„ Government information on the Polish foreign policy presented by the          Minister of Foreign Affairs of the RP, Prof. Adam Daniel Rotfeld,

                     at the session of the Sejm on 21st January 2005

Mister President,
Mister Prime Minister,
Mister Speaker,
Members of the House,

I take the floor with certain anxiety and diffidence. For it is
the first time that I stand on this rostrum as the newly
appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. What is more, I am to
present to the House the priorities and tenets of Polish
foreign policy prepared under your leadership, Mister Speaker,
when you were executing the office of the Minister of Foreign
Affairs with such success.

My address opens the fourth and last annual debate on foreign
policy during this term of the Sejm. We have entered an
election year. That is significant, since the clear line
formerly separating domestic and international affairs has
become blurred in our times. I mention this, because I would
like to explain in the beginning that it is not my intention to
become involved in any way in the pre-election campaign. The
national interest of the Polish State obligate us to treat
external policy and its instrument – diplomacy – in a way
transcending party lines. I wish to ensure optimum
effectiveness of our actions and continuity in all the
undertakings initiated by Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski in
the autumn of 1989, and advanced over the next 15 years by his
successors – Andrzej Olechowski, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski,
Dariusz Rosati, Bronislaw Geremek and Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.

Mister Speaker,
Members of the House,

With those assumptions in mind, I wish to present a list of
priorities on the agenda of our foreign policy.

First, we shall continue consolidating our place in the
European Union as a responsible state, for which the Common
Foreign and Security Policy and the European Security and
Defence Policy is a platform, on the one hand, for seeking a
balance of interests, and on the other – for overcoming the
still existent divisions and preventing new ones. We shall
strive for a European Union budget for the years 2007-2013 that
meets Poland’s interests. It is our goal to ensure the highest
possible allocation for the policy of cohesion and agricultural
policy for the new member states – so that the new budget
accelerates the leveling of differences in the development of
EU states. We shall seek to attain political compromise on the
New Financial Perspective in June 2005. That is a difficult
task. However, we hope that the negotiations will be marked by
good will, without tactical delays and playing for time.

Second, as a member of the North Atlantic Alliance and the
European Union we shall seek a new opening in the relations of
the whole West with Ukraine. The democratic breakthrough that
occurred in that country has met with the understanding and
support of all responsible political forces in Poland. We
shall do everything to ensure that this breakthrough gains the
appreciation and recognition of the community of the democratic
states of the West. After all, it is an event of historic
proportions, comparable to the European ‘‘Autumn of the
Nations” in 1989. The reforms in Ukraine require support, and
its shift towards the Euro-Atlantic structures – reciprocation.
Acting bilaterally, we wish to extend the essential assistance
to the new president and government of Ukraine, and to share
our experiences in developing and consolidating democratic and
pro-European transformation. In particular, we shall seek to it
that the European Union raises its relations with Ukraine to
the level of Strategic Partnership and opens the prospect of
integration, while advocating NATO offer of a Membership Action

Third, we shall foster the privileged character of our
relations with the United States. A president friendly to the
Polish cause will stay in the White House for another four
years. The government realizes that the special character of
the Polish-American political relations has not been fully
translated to all other areas of relations. There has been an
improvement on economic issues and military cooperation - and
we intend to maintain this trend. But things are not as good
when it comes to the waiver of visas for Poles traveling to the
United States. It would be irresponsible to promise a rapid
breakthrough on this issue. We shall do everything to
accelerate the momentum of changes that would meet the
expectations of Polish society. As a new member of the European
Union and a tested ally of America, we shall strive over the
coming weeks and months to revive the spirit of the
Transatlantic community, and to erase the memory of the
grievances that hindered cooperation on both sides of the
Atlantic over the last two years.

