling jumped nearly twofold from 4000 to 7915.

       The Polish government has taken many actions to counteract this situation.

       A few months ago the new act on combating drug addition entered into force.

       One of the main objectives of this law was to adapt Polish legislation to

international standards, in particular to make narcotics possession a crime.

       The new law also introduced the obligation to control the trade in chemicals

used to produce stupefacients. The new regulations prohibit the production,

purchase, possession of drugs by unauthorised persons.

       A special Narcotics Bureau was created in February 1997 to help the police to

combat drug-related crime. The Bureau already has scored tangible successes.

       The Polish law empowers the police to secretly control a shipment. This

measure is especially useful in combating narcotics trafficking. Legal acts are being

prepared to combat the „laundering of dirty money”. In our conviction, these

regulations are indispensable for effectively combating criminals who profit from


       The Polish experiences of recent years demonstrate that without international

co-operation it is impossible to create an effective system of internal security or to

parry the threat posed by organised crime.

       The Convention of 1998 against the illegal trade in narcotics and psychotropic

substances, as an exemplary document in its way, became the inspiration for the

Polish initiative to draft the Convention on combating organised international crime.

We are convinced that the work on this convention, once called the Warsaw

convention, will be carried out to a successful conclusion and will be very useful for

supporting actions directed against the illegal trafficking in narcotics.

       At the same time, bearing in mind the constant changes of the situation, the

picture of the phenomenon against which the drug addiction and narcotics trafficking

conventions of the United Nations are directed, a review of some of their provisions

seems advisable to bring them up to the needs of the times.

        Poland wishes to take an active part in the efforts of the United nations in the

fight with narcotics. We welcome with satisfaction the initiative to create a centre in

Vienna for fighting organised crime and narcotics. The prior successes of the Bureau

for Control of narcotics and Crime Prevention in Vienna augur well for this initiative.

Poland may be the place where a regional bureau for fighting the narcotics threat

could be established.

        Despite the fact that narcotics squads have been in action for only a short

while, in this area the Polish Police is working effectively with its counterparts in other

countries. We have concluded bilateral agreements with many states on combating

drug-related crime. A fortnight or so ago in Brussels the European Union and

associated states reached an agreement on combating organised crime, including

drug-related crime. Poland as a party to the agreement played an active role in

drafting it.

        The different situation in various countries makes it necessary to apply

different measures. Efficient police Services are not enough for the effective fight

with drug addiction and drug-related crime. It is indispensable to implement social

and economic programmes to limit the demand for narcotics, reduce their deliveries,

create the possibility of alternative development in places where narcotics production

has become a significant part of the economy of particular regions.

        It is a worrisome development that lately modern means of communication,

such as the Internet, are being used to promote the use and production of narcotics.

I believe that in this area we must work together to counteract these negative


       The Polish government will not cease its efforts to combat drug addiction and

drug-related organised crime. The declaration that is the subject of today’s special

session is a potent incentive for us to combine our actions on an international scale.

For this operation to be successful, it must be co-ordinated by the appropriate bodies

and agencies of the United Nations. With this declaration, programmes scheduled for

years of actions will be created. I wish to assure you that Poland will participate

actively in the efforts to achieve our objectives.

                               by Mr. Ryszard Czarnecki
                Minister-Head of the European Integration Committee
                   during the working breakfast with members of the
                     Forum of European Chambers of Commerce
                                Warsaw, 10th June, 1998

                               Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a real pleasure for me to be able to participate in today’s discussion meeting with

such a large group of businessmen who represent the member countries of the

European Union. Your presence here today is proof of the interest in investing and

doing business in Poland, whose economy of late has been growing extremely

rapidly and which is doing ever more to become a worthy partner of your countries in

building a new and already fully united Europe.

Membership in the European Union is the strategic goal of Polish foreign policy. We

would like to find ourselves there as quickly as possible. During the negotiations

Poland will very likely lodge a motion for certain transition periods. However, we also

are keen that there not be too many of them and that they not be too long. Poland

wishes to obtain all of the rights and obligations of an EU member as soon as

possible. The later Poland joins the Union, the more difficult the adaptations will be,

because the integration of the countries of the Union will be greater. In respect to

level of economic development and affluence of the society Poland lags considerably

behind most of the countries of the Union. Despite Poland’s high growth rate, the

GDP per capital in Poland is nearly three times lower than the average in the EU. It

should be emphasised that the condition for joining the Union should be a „healthy”

economy, based on healthy free-market principles, not necessarily already „rich”. In

turn, giving up membership in the EU would threaten to push Poland to the margin of

civilisation and reduce its security.

There are several main motives for Poland’s aspiration for membership in the

European Union.

The most important ones are:

 greater feeling of security of the country, especially given the uncertainty of how

  the political situation will develop in Eastern Europe. The European structures are

  capable of achieving this goal more effectively than Poland as an independent

  subject of international relations;

 creation of conditions for rapidly overcoming economic and technological


 closer co-operation with states that have a common cultural heritage and


The main benefit from integration will be an acceleration of Poland’s medium-

term economic growth rate, while at the same time preserving medium-term

economic equilibrium (measured chiefly by the size of the balance of payments

deficit). The main cost is assumed to be the adaptation costs that various

sectors of the Polish economy will have to bear (including the government sector,

the sector of financial and non-financial enterprises and households - especially

farmers). Unemployment may rise as a result of the pressure of competition.

However, unemployment may be partially offset, and that is why a growth-oriented

policy is so important. The adaptation costs for enterprises will be generated

primarily by the requirements of the common market (technical norms, quality

inspections, etc.), social costs (costs in relation to employees, work safety),

environmental protection requirements, wage costs (real wages, appreciation of the

złoty), higher costs of energy, greater pressure from competition. However, bearing

in mind Poland’s long-range interests and the benefits from membership in the EU,

these costs should be regarded as investments.

Among the benefits for consumers from liberalisation of trade between Poland and

the EU is the competitive pressure exerted by EU suppliers on Polish producers,

forcing the latter to produce cheaper and better. The result of this pressure should be

lower prices and better quality of articles made by domestic manufacturers. Besides

this, membership will make it possible to abolish still existing barriers of a physical

(e.g. border controls), technical (uniformity of different quality standards, legal

regulations, etc.) and fiscal nature (differences in tax rates as well as the way of

figuring and collecting some indirect taxes). Very probably the greatest costs of

joining the EU will be connected with restructuring the mining, power

engineering and machine-building industries (this group also contains the

armaments industry). In the case of the power engineering industry, the necessity

of maintaining it as natural monopoly in the immediate years ahead will

unquestionably increase energy costs (mainly on account of the necessity of meeting

environmental protection norms). None the less, as a result of Poland’s accession to

the EU, this sector, like other sensitive sectors (iron-steel, shipbuilding, clothing,

textile, automobile industries), will be able to benefit from EU funds for

modernisation, reduction of productive capacities or introduction of environmentally-

friendly manufacturing technologies. It is expected that the weakest cost pressure

will most probably appear in modern and rapidly developing branches in

Poland (the computer industry, radio-television equipment, household goods).

These branches should not encounter major difficulties in adapting to operating in

the common European market.

By the way, it is worth noting that the costs of not joining the Union would be even

greater than the costs of joining. These would be economic costs stemming from the

relatively worse position of Polish enterprises on the market of the Union in

comparison with other companies „inside” the grouping as well as political costs of

remaining outside the mainstream of changes in Europe. Not having clear vision of

full membership would weaken the belief of the Polish people in the sense of the

costly but indispensable transformation process. One of the unquestionable major

benefits of joining the Union is the access of our country to Union funds such as the

European Social Fund, European Orientation and Agricultural Guarantee Fund and

the European Regional Development Fund.

Enlargement and easier access to the internal common market will:

 shorten the time of transporting goods to customers in the EU and hence - reduce


 permit better co-operation of partner firms from the EU, resulting in a larger

  number of orders from final customers in the EU,

 increase sales revenues, resulting from price increases of some services and

  products (especially agricultural ones),

 increase aggregate demand on the Polish market,

 increase the flow of capital and technology from the EU to companies doing

  business in Poland,

 raise the quality of production and services through imitation of Union models,

 improve knowledge of economics and management as a result of more intense


 improve labour productivity in the face of keener competition,

 equalise the economic conditions of activity of Polish and foreign companies

  (interest rates, taxes, etc.).

In recent years foreign direct investments in Poland have increased rapidly. In 1995

2.9 bn US dollars were invested in Poland, in 1996 6.2 bn and in 1997 6.6 bn. In this

area we have moved to first place in the region in respect to the total amount of

investments - ahead of Hungary and the Czech Republic. Nearly 50 percent of all

foreign direct investments in our region, together with Russia, were made in Poland.

Studies of the investment climate in Poland indicate that foreign investors highly rate

the qualifications and motivations of Polish managers, the labour costs of other

employees, the image of our country abroad and economic growth. High marks were

also given to such elements of the investment climate as the attitude of local

authorities towards foreign investments, co-operation with local authorities and co-

operation of foreign investors with co-operating parties in Poland.

The most negative marks were received by those elements connected with the fiscal

system, such as the income tax rate, system of tax allowances and insurance.

Investors also complain about the technical conditions of trade and the traffic


As a politician I also have to mention the social reaction. Public opinion studies show

that around 75 percent of Poles accept foreign capital in Poland, while only 17

percent oppose it.

Both I and my colleagues are aware that foreign direct investments, like no other

instrument, create the opportunity to join the international division of labour not only

within the European Union but also in the world economy, which is characterised by

rivalry between three integrating economic regions: Europe, America and Asia. We

are interested in bringing the Polish economy and Polish manufacturers into the

emerging global economy.

This chance was not given to us by the foreign loans taken out in the 1970s or by

purchases of licenses. In order to enter the international division of labour on more

favourable conditions than a „raw materials” country with „dirty” technologies and

cheap labour, an entire infrastructure and modern culture of enterprise must be

created. I am hoping that your activity in our country will bring us closer to this goal.

Foreign investments have high educational value, they shape their social and

economic surroundings in accordance with modern standards. They release the

initiative of local communities, employees, managers, politicians and wide circles of

the public.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The process of Poland’s integration with the European structures, which is a part of

the process of bringing the Polish economy into the circulatory system of global

economic processes, will not take place without difficulties and tensions. We are

aware of this. For the European Union a sensitive problem remains the labour

market, as a consequence of which the Union may demand that Poland restrict the

freedom of movement of workers. Poland has before it a very costly process of

adopting environmental protection standards, strengthening the financial system and

restructuring agriculture and some branches of industry. However, I firmly believe

that after the conclusion of the screening of Polish law and comparing it with the law

in force in the EU, during the course of the negotiations we will succeed in working

out a formula of implementing EU law that will consider both our interests and the

interests of all partners in the Union. Thus, Poland will have an opportunity of

repeating the successes of Spain, Portugal and Ireland, and you will have an

opportunity of doing good business between the Oder and Neisse and the Bug.

                                 by Mr. Jerzy Buzek
                       Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
                        on the occasion of the official opening
                 of the European Home of Young People’s Meetings
                             Krzyżowa, 11th June, 1998

                              Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Dear Mr. Chancellor,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

      Nearly ten years ago a historic meeting occurred in this place. The first non-

communist head of government in Central-Eastern Europe and a German Chancellor

exchanged the sign of peace, opening a new chapter in Polish-German relations.

      In those same days the Berlin Wall fell. Germans from the East and the West

could pass through the Brandenburg Gate, which for many years had been the

symbol of the painful division of the country, of Europe and the world. In this way the

epoch of hatred and totalitarian systems came to an end.

      We all well remember those historic days, the crowd of waving Berliners and

young people breaking up the wall that divided the city and Europe.

           You, Mr. Chancellor, for a day and a half interrupted your visit to Poland to

share the joy of the German nation. Once again history showed how closely the

destinies of Poland and Germany are intertwined, how very true was the motto

uttered in Germany after the November uprising - „Keine deutsche Einheit ohne

Polens Freiheit” (There is no united Germany without a free Poland).

           We, Poles, welcomed with hope the unification of the German state, for we

believed that without a democratic, united Germany, there would not be a free

Poland, there would not be a free Europe. This conviction was shared in the circles

of the Polish opposition of the sixties and seventies.

Dear Mr. Chancellor.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

           The place where we stand today, which symbolises resistance against the

totalitarian state, is an exceptional testimony of the connection of Polish and German

history. Krzyżowa is a splendid sign of the common aspirations of our nations in

recent years. The creation of this centre is the result of your historic visit, Mr.

Chancellor to Poland in November 1989. I am extremely pleased that we can host

you again in Poland and that together we can complete the work which was started

at that time.

           Polish-German reconciliation is the fruit of freedom. As long as dictatorships

ruled in Europe, it was hard to root out hatred from people’s hearts. Censorship and

the manipulation of national feelings prevented understanding. It was not until the

breakthrough of 1989 that the idea of liberty and European unity could become a


      History accelerated - in less than a year Germany was reunited. In a short

time Poland and Germany concluded two historic treaties - on the border and on

good-neighbourly relations. This was an optimistic omen of a new beginning within a

common European order.

      Today a united Germany unequivocally supports our aspirations to enter the

European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

      In several years we have managed to reach a point in which Poles and

Germans do not think of each other in categories of confrontation but partnership

and co-operation, and people have started to perceive the Federal Republic as the

champion of Polish interests. The strategic goal of Polish foreign policy is clear: the

fastest and smoothest possible integration with the European Union and NATO. This

strategy has been consistently pursued and developed by successive governments

of the Third Polish Republic; and you, Mr. Chancellor, repeatedly have said that the

European Union cannot end on Germany’s eastern border.

      Thank you for your support!

Dear Mr. Chancellor,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

      Poland and Germany today are linked by very intense economic contacts.

Poland has become Germany’s most active trading partner in Central-Eastern

Europe. Germany, in turn, is Poland’s major trading partner and in second place

among foreign investors in our country.

      Cultural exchange and trans-border co-operation are flourishing. And what

seemed absolutely unimaginable ten years ago - military co-operation - is developing

excellently. Before long a joint Polish-German-Danish Corps will arise in Szczecin. In

August of this year Polish and German soldiers will swear a common oath in


       What joins Poles and Germans today is a common European identity,

common values and principles, whose beginnings must be sought in Jerusalem,

Athens and Rome. Europe for us means human rights and freedom of the individual,

the rule of law, a democratic and civic order. Europe is also a free economy based

on the enterprise and initiative of free citizens. Europe is a common culture and a

common view of man as a person who is free and responsible for his actions.

Dear Mr. Chancellor,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

       It is impossible to mention all of the initiatives, institutions and persons who in

their countries contributed to the work of understanding and reconciliation between

our nations. Here, however, one should mentioned the special role of the

Memorandum of the German Evangelical Church and the letter of Polish bishops

addressed to German bishops. These were important signs of genuine, credible will

to reach understanding between Poles and Germans.

       In opening today the European Home of Young People’s Meetings in

Krzyżowa, we also should remember the persons who with their bold action and faith

in people brought this initiative to fruition. To their number belong both the members

of Action Sign of Atonement and circles associated with the Warsaw and Cracow

Club of Catholic Intellectuals.

       Not without reason did the representatives of these circles choose Krzyżowa

as the place of young people’s meetings. In the forties opponents of Hitler’s

dictatorship used to meet in the seat of the von Moltke family developing the ideas of

democratic Germany. They came down in history as the Kreisauser Kreis - the

Krzyżowa Circle.

      Here, at the end of the eighties, young Poles dreaming of a free and

democratic Poland wanted to enter into a dialogue with their German peers. At that

time they shared similar values and faith in democracy. They wanted to learn the

entire history of the region in which they were born. They discovered true history, of

which the anti-Hitlerite resistance in Nazi Germany was also a part.

      In this place it is fitting to thank the widow of Helmut James von Moltke, who

was a leading figure of the Krzyżowa Circle. Mrs. Freya von Moltke became actively

involved in the initiative to build the European Home of Young People’s Meetings in

Krzyżowa. On the list of persons and institutions of merit for Krzyżowa are also the

Evangelical Academy of East Berlin, the Wrocław Club of Catholic Intellectuals, the

Wolfgang Ullman group, the Anna Morawska Seminary and associations from other

European countries. Finally, one cannot forget about the contribution of two people

heading the German and Polish governments in the memorable autumn of 1989,

present here today, Mr. Chancellor Kohl and Mr. Prime Minister Tadeusz

Mazowiecki. It is they who on 14th November, 1989 took the decision to build the

European Home of Young People’s Meetings.

Dear Mr. Chancellor,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

      The European Home of Young People’s Meetings creates an opportunity for

many young people to become acquainted with their peers from all over Europe, a

chance to strike up discussions with many personalities of political, social and

cultural life, who come to Krzyżowa in large numbers. Another highly valuable

initiative is promoting co-operation with young people’s groups from Ukraine and

other countries of Eastern Europe.

      Here young Germans can learn Polish, young Poles German. Here workshops

are held in journalism, art, theatre, music and seminars on the monuments of Silesia,

which are a common Polish-German cultural heritage.

      Starting as far back as in 1990 one could attend so-called workcamps in

Krzyżowa, a sort of working vacation under tents, combining physical labour in

arranging the area with evening discussions. Such a form of activity creates the

opportunity for young people from all over Europe to establish contacts and become

friends. In Krzyżowa one can also engage in studies in philosophy and political

science on the legacy of the Krzyżowa Circle.

Dear Mr. Chancellor

Ladies and Gentlemen,

      The European Home of Young People’s Meetings we are handing over today

is supposed to serve young people above all.

      We would like the young people who come to Krzyżowa to leave here full of

enthusiasm and faith in the future of Europe. What the Poles and Germans

succeeded in doing should be an example of how much can be accomplished by

appealing to common values.