Fourth, after the elections in Iraq, we intend to elaborate -
with the new government of that state and our allies in the
stabilization coalition – a new formula of Polish engagement in
Iraq. The elections in Iraq are an indispensable element of
normalization, even if the conditions for holding them will not
be perfect everywhere. Still, I am confident that they will
bring positive changes. They will enhance the legitimacy and
authority of the government, cooperation with Iraq’s neighbors
will improve, and the internal security structures will be able
to assume greater responsibility for the situation in that
state. The present Polish Military Contingent will be reduced.
The relevant decisions that have been taken will not undermine
our capacity to fulfill our tasks. We intend to make further
reductions, at the same time facilitating the assumption of
responsibility for the security of Iraq – by the Iraqis. But
neither we nor anybody else should harbor any illusions:
normalization of the situation in Iraq will take years and will
require active support by the international community. For many
reasons, Poland should not shirk participation in that joint
endeavor, though our contribution may take different forms. Our
presence in Iraq is likely to be of an increasingly civilian –
rather than military – nature. Increasingly, it will be Polish
companies – rather than troops – that will facilitate the
stabilization of Iraq.

Fifth, our priorities include seeking jointly with the
government of the Federal Republic of Germany a future-oriented
formula of relations between our states – a formula, that would
finally put a closure to the burdens of the past and open
qualitatively new prospects for the development of relations
between Poland and Germany. In recent months we have managed
to realise some significant achievements. Let me recall that
the German Chancellor has unambiguously declared a lack of
support of the German government for individual property
claims that could be made by citizens of the Federal Republic
of Germany. The newly-appointed plenipotentiaries of the
foreign ministers of Poland and Germany for bilateral
cooperation, have initiated their activity. We must take a
sober view – free of illusion – of the problems in relations
between our states. Such matters are not resolved by a single
act, or some magic formula. It is a process. The Polish
government is under an obligation to care for the interests of
the Polish state and its citizens, mindful not only of the
coming months or years, but of future generations – with an
awareness of the historic perspective of that task. We shall
strive to secure Polish interests, cooperating constructively,
in the spirit of European partnership, with the government of

Sixth, the government shall spare no effort to ensure that
Poland as host and organizer of the III Summit of the Council
of Europe - an organization that has integrated democratic
states of our continent for over fifty years - performs that
role well. Let me remind you that the Summit meeting will take
place in Warsaw in May of this year. It is our ambition that
the Warsaw summit should elaborate the future tasks of that
important European institution, becoming an opportunity for
deep reflection on the state of the architecture of security
and cooperation in Europe, and in Euro-Atlantic relations.
Also, we would like the Polish presidency of the Visegrad Group
to revive the sense of joint action, primarily in the framework
of the European Union. Finally, we want to leave a good
impression of the Polish presidency of the Council of Baltic
Sea States. We shall also continue our active involvement in
the work on the reform of the United Nations, presenting our
vision of a New Political Act of that organization in the 21st

Seventh, we want the coming months to change the way we think
about Poland’s possibilities of action in areas out-of-Europe.
The government issued a political signal for such an approach
with the adoption last November of a comprehensive strategy
addressed at the developing countries. We would like to see the
adoption and implementation of a Law on cooperation for
development, and the creation of the appropriate organizational

Eighth, Polish foreign policy has the task of attaining
objectives serving the Polish economy and Polish companies. The
economic transformations, privatisation and significant
liberalization of trade require corresponding changes in the
structures of Poland’s foreign representation. That means
continued integration of the resources and instruments of
foreign policy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the
diplomatic missions. That goal should also be served by the
launching of the planned Polish Agency for Economic Promotion.
The economization of Polish policy – despite considerable
departmental resistance – is necessary and requires substantial
acceleration in 2005, in view of Poland’s participation in the
common commercial policy of the EU and the need to shape the EU
policies in the interest of the Polish economy.