      Helmut James von Moltke in a letter to his grandfather (in November 1928)

wrote: „I feel that I am firstly bound to Europe” - I would like young people coming to

this Home to be able to say the same thing of themselves.

                              by Ms. Alicja Grześkowiak
                  Speaker of the Senate of the Republic of Poland
                  at the Meeting of Heads of Houses of Parliament
                             Stockholm, 12th June, 1998

      The topic of our meeting are challenges faced by national parliaments in the

new Europe.     In the Europe of the fin de siècle, but in a Europe united in a

democratic European family. These challenges were presented by Dr. Heinz Fischer,

President of the Austrian National Council. The process of enlargement of the

European Union requires an exchange of experiences between the parliaments of

our states, but it also needs multilateral meetings such as this one that we can attend

thanks to the hospitality of our Swedish hosts.

      Poland has a long history and travelled a long distance to independence and

democracy. The challenges Poland faces are special, and it also shares challenges

faced by all Europe under the unification process. All those challenges constitute

tasks to be coped with by the Polish Parliament as the supreme representative of the


      The Polish Senate addresses all crucial problems of Polish reality, so it

responds to the present-day challenges Poland is confronted with. These include

challenges stemming from intensified work on the political transformations. For

Poland, this is a time of liberating ourselves from the totalitarian system and then

from its legacy and building a democratic state of law. A symbol of this liberation and

transformation is the Polish „Solidarity” movement. Those transformations are a real

challenge for the entire Polish nation and for the Parliament. We must remember

that no one in the world has been experienced in building democracy on the ruins of

Communism. This is a difficult task that also requires intensified legislative work by

the Parliament. A challenge for the Poles is the necessity to rapidly close the

technological, legal and civilisational gap in relation to other countries on account of

the Yalta division. Huge financial outlays are also required for this. Despite our best

wishes, we cannot cope with these challenges alone. What we need is assistance

and friendliness in understanding the enormity of the tasks awaiting us. What we

need is the technical and financial support of our European partners. Reforms

cannot be carried out without sacrifices. As always, the greatest burden is borne by

the poor. How to limit those social problems that are an unavoidable result of the

transformations, mainly rising unemployment during the restructuring of industry - is

a serious challenge for the Polish Parliament, which should also care about the lot of

the average person.

      The effects of the changes are already visible in Poland, albeit in recent years

the pace of change was slowed down. That is why the present Parliament is facing

the difficult challenge of carrying out basic social, economic and financial reforms,

which are especially important in view of Poland’s bid to join the European Union.

       Poland in the European Union. This process has entered onto a definite and

real road. This is a great challenge not only for Poland and the Polish Parliament but

also for the member states of the European Union.

       Europe is a spiritual unity. The different cultures forming the great European

civilisation have a common foundation. It is the Christian heritage that shaped the

Greek-Roman heritage, the culture of the German, Scandinavian and Slavic nations

into a common European spirit and created Europe’s identity. The preservation and

transfer of European civilisation based on the Christian system of values to the third

millennium is one of the challenges that give us hope of our ability to cope with it.

The end of the century is a time of increased attacks against human dignity, man’s

inalienable rights, in particular life, and against the family. If we destroy those values

which provided the basis for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, then we will

allow European civilisation to fall. To defend these values means to defend the

foundation of a united Europe.

       The new Europe should be a Europe that respects the right of each nation to

express its own identity according to its own cultural and philosophical heritage; it

should be a Europe of Fatherlands. The integrated Europe needs enrichment of its

identity with the cultures of the states and nations that form it. Poland wants to bring

its world of values to such a Europe.

       The united Europe must be a safe Europe. For us, Poles, who were so sorely

tried in the history of the past few centuries, the matter of national security is of

paramount importance. That is why our striving for full membership of the EU is

complementary to our striving for NATO membership.

      In expressing satisfaction over our meeting, I believe that our discussions and

mutual understanding will help us make our world better, more stable and more

responsible, and recognise man and his welfare as a supreme value.

Thank you very much for your attention.

                                 by Mr. Jerzy Buzek
                      Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
             at the opening of the XXXVI International Congress of the
                        Association of European Journalists
                              Warsaw, 13th June, 1998

                              Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

       When we speak of common European values, the first concept that comes to

mind is freedom: freedom of conscience, freedom of association, freedom of speech.

For centuries our continent flourished due to this freedom, which was the source of

invention, creative energy and enterprise.

      A journalist is well aware that freedom of speech is not a luxury, but is a

condition for the health of society and for the good performance of its mission by the

press. We understand this well. Poles are a nation experienced by history and fully

share your sensitivity. Ten or so years ago preventive censorship, which had been

imposed by the communist authorities, still existed in our country. Basic civic rights

were violated.

      Independent journalists made a great contribution to the defence of freedom,

and many of them are here today in this auditorium.

      I remember with what emotion in the seventies I took in my hand

mimeographed copies of underground periodicals like „Biuletyn Informacyjny” and

Głos”. In the eighties the most important weapon of the democratic opposition was

the independent press. At that time, participation in editing and distributing illegal

periodicals was an act of resistance against the enslavement of people’s minds. A

flow of information, circulation of the press and publications was created that was

independent of the communist system. The illegal printing of periodicals and

publications imported from abroad maintained hope, opened up a window to the

world and created an alternative to the government-controlled media.

      We owe many successes in our striving for freedom to our friends from

Western Europe. Apart from material assistance, what was important for us at that

time was support in the press. Journalists proclaimed our rights even when

politicians were silent about them. The help provided for many years by the media

was an inestimable victory for the „Solidarity” movement.

      Today journalists in Poland can enjoy the same freedom of the press as in

countries of the West. Since 1989 many legal regulations and documents have

appeared that enable the press to operate freely. The right to information is

respected in practice. Appropriate regulations are contained in national law and in

the conventions of the Council of Europe. We are also working to see to it that these

documents are respected in all countries of our continent.

         With the fall of Communism our life changed, but we are still expecting help

from journalists. This time, help of a different kind. We would like people of the pen

to take an active part in forging ties between countries of recently divided Europe.

         This is not a matter of engaging in propaganda; what we need today is reliable

information. Political divisions have ceased to exist in Europe, but there is still an

information barrier, which is a legacy from the Cold War. The average resident of

Paris or London has only a foggy notion of countries located in the heart of Europe.

Yet, without cities like Cracow, Prague and Budapest it is impossible to imagine the

history and present day of our continent.

         We are proud of the political and economic advances since 1989. Poland

currently is living through one of the best periods in its history. Economic growth is

reaching 7 percent, foreign investments are pouring in uninterruptedly. In ownership

changes we have reached a point from which there is no return to the previous

system. Together with the Czech Republic and Hungary we have been invited to

NATO, and the ratification of the accession protocols has been going ahead

smoothly. Negotiations have started on Poland’s membership in the European


         We are also proud of the fact that our relations with all states are based on

partner-like principles.

         With most countries we have close contacts that lead to building confidence

and strengthening security. We want to help those neighbours whose political, social

or economic situation is still difficult to consolidate their sovereignty, democracy and

freedom in all aspects.

       The current level of the reforms has been reached thanks to the determination

of our society. Most of the Polish people are actively engaged in the economic

changes, the activities of social organisations, are participating in the political life of

the country.

       We are still learning to benefit from freedom. Journalists are helping us in this

process. We are taking an intense course about the changing world. It is sometimes

difficult for Poles to understand the changes taking place in their country. It is all the

more difficult, therefore, to convey the current picture of Poland to the inhabitants of

other European countries. It is my ardent wish that your stay in Poland will suggest

many interesting subjects to you. It would please me very much if the fruit of your

observations, meetings and talks in Warsaw would be articles, radio shows and

television   programmes describing Polish         reality and     the difficult road of

transformations towards a Europe of common values.

                           by Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski
                         President of the Republic of Poland
                         at a meeting with participants of the
                       XXVI Congress of European Journalists
                                Warsaw, 14th June, 1998

                                Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Ladies and Gentlemen,

With great pleasure and satisfaction I welcome to the Presidential Palace the

participants of the Congress of the European Journalists’ Association. You are one

of the main co-creators of the European experience. Your voice is heard the clearest

in discussions on the future of integration. You reach the widest circles with the

European message. That is why complete symbiosis must exist between us,

politicians, and you, journalists, in European affairs. That is all the more reason why I

am pleased with this meeting.

You have debated in the largest of the countries bidding for membership in the

European Union. You had the opportunity to become acquainted with our aspirations

and concerns. Today we are on the way to carrying out perhaps the most significant

transformation of the European Union at the beginning of the next millennium. No

one will any longer be able to say that Europe is guided by the principle of exclusivity

and not openness. The conditions of membership are demanding, for they protect

the institutions and laws of the European Union created over the course of many

years. Those who meet these conditions - and I believe that Poland will be one of the

first of these countries - will find the door wide open to full participation in the

European structures.

Turning this scenario into a reality depends largely on the political will on both sides

of the negotiating table. This will is composed of various and strongly inter-linked

processes. There is a certain strategic vision, but there are also many concrete,

particular interests that will be taken into consideration. There are numerous and

active supporters of enlargement, but there are also sceptics. The latter must not be

criticised in advance, condemned or isolated. We cannot allow anyone to regard

European integration as an imposed or mechanical process. The unification of

Europe is not governed by historical determinism but by the fully conscious decisions

of individual nations.

Difficult questions connected with the enlargement of the European Union should not

be avoided. If there are matters in Europe in which an emotion-free dialogue should

be conducted and a compromise reached, it is the question of enlargement of the

European Union. In first order the conviction must be inculcated in the present

member states that opening to Central Europe lies in the interest of the European

Union and the entire continent. Today we have a lot of evidence that much remains

to be done in this area. I encourage all those assembled here to perceive us already

today as participants of the unification process. For one does not join human

communities from day to day, even if the issue date of the membership card would

suggest so. We are ready to assume the membership obligations in the European

Union. At the same time, we are expecting openness and solidarity on the side of are

partners in the Union.

Joining the Union requires an enormous preparatory effort. In our region this effort

also coincides with a period of rapid social, political and economic changes. Poland

is in the midst of a great reform of local government that will consolidate and

enhance the quality of Polish democracy. We are modernising the steel and mining

industries. We are streamlining the social security system. When in a few years it

joins the European Union, Poland will be a country with a modern appearance, using

the best of the available models and enriching them with its own experience and

traditions. The commitment to reforms is also solid evidence of our determination to

attain membership in the European Union. Sometimes - as happened recently - it

can make our dialogue with the European Union somewhat more sensitive and

complicated. Neither side may permit current aspects of our relations to be

neglected. I am critical of situations in which the fault is on the Polish side. I also

appeal for determination in behalf of enlargement on the part of the European Union,

to take into consideration the complexity of modernisation processes taking place in

Poland. We need not only a bilateral modus vivendi. We must deepen and carry out

our common pact. A pact for membership of the countries of Central Europe in the

European Union.

I do not think it is much of an exaggeration to state that „Poland’s road to Europe”,

albeit also determined by the pace of economic development of the country and by

tenacity in introducing democratic changes to social and political life - also leads

through the media.

The vast majority of Poles - which is a well-known and pleasing fact - support the

incorporation of our country into the Euro-Atlantic and European structures. The

Polish media with absolute conviction uphold our society in this universal persuasion,

which is based first and foremost on the historically grounded feeling of Poles that

they belong to the Western circle of civilisation and culture. And what is important,

the media do this persistently, almost unanimously.

According to surveys, more than 90% of Poles read some kind of newspaper. Public

radio and television enjoy high credibility ratings. Only nine years have passed since

the world of the Polish media started a new life. As it turns out - nine years is an

entire epoch.

The Polish media today are unquestionably a world of freedom, democracy,

pluralism. Freedom of thought and speech is of fundamental importance for the

strengthening of democracy and the advancement of civilisation. In Polish history

and culture freedom of speech has been a cherished value for centuries. Also in

1989, when we broke with the authoritarian past of the old system, the need for free

speech and respect for it were universally felt, appreciated and wanted in the social


With the aid of native and Western models at that time we created regulations to

promote it. These regulations set forth the principles of the democratic activity of

independent media. The new Constitution of the Republic of Poland adopted last

year guarantees the already widespread practice by stating in article 14: The

Republic of Poland guarantees freedom of press and other mass media.

Today the picture of the Polish media is bringing us close to Western standards.

Already today the sovereignty and pluralism of the Polish media cannot be

questioned, not only on account of legal safeguards. This is also assured by

guarantees created by the activation of market mechanisms in the new conditions -

making the media independent of power centres and competitive in relation to the

public media.

The free and pluralistic media - often called the fourth power - have demonstrated

their power time and again in Poland. This is of vital importance for our democracy. I

wish to thank the Polish journalists present here today both for their activity in behalf

of consolidating freedom of speech in Poland and for their pro-European attitude. On

the other hand, I would like to see our guests from abroad as present and future

allies of Poland in its integrative efforts.

The real driving force of the enlargement of the European Union, like of the entire

integration project, must be the active participation of societies at large. For what has

been accomplished in Europe is not an experiment. It is a proposal that grew out of

the needs of Europeans and serves the satisfaction of their aspirations. The

Founding Fathers of Europe were guided by these motives. We have nothing else in

mind today when we gather to speak about these intentions. Our firm motto remains

the well-known words of Robert Schuman, that „Europe will not arise at once and as

an entire construction will be built through concrete actions, creating in first order real

solidarity.” The concrete action today mentioned by Schuman is both the creation of

a monetary union and enlargement of the European Union. In both cases we must

not only inform the public, but also build wide social coalitions of supporters of both

initiatives. Although politicians and journalists have not always been of one mind, in

the accomplishment of this task their responsibility must be common.

             by Mr. Bronisław Geremek, Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE
                 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland,
                      on a need to strengthen OSCE performance
                                  in conflict prevention
                        and developing comprehensive security
                      Permanent Council, Vienna, 17th June, 1998

       Mr. Chairman,
       Ladies and Gentlemen,

       I have decided to devote my statement today to a subject that, to a large

extent, will determine the future role and place of the OSCE in the new European

security framework - namely conflict prevention.

       Recent developments on the international scene have confirmed my belief

that the OSCE is an indispensable component in the system of security being formed

throughout the OSCE area. Let me explain this in a larger international context.

       Among many others, there are four interesting new trends that can be

detected in our security environment and that have a bearing on the role and function

of the OSCE.

       The first is the tremendous speed of change in international relations, which

on the one hand teaches us humility with regard to the future, but on the other forces

us to act quickly and flexibly. The OSCE’s flexibility is of particular interest here.

       The second is the continuously developing link between political, economic,

human rights, environmental and military aspects of security. These aspects have

both internal and external dimensions.

       The OSCE’s concept of comprehensive security and norms applying not only

to international relations but also to the domestic behaviour of States has enabled

the Organisation to act more effectively in many complicated situations. After all,

security starts at home. It is there that we should start to combat the abuse of power,

improve deficits in democracy, reject ethnic intolerance and find remedies for

poverty, humiliation and ideological extremism.

       The third is that since the fall of communism and the bipolar world, there have

been greater possibilities for small and medium-sized States to be actors on

international stages rather than objects used by the major powers. The OSCE offers

a good framework for these smaller States, although the major powers are naturally

at the forefront of solutions to highly critical situations.

       The fourth is that there are two conflicting trends in our international

environment: one towards disintegration and another towards unity and universalism

in Europe and the world as a whole. The OSCE can encourage this second trend by

developing not only the common interest of all participating States but also, and

above all, their common values, which require constant defence and strengthening.

       What conclusions may we draw from these trends? The main one is that in

these circumstances we have a good opportunity to act effectively by upholding

common values and developing a comprehensive approach to security and a flexible

conflict prevention system.

       Recent developments in Kosovo have taught us a bitter lesson. Nobody can

deny that the OSCE was giving early warning of dangers looming there. Nobody can

deny that the OSCE has joined international efforts, in particular those of the United

Nations and the Contact Group. Nobody can deny either that when the conflict

entered into a more dramatic phase the OSCE acted quickly, beginning with the

CiO’s Plan of Action. Permanent Council Decision No. 218 of March 11th was taken

with commendable speed. It showed, among other things, that the solution to the

crisis requires not only that hostilities in Kosovo be stopped, but also that democracy,

full respect of human rights and minorities in the FRY be introduced, and that the

participation of that country in international organisations, including the OSCE, be

ensured once it applies international standards to its behaviour. We have done our

best to prevent the spillover of this conflict, but have not been able to translate our

efforts into more effective pressure or actions. I also have the feeling that there has

not been enough willingness, in general, by OSCE participating States to promote

our Organisation’s role in Kosovo. In conceptual and political terms, Kosovo, like

Bosnia, proves once more that no single organisation or State is capable of solving a

conflict of that nature and scale on its own. I shall come back to this issue later.

       The question therefore remains: Have we exhausted all our potential and

possibilities in this and other conflicts? Have we taken advantage of the new trends I

mentioned earlier? I believe we have not.

       The other conflicts in the OSCE area do not appear to be getting worse, but in

spite of many efforts most of them remain frozen. This is a dangerous phenomenon.

I detect a sense of frustration that the solution is not yet in our reach. The time is ripe

to give more consideration to the question of how root causes of conflicts should be

identified and dealt with.

       We have to look again at our mechanisms of action and see whether they

require modification. Recent proposals on the OSCE peacekeeping put forward in

Vienna demonstrate that the intellectual search for new possibilities continues.

       Have we exhausted all our possibilities on early warning? Certainly not. The

OSCE possesses a number of early warning procedures and mechanisms that are

efficient and useful. The question, however, is how to ensure their full synergy, how

to create one homogeneous system, how to process information received from all

the different sources efficiently and to make a link between our deliberations, based

on early warning signals, and operative actions in Vienna and in the field, and finally,

how to use our early warning system in co-operation with other international

institutions. This should be one of our main priorities for the near future.