Honorable Members,

The challenges that Polish foreign policy has had to face in
recent months, have caused - apparently for the first time -
divisions on our political scene. Oftentimes, this Chamber has
witnessed heated disputes over such issues as the
Constitutional Treaty for Europe, or the Polish presence in
Iraq. This indicates, first and foremost, that the development
of the international situation poses questions that often do
not have one simple and easy answer. However, I do not share a
commonplace view that this is supposed to mean the end of
national consensus over the main themes and tasks of Polish
foreign policy. That claim has been refuted by the conduct of
the Polish people and unity of action of Polish politicians
over Ukraine. That issue confirmed the truth that when we
speak with one voice – we are effective in pursuing our
national interests. It would be harmful for our common
interests if the fundamental issues of Polish foreign policy
were to become entangled in short-term electoral calculations.

It is my ambition to ensure the continuity of all the
processes that serve Poland well and were launched by my
predecessors. The new political alignment and the new
government are likely put their own imprint on foreign policy.
However, the issues of fundamental importance to Poland, to its
security, should be continued. For this to happen, it is
essential to hold a thorough debate on questions that are of
fundamental significance to Poland and its foreign policy.
Hence, it is necessary to recall some elementary concepts and
issues, axioms of sort, to refresh the way they are understood.
I believe this debate will mark a substantial contribution to
this process.

Members of the House,

On 1st May 2004 Poland became a member of the European Union. It
is too early to make a full evaluation of that historic event.
Still, one thing is beyond dispute: our entry into the Union
has conclusively discredited many false predictions, fears and
concerns that were prevalent in Poland and abroad.

It has turned out that the accession of Poland and nine other
states did not undermine the political cohesion of the European
Union. Poland did not become – as had been claimed – a ‘‘Trojan
horse”, and we did not need to be taught on how to be good
Europeans. The events in Ukraine demonstrated something quite
contrary: that there are situations in which it is worthwhile
to listen to Poland very closely and that Poland’s actions
enhance the prestige of all Europe.

Members of the House,

Our membership in the European Union has become a tangible
stimulus of Poland’s development. We have received the first EU
funds and more importantly – are making good use of them. No
one has lost on our entry into the EU. Everyone has benefited.
The best example of that is the improved situation of our
farmers - the social group on behalf of which most concerns
were expressed in connection with Poland’s EU membership. Our
national identity has not been undermined. We still live in our
own country, though now it is modernizing faster. There is a
natural and quite pronounced need for a frank public debate on
the vision of Europe that we desire and our place in it. This
is so, because the next few months will bring intensive
discussions in all the member states on the vision of Europe,
its future development, its boundaries and identity in a
globalized world. An inspiration or a catalyst to launch such a
debate has been the process of ratification of the
Constitutional Treaty, discussion on the New Financial
Perspective, the question of Turkey’s future membership, and -
what is also, or even more significant from the Polish point of
view – an elaboration of concrete conditions and a date for
opening of the accession negotiations with Ukraine.

Our agenda today not only includes the issue of ratification of
the Constitutional Treaty, but also ways of boosting public
support for our membership in the EU. Ahead of us is the debate
preceding the constitutional referendum. The sovereign decision
we take will not only have crucial impact on the future
development and shape of the European Union. It will constitute
a kind of test of Polish aspirations.

Members of the House,

The Constitutional Treaty signed last year is more of a
conclusion, systematization and rearrangement of earlier
decisions, than a road map to the future. However, rejection of
the Treaty by Poland would doom our country to self-isolation,
and at best – to revival of the idea of a Europe of ‘‘two
speeds”, or a Europe of a ‘‘hard core” and a periphery. The
greatest weakness of the Treaty is its language; a search for a
compromise formula is often expressed in a bureaucratic jargon,
a lingo of civil servants addressing other civil servants.
Treaties written by representatives of 25 states are rarely
simple, clear and legible. However, it is a Treaty that despite
all its flaws – rooted in its compromise nature – duly takes
into account Polish interests.