       There are many tasks in the human dimension area that could improve the

OSCE’s performance in conflict prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation, in

particular with regard to election monitoring and assistance in democracy building.

Assistance in creating a civil society, as in Belarus, also helps to decrease conflict

potential. Firmness in defence of our common values is also a conflict prevention


       The economic dimension is taking on more momentum, as was also seen at

the Economic Forum in Prague. This field should be more clearly linked with conflict


       My visit to five Central Asian States has strengthened our political and moral

obligation to increase our engagement in the region. It was again shown that

indivisibility of security extends well beyond the geographic dimension of Europe. We

cannot remain unresponsive to the voices in this region requesting more interest and

assistance in preventing conflicts looming there. The challenges and risks that they

have to confront are also our own. By assisting these countries we assist ourselves

and improve our conflict prevention performance. At the same time, I expect the

States of the region to show more commitment to the OSCE activities.

      We should never lose sight of the Mediterranean dimension in this respect. At

the request of our Mediterranean partners I have decided to postpone the meeting of

the Troika with them at a ministerial level, which was scheduled for today. I call on

everybody, including Mediterranean partners, to use the time remaining up to

December profitably so that we may have a successful meeting in Oslo.

      The overall picture of the state of the OSCE and its role on the European

scene in conflict prevention is uneven. We have established an internationally

recognised niche for ourselves, in early warning, conflict prevention and the human

dimension. We have yet to confirm that we are able to act effectively and be a

respected partner in this realm.

      The question therefore arises – why is the OSCE not yet what we would like it

to be? What more could the OSCE do to remove this sense of frustration? Let us

together try to embark on a search for suitable answers.

      At this point I would like to express my appreciation to President Bill Clinton for
his general remarks on the OSCE in his statement in Berlin on 13 May. Indeed, we

should encourage greater commitment in areas where democracy’s roots are still

fragile and develop practical new tools for the OSCE so that we can more effectively

diffuse „crises that threaten our values and our security before they get out of hand”.

      Ladies and Gentlemen,

      These questions should always be in our mind and a subject of concern. A

reply needs to be given in two basic areas.

       The first one is within our Organisation. The OSCE „speciality”, a

comprehensive approach to security, requires continuous development. As a result,

we should create a unified and clear system of action, embracing politico–military

aspects of security, arms control, human rights, democracy building, economy and


       The action in these fields should be aimed primarily at conflict prevention. One

of our major questions is how to avoid reactive behaviour, in other words, how to

respond before being woken up to potential crises by CNN! I believe that we have

enough instruments to identify crises and to avoid new traumas of the Kosovo type.

The development of a homogeneous OSCE early warning system, as mentioned

above, would certainly contribute to increasing awareness of developments

endangering peace and stability in the region.

       The OSCE will remain an attractive partner for co-operation as long as it is in

a position to offer a specific contribution to conflict prevention (including post-conflict

rehabilitation) and does not pretend to be the only source of wisdom.

       Here we come to the second area of our activities, namely our external links

and co-operation in fulfilling our tasks.

       The OSCE can use its potential only by interacting and co-operating

intensively with other organisations and institutions dealing with European affairs. As

I said in my inaugural statement on 15th January, complementarity and compatibility

should continue to be our approach here.

       We should act jointly with others, which means increasing synergy, avoiding

duplication of efforts, maintaining mechanisms for consultations at various levels,

exchanging information on each other’s plans and activities and seeking advice

about ideas under consideration. We should endeavour neither to impose our views

on others nor to orchestrate all other organisations’ efforts, but should rather play our

part, listening to others and co-operating in good faith. In other words, „OSCE

centrism” should be avoided. I developed this way of thinking at the high-level

seminar in The Hague organised by the Dutch Government on the relationship

between the OSCE and the Council of Europe. The debate there showed that a

pragmatic and co-operative approach has prevailed in full. This augurs well for the

co-operation between our organisations and the Council of Europe. The Dutch

Government should be commended for this initiative.

         We need more imagination and initiative with respect to co-operation with

others. An important step in this direction has been made with the progress in the

work on the „Platform for Co-operative Security”. We should not, however, wait until

it is formally incorporated into a future document-charter on European security. This

means developing practical forms of co-operation at all levels, in particular in the


         It is of particular importance that the relationship of the OSCE with its major

partner organisations continues to improve. The practice of target-oriented meetings,

co-operation in conducting activities in the field and the OSCE’s co-ordinating role in

Albania are just a few examples of these developments. Our efforts now should be

twofold; first, we should further intensify these positive trends and second we should

reflect them in the „Platform for Co-operative Security”.

         The trend towards increased regional co-operation in Europe should not be

overlooked by the OSCE in the context of conflict prevention and development of co-

operative security tasks. It contains a remarkable stabilising potential. I would like to

take this opportunity to inform you that the Foreign Minister of Sweden and myself –

in my capacity as the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE – will soon extend formal

invitations to all the OSCE participating States and all relevant international

organisations and frameworks to take part in a seminar on the role of subregional co-

operation. The seminar, which is to be organised this October in Stockholm with the

support of the New York based Institute of East West Studies (IEWS), will explore

the contribution of subregional frameworks and initiatives to European security, as

well as the role of OSCE in supporting their development.

      Ladies and Gentlemen,

      Let me briefly go more specifically through the major tasks relating to the main

subject I have touched upon today:

      In the security field, this year should be devoted primarily to building a solid

infrastructure for future solutions in conflict regions within the OSCE area and to

negotiations on the Document–Charter on European security.

      As I have already mentioned, Kosovo will remain at the forefront of our

activities. The primary objective is to stop violence there, as I mentioned in my

statement of 11th June. The OSCE platform for solution is still available. The reply of

the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the FRY, Mr. Živadin Jovanović, of 29 th May, 1998

was not helpful in advancing the Gonzalez Mission, which was in charge of keeping

talks open on all issues connected with the relations between the OSCE and the

FRY, as I emphasised in my letter of 8th May. The content of Minister Jovanovic’s

letter shows that the Government of the FRY is still far from a co-operative approach

to the comprehensive solution of the crisis.

      Nevertheless, I expect the Permanent Council and the Secretariat of the

OSCE to be ready dispatch without delay an OSCE mission to Kosovo, if and when it

would prove to be possible.

      May I recall, at this moment, that while speaking in Brijuni on 6 th June, 1998 I

suggested that a round-table dialogue concentrating on a special status for Kosovo

would help resolve the dichotomy between independence and autonomy. This could

be helpful in moving away from political rhetoric and turning to concrete matters such

as the functioning of legislative and executive powers there, assuring local identity,

development of local government and education.

      A useful activity of the Albania OSCE Presence should be briefly mentioned

here, as an example of what can be done in specific conditions. Two field offices in

the north of Albania monitor cross-border traffic, refugee flows, arms trafficking, and

other developments connected with the Kosovo crisis. As the conflict is escalating

there on an almost daily basis, the OSCE border monitoring effort can provide early

warning of impending crisis so that the international diplomatic community can react

more quickly to avert conflict. The OSCE border monitors play an important role in

supporting and co-ordinating the activities and involvement of other international

actors in this crisis. Finally, the presence of international observers can bring a

calming effect to those in crisis, as their presence signals international concern,

interest and involvement.

      Our operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia demonstrate the

significant contribution made by the OSCE to post-conflict rehabilitation in regions

where, in the past, we were not equipped to prevent conflict. Now, we have the

chance to be helpful.

      I endorse the increased activities of the three Co-Chairmen of the Minsk

Group to end the impasse in the Nagorno Karabakh situation and I expect positive

signals from the sides in the conflict. I hope that my trip to Trans-Caucasus, which I

am initially planning for the middle of October, may advance the cause of peace in

the region, including the conflict in South Osetia, Georgia.

      We should more effectively support the United Nations’ activities and solutions

regarding the Tajik conflict and show that as far as we are concerned it is not a

remote conflict. Recently I wrote a letter to President Rakhmonov asking him to

exercise his powers so that the draft legislation on political parties is returned to the

Majlisi Oli for urgent amendment, in accordance with OSCE standards.

      The conflict in Moldova over the Trans-Dniestria region requires new efforts by

the sides in the conflict, the two guarantors of the Memorandum of 8 th May, 1997

(Russia and Ukraine) and the OSCE itself.           Ensuring military transparency in

Moldova is an important component in the progress of the withdrawal of foreign

troops and equipment from Moldova.

      To sum up briefly: The challenges connected with conflicts in the OSCE area

have some common features. Almost all of them, except in Kosovo, as I have

already said, have been frozen, i. e. there are no hostilities, but at the same time

political solutions have not been found. We face a complicated dilemma between two

fundamental principles of international law: territorial integrity and the right to self-

determination. Our ability to find a balance between them in a long process of careful

talks and other actions will determine our own effectiveness. I ask that an effort be

made in this respect.

      Another type of important challenge in the security field is the advancement of

negotiations on a Document-Charter on European security. A number of recent

national contributions and proposals, while confirming the diversity of views on the

content of a Document-Charter, also help a lot advance substantive negotiations. At

this point I would like to strongly emphasise the continued readiness of Poland as

Chairman-in-Office and as a State to lead substantive discussions and to engage

constructively in the negotiating process. By the end of the year we would like to see

the general framework of this document emerging through that process.

       Our aim should be to establish a system based on the role of international law,

fundamental common moral values established in European tradition, solidarity with

States menaced by the threat or use of force or by hegemonic tendencies. Non-

hierarchical, mutually reinforcing co-operation by different organisations would

largely contribute to the creation of such a system.

       In the human dimension we should, on the one hand, expand our traditional

activities and, on the other, establish closer link with early warning and conflict

prevention. The ODIHR´s activities in this respect should be commended. The OSCE

is expected to show its qualities in representing common interests, as I said be firm

in defence of common values and avoid a possibility of application of double


       Conflict prevention in situations involving national minority issues remains one

of the most important elements of the OSCE activities. The High Commissioner on

National Minorities, Mr. Max van der Stoel, has been contributing, through his quiet

but extremely effective diplomacy aimed at promoting inter-ethnic dialogue and at

defusing tensions at the earliest possible stage, to the strengthening of stability in the

OSCE area. I would like to express my appreciation and support for his primarily

political and diplomatic activities, in which human rights aspects and legal

considerations are strongly embedded. I count very much on his continued most

useful advice and analysis of possible inter-ethnic challenges in the OSCE area.

       The activities of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Mr.

Freimut Duve, have also an as yet largely unexplored potential for conflict

prevention. We should all offer our full support for his actions.

       In the economic dimension our short-term tasks should be to ensure a follow-

up to the Prague Economic Forum and to draw concrete conclusions for next year’s

Forum. The OSCE should respond to the growing awareness of environmental risks

to security and human rights protection. This aspect is clear, for example, in the case

of Central Asia, where the problem of access to clean water is linked with conflict

prevention activities.

       Ladies and Gentlemen,

       The two currents of our efforts, both within our Organisation and outside

through co-operation with other organisations, should be closely linked in one

effective early warning, conflict prevention, conflict management and post-conflict

rehabilitation arrangement. If successful, this activity will be of major assistance in

the negotiations on the document-charter on European security, which would then

give expression to the real state of affairs rather than being just an intellectual, formal


       Security may be achieved only through co-operation and the development of

links and networks in all fields and at all levels. This must be translated into a more

concrete agenda. Let us think again how to creatively use new tendencies in our

security environment so that the constructive potential of action of all OSCE States

may serve our common cause.

       Mr. Chairman,

       Ladies and Gentlemen,

       I would not like to end my statement without recalling that Mr. Javier Ruperez

is about to complete his mission as President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

He has served the CSCE and OSCE cause in an exemplary manner, using his

extraordinary knowledge of our Organisation and international relations as well as his

remarkable diplomatic, political and personal skills.

       May I, in the name of the whole OSCE, thank him for his service, which has

raised the status of our Organisation. We wish him every success in his new mission,

which will once again provide an opportunity for putting the concept of mutually

supportive institutions into practice.

                                by Mr. Ryszard Czarnecki

                Minister-Head of the European Integration Committee
                           at the V International Conference
                           „From Communism to Capitalism”
                                   Pułtusk, 17th June, 1998

                               Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

From Euroregions to a Common Europe - different methods of tightening co-

operation among Germany, Poland and Ukraine

       Polish regions, deriving benefits from co-operation with foreign partners, in

particular with the regions of the EU member countries, can - thanks to geographic

location and considerable knowledge of the realities of the COMECON countries -

play a significant role in initiating and deepening East - West interregional co-

operation. The role of a go-between can bring Polish regions tangible benefits. It is

important to increase Poland’s political influence on the development of European

co-operation. The regions of Western and Eastern Europe thus far have not had

the same penetrating force on the international area. Their influence on important

European institutions must be strengthened by creating strong foundations for

Poland’s position in the future.

In addition to the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the Committee

of Regions, the role of the European Parliament must be appreciated as a strong

political and opinion-forming centre. Although the Polish regions are not a

member of the Committee of Regions, the association agreement enables them

to participate in its work in the legal status of an observer. Also very important

are contacts with the Board of Directors of the XVI European Commission and with

the INTERREG II programme, which has the task of stimulating the international co-

operation of regions bordering on the European Union. This Board on the initiative

and in co-operation with representatives of the Baltic regions wishes to achieve

visible progress in the integration of the countries of the Baltic region. It is worth

reminding that this year a huge Baltic Euroregion was formed, to which the

entire territory of Poland belongs. This structure is one of the important forms

of co-operation between Germany and Poland. It plays a tremendous role in

trans-border co-operation with the western neighbour. Studies of the Government

Centre for Strategic Studies indicate that territories directly adjacent to the western

border are distinguished for their level of services.

       Relations between the regions of Poland and Germany are much more

intense than co-operation with the regions of other states. Of four Euroregions

covering the territories of Poland and Germany one can mention co-operation

with the „Spree - Neisse - Bóbr” Euroregion. The creation of this Euroregion

advanced     co-operation    in   environmental    protection,   restructuring   industry,

development of the infrastructure. The strategic goal of the project is the ecological

development of the region by deploying financial and organisational resources to

improve the situation in this field. The main instrument of action of the Euroregion is

the programme for trans-border co-operation PHARE CBC that has been in

existence since 1994, as well as government and commune budgets. Assistance

within the Euroregion covers proecological investments financed from the National

Fund for Protection of Inland Waters and provincial funds as well as from funds

coming from the debt-for-nature swap of the Polish debt. The construction of many

by-pass roads as well as municipal and industrial sewage treatment plants has been

financed from PHARE and World Bank funds. Besides this, actions to create new

jobs in rural areas in accordance with the priorities established by the Agency for the

Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture are stimulated from the Labour Fund

administered by the Bank for Social and Economic Initiatives. Possibilities are thus

created to give guarantees and credit activities on preferential terms. A credit line

has been opened managed by Bank Handlowy in Warsaw to support Polish-French

companies in the Euroregion in the co-operation of the region with Alsace.

      An important financial institution created within the Euroregion is the

Polish-German Credit Guarantee Fund with seat in Zielona Góra and with

capital from Polish and German banks.

      One of the main principles of granting financial assistance within the

institutions of the Euroregion is the principle of helpfulness in accordance with the

practices of the European Union. Apart from strategic goals related to environmental

protection, sizeable funds are allocated to education, cultural exchange and the

development tourism and sport in the region.

      Among the social and cultural endeavours located in the other

Euroregions it is worth mentioning the establishment of the European

University „Viadrina” in Frankfurt on the Oder, which started its activities in

1992. Today, 800 Polish students are studying there. On the Polish side the

Collegium Polonicum has been built, with the support, among others, from means

from the PHARE programme for trans-border co-operation.

      Today, co-operation with the Polish-German Euroregions is of enormous

important for control of the Oder river, protection against the danger of floods and

also to use the river as a means of transport.

      Among the important forms of Polish-German co-operation one should

include the activities of the Foundation for Polish-German Co-operation

established on the force of an agreement between Chancellor Kohl and prime

Minister Mazowiecki. The means of the Foundation come from the Polish state

budget and can be utilised only in Poland. This is a form of the conversion of the

Polish debt to Germany. The goal of the Foundation is to support various kinds of

Polish-German economic, educational and cultural initiatives.


       An example of Polish-Ukrainian regional co-operation is the Bug Euroregion

covering south-eastern Poland and the Volhynia district. Similar co-operation already

exists in the Bieszczady Mountains. For the economic growth of Ukraine it is

essential to improve the work of the border crossings between our countries. There

are 18 various kinds of crossings on the border with Germany, but only four on the

Polish-Ukrainian border. Though this is a much shorter border than the Polish-

German one, contacts between Poles and Ukrainians are much less intense. The

European Union is also anxious about a real improvement of the infrastructure and

operation of Poland’s eastern border, which soon will become a border of the Union.

The PHARE programme allocates considerable means for this purpose.

       There is no question that Germany, Poland and Ukraine are a strategic area

for development and the political shape of Europe. That is why all of us should be

keen on developing co-operation in this area and avoiding the economic and political

isolation of Ukraine.

                                    by Mr. Jerzy Buzek
                         Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
                        during the official opening of the conference
                   „Poland in the Process of European Integration”

                               Warsaw, 18 June, 1998

                               Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Dear Reverends, Excellencies, Superiors
and Representatives of the Catholic, Orthodox,
Autocephalous and Evangelical-Augsburg Churches in Poland!