At the same time, it is the point of departure for defining our
vision of Europe’s future. We speak of a Europe that is in
solidarity as well as cohesive, efficient and effective. For
that reason, implementation of the Lisbon Strategy will be of
key importance to Poland – today and tomorrow. It is a project
that provides for strengthening Europe’s competitiveness in the
process of globalization, first and foremost, through
investment in knowledge, new technologies and innovative
technical, economic and organizational solutions.

It is in the Polish interest for the European Union to be an
important subject of international relations, partner-like in
political relations and competitive on the global economic
scene. The rivalry on the global stage is on the rise. It poses
a strategic challenge to all the European states, including the
largest ones. It is ever more difficult for them to compete on
their own against such powers as the United States, or China or
India, both growing in strength. Only as one can Europe face
the new reality effectively. The casting of Europe in a
strategic dimension is in accordance with the Polish national
interests. From that perspective, further enlargement of the EU
eastward is to the advantage of Poland and the European Union
as a whole.

Our membership in the European Union has shifted the focus of
our diplomatic activity. Increasingly, the most important
objective is to promote our interests and win the support of EU
partners for our goals. We have demonstrated that we can be
tough campaigners in pursuit of our goals, without losing sight
of the interests of the entire EU. We have not let any one put
us in the corner, nor have we sunk into self-isolation. We
neither want to – not should we – move on the margins, or only
use the brake, or focus on damage control. The brakeman can
only reduce the speed of the joint journey, but he certainly
has no influence on its direction. We want to be, and are, an
active subject of EU policy, with growing influence of the
shape of Union decisions.

Members of the House,

A key question is on the agenda – and it merits serious
discussion: with whom and in what way do we want to pursue our
interests inside the European Union? Our strategy envisages
three basic areas of contacts. First, we cultivate close
contacts and collaboration with our strategic partners, mainly
Germany and France, and also Great Britain – with which we
share the same appreciation of the significance of the
Transatlantic relations. Second, we nurture close ties with the
states of our region, particularly members of the Visegrad
Group. And finally, third – we seek good relations and
cooperation with all Union partners, with whom we share
interests on specific issues. In other words, we are not
inclined to creating durable coalitions within the EU, but
define our position on a specific matter and look for allies,
whose approach is similar or close to our position. We firmly
and unequivocally reject the concept of a ‘‘European
Directorate” or a ‘‘hard core” of Europe. And any way, there
is no tendency today to revive those concepts. The spirit of
European cooperation is good.

Members of the House,

Our membership in the European Union has induced us to examine
our bilateral relations in a new light. This applies in
particular to our main European partners – Germany, France, and
also Great Britain.

The relations with Germany were in recent months and years the
subject of many, occasionally emotional debates – usually in
reaction to the activity of various political circles in
Germany. It is understandable that Polish-German relations –
also today, after the enlargement of the European Union – have
significance that transcends bilateral relations, with a
dimension that is not only historic and determined by the past.
To optimize our policy, we need to answer the following
question: how do these relations impact the implementation of
our – that is Polish and German – broader aspirations, both in
the context of the whole Europe, and in the Transatlantic
dimension. From the Polish point of view, those relations can
and should be an instrument and a key lever of our role in
Europe. We would like to build a new model of Polish-German
relations that would be firmly rooted in the European and
Transatlantic context. Close cooperation of Poland and Germany
is particularly needed to dynamise the policies of Western and
Euro-Atlantic institutions addressed to our neighbours in the
East, that is Eastern Europe. A joint Polish-German document,
which ministers Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz and Joschka Fischer
presented in Luxemburg last year, could become the foundation
of new EU policy toward Ukraine. Other areas of Polish-German
cooperation include the future of the Transatlantic relations,
and also the political and defense identity of Europe.