      In December 1980 John Paul II acclaimed Saints Cyril and Methodius, next to

Saint Benedict, as patrons of Europe, thereby pointing out the spiritual unity of the

entire continent. In those momentous but difficult times for Poland, when „Solidarity”

was calling for basic rights and political liberties, this was a clear and unambiguous

message that the common European home cannot exist without the countries of

Central-Eastern Europe. This was also an announcement that Poland should play an

important role in the integration process.

      The integration of Europe is one of the most daunting challenges of our times.

On the threshold of the new millennium, we want to get involved in the construction

of the „NEW EUROPE” as a free and independent Nation - a Europe where the

freedom and dignity of every person would be respected, a Europe based on

common values, a Europe based on universal solidarity. Pope John Paul II reminded

us time and again that there is no freedom without solidarity and truth. „Freedom

experienced in solidarity - the Holy Father said in an address before the

Brandenburg Gate - expresses itself in actions in behalf of justice in the political and

social domains and directs its sight to the freedom of others.”

      The new Europe would be in danger if its inhabitants limited their gaze to the

circle of their own life, without becoming involved selflessly on behalf of others. It

would be in danger if the integration process were reduced to purely economic,

material and consumption aspects. It would be in danger if it lacked the Christian

spirit of solidarity and service. Especially important in showing the new possibilities

as well as the dangers of integration is your work, the work of journalists.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

       You may have different opinions on European integration and our participation

in it. You have the right and duty to ask awkward questions, to show positive and

negative happenings in Europe. But there is one thing you must not forget. As

Christians you have special responsibility not only for accurate information, but also

for inculcating the spirit of service and solidarity in the emerging common „Europe of

the Spirit”.

       Politicians often concentrate on interests, pay attention to numbers and

statistics. However, Europe needs truth and solidarity above all, it needs people who

know how to break down invisible walls and open gates, it needs those who in the

spirit of solidarity and responsibility defend Europe against the traps that are

sometimes set for it. Europe needs a Poland conscious of its spiritual heritage,

culturally creative and serving others with its experience.

       Permit me in conclusion to recall other words of the Pope uttered in Gnieżno

during his last pilgrimage to Poland: „We need readiness (...) After the fall of one

wall, another, invisible wall has become even more evident, which still divides our

continent, which runs through people’s hearts. Built up out of fear and aggression,

lack of understanding for people of another origin, colour of the skin, religious beliefs,

out of political and economic egoism and a weakened sensitivity to the value of

human life and the dignity of every person.

       (...) There is still a long road to the real unification of the European continent.

There will be no unity of Europe until there is unity of spirit.”

      I wish all of the participants of the conference that through your work you may

contribute to building a new, genuine community of spirit on our continent.

      That is why I am very pleased that the subject matter of a uniting Europe

occupies such an important place in the circle of interests of Christian journalists.

The conference that is starting today has the aim of searching for the face of Europe

such as it is today and what it can become in the new millennium.

                               by Mr. Maciej Płażyński
                       Diet Speaker of the Republic of Poland
                during the inaugural session of the IX meeting of the
             Joint Parliamentary Commission of the Republic of Poland
                              and the European Union
                              Warsaw, 22nd June, 1998

                              Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Mr. Speaker,
Mister Minister, Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

         It behoves me to begin with the banal assertion that it is hard for

parliamentarians to be indifferent to the dramatic events taking place on our

continent. In these days I recall the resolution on the situation in Kosovo adopted by

the Speakers of Parliaments of the associated states of Central and Eastern Europe

during our meeting with the Chairman of the European Parliament this March in

Bucharest. We are living, as the Chinese say, unfortunately in interesting times. And

it is for this reason that every European would like to have the assurance that he/she

is living in Europe.

         The joint European project passed and is still passing through a profound

evolution. The European home was built on ruins. Its foundations were erected not

only with its own power. The decision to take actions in behalf of European

integration had global reasons. It resulted from the desire to prevent a new war. This

was the determining factor. Today, when a change of generations is taking place in

Europe, the Union needs a new stimulus. The countries applying for membership

can introduce a new dynamism. Central Europe still remembers from what

oppression it freed itself.

         The European Communities were built after World War II in reaction to the

amputation of nearly half of the continent. Today we can neither return to the starting

point, nor do we want to enlarge Europe mechanically. The necessary reform of the

Union must take into consideration the fact that this will be a different Union. We

must not concentrate only on the fact that this will be a larger and more numerous


       Europe today faces daunting tasks. It is time for the world to once again start

looking at Europe. The euro will most probably be a success. What is most

important, however, is that Europe is setting new tasks for itself. Europeans must

find a deeper, existential motivation in the fact that there is still so much to be done.

       We are expecting careful reflection that the internal reform of the future Union

is also taking place today in Poland. In several days Poland, I believe, will be ready

to carry out a reform of local government. An essential part of the reform will be local

government elections on three levels in October. After having elected its local

authorities, Poland will be more transparent for the citizens of Europe. Having taken

matters into their own hands, Poles will have ever more understanding for integrative

processes. It will be easier for them to understand that membership in the Union

does not mean neglecting their own sovereignty, but is a development of our

common identity. The local government reform will make possible a fuller realisation

of the principle of helpfulness. Thanks to the creation of local government, a more

effective reform of the central administration will be possible and thus recruitment of

qualified persons to the Civil Service. At the present time deciding on the number of

future provinces is absorbing us just as much as identification of the states that meet

the convergence criteria in the second stage of Economic and Monetary Union.

       With satisfaction we welcome the start of the accession process. For us,

screening is an important experience. In connection with this I have the pleasure to

inform that soon the rules and regulations of the Diet will be changed. The changes

will permit the European Integration Committee to control the conformity of all bills

with European law in every reading.

       Integration is necessary, because only harmony builds. The PHARE

Programme is a pro-accession instrument serving the transformation of our legal and

administrative structures. Today we face the necessity of abandoning the realisation

of a dozen or more projects submitted by Poland. We are disappointed by the fact

that this matter is sometimes presented as an argument that the negotiating

countries should remain candidates for a long time yet. Meanwhile, we have to do

with a technical problem. The PHARE procedures and Partnership ought to be

friendly enough for the users so as to adhere to them without fear.

       Enlargement will fall in the next term of the European Parliament after this

one. I am convinced that Polish deputies will have their part in the internal reforms of

the Union. The Parliament must win its rights. Euroscepticism and aloofness to

supranational institutions may be overcome only by directly elected representation.

       We are pleased that the European Parliament and Foreign Affairs and

Security Committee attach such great importance to preventing the states expected

to participate in the second wave of enlargement from having psychological reasons

to feel ignored and abandoned. One of the main subjects of the next meeting of the

Speakers of Parliaments with the Chairman of the European Parliament will be the

fight with organised crime. The meeting will be held in Vilnius and end on 11 th

November. This will, I believe, permit a more balanced approach to the question of

visas, borders and free flow of people and capital within the future internal market of

Europe as a whole.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

       We often hear that Poland is joining the Union, not the Union Poland. The

Union is a part of Europe. The fact is, however, that together are we only now

creating this old and tested quality.

       I wish you, Dear Colleagues, fruitful deliberations.

                              by Mr Bronisław Geremek
                 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
                        XVth International NATO Workshop,
                               Vienna, 22nd June 1998

Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I feel deeply honoured having the opportunity to address this distinguished audience.

NATO Workshops have always been a gathering not only of „movers and shakers"

of European security policy, but also of those shaping its intellectual dimension. I am

going to speak here on issues which have often been present in the debate on the

post-Cold War security. In numerous discussions marking the rhythm of this debate,

Central Europe, especially in the context of NATO enlargement, draws a lot of

international attention. Let us try today to look at Central European security, means

to strengthen it, and moreover the ways it contributes to the stability of Europe as a


In this context, however, I feel tempted to ask the question what Central Europe is at

the threshold of the New Millennium. In fact I do not ask about geography – which is

unchangeable – but rather about geopolitics. For many years countries located „in

the heart of Europe" constituted part of spiritual and intellectual West, where their

culture takes its roots. At the same time most of them had been subordinated to the

political East, with all implications of this situation.

The end of the Cold War erased the artificial divisions, and allowed for the „great

come-back" of Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and some other countries of our

region to where they always belonged – to the West. All those countries have chosen

pro-Western option of their development, orienting their public life at democracy,

individual freedom and market economy. Those choices together with ongoing

process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration have diminished the descriptive

value of geopolitical Central European label. Central Europe is no longer an area

where special standards should be applied, nor a source of any risks, which seemed

to be the assumption of the 1991 Strategic Concept of the Alliance – currently under

revision. Moreover, societies and political leaders of this part of Europe throughout

the process of post-Cold War changes have proved its maturity, investing in their

democratic institutions and foreign policy based on good-neighbourliness.

At the same time, the term Central Europe retains its significance as a point of

reference for many regional policies, which is also true in the case of Poland. To a

large extent, deprived of the geopolitical burden, Central Europe - aware of its own

specificity, challenges and opportunities - constitutes also a useful category, allowing

for more precision in our regional projects and their realisation. Our people have

proved that it is possible to overcome barriers and to advance the construction of the

zone of prosperity and stability - which for years seemed to be beyond the reach of

the countries located here. The success of Central Europe serves now as an

example for other states, which in their efforts to complete their internal reforms, are

reaching for the hand of friendship and co-operation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

NATO is indispensable for European security and stability. The Alliance - and the

model of development it embodies - not only won the Cold War and made the

„dream of freedom" of two generations of East and Central Europeans come true. In

the last decade NATO played the key role in shaping security in Europe. The

aggregated potential of NATO proved to be instrumental in safeguarding the

effectiveness of the decisions of the international community, with special emphasis

put on Bosnia-Herzegovina. It increasingly also seems to be the case in another part

of the „Balkan pot" - namely Kosovo.

Thanks to the North Atlantic Co-operation Council, now Euro-Atlantic Partnership

Council and the "Partnership for Peace" Programme, through building a stable and

transparent relationship with Russia, developing a distinctive partnership with

Ukraine, reaching out to states of the Mediterranean, NATO became the main

engine of political and military co-operation throughout the continent.

If I were asked, however, to point out the region whose path of development NATO

influenced in an especially visible and tangible way, without any hesitation my choice

would be Central Europe. Countries of that region managed to make a perfect match

of the success of their own reforms with the benefits of the openness of the Atlantic

Alliance. I agree with the point that the very prospect of NATO and - it should be said

honestly - also EU enlargement has done a lot for stability and security in our part of

the Continent.

The real prospect of reaching the goal that bears the name „membership" provided a

strong boost for profound internal reforms and solving international problems, which

potentially might turn into destabilising factors of a wider nature. I deeply believe in

what I said, because the political and social forces of „Solidarity" I represent, were at

roots of those positive developments in Poland.

It must be said here, however, that NATO and EU membership, though of historical

meaning and strategic importance for my country, will not mean accomplishment of

all objectives inherent in the process of security and stability build-up. This is why

Poland, standing at the threshold of NATO and to a large extent EU membership, not

only thinks, but also acts to be prepared for „the day after". The philosophy of

„mission accomplished" is alien to us, because we are well aware of the amount and

scope of effort we still have to do in order to be politically, mentally and materially

compatible with other members, and thus able to fully utilise - through participation -

the gains of being part of those institutions - for the benefits of Poland, Central

Europe and the rest of the Continent. It obviously implies also sharing of burdens

and responsibilities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since the beginning of this decade NATO membership has been the primary goal of

Polish security policy. That is why, together with Hungary and the Czech Republic,

we eagerly awaited the signature of Accession Protocols and their successful

ratification afterwards. More than half of the Allies have already ratified the Protocols.

We look forward to hearing soon „good news" from the remaining ones. We hope

that the whole process will be behind us by Nato's 50th anniversary.

Our three countries agreed to present their ratification instruments and join the

Alliance at the same time. But this is not the only issue on which we collaborate

closely. We are also fully aware that to make the integration process smooth and

successful we have to undertake numerous co-ordinated activities to better prepare

ourselves for the membership. For many reasons, the march towards NATO was not

the only factor stimulating our co-operation. We all share the same values, history

and security interests. By all means we want to contribute to the security and stability

of Central and Eastern Europe. We are convinced that our close political co-

operation can serve this purpose. We wish to continue working together also after

becoming members of the Alliance.

NATO enlargement, however, is not the only factor increasing confidence and co-

operation in this part of Europe. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the

enhanced PfP programme provided a new framework for political and military co-

operation and made a room for new initiatives. In this context the very recent and

significant one was launched here in Vienna. Two months ago ministers from

Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania signed the documents

establishing Central European Nations Co-operation in Peace Support. Based on

the terms of Partnership for Peace, guided by the principles of the United Nations

Charter and Agenda for Peace, CENCOOP gives its participants the possibility to

enhance their capabilities to support international peace-keeping operations. It

provides conditions to exchange views, enhance co-operation in the field of training,

logistics and interoperability of armed forces. It is also opened for the others who

might wish to join it later.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am confident that year 1999 will make Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary NATO

members. Having before our eyes the approaching Washington summit our thoughts

are with all those who dared to think of a new Europe and had enough courage to go

one step further - not least by opening up the membership of the Alliance. This is

why - already now - we should make sure that this construction will proceed also

after Spring' 99. To this end NATO must retain its open character - as stated in

Article 10 of the Washington Treaty. This is the basic prerequisite for safeguarding

the momentum of the post-Cold War transformation in Central and Eastern Europe

and the promotion of democratic values further eastward.

Apart from consistency and courage on the part of all (soon-nineteen) NATO nations

to continue this great design, the three newly admitted Central European states will

have a special responsibility (as well as interest) in strengthening pro-European and

Euro-Atlantic orientation of their neighbours, sharing with them experience and when

possible, helping practically to bring them closer to the Alliance. This is what we see

also as a continuous task for Poland.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a historian I believe in truth that is conveyed to us by the monuments and

symbols from the past. Therefore, in the context of the aforementioned new

European construction, which is now under way, we could hardly find a better image

than the masterpiece of 15 century mural painting in Strasbourg. It shows over a

dozen men, some of them on horseback, on their pilgrimage to the Holy Cross. Each

of the figures is assigned the name of a European nation.

The last of the horsemen looks back at the walking figures as if calling them to join

the group. This is exactly what we need to do for our partners (although in more

practical terms). This is also what our partners should do (not least by the virtue of

their own efforts) to make Europe whole and free.

I would like also to admit that, as to the last horseman calling those who are a bit

behind to catch up, the anonymous author of the painting gave him the name of

Poland. This is the challenge my country would like to meet, and responsibility we

expect to be shared with all our Allies and Partners, since Europe means more than

15 current members of European Union and NATO 16 (soon 19) nations.

Thank you for your attention.

                              by Mr. Bronisław Geremek
                          Minister of Foreign Affairs of the
                                 Republic of Poland
            7th Ministerial Session of the Council of the Baltic Sea States
                            Nyborg, 22nd -23rd June, 1998

Mr Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

      I would like, first of all, to congratulate our Danish friends and in particular

Minister Niels Helveg Petersen, on organising the present session, which is a

crowning touch to Denmark’s efficient and effective leadership of the Council of the

Baltic Sea States.

      The Baltic region is our natural environment, for which we all should care. I

believe that in that regard our Council has fulfilled the hope placed in it by its

creators: Mr. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Prime Minister of Poland, and Mr. Ingvar

Carlsson, Prime Minister of Sweden. Co-operation in the Baltic region has taken on

impetus and has encompassed practically every field of endeavour. It involves all

levels of administration and increasingly wider groups of people. Poland has been

actively participating in this process, which has strengthened mutual trust and a

sense of security in the region.

      Beyond a doubt, the beneficial effects of our co-operation have been

enhanced by the positive developments taking place here. I have in mind the

strengthening of democracy and the rule of law in our countries. I also have in mind

more efficient mechanisms for protecting human rights.

      I think that other positive phenomena and events occurring in Europe have

also had a benefit effect on the development of Baltic co-operation. The invitation for

Poland to join NATO and the start of accession negotiations with the European

Union should be considered in this context.

      I would like to repeat one again: NATO’s enlargement is not aimed against

anyone. It means the strengthening of mechanisms, which maintain stability,

democracy and the rule of law over a wider area. An increasingly broader scope of

stability and democracy is undoubtedly beneficial to everyone, to the entire

surrounding area.

      The start of accession negotiations with the European Union is conductive to

the spread of conditions for rapid economic growth – the only source of an overall

improvement of living standards. Poland is well aware of the importance of the

challenges posed by the process of integration with the Union. We have done much,

but the most difficult tasks still lie ahead. I have in mind the carrying-out of basic

social reforms as well as the restructuring of agriculture and of the steel and mining

sectors in an atmosphere of public and political peace. We count on the Union’s

understanding of and support for these efforts.

       In the integration processes encompassing a growing circle of states, Poland

perceives a factor stabilising Europe’s situation. We believe that co-operation in the

CBSS forum is an important platform of gradual adaptation to Union standards.

       We appreciate the progress achieved in economic co-operation, especially in

such areas as: co-ordination of energy markets, co-operation in the field of small-

and medium-sized enterprises, the financing of joint economic undertakings and co-

operation in labour-market policies. The Conference of the Ministers in Charge of

Industry and Economic Affairs held in Gdańsk was accompanied by a unique

Economic Forum of the representatives of the Baltic business community. The result

was a series of recommendations and suggestions addressed to the state

administration of the Baltic Sea states. The Working Group on Economic Co-

operation expanded the scope of its activities by including social problems and the

labour market. This is a difficult problem as well as a great challenge. Poland will

continue its active involvement in that field.

       Poland supports the idea of an agreement among the Baltic Sea states to

regularly exchange radiological monitoring data and other information of essential

importance as far as radiological protection is concerned. We are also in favour of

expanding the co-operation between the Scandinavian states and the European

Union in the area of information technologies. We hope that other countries in the

Baltic region will be included in this co-operation.

       With interest we have received also the results of the first conference on civic

security which was recently held here in Denmark. We are counting on the dynamic

development of co-operation in this area, which should produce tangible benefits to

all participating states, institutions and agencies.

       The development of Agenda 21 was a significant event in Baltic co-operation.

It sets forth a 30-year horizon in the area of spatial planning and development.

Poland hopes to take a responsibility in the field of sustainable development of


       The progress achieved in structural strengthening of the Council of the Baltic

Sea States, particularly the creation of a CBSS Secretariat, has been especially

important for us. Poland expects its activities to make the Council’s work more

efficient and to better co-ordinate the flow of information between organisations and

institutions taking part in Baltic co-operation. The Secretariat should become a factor

stimulating the further growth of co-operation in the region. I welcome Mr. Jacek

Starościak as the head of the Secretariat.

       Mr Chairman,

       The co-operation which we develop within the CBSS is of great importance to

Poland. I would like to thank once again Denmark for its year of effective and

dynamic leadership and I wish Lithuania and our fried Saudargas every success in

this difficult but very interesting and challenging role of chairman of the Council of the

Baltic Sea States.

       Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

                                      by Mr. Jerzy Buzek
                       Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
              during the meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Commission
                  of the Republic of Poland and the European Union
                                Warsaw, 23rd June, 1998

                               Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

       I wish to welcome warmly all members of the Joint Commission present here,

especially our guests, representatives of the European Parliament.

       Poland’s membership in the European Union, with all the rights and duties of

membership, is one of the major goals of Polish policy and the object of determined

efforts on the part of the government. With satisfaction we received the decision on

the official start of the negotiation process. We are convinced that it will be an

important spur to accelerating the development of our country and put an end once

and for all to divisions in Europe.

      The co-operation of the Polish Diet with the European Parliament is of cardinal

importance for the accession of our country to the European Union. The integration

of Europe cannot be just a bureaucratic operation. Enlargement of the Union must

be supported by the societies - both of the member countries and of the candidate

countries. You, as parliamentarians, have the closest contact with the voters. So your

work is of special importance in the process of building a climate of understanding

and co-operation between the nations of Europe.

      I believe that what is of vital importance today is making our societies aware of

the benefits to be gained from enlargement of the European Union and overcoming

the fears that exist in some groups. The citizens of Western Europe sometimes fear

that enlargement of the Union will intensify competition on the labour market or

competition in some branches of industry. At the same time, they often forget that

the new members will be not only recipients of Union aid but also partners in

development. They are bringing to the Union their fast-growing economies and their

ready, expanding markets. All of the previous enlargements were beneficial for old

and new members. I believe that it will be the same now.

      In beginning the screening of common law, we are aware of the enormity of

the tasks facing us. Accession negotiations are only a small fragment of the reforms

that we are going to take up to bring our state and economy up to Union standards,

that is to the standards of a modern state. My government has already launched

several fundamental reforms to turn Poland into a modern state that better meets the

needs of its citizens. The most advanced are reforms of the public administration and

the pension system, and we are also preparing reforms of the health service and

education. At the same time, we are continuing the process of restructuring industry

and privatisation. All of these actions are aimed at creating a healthy system of

finances and ensuring our country stable, long-lasting economic growth.

          Poland will make every effort to carry out an effective review of the law and to

make a proper assessment of the possibility of adopting common legislative

solutions. We understand that the acquis communuaitaire is one whole. That is why

we believe that transitional solutions would be used with caution so as not to disturb

the functioning of the Common Market.

          We hope that our initiative to start negotiations in parallel to a review of the

acquis in those areas that do not arouse reservations will be received positively by

the member states of the European Union.

          In the face of the prospect of our membership in the EU we would like to

participate in discussions on the financial and institutional reform of the EU, the new

agricultural policy and structural policy that are indispensable for the smooth

functioning of an enlarged Union. We want to enter a strong and solidary European

Union, and that is why we support a process of deepening that should run parallel to

the process of enlargement of the Union. We believe that the date of starting the real

negotiations should not be dependent on carrying out necessary or unnecessary


          We are convinced that the accession negotiations started on 31 st March, 1998

are an irreversible process. The awareness that we are working together for the good

of our nations and the future of all of Europe will help us to find mutually satisfactory

solutions in all areas of the negotiations and lead to a rapid signing of the accession


Ladies and Gentlemen!

      I am proud to have the honour of heading the government in such an

important period for my country. I assure you that Poland will rapidly introduce the

principles of the acquis communautaire to its legislation and will meet the obligations

it has assumed. At the same time, however, the transformation process requires co-

operation between the political elites of Poland and the current members of the

European Union. I believe that in you we will gain allies and partners of this co-


                           by Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski
                              at the NATO Workshops
                               Vienna, 23rd June, 1998

The road to NATO. Over the past ten years Europe has travelled an impressive

distance. From a world of divisions, frozen by fear and mutual suspicion, to a

community becoming united in the search for a new order. A just order that

recognises the aspirations and need for security of every nation. From tolerating

totalitarian regimes to recognising the norms of democracy and respect for universal

human rights as commonly binding on our continent. The struggle of nations for

freedom, democracy and dignity has been at the origin of great transformations in

today’s Europe. The Atlantic Alliance grasped the chance offered to the whole of

Europe by transformations taking place in its central and eastern parts. There were

dramatic developments in Russia and the Balkans that showed the scale of new

threats and challenges. It became evident that the new NATO cannot limit its

functions to the defence and security of its member states. Among many concepts of

European security considered at the time, moving the borders of NATO’s

responsibility eastwards was the optimal solution. NATO may not be the most

efficient mechanism for guaranteeing security in Europe, but we do not have any

better choice. The announcement of the Partnership for Peace Programme came as

a turning point. This programme provided flexible instruments of international co-

operation and offered a philosophy of how to carry out defence reform in Central and

Eastern Europe. The prospects of joining Western structures had a positive impact

on the development of the region. The states of Central and Eastern Europe not only

became beneficiaries of security. They also helped overcome Western fears of weak

and unpredictable eastern neighbours engaged in prolonged conflicts. Mutual

confidence replacing old divisions became the highest value. The continent began to

believe in the real nature, maturity and irreversibility of democratic transformations in

the east. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe had to become convinced

that their aspirations would not fall victim to geopolitical juggling. They had to believe

that they would not become second-category members of the Alliance and that their

just national interests and expectations would be recognised. Poland’s participation

in the Partnership for Peace Programme and enhanced co-operation with the states

of the Alliance helped work out the preparatory stage of the accession. That is why

the programme, which turned out successful in the case of Poland, the Czech

Republic and Hungary, should be developed to contribute to the reconstruction of the

entire area of partnership in the spirit of democracy and stability of the international

situation. Poland treats the implementation of the programme as one of its national

priorities. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe are undergoing deep

transformations. Apart from the process of economic and social modernisation under

way in all countries of the region, there are also profound political transformations

whose scale and pace depend on concrete conditions in individual states. Poland is

undergoing an administrative reform with new powers given to local governments to

introduce firm rules of an open society. As regards the sphere of defence and

security, new legislative solutions were adopted to establish an effective system of

civilian democratic control over the army guaranteed by the Constitution of the

Republic of Poland. It leaves no doubts as to the roles of the Parliament, the

President and the Government as the authors and implementing bodies of the

defence policy. A deep reform of the armed forces has been started. It is described

in detail in the government-prepared programme „The Army of 2012”. The main

assumptions of the programme refer to the agreed conditions of NATO membership,

create mechanisms of adopting new structures and a new operational concept. The

programme needs further corrections, but its main assumptions, accepted by

politicians and NATO commanders, will remain unchanged. The level of

interoperability of armies and civilian institutions involved in the defence system is

improving. Comprehensive co-operation with the states of the Alliance is developing.

Extensive work is going on to create an integrated civilian-military system of

responding in crises. Progress is being recorded as regards the training of military

staff according to NATO standards. There are also intensive efforts under way to

adopt the „target force goals”, meaning the practical aspects of joining the Alliance

and the related work on the national strategy concept.

A New Way of Thinking. Today, we can state with satisfaction that Poland, the Czech

Republic and Hungary should become NATO members in a period shorter than one

year. I can say with full conviction that the union of Poland and NATO meets all

necessary conditions to become a happy union. Our joining the Alliance is dictated

by both common sense and the heart. We in Poland are cognisant of belonging to

the great family of Western Christian civilisation to which we are linked by one

thousand years of history, common cultural roots, the same system of values. History

has taught us, the Poles, that in this part of Europe we will be fully safe only wen the

entire centre of Europe ceases to be a vague grey zone defined as one „in-between”.

We also know that freedom and security are values worth paying a high price for.

This explains the continuous strong support of 75 percent of our society for the policy

of integration with NATO. As a loyal and dependable member of NATO, Poland will

assume its part of the responsibility for the effectiveness of actions taken by the

Alliance. Poles are aware of the fact that the costs of preserving peace in Europe

can be high and may requires sacrifices. And Poles also know that freedom and

peace are indivisible values. After all, the motto „For your freedom and ours” has

been written on Polish banners for hundreds of years. When the question arose of

the participation of Polish units in the international peacekeeping operation in the

Persian Gulf and the new legislation did not regulate the involvement of the Polish

army in operations abroad, it did not take a long time to pass the appropriate act by

parliament. The political consensus worked out by Polish political groupings over

recent years on NATO and European Union membership is an attainment I value

very highly. None of the important Polish political milieus questions NATO

membership, albeit the Polish right and left differ substantially, both as regards

programmes and assessment of the past. We speak in the same voice about NATO,

recalling the argument about a historic chance to come out of the shadow of

circumstances that over the past 300 years hampered our national aspirations and

sovereign development.

The changes of the ruling teams will not alter our policy. NATO is a lasting choice of

Poles. The conviction about the cultural and ideological community with Western

Europe does not free us from the duty to learn about contemporary Europe, which is

sometimes perceived by many Poles in a too romantic way. The mass media and

educational institutions keep informing the Poles about NATO, its nature and

mechanisms. Everybody understands the need to learn not only the languages of the

new allies but also their manner of work, commanding, working with multinational

teams. Poland wants to adjust itself to the Alliance, and we are convinced that the

Alliance will appreciate this by acquiring better knowledge about us. The Polish

people are experiencing a real revolution as regards their consciousness. A romantic

approach towards patriotism seen as the readiness to make the greatest sacrifices at

the times of changes but with no duty of laborious everyday organic work is

supplemented with positive thinking. The Poles understand that contemporary

patriotism is based on respect for democracy and the conviction about the need to

work on consolidating the market economy. We also think it is certain that we will

become an Alliance member and we will work to develop good-neighbourly

coexistence with our immediate neighbours. The ratification debate in the

parliaments of NATO countries has brought about not only satisfactory results for us,

a high assessment of the transformations to-date in the states aspiring for

membership and confirmation of confidence in the new allies. Parliamentary

discussions on ratification offered an opportunity to formulate important questions

about the future of the Alliance and its position in a changing world. At the threshold
of its 50        anniversary NATO is facing what may be the greatest challenge to the

question about the political and geographical scope of its responsibility. Whether it is

ready to take on the responsibility, and in what form, for peace and stability in the

area outside the borders of its member states. What will be the pace and scope of

another enlargement of the Alliance? What will be the relations between the Alliance

and Russia and other countries which will not become NATO members in the near

future, and between NATO and other European organisations? We are well aware of

the fact that the answers to those questions will determine the future shape of the

Alliance and the character of international relations in the 21 century. We want to

seek answer to those questions together.

To continue the process of NATO enlargement. NATO is a military alliance and a

political community which believes that the expansion of friendly co-operation and a

favourable international atmosphere is an effective form of removing threats to

peace. Poland shares this philosophy and treats it as a basis for its political actions.

Thanks to this, the military power of the Alliance does not threaten anyone and offers

a moral right to initiate actions, agreements, treaties building an area of stability in

the entire hemisphere.

It is an inalienable right of each nation to live in peace guaranteed by a certain

system of security. It is an inalienable right of each nation to choose alliances and

allies. NATO cannot be a closed organisation. Poland is particularly interested in its

eastern borders not being lines of division in Europe, or of classifying countries

according to the criteria of progress in introducing democratic reforms. It would be

dishonest to delight in our own achievements while forgetting about times when a

helping hand was lent to us. It is our duty to help other nations join and assist them.

Those who resolved to aspire for NATO membership and meet the membership

criteria, and I am thinking here about Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Bulgaria,

Romania and Slovenia, can count on Poland. We support the policy of „open doors”

of the Alliance to all who are willing to join it and can meet the requirements of

Alliance membership.

Europe - a safe continent. Poland’s contribution.         NATO, as the most powerful

military alliance in the world bears a special responsibility for security and stability in

the whole continent. Maintaining the high defence capacity and operational mobility

of the Alliance’s forces is objectively conducive to peace and creating a new order in

Europe. Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary will make a special contribution to

strengthening the Alliance’s defence potential. In case of crises outside the area of

NATO’s direct responsibility, the military infrastructure in the territories of the new

members will play an important logistic function. The armed forces of our country are

experienced in interoperational actions due to their nearly fifty-year participation in

peacekeeping missions. Our allies must be convinced about the strong international

solidarity on the part of Poland and about its readiness for co-operation if necessary.

We attach special importance in this respect to the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia,

which for Poland became not only a political and moral challenge but also a most

serious practical effort to work jointly with forces of other countries. I am convinced

that a proper political solution, and a military one - if it turns out to be necessary - will

be worked out as concerns Kosovo. Poland’s participation in NATO will help

accelerate the process of Polish-German reconciliation. Poland is a neighbour, and

soon will become an ally of Germany. The evil we suffered became a thing of the

past. France built its partnership and then friendship with the nation of Goethe and

Adenauer choosing a common future. Poland is following this example. We see

great determination on the part of our western neighbours to make Polish-German

relations play a significant role. A symbol of the on-going changes is the formation of

the German-Danish-Polish Corps with headquarters in Szczecin. We are together,

on the same side, and we do not point our weapons at anyone. The multinational

corps now being formed is a symbol of the new times. NATO’s friendly and

harmonious co-operation with states that are not its members and with other

European organisations is of fundamental importance. Apart from the Partnership for

Peace Programme and NATO’s bilateral agreements with certain states, I can see

an important role to be played by regional programmes of co-operation with the

participation of both NATO members and states that are not parties to the Alliance.

We believe that the fine chances offered by NATO’s agreements with Russia and

Ukraine will be well used. Poland wants and is ready to contribute to NATO’s great

undertaking of building stable European relations. Our potential of the biggest

country in the region and the currently implemented policy of good-neighbourly

relations impose on us political and moral duties both as regards the Baltic Sea

region and Southern and Eastern Europe. Now we know that together with NATO we

succeeded in not allowing the creation of a sphere of a security deficit in the post-

Soviet area. We cannot afford any disappointment and, what would be worse, any

new divisions and curtains. We will support pro-European strivings of people living in

neighbouring countries and assist them in achieving Western standards. Taking into

account similarities and the complexity of the processes of modernisation going on in

all states of Central and Eastern Europe, Poland declares its readiness to share its

experiences with its eastern partners. Polish-Ukrainian co-operation is something

special for us and a source of satisfaction. The far-going convergence of political

goals and the excellent climate of mutual relations helped overcome the painful past

and bore fruit in numerous agreements. The Euroregions of „Carpathia” and „Bug”

were formed, and so was a Polish-Ukrainian battalion; and the Consultative

Committee of the Polish and Ukrainian Presidents holds regular meetings. Lithuania

is another close partner of Poland. In fulfilling mutual obligations we are creating the

foundations of a promising future. Joint economic, political and military undertakings

are being carried out, including the formation of a Polish-Lithuanian battalion.

Charters signed by the Alliance with Ukraine and by the USA with the Baltic states

concern us directly. They offer a vision of international co-operation which is

supported not only by political, economic and military factors but also by moral ones.

For all those reasons, Poland firmly supports those documents and declares tat it will

pursue an active policy for the ideas and programmes they contain. As a Central

European state aspiring to NATO membership, we are aware that the more active

participation of the European Union in our actions is, the sooner we will achieve our

goals. The EU will be more willing to help us and include us in its structures when we

are able to offer more guarantees of being a stable area and of economic and

political progress embracing the whole region. Poland, like all NATO and EU

countries, the Czech Republic and Hungary, is watching the socio-political processes

going on in Belarus and Slovakia. Wishing the Slovaks and Belarussians success on

their road to Europe, we are hoping that they will make a sovereign choice as

regards the development of democratic institutions and processes in their countries.

This will surely open up new prospects and areas of activity. We want to lend them a

helping hand and share our experience in carrying out the integration process,

expecting the same of the Czech Republic, Hungary, NATO and EU countries. The

outlined philosophy of co-operation and mutual assistance finds fine instruments in

CEFTA. As the Partnership for Peace Programme in the region played the role of

catalyst of co-operation in defence and NATO integration processes, so CEFTA can

and should play the role of a programme of the kind of Partnership for Welfare and

Regional Co-operation. I believe that thanks to such a policy in the region we will

eventually prove our credibility to our allies and contribute to the flourishing of the

post-bipolar political philosophy of the new Atlanticism in the region and the entire

northern hemisphere.

A new NATO. Europe and the USA form a community of states and nations united

by   values,   respected   democratic    standards    and   political   and   economic

achievements. The presence of the United States in Europe is a guarantee of the

existence of this community. The USA is also an indispensable element of co-

operation and stability in Europe. Europe and the United States are linked by a

strategic partnership, local and friendship of allies. Poland wants to strengthen those

ties. We think it groundless to contrast NATO’s European pillar with the American

one. They are one, though in view of the changing number of NATO members and

the profound reform of its structure of functioning this will surely change. The reforms

and debate on updating the Alliance’s concept cannot downgrade the effectiveness

of the decision making process or violate the rules of the treaty it is based on. Its

defence potential and efficiency of operation must improve. The history of the past

decade has changed the list and hierarchy of threats and challenges to the Alliance.

The threat of a global conflict has nearly vanished. The list and alignment of planning

preferences also changed naturally and the necessity arose to meet various threats

halfway. The power of NATO’s defence system currently being strengthened with

three, and in the future with more, members will surely help work out a flexible and

efficient system of response to all crises and threats. Resources will be found and

procedures worked out to provide a due response to war threats and to natural,

social and economic ones as well. The new strategic concept of the Alliance must

reflect the new European conditions, the new role of NATO within the European

security architecture, and must offer a new political and strategic vision of the Euro-

Atlantic region. Its basis should be provided by alliances, unions of partners and co-

operation offered by NATO to all states of this region. The materialisation of this

vision should be guaranteed by preserving a proper military potential which would

effectively discourage all those who might want to violate this joint security. To use

other words, the new strategic concept should offer clear indicators for the Alliance’s

defence efforts, for its military planning and for shaping a proper defence attitude. At

the same time it should contain a message addressed to the international community

about the further crucial position of the Alliance for preserving peace and security

both in Europe and outside it. This should help overcome the fears of all those who

do not understand, or do not want to understand, the real role of the new NATO and

the goals linked with its enlargement. Poland treats such a vision of the Alliance’s

future as a challenge it will face through continuing actions of adjusting its defence,

political and economic systems. This is a general guideline for us that changes the

course and contents of our training of the armed forces. I am convinced that soon

Polish units will join the Rapid Reaction Corps. Poland’s new national strategy

concept will reflect processes covering NATO in its entirety, its civilian and military

mechanisms. I am deeply convinced that NATO will be more modern and effective

and trough this more conducive to processes of building a peaceful reality in the

continent. Poland, together with other newly-accepted members of the Alliance, will

be its efficient and credible member. The formal acknowledgement of those efforts

and way of thinking in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic will take place at the

moment they formally become members of the North Atlantic Treaty. This will be a

crucial moment for us. For the first time in history alliances will be signed between

Central Europe, Western Europe and North America. I believe this will be a great

step forward in the process of developing and strengthening the Atlantic Alliance.

                               by Mr. Ryszard Czarnecki
                Minister-Head of the European Integration Committee
                  at the Conference of Ministers of German Länder
                                  for European Affairs
                                 Bonn, 25th June, 1998

                               Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am honoured to be able to participate in a meeting of the Conference of Ministers of

German Länder for European Affairs. I wish to kindly thank Mr. Josef Hattig, Senator

for European Affairs of the Free city of Bremen and Chairman of the Conference, for

inviting me to participate in today’s meeting.

The Conference of Ministers for European Affairs, which was established on October

2nd, 1992, has special importance for us. Through the administrative reform we want

Polish regions also to be able to take better advantage of future membership in the

European Union and to have an influence on decisions taken at the Union level. We

want to learn from German experiences, and Polish provinces want to see partners

in the German Länder.

I am not the first Polish guest of the Conference. Three years ago Ambassador

Andrzej Byrt presented to you the status of Poland’s preparations for membership in

the European Union and the mechanisms of internal co-ordination of the integration

policy. Today I have the pleasure to continue the mutual exchange of information.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

First of all I wish to stress once again that we regard the decision of the European

Council of December 13th, 1997 and the positive outcome of the ratification of the

accession protocols of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to NATO as the

beginning of the process of ending the post-Yalta order in Europe. The way has been

opened for Poland to join international structures, from which it was forced to be

excluded for more than half a century.

The opinion of the European Commission on Poland’s membership in the Union and

then the decision of the summit in Luxembourg are a sort of summing up of the

changes that have taken place in our country after 1989. For the vast majority of the

Polish nation, the political about-face in the direction of uniting Europe is the

fulfilment of the wish for an undisturbed and complete ties with Western Europe, not

only of a historical and cultural but especially of an economic and political nature.

Poland’s preparations for participation in European integration started after the fall of

the Iron Curtain, which brought Poles the first free elections and Germans unification

after the fall of the Berlin Wall. On the initiative of the Polish side, the preamble of

the Europe Agreement signed December 16 th, 1991, establishing an association

between the Republic of Poland on the one hand and the European Communities

and their member states on the other, contains the statement that „the ultimate goal

of Poland is membership in the Communities, and association, in the opinion of the

Contracting Parties, will help Poland reach this goal.” Since the European Council in

Copenhagen, the enlargement of the Union with the countries of Central and Eastern

Europe also became the goal of the Union.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

The Government of the Republic of Poland formed by Solidarity Election Action

(AWS) and the Freedom Union (UW) made preparations for membership in the

European Union one of the top priorities of its policy. In his exposé to the Diet Prime

Minister Jerzy Buzek stated that „the announcement of a quick start of negotiations

with selected countries and the inclusion of Poland in this group is an obligation for

us to accelerate adaptation processes.”

On March 31st of this year the accession negotiations were officially opened between

Poland and the European Union. In April the countries invited to negotiations started

a screening of Polish law and its comparison with Union law. So far multi- and

bilateral sessions have been held in seven subject areas. These sessions took place

in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and with the will on both sides to explain

all doubtful questions. We would like the negotiations to end as soon as possible. In

order to meet this calendar it is necessary to start the real negotiations as early as

this year in areas in which no negotiation problems are expected. We are aware that

the acquis communautaire will change during the course of the negotiations,

including through realisation of Agenda 2000.

We would like all states of Central and Eastern Europe to have a realistic prospect of

membership in the European Union and no new divisions in Europe to be created.

That is why Poland received with satisfaction the decision of the European Council in

Luxembourg to hold a European Conference. Poland supports the open nature of the

EU enlargement process. We would like the Conference to become a platform for

mobilisation of both sides: the Union and the states that are candidates for co-

operation in the field of strengthening security and stability in Europe, co-operation in

resolving common challenges such as combating organised crime, environmental

protection and the development of regional and trans-border co-operation.

In May of this year the Polish side submitted to the European Commission the

English version of „The National Programme of Poland’s Preparation for Membership

in the European Union”, which is the counterpart of the Union’s programme

„Partnership for Membership”. It should be emphasised that we treated this response

more broadly than the European Commission expected. This is a very long

document (ca. 700 pages), which describes in detail a wide range of problems

connected with the adaptation process. The goal of the programme is to define

precisely the timetable of actions serving to meet the obligations set forth in the

Europe Treaty, first and foremost - in the middle period (up to 2002) - the adaptation

of the Polish economy and law to the requirements of membership in the EU, in

accordance with the assessments contained in the avis              of the European

Commission. In connection with the ongoing screening, we would like the The

National Programme to be an instrument permitting a flexible approach to the

process adapting Poland for membership in the EU. Partnership for Membership

provides for the possibility of including supplementary points that will suit new

adaptation tasks resulting from decisions taken during the accession negotiations.

The National Programme will serve as the basis for planning the PHARE programme

- support for accession. The Polish side during the carrying out of the programme

would also like to use assistance under bilateral co-operation with the member states

of the Union, including with our closest neighbour - Germany. The National

Programme will be carried out with a major contribution from Polish budgetary


Ladies and Gentlemen!

The preparation of Poland for membership in the Union is an enormous challenge for

the Polish authorities. The overall assessment of the adaptation of Polish law to

European law was contained in a special Report of the Government of the Republic

of Poland, which will be one of the basic documents used in the negotiations and

adaptation programmes. It is worth emphasising the regularity and continuity of the

work being done in this area. The adaptation of Polish law to Union law has been

going on for seven years - and done by successive governments, I stress.

Full or considerable adaptation of the law exists in areas that have a horizontal

nature: law on companies, statistics, copyright and related law, customs regulations -

somewhat less customs practice. „Branch” sectors also deserve a high mark from

the point of view of the degree of adaptation to EU law: banking services, the power

engineering industry.

One can say of most areas of Polish law that there is partial adaptation, but the

degree of adaptation in individual parts of these sectors varies considerably. Among

them is the competition policy (high degree - as regards rules of competition of

private enterprises, lower - as regards public enterprises and state assistance),

transport policy (high degree - road transport, lower - rail and air, lowest - sea, no

regulations governing mixed transport), social policy (complete adaptation - working

conditions and safety and hygiene, partial - wages and working time, the lowest -

social security), taxes (high degree - indirect taxes, initial - direct taxes),

environmental protection (very good situation in the protection of nature law, worse -

in protection against noise). We have a lot to do - which we do not conceal - in law

governing agriculture, fishing and consumer protection.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

We are convinced that before long we will be able to meet the challenge of future

membership in the European Union. In the course of the last ten years Poland has

changed from a country governed in an undemocratic way and in a deep economic

crisis to a state based on the rule of law. Poland’s economic growth is among the

highest in Europe and for several years has been higher than the average growth

rate of the member states of the European Union and of the countries of our region

going through the transformation process.

Sustained and high economic growth, which this year will exceed 6%, has resulted in

the fall of inflation and unemployment. Agreements were reached on the reduction of

Poland’s debt with the Club of Paris and the Club of London. Poland has returned to

international capital markets, has received a higher investment ranking, and in the

last two years net foreign investments in our country exceeded 12 bn US dollars (in

1996 around 5 bn US dollars, in 1997 - around 7 bn). Poland is also the first country

of the region to exceed the level of output before 1989. This is confirmed by the

latest reports of German specialists, including those published recently by FAZ


The present government is continuing the fundamental reforms of the state started in

1989 by the „Solidarity” camp. Although these reforms are not covered by strict

adaptation actions, they are turning Poland into a modern state with a smoothly

functioning market economy.

The government wants to create the conditions for the functioning of a strong state

with an efficient government administration and activity of regional and local

communities. The administrative reform currently being debated will serve this

purpose. A three-level territorial division will be introduced, with a dozen or more

provinces and self-governing districts and communes. The decentralisation of public

finances will go together with the territorial reform.

This reform will bring Poland closer to the standards of the European Union states

and will make a major contribution to the effective conduct of regional and structural

policy within the Union. On this matter we are counting on the experience of our

German partners, especially that of recent years.

Returning to the Polish reforms - an amendment is being prepared to the health

insurance act and the reform of health care, which is supposed to take effect starting

from next year. The government has approved the act on pension funds. A reform of

the judicial system is planned and being widely consulted.

Legal regulations are being prepared such as the act entrusting the execution of

public tasks to non-public entities, especially to associations and foundations, which

will permit implementing the idea of a civil society and realising the principle of

helpfulness of the state.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Preparations for membership in the Union are stimulating structural reforms in our

country, and carrying these reforms to a conclusion is Poland’s greatest chance.

Integration with the Union will serve to accelerate economic growth, the

modernisation of Poland’s economy and the legal system. Changes in so-called

sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, the steel industry and mining, are in the

interest of our country In this process some German Länder may serve as an

example for us. They formerly decided to restructure and modernise industry and are

now achieving very good economic results.

To be sure, the restructuring, modernisation and privatisation programmes will not be

carried out by a simple reduction of productive potential, but will lead to a situation

where the restructured enterprises will be capable of competing on the Union and

world markets. On June 8th the Polish side submitted the plan for restructuring the

mining industry. This will be the first state sector of heavy industry that will be

adapted to Union principles of competition. It will be a model for other sectors, such

as heavy chemistry, shipbuilding, coal mining. We are expecting that it will also be an

example for other states of Central Europe aspiring for membership in the Union.

The programme assumes that by 2005, even by 2010, the productive capacities of

Polish steel mills will not increase above today’s level of 13.4 mn tonnes annually,

and the production will be geared to products of enhanced value. The programmes

calls for a reduction of employment in the steel industry of 40 thousand workers. We

expect that by 2005 the efficiency of all Polish mills ought to be comparable with their

competitors in the member states of the European Union.

In the government’s privatisation plans to 2001, which stipulate the privatisation of

assets worth 75 bn PLN, the most important goal will be the privatisation of coal

mining, the power engineering industry, the steel and chemical industries. This year’s

plans include continued privatisation of the banking, petroleum, insurance and

telecommunications sectors as well as concluding privatisation of the pharmaceutical

industry. These works are under way.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Poland is attempting to adapt to and accept new solutions consistent with the

Schengen laws. Four new acts: on foreigners, on combating drug use, on the

protection of personal information and on the census will bring us close to Union

standards very quickly. Our Services engaged in the fight with organised crime are

working with their counterparts in many countries all over the world, including with


For Poland, one of the most important aspects of co-operation is to build and

develop a modern infrastructure for the future borders of the European Union.

Intensive work is going on to develop the infrastructure on the eastern border of

Poland, financed mainly from the state budget but also with EU funds. The actions

we are taking aim at the creation of an infrastructure which, on the one hand, would

be a barrier to all negative phenomena, especially those connected with organised

crime, illegal migration, the smuggling of goods and persons, narcotics trafficking

and terrorism, but on the other would not hamper mutual trade and tourist contacts

with our eastern partners. Poland, however, will strive for visa-free travel, because

we treat Schengen seriously and do not want to introduce any special, exceptional

regulations in this area.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

The declaration of the Polish government presented during the opening of the

accession negotiations emphasises that we share with the European Union both

values based on a common foundation of Christianity as well as the conviction that

the principles of equality, solidarity and helpfulness lie at the foundations of

European integration. The goal of the European Union always has been to increase

the development changes of individual member states, regions and social groups.

That is why we are going to carefully follow the French-German initiative directed at

ensuring the primacy of the principle of helpfulness and cultural diversity of the

members of the European Union.

The declaration also states that „with attention we are observing the growing

importance in the practice of the European Union of the principle of helpfulness. It

guarantees respect for national sovereignty, ensures realisation of the powers of

regional and local authorities and creates the possibility for the active participation of

local communities in the social and economic life of the states of the Union. In our

understanding it combines with the striving for greater transparency and

democratisation of the European Union, which should be factors encouraging

citizens to take an active part in European integration.”

Ladies and Gentlemen!

The enlargement process of the EU will bring political, social and economic benefits

not only to Poland and other candidates for Union membership, but also to the Union

itself. This is demonstrated in particular today by the status of mutual trade turnover.

The threat for Poland and other states aspiring to the Union would be for the Union

to concentrate on its own „internal” problems and to put enlargement in the

background. Poland, which is making an enormous adaptation effort and bearing the

costs associated with this, expects that the Union also will be ready for our


We are aware that certain aspects of the integration of the states of Central and

eastern Europe with the European Union arouse real concerns in Germany and other

EU states. This concerns especially such questions as: financing enlargement

without increasing the financial burdens of net payers of the European Union, the

free movement of labour from the candidate countries, ensuring effective control

over the external borders of the EU, integration in sensitive sectors, especially in

agriculture. On the other hand, one cannot fail to notice that enlargement will also

bring tangible benefits to the states of the Union: benefits resulting from the scale of

production, increasing trade, development of specialisation and expansion of

investments, resulting in greater competitiveness of European firms, a higher rate of

economic growth. In our opinion, the threats for the EU should be seen not in the

direct consequences of the access of the states of Central and South-Eastern

Europe, but rather in the too slow and incomplete scope of this process.

A calculation of the economic benefits and costs for both sides - of the candidate

states and the states of the Union - appear simple to carry out on the surface. The

results of various economic simulations should be viewed with caution. Various

centres many times have tried to estimate the enlargement costs, but the results

differ greatly depending on the assumptions made. They can even create or deepen

biases, which will be hard to change afterwards.

Germany will unquestionably benefit from enlargement. This is already visible today.

Last year alone Germany’s exports to Poland rose by 20%, in the other direction - by

13%. Among the EU states Germany has been Poland’s biggest trading partner

without interruption since 1990: Germany accounts for 39% of Poland’s exports and

27% of imports. Poland is Germany’s leading trading partner among the states of

Central and Eastern Europe, even ahead of Russia.

We are pleased that economic circles in Germany stress the benefits for the FRG

and the Union from enlargement. This was highlighted in the December report on

enlargement and Agenda 2000 of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and

Industry and in the report of the Bertelsmann Foundation entitled „Benefits, Chances

and Costs of EU Enlargement”, prepared at the summit of the European Union in


Poland’s entry into the European structures is not an easy process and will require

both sides to overcome many contradictory or seemingly contradictory interests. We

hope that Germany will support our efforts to gain membership

   by Aleksander Kwaśniewski
President of the Republic of Poland
      in the Academy of Law
     Kharkov, 26th June, 1998

                                Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Dear Mr. Rector, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am very happy to be able to visit Kharkov. Your city - the first capital of Ukraine

after 1918 - is a great centre of science, technology, industry and culture. Your

school - The Kharkov Academy of Law - is widely known in your country and also

abroad, including in Poland. Permit me to use my stay with you and our present

meeting to present my opinion on the most important challenges facing the world,

Europe, Poland and its neighbours in the immediate years ahead. For obvious

reasons I will present a look from the Polish point of view. However, I do not believe

that it will be strikingly different from yours. For I have the strong feeling that - as a

Polish saying has it - „we are riding together in the same cart.”

Ladies and Gentlemen!

The run of misfortunes that plagued the history of our part of the continent for the

last   two-three   centuries   is   turning   around.     If      progress   is   measured   by

accomplishments - then in only a few years we passed through an entire epoch.

        However, in its dynamics history is never satisfied with the status quo. There

is even a saying that nothing in the world is constant except changes. In the past

several years Poland and Ukraine travelled a long and difficult road. This was a road

leading to something better, although the positive results of the changes are still not

felt everywhere. In our part of Europe transformation is more than just the process of

setting the economy straight. It is also opening up to the world. So it is worth

examining more closely what this world looks like, what lies in store for it.

Whereas in the previous period the situation was shaped by the political strategies of

two great powers, today thinking in categories of East - West is insufficient to

understand global processes and events. It is also anachronistic and meaningless to

think in categories of spheres of influences and zones of special interests. The focal

point of international relations is ever more clearly shifting from politics in the

traditional sense to the economy. The system of economic ties is becoming ever

more complicated. The world today finds itself in an emerging multi-polar epoch. The

criteria of the emergence of these poles are varied: from cultural-civilisational,

through geopolitical to economic. It is hard nowadays to say how many and which

poles will arise and how the forces between them will act.

       The 20th century did not fulfil the hopes placed in it by humanity. I also believe

there are many reasons why we should not look to the coming century with

exaggerated optimism. For the first time since the industrial revolution we have been

bereft of the conviction that the mechanisms of development guarantee sons a better

life than their fathers enjoyed. As in the stories of Lewis Carroll, perhaps we will have

to run as fast as we can to stay in the same place. For the 21 st century, I believe, will

be a century of partnership and co-operation, but it will also be a century of growing


The rapid development of other regions of the world is also forcing Europe to

accelerate. In the 21st century we are going to be faced with the global challenge of

competitiveness and - undoubtedly - a peaceful „clash of civilisations” An ever more

nagging question in such a situation is whether Europe will be able to face world

competition. Has the political, social and economic model that for such a long time

was Europe’s driving force burned itself out? Is continued dynamism of civilisation

still possible in Europe? Or - to use a more technocratic language - will Europe be

able to compete successful in the world race to lower manufacturing costs? Let us try

to reflect at this moment on what Europeanism is today. Among the historical

experiences   that   over    the   centuries   united   our    continent   were   great

accomplishments. There were also contradictions, tragedies and anxieties. We

cannot deny either the one or the other. All of them combined to make up what we

are today. Europeanism - is an active, open and creative attitude. It is democracy,

freedom, criticism, tolerance. Europeanism is the capacity for change. Europeanism

is the acknowledgement of the equal value of all cultures. Europeanism - is also

partnership, civilised work relationships, a social market economy, strong local civic

communities. Europeanism - is enterprise, but also social sensitivity, solidarity with

the weaker and those needing assistance. If they are protected and made universal,

all these values will make the world better. Let us not deceive ourselves that the

picture of Europe was always like this and always will be, but without question these

values ate the fruit of European soil. I am convinced that the civilisation of mankind

would be much poorer if it were not for the European factor.

                            by Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski
                         President of the Republic of Poland
                      at the ceremony of laying the cornerstone
                         under the Polish military cemetery
                              Kharkov, 27th June, 1998

                                Translated by Chester A. Kisiel

Dear Mr. President,
Dear Audience,

Words are always inadequate in the face of tragedy, in the face of suffering. Here - in

the deepest pain and deepest respect - one only wishes to remain silent. However,

this place - like Katyń and Miednoje - cries for words. Constantly speaking the truth

about the Katyń crime and vowing that we will always remember is the duty of every

one of us living today and is also a great collective responsibility of the independent

and democratic Republic of Poland.

The murder perpetrated on more than twenty thousand Polish officers, soldiers of the

Border Guard, judges and policemen was one of the many crimes of the blood-thirsty

Stalinist system. The mind is incapable of comprehending the enormity of the

suffering inflicted upon millions of people by this ghastly machine of terror. Vast

areas of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus conceal the bones of countless victims,

tortured and murdered. The „Golgotha of the East”, the „inhuman land” the „Gulag

archipelago” are words we use for what cannot be grasped and cannot be

comprehended. For centuries to come the dumb shout of all the victims of the crime

will ring out, this terrible reminder of our twentieth century.

However, in the collective mind of Poles the Katyń crime occupies a special place. It

is a deep wound of which we must constantly speak - precisely so that it could heal.

For the scale and perfidy of this crime will always horrify us; the cynicism and

duplicity with which the attempt was made to conceal the truth about the martyrdom

of the prisoners of Starobielsk, Ostaszowa and Kozielsk will always benumb us. We

remember that the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, which has such a sinister connotation in

our history, put them behind barbed wires. We also remember that the truth about

the Katyń crime was covered up for decades, was held back not only in the East but

also in the West. The Katyń tragedy is a symbol describing Poland’s fate.

I convey expressions of highest respect to those who were not silent, who searched

for the truth, who shouted out this truth loudly to the world. Those of whom this

Kharkov cross and the crosses in Katyń remind us were prisoners of war - in a war

that Poland did not declare. Sentence was passed on them, even though no charges

were made against them and no trial was held. Stalin, Beria and other members of

the Soviet leadership ordered them to be shot only because the prisoners wore

Polish uniforms, because they were faithful to their soldier’s oath, because they

constituted the elite of the independent Republic. At the same time when the

executioners from the NKVD were killing Polish officers with a shot in the back of the

head, in May 1940 the Nazis in Oświęcim were establishing a huge camp, to which

members of the Polish intelligentsia arrived in the first transports. This coincidence of

dates is a symbol of the darkest pages of our history. That is why Katyń, Miednoje

and Kharkov will always unite Poles in the comprehension of our identity - as

necropolises and as sanctuaries of the collective memory. They are also an appeal

to other nations - a voice against evil, violence, the humiliation of the human being, a

voice calling for truth, reconciliation and a new Europe.

Mr. President of the Republic of Ukraine,

In this soil are buried the mortal remains of more than four thousand three hundred

Polish officers. In this same place sixty mass graves conceal the ashes of more than

two thousand victims of Stalinist repression. Most of them are residents of Kharkov

itself and of the Kharkov district. For many years, by the same „dark road”, their

bodies were brought here and placed into nameless graves. This place is a place of

pain and despair for Ukraine as well; it is a symbol of everything this nation had to

suffer under totalitarian rule. Arrests, deportations and convict prisons were the lot of

millions of inhabitants of this land. People will always remember the terrible hunger in

Ukraine, which was caused by the Stalinist authorities. After these tragic experiences

the war front and terror of the Nazi occupier swept through this land. Not far away

from this cross is an obelisk that commemorates more than five hundred thousand

victims who fell in fighting the invader. History for our two nations was terrible. This

cemetery is a testimony of our passage through hell, of our similar tragic fates. It is a

place of common reflection on the wounds of the past, on the history of our part of

Europe and on the challenges we must meet in order to overcome the ill fortune of

the past time.

Dear Listeners,

We came here out of a feeling of moral responsibility to the victims of a great crime.

No person can say whether there is any redress for such great evil, whose memory

continues to move us. However, let us do everything that we can.

The truth moves in the direction of redress. Much is already known about the

circumstances of this crime, about its perpetrators, about the actions to conceal it, to

cover it over with silence and forgetfulness. We are depositories of this truth and

wish to share it with other nations of Eastern Europe that have suffered terrible

tragedies. We contribute to redress when we perform what is called the „last offices”.

We are giving these unhappy ashes a decent burial. To eternal memory we are

restoring from anonymous non-existence the first and last names of the victims, on

their graves we are placing crosses or the signs of hope of other faiths. May no one

be forgotten! In laying in this place a cornerstone blessed by John Paul II, the Polish

Pope, on the sixtieth anniversary of the Katyń crime we would like cemeteries to be

established here, in Kharkov, as well as in Katyń and Miednoje, at which the flame of

an ever-burning fire can bear witness to our memory. We are also heartened by the

fact that the redress can take place today, which is so different from those times.

Today we are living in a different world, in a new Europe, built on the pillars of

freedom, law and democracy. It is not violence, not totalitarian ideologies that decide

people’s fates, but they are illumined by the common effort towards reconciliation,

good-will and good-neighbourly relations. A very good example of this is everything

that we have succeeded in achieving in partner-like co-operation and ever closer

friendship between Poland and Ukraine. That is why, in this place and at this

moment, I address great thanks to our Ukrainian neighbours who helped us to fulfil

this collective responsibility of Polish consciences.

Dear Audience,

Katyń, Miednoje and Kharkov are names that our memory will always recall with

pain. However, all of us want to find a meaning and even hope among the depths of

evil. That is why here, in the cemetery of Kharkov land, we once again utter a

thought that so often must have strengthened Poles: „Gloria victis!” Praise to the

vanquished, for to them belongs the moral victory.

We bow our heads before the martyrdom of the victims. Independent Poland will

never forget about them.

Peace to their memory!

May they rest in peace!

                                    by Mr. Jerzy Buzek
                         Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
              at the conference of the U.S. - E.U. - Poland Action Commission
                                 Warsaw, 30th June, 1998

Mr. Chairman!
Ladies and Gentlemen!

       Speaking to such a prestigious audience is a good opportunity to reflect upon

the achievements of recent months and to think about the tasks which lie ahead in

the future.

      From the beginning my government has faced a difficult mission. The coalition

of the Solidarity Election Action Committee with the Freedom Union was formed as a

result of the growing awareness of the Polish people that the transformation process

in Poland was stagnating and that it was time to do something about it. We were

entrusted by the majority of the Polish voters with a mandate to continue the process

of reforming the State. I can assure you that from the first day of being in office, the

members of my cabinet have taken this mandate seriously.

      On the top of the list of the government’s priorities ranks finalisation of the

systemic changes that were started in 1989. Our work has been concentrating on

devising a new retirement and social security system, developing the reform of the

health care system and completing the reform of the public administration.

Furthermore, we have been concentrating our efforts on the process of restructuring

and privatising state enterprises. All of these actions are crucial for the creation of a

state with which the Polish people can identify. Needless to say, these changes are

also vital for making Poland eligible for entry into the European Union.

      The most advanced reforms today are the reform of the public administration

and the reform of the retirement system. The reform of the public administration aims

at introducing two new levels of territorial self-government. This change will give local

communities and regional entities more powers as well as lead to the

decentralisation of public spending.

      The reform of the retirement system will make it possible to insure employees

in private retirement funds. The Polish Parliament has already passed bills that will

allow the setting up of General Funds (Powszechne Fundusze) and Retirement

Corporations (Towarzystwa Emerytalne) starting next year. This step will not only

improve the retirement system but will also contribute o the development of the

Polish capital market.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

       We all know that reforms cost. The government will concentrate on the

priorities and will limit budget spending. In the longer perspective this will allow us to

decrease the level of taxation and to contribute more funds to investments.

       My government plans to finance the reforms partly from the financial sources

that will be obtained through privatisation. Speeding up privatisation is an important

component of the government’s policy. A schedule for privatising most of the largest

enterprises and economic sectors has already been devised and privatisation should

be finished by the year 2001.

       In the near future my government plans to privatise, among others, Polish

Telecom, Polish Airlines (LOT), Polish Railways (PKP), Polish Bus Transport (PKS)

as well as the entire energy sector and state-owned banks. Privatisation aims at

ensuring that Poland maintains fast and stable economic growth that will create new

jobs and improve the living standard of our citizens.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

       Thinking of reforming the national economy in the international context implies

the need for a good foreign policy. Poland is now in a unique situation in which it is

not absorbed by the quest for its independence and by its own internal problems. We

can devote a lot of our attention to external issues, those which face our neighbours,

Europe and the Atlantic community. Poland once again can take its seat at the table

of large and responsible nations of Europe.

       For decades that seat remained vacant. However, the conviction that this

country has international obligations never left those who devoted their lives to a free

and independent Poland. Next year we will be celebrating the 10 anniversary of the

formation of the first non-communist government in Central and Eastern Europe. The

establishment of that government in Poland had a domino effect in our region.

Poland’s independence paved the way for the independence of others.

       The first „Solidarity”-led government was also the first one to have a sovereign

foreign policy. Some of you may still remember the large number of Western experts

who feared an independent Poland. None of the bleak scenarios has ever come true.

There were no serious problems with the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Poland

and their transit from Germany. Poland was one of the first states to recognise the

independence of Lithuania and the first to recognise the independence of Ukraine.

The issue of Poland’s borders with Germany has been settled satisfactorily. Today

Poland has almost exemplary relations with all states in the region, including Russia.

       This responsible foreign policy has been to our advantage. But Poland also

used the opportunities that were opened to it. This can be observed in particular with

regard to co-operation with NATO.

       One of the possibilities for enhancing Poland’s co-operation with the Alliance

was the Partnership for Peace Programme, which we have never underestimated

and in which we participate very actively. We have also been much involved in the

recent negotiations on NATO’s common position with regard to the revision of the

CFE treaty. Let me assure you that my government will spare no efforts and will

continue to strengthen Poland’s position as an equal and trustworthy partner within

the North Atlantic Alliance, which we hope to join in full capacity next year.

       The responsibility of Polish foreign policy came to light recently in our relations

with Russia. My government hopes that upon Poland’s full entry into NATO we will

be able to contribute positively to the NATO-Russia relationship. As Russia’s direct

neighbour we are particularly interested in that country’s success on its road to

democracy and a free market economy.

      President Clinton spoke recently in Berlin of the need to draw Russia closer to

the Atlantic community. I fully share this view. As a member of NATO Poland will

contribute to the efforts of using the potential of the NATO-Russia Charter. Some of

our Russian friends, I believe, have not yet full realised the historic significance of

this document and the possibilities that the NATO-Russia Council has to offer them.

      Another country high on Poland’s foreign policy agenda is Ukraine. We

welcome Foreign Minister Tarasiuk’s declaration that Ukraine is considering

becoming a full-fledged member of NATO and the European Union. Let me assure

our Ukrainian partners of our support for their pro-Western stance. We hope that

NATO’s New Strategic Concept will include a clause stating that the freedom and

independence of Ukraine is vital for the Alliance as well as for peace and stability on

the European continent.

      Poland supports the independence of the Baltic States and hopes to avoid the

isolation of Belarus and Slovakia. As a NATO member Poland will work towards

formulating a common allied strategy for dealing with Belarus and Slovakia in order

to help these States return to the path of democracy.

      We can be very proud of our relations with Germany. Poland has become

Germany’s leading trade partner. In spite of the historical experiences of yesteryear,

the liking of Poles for the Germans is constantly on the rise.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

      For some time to come the North Atlantic Alliance will be the most explicit

forum of the Polish presence in the Western structures. The time when Poland will

also be a member of the European Union is drawing closer, however. We started the

screening procedure in March and the negotiations with the European Union are well

under way.

       Poland wants to join the European Union for several reasons. We view

Poland’s EU membership as the next step after NATO membership in securing our

position as part of the Western community of nations. We also see Poland’s

membership in the EU as a confirmation of our place in the sphere of Western

civilisation that is based on Christian values.

       Joining the European Union makes sense when Poland and other Central and

eastern European States will be able to become part of this club on equal terms. The

European Union would cease to be a „union” if some of its members faced long

transitional periods.

       Apart from strategic and spiritual reasons, Poland also has an economic

interest in joining the EU. The countries of the Union are Poland’s largest trading

partners. In the year 2002, on the basis of our Association Agreement with the EU,

Poland will be an almost complete participant of the Union’s common market. Where

our economic interests are at stake we are naturally interested in obtaining an

adequate political presence.

       We understand that the Union must carry out internal reforms. The process of

their co-ordination and implementation, however, cannot serve as an excuse for

keeping Poland away from full EU membership. I believe that it would be unnatural if

Poland did not become an EU member at the time when all of the terms of Poland’s

Association Agreement with the EU are met.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

       As one of the largest and most successful states in our region Poland has a

moral obligation and an economic interest in helping its less fortunate neighbours.

This means that we have more duties and responsibilities than others.

       Almost seventeen years ago during the first and historic congress of

„Solidarity” in Gdańsk, its delegates passed the „Message (Posłanie) to the nations

of Central and Eastern Europe”. The resolution declared support for the

independence and freedom of our neighbours. Today, in quite a new situation, my

government has remained faithful to the ideals of that resolution. We declare our

support for the integration of our neighbours with Western structures and are willing

to help them in this respect.

       The conference that you are attending has the object of portraying the Polish

experience. It is, therefore, an excellent example of the direction in which our efforts

should go. Professor Brzeziński, let me once again thank you for this initiative and for

inviting delegations from Romania and Ukraine to this conference. I am sure that the

distinguished delegates from those two countries will be able to gather some

valuable information that they will be able to use in their home countries. I am

convinced that more initiatives of this kind will follow.

       Thank you for your attention.


      1st - 3rd - President Aleksander Kwaśniewski was on a visit to Lisbon, where

he was a guest of the Polish Day during World Expo ’98. President Kwaśniewski held

private talks with the President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio, after which it was

announced that the Portuguese President would visit Poland in September. „We

spoke about the most important matters; the European Union, NATO, bilateral co-

operation, Ukraine and Russia - said Aleksander Kwaśniewski. In the opinion of the

Polish President, it is worth studying the road travelled by Portugal since democracy

was established there 24 years ago.

      1st - 3rd - A delegation of the National Security Committee of the Diet of the

Republic of Lithuania headed by Speaker Juozapas Algirdas Katkus was on a visit to

Poland. The Lithuanian guests called on Diet Speaker Maciej Płażyński, with whom

they discussed parliamentary co-operation of Lithuanian and Poland in the security

and defence area. Speaker Katkus expressed thanks for the support of the Polish

Diet and Senate to the efforts of the Republic of Lithuania to gain membership in

NATO and the European Union. They also spoke about the ratification procedure of

the Polish-Lithuanian treaty, on the common state border and on the interstate social

security treaty. In the Polish Diet the Lithuanian deputies also met with the Presidium

of the National Defence Committee, the Special Services Committee and with the

Polish-Lithuanian Parliamentary Group. The Lithuanian guests held talks in the

Ministry of National Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Security Bureau and

National Security Bureau.

      2nd - Minister of Foreign Affairs Bronisław Geremek, as the Chairman-in-Office

of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, issued a declaration in

which he expressed the opinion that the parliamentary elections in Montenegro,

conducted in a proper manner, in peace and without manipulation, would help start

the democratisation process of Yugoslavia. „This is a significant step towards

democracy in all Yugoslavia” - stated Bronisław Geremek. In the opinion of the

OSCE, the elections in Montenegro will also bolster the stability of the region.

      3rd - While on a visit to Poland, a group of Turkish parliamentarians headed by

the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of the Turkish

Republic Murat Karayalcin called on Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek. The main subjects

of the talks were: Polish-Turkish bilateral co-operation and Poland’s future

membership in NATO. Prime Minister Buzek emphasised the very good state of

Polish-Turkish relations and mentioned the historical ties between the two countries.

The head of the Polish government stressed that Poland is striving for closer bilateral

relations with Turkey, especially economic co-operation. In the opinion of the Polish

Prime Minister, the process of Poland’s integration with NATO will be a major

impulse to more intense Polish-Turkish co-operation. Jerzy Buzek noted that Poland

is expecting quick ratification by the Turkish parliament of Poland’s membership in

the North Atlantic Alliance.

       4th - Wolfgang Schaeuble, head of the CDU-CSU fraction in the Bundestag,

was on a visit to Poland, during which he called on President Aleksander

Kwaśniewski, Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek and met with Deputy Prime Minister

Leszek Balcerowicz and the leader of Election Action „Solidarity” Marian Krzaklewski.

The German politician also met with members of the German minority in Poland and

delivered a lecture in the College of Business in Warsaw, during which he said that

the consequence of the transition periods needed to attain Poland’s full integration

with the European Union must not be a constant postponement of the date of

accession to the EU. The talks with Prime Minister Buzek concerned Polish-German

bilateral relations and the integration of Poland with the Euro-Atlantic and European

structures. Jerzy Buzek with satisfaction noted the very good state of relations

between the two states.

       6th - 7th - Prime Minister Buzek made a visit to Austria, where he attended the

conference „Europe - Forum Wachau”, held for the fourth time in the Benedictine

monastery of the abbacy of Göttweig in the Wachau valley. The meeting was held

under the motto: „European Union 1998: Challenges for the Austrian Leadership”.

On 1st July Austria assumed the helm of the EU for the next six-month period. In

addition to Prime Minister Buzek, the most distinguished foreign guest was the head

of the Spanish government Jose Maria Aznar. „Naming the time at which Poland

may be received into the European Union would be very helpful to strengthening the

support of Poles for the reforms being carried out in our country. Poland, which

always was distinguished for cultural and religious tolerance, finds confirmation for its

actions in the Union. The assumption of leadership of the Union by Austria is a good

sign for us” - said Jerzy Buzek, who expressed the hope that the negotiations could

begin already during the screening of the law of the candidate countries.

      8th - 10th - Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of internal Affairs and

Administration Janusz Tomaszewski was on a visit to the USA, where he signed an

agreement with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) giving Polish penal

prosecution agencies access to the American data bank on cars stolen in the USA.

Through Internet, the Polish department of internal affairs will to able to review data

belonging to the FBI National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Thanks to this,

access to information about stolen cars as well as boats will be possible in a few

minutes. Cars stolen in the USA often appear in Poland and other countries of

Eastern Europe and the former USSR. The FBI says that after the fall of the Berlin

Wall the number of requests from European countries for access to American stolen

car data banks increased greatly.

      11th - While on a visit to Poland, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, together

with Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek, opened the Home of Young People’s Meetings in

Krzyżowa near Świdnica (Wałbrzych province). Since 1994 around 10 thousand

school pupils and students from Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Belarus and other

countries of Eastern Europe have attended meetings held in Krzyżowa. „Everyone

who has retained sensitivity and openness to historical events will sense that this is

an important day in the history of the German nation. I hope that it is also an

important day for the Polish nation, but I am certain that it is an important day for

Europe” - said Chancellor Kohl. Both politicians accented the importance of contacts

among young people from Poland, Germany and other countries for building the

future integrated Europe. The Home in the palace complex of Krzyżowa was

established as the result of decisions taken during the meeting in Krzyżowa of

Helmut Kohl with the then Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki on 12 th November,


        11th - Minister of National Defence Janusz Onyszkiewicz was on a visit to

Brussels, were he attended a meeting of NATO defence ministers. „Poland accepts

without changes 50 defence tasks assigned by NATO, and is ready to carry out the

other 20 under the condition of spreading them out in time” - declared Minister

Onyszkiewicz, who said that after the changes made during the negotiations with

NATO the modernisation of the Polish Army by 2012 will cost about 10 bn dollars.

The defence tasks themselves, which were formally accepted by the Alliance during

the meeting in Brussels, are supposed to be completed either by April 1999

(Poland’s accession to NATO) or by the end of 2003.

        12th - 13th - In Stockholm, a meeting was held of Heads of European Houses

of Parliament, attended by Diet Speaker Maciej Płażyński and his wife as well as

Senate Speaker Alicja Grześkowiak, who emphasised the importance of the work of

parliament in the political and constitutional transformations in Poland. „The

transformations in Poland need financial and technical support from our European

partners. Another serious challenge for the Polish Parliament are social problems,

chiefly unemployment, which rises during economic transformations. It is absolutely

necessary to continue the reforms, however, especially in view of Poland’s future

membership in the European Union. Europe, which has common, Christian roots,

ought to respect the right of nations to express their identity in accordance with the

cultural heritage” - said Speaker Grześkowiak.

           th      th
      13 - 16 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Bronisław Geremek was on an unofficial

visit to Italy, where he attended international symposia on foreign policy. In the Polish

Institute in Rome Minister Geremek conveyed to Gustaw Herling-Grudziński the

Order of the White Eagle (the oldest and highest Polish honorary distinction) from

President Aleksander Kwaśniewski. President Kwaśniewski awarded this distinction

to the author of „Another World” and „A Diary Written at Night” in recognition of his

great services to the Republic of Poland, for outstanding literary creativity and his

contribution to the development of Polish culture. The Order of the White Eagle was

created in 1705 by King Augustus II. It was restored in 1921 after Poland regained

independence in 1918 and once again in 1992 after the changes in the form of

government in 1989.

      14        - Secretary-General of NATO Javier Solana was on a visit to Poland,

where he was a guest of the Congress of the Association of European Journalists. In

his address at a meeting with journalists Javier Solana focused his attention on the

situation in the Balkans, especially in Kosovo. „NATO cannot stand aside. The

situation that existed in Bosnia in 1991 must not be repeated. We are ready to

support with military means international diplomacy that is trying to resolve the crisis

over Kosovo” - declared Secretary-General Solana. In his opinion, there are no more

obstacles on the road to ratification by the other states of the NATO „16” of the

documents on the accession of Poland (as well as the Czech Republic and Hungary)

to the North Atlantic Alliance. The formal access of these three states to NATO

would take place in April 1999. After the admission of three states from Central

Europe, NATO will continue its policy of „open doors” to the next states - added

Javier Solana.

         th    th
      15 - 16 - United States Defense Secretary William Cohen was on a visit to

Poland, during which he called on President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Prime Minister

Jerzy Buzek and Leszek Balcerowicz and also met with his counterpart Janusz

Onyszkiewicz. The main subjects of William Cohen’s talks with Polish politicians

were: Poland’s integration with NATO, the security of Central Europe and the

situation in the Balkans, especially the conflict in Kosovo. Prime Minister Buzek and

Minister Onyszkiewicz underscored the allied ties linking Poland with the United

States. William Cohen was the first such high-ranking American notable to visit

Poland after the ratification of the NATO Accession Protocol by the American

Senate. „You profess the same values and ideals as we do. That is why the Senate

voted to admit Poland to NATO” - emphasised the American guest, who in a talk with

Prime Minister Buzek stated that Poland not only has the will but is also capable of

being a good ally and a good member of NATO.

      16th - 17th - Minister of Foreign Affairs Bronisław Geremek, as the Chairman-

in-Office of the OSCE, was in Vienna, where he attended a meeting of the

Permanent Council of the OSCE. Minister Geremek declared himself in favour of

strengthening the activity of the Organisation in conflict prevention. The OSCE

expects that Belgrade will take „concrete steps” to resolve the crisis in Kosovo.

Bronisław Geremek stated that the conflict in Kosovo is a „test for Europe”. He

emphasised that the OSCE expects „clear signals of good will” from Belgrade. The

head of the Polish foreign service also said that one should consider whether the

Kosovo Liberation Army should not be brought into the peace process. The

Chairman of the OSCE spoke on telephone about Kosovo with Russian Foreign

Minister Yevgeni Primakov. According to the head of the Polish foreign service, the

reintegration of the new Yugoslavia with the OSCE would be possible under the

condition of the co-operation of Belgrade authorities in resolving the Kosovo crisis.

      17th - The Prime Minister of Lower Saxony Gerhard Schroeder was on a visit

to Poland, during which he met with President Aleksander Kwaśniewski. The

candidate of the Social Democratic Party of Germany for Chancellor assured

President Kwaśniewski that before elections to the Bundestag Polish-German

relations would not be a bargaining chip. Gerhard Schroeder believes that the

enlargement of the Union is in the strategic interest of the Federal Republic of

Germany. In the opinion of the German guest, the purpose of his visit to Warsaw,

which took place exactly on the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Polish-

German treaty on good-neighbourly relations, was to emphasise the importance of

relations with Poland. Gerhard Schroeder gave a speech entitled „Poland and

Germany - Neighbours in Europe and for Europe”, in which speaking of the merits of

„Solidarity” for the peaceful defeat of Communism, he admitted that his party had

committed an error in not „treating the anti-Communist opposition in Poland seriously


      17th - A delegation of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal headed by

Antonio de Almeida Santos called on Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek. The subject matter

of the talks included European integration, the role of national parliaments and

values common to Europeans. Also taken up were problems connected with

education of the young generation and the role of television in this process. Antonio

de Almeida Santos pointed out the similarities in the experiences of the two

countries, which in certain historical periods lost independence. In his opinion, for

Poland Portugal today may be a kind of laboratory, from which Poland should profit

in the process of moving towards membership in the European Union. He also

expressed the support of Portugal for Poland’s aspirations for membership in the

European Community. The two politicians agreed that the processes of globalisation

currently taking place, an expression of which is also the European Union, will imply

certain limitations of the sovereignty of nation-states.

       22nd - 23rd - The seventh annual session was held in Nyborg (Denmark) of the

Council of the Baltic Sea States. The Polish delegation was headed by Foreign

Minister Bronisław Geremek. It was decided that the Council would have a

permanent secretariat in Stockholm, and its head would be the Pole Jacek

Starościak (former President of Gdańsk, presently Consul General of the Republic of

Poland in London). The document „Baltic 21” was adopted, which spells out the

development plans of the region until the year 2030. During the meeting in Nyborg

the foreign ministers of the Baltic states also spoke about the conflict in Kosovo and

the situation in Latvia. Bronisław Geremek, the current Chairman-in-Office of the

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, presented his view on

resolution of the Kosovo conflict: The mission of Filipe Gonzales in the name of the

OSCE could be taken up anew, talks with Belgrade, also with the participation of the

European Union, could be started immediately, the mission of OSCE observers

would be recalled from Prisztina, and Yugoslavia would receive full-fledged

membership in the Organisation.

       22nd - 24th - The IX Meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Commission of the

Republic of Poland and the European Union was held in Warsaw, attended, among

others, by Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek and Diet Speaker Maciej Płażyński. Deputy

Head of the Board for Relations with Central Europe in the European Commission

François Lamoureux said that the European Commission does not question that

Poland will be ready for membership in the European Union in 2002 or 2003.

            nd          th
       22        - 24        - The Prime Minister of Romania Radu Vasile was on a visit to

Poland, during which he called on President Aleksander Kwaśniewski and held talks

with Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek and Deputy Prime Minister Leszek Balcerowicz. The

Prime Ministers of Poland and Romania discussed how to enliven economic co-

operation. Prime Minister Buzek emphasised the very good state of Polish-Romanian

contacts, while at the same time calling attention to the fact that the volume of

mutual trade is still far below the two nations’ possibilities. The head of the Romanian

government agreed fully with the Polish Prime Minister that economic relations

between Poland and Romania do not reflect the real economic potential of the two

countries. Prime Minister Vasile noted that Romania treats Poland as the leader of

the market changes in Central-Eastern Europe. The visit to Poland was the first

foreign trip of Prime Minister Vasile after taking office in April 1998.

       23rd - Minister of Foreign Affairs Bronisław Geremek took the decision to recall

Mariusz Maszkiewicz, the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Belarus, to

Poland for consultations. The decision of Minister Geremek was dictated by violation

on the part of Belarus of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and

hampering ambassadors in the performance of their mission.

       23rd - President Aleksander Kwaśniewski was on a visit to Austria, where he

participated in the 15th session of the NATO Workshops and in the economic summit

of Central-Eastern Europe. Aleksander Kwaśniewski met with the President of

Austria Thomas Klestil, who assured that Austria wants to be the motor of

enlargement of the European Union and intends to use its chairmanship in the

second half of this year to accelerate this process. During the NATO Workshops in

Vienna Aleksander Kwaśniewski emphasised the need for further enlargement of the

Alliance and Poland’s support for the efforts of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria,

Romania and Slovenia. He also assured that „none of the leading political circles in

Poland questions the membership of our country in NATO.” The Prime Minister of

Belgium Jean-Luc Dehaene attending the economic summit in Salzburg said that the

enlargement of the European Union is a foregone conclusion.

       24th - In Warsaw Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek met with the Diplomatic Corps of

the Latin American states. During the tasks the possibility was weighed of extending

the co-operation of Poland with the countries of Central America, South America,

Spain and Portugal. The participants of the meeting agreed that political contacts

should be intensified, which would permit these states to act in unison on the forum

of international organisations. Poland was invited to next year’s meeting of the states

of Latin America and the European Union in Rio de Janeiro and to the summit of the

states of Latin America in Porto.

       25th - The Foreign Minister of Ireland David Andrews was on a visit to Poland,

during which he called on President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Prime Minister Jerzy

Buzek and met with his counterpart Bronisław Geremek. The two ministers agreed

that Poland and Ireland enjoy very good relations. David Andrews assured that his

country would continue to support Poland’s efforts in the integration process with the

European Union. According to him, Ireland does not treat Poland as a competitor but

as a partner. The subjects discussed during the meeting with Prime Minister Buzek

were Polish-Irish relations and Poland’s integration with the European structures.

Jerzy Buzek emphasised that Poland and Ireland are linked by very close ties

resulting from similar historical and cultural experiences. The head of the Polish

government assessed the present relations between the two countries as very good,

while simultaneously calling for their further intensification, especially in economic co-


       25 - While on a visit to the USA, Secretary of State in the Ministry of National

Defence Romuald Szeremietiew acquainted himself with American offers to sell

weapons. He visited, among others, Bell Helicopter in Dallas (Texas), manufacturer

of the Cobra helicopter.

       25th - During a visit to the Federal Republic of Germany Ryszard Czarnecki,

Minister-Head of the European Integration Committee, met with Minister of State in

the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs Werner Hoyer, who declared that the FRG is

in favour of commencing the real membership negotiations of the European Union

with Poland as early as in the second half of 1998.

       26th - While on a visit to Poland the Chairman of the General Assembly of the

United Nations, former Foreign Minister of Ukraine Hiennadi Udovenko, called on

Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek. The talk focused on bilateral co-operation between

Poland and Ukraine. Hiennadi Udovenko stressed the high priority of contacts with

Poland and highly rated the level of the political dialogue between the two countries.

The two politicians discussed specific projects for co-operation and also assessed

the situation in the region.

       26t - 27th - President Aleksander Kwaśniewski was on a visit to Ukraine,

where he met with President Leonid Kuchma, with whom he participated in the

ceremony of laying the cornerstone under the cemetery of victims of totalitarianism in

Piatichatki, where the Soviet NKVD in 1940 murdered 4,000 Polish officers. The

remains of 2,000 persons of other nationalities also rest there. „This cemetery is a

testimony of our passage through hell, of our similar tragic fates” - emphasised

President Kwaśniewski. „We will never forget who lies here and why. All of them,

Ukrainians and Poles, are victims of Stalinist totalitarianism” - said President


      29        - A meeting was held in Luxembourg of the foreign ministers of the

European Union, which was also attended by candidate countries to the EU. Poland

was represented by Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andrzej

Ananicz. „The countries of the European Union are agreed that in the fall of this year

political negotiations will start on the concrete conditions of the membership of

Poland, four other countries of Central Europe and Cyprus in the EU” - assured Vice-

Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Austria Wolfgang Schuessel. On 1st July Austria

will assume chairmanship of the Union for the next half year.

      29th - 30th - President Aleksander Kwaśniewski paid an unofficial visit to

Russia, where he met with President Boris Yeltsin, Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly

Chubais, Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov and the Mayor of Moscow Yuri

Luzhkov. President Kwaśniewski persuaded President Boris Yeltsin to pay an official

visit to Poland in December. It is not out of the question that Prime Minister Sergei

Kiriyenko will visit Warsaw before then. The presidents discussed bilateral relations

and some European problems. „That talk brought a lot more than I expected. I have

the feeling that we are making a certain breakthrough. We are telling the world that

the rules of the game are changing, alliances are changing, but friendship, co-

operation and normalisation result from this” - said the Polish President. It is not

excluded that in 2000 the President of Russia will take part in the opening of Polish

cemeteries in Katyń and Miednoje, where in 1940 the Soviet NKVD murdered more

than 8,000 Polish officers.

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