This cooperation must be based on respect for the equality of
the partners. We recognize the role of Germany in the European
construction; we hope that on the other side of the Oder River,
too, the negative stereotypes of Poland – also in social
perception - will be replaced with an image of a friendly and
helpful neighbour. Such a future-oriented model will not become
the basis of policy unless past problems – which are again
introducing elements of distrust, uncertainty and
destabilization into Polish-German relations - are closed once
and for all. Our relations require explicit declarations and
clear decisions by all the main political forces and parties in
Germany. The future of the relations between our peoples must
not be determined by those who are forever stranded in the
past. We believe in the power of our arguments. They are
historically justified and have a strong legal basis. We should
discard complexes and not be guided by emotions in our policy
toward Germany. Our position meets with understanding and a
will for cooperation on the part of the Federal President,
Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Mister Speaker,
Members of the House,

The year 2005 marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World War
II. For us, it also means the 60th anniversary of the return of
the Western Territories to the Homeland. We have gained
sufficient distance and historic perspective to reflect deeply
on the responsibility for the war, its consequences and its
presence in the contemporary awareness of states and societies.
It is the Polish role to safeguard the historic truth, to
resist its distortion and falsification.

Allow me, Mister Speaker, to make a short digression at this
point. I believe the time is ripe, 60 years after the end of
the war, for the elementary truth about what really happened in
occupied Poland to come to the awareness of the representatives
of the media in the community of the democratic states – in
Europe, the United States and Canada– about who was the
aggressor, the occupier, who built the death camps and murdered
people there, and who was persecuted, subjugated and subjected
to the German, Nazi policy of extermination. It was in Polish
territories that the Germans created the largest camps of
annihilation, where – alongside the Jewish people – Poles and
members of other European nations were murdered on a mass
scale. A few days from now, on 27th January – marking the 60th
anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi camp of Auschwitz –
Birkenau - the leaders of almost 40 nations will come to attend
ceremonies in remembrance of those murdered at the site of that
death camp. Today, a few days before the ceremonies that will
focus the attention of the whole world, I call on
representatives of press organizations, the Association of
Polish Journalists and other organizations representing the
Polish media, to address – independently of the appeals,
corrections and diplomatic representations of the Polish MFA -
a letter to their colleagues, and partner organizations of
journalists around the world , telling them that the
thoughtless or intentional use of the term ‘‘Polish death
camps” is insulting and shameful. It not only conceals the
truth about the perpetrators of that crime, but slanders our
nation, which was the first victim of the criminal practices of
Nazi Germany.

Mister Speaker,
Members of the House,

Our relations with France. I do not have to explain what a
crucial role in building the European identity has been played
by that country. France is a leading foreign investor in
Poland. That creates a favorable basis for further development
of an enhanced partnership. The climate of our mutual relations
has improved perceptibly. The best illustration of this was the
recent visit to Poland by the French Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Michel Barnier. Let me put this succinctly: our mutual
intentions concerning the future of Europe are much closer than
is being presented in the press, commentaries and political

The question occasionally appears whether the Weimar Triangle
has not exhausted its political potential. The answer is
simple: institutions of this kind have proved themselves and
constitute a useful platform of political cooperation and
discussion on European problems. We shall particularly count on
an active role of France in the development of the EU’s
relations with our Eastern neighbours.

We put high value on our partnership with Great Britain. We are
linked by a community of views on many European and global
issues. In the recent period, the British government has been
active and imaginative in co-shaping the mechanisms of European
cooperation, particularly including questions of defence
policy, security and common foreign policy. That has made it
easier for us, as well, to formulate our European policy.
British policy illustrates the theory that states have greater
impact on shaping the future of Europe when they take positions
on issues of key and central significance – than when they
distance themselves from important issues, relegating
themselves to the periphery of European politics. We hope for
tight cooperation with Great Britain, particularly in creating
a modern model of the Transatlantic relations – relations
between America and Europe – which is of crucial significance
to our security.

Members of the House,

The state of the Transatlantic relations – as all relations
between states – is not a value granted once and for all.
Therefore, those relations must be an object of our constant
care and concern. Today, the main issue is to discard any
grievances and prejudices left behind by the differences over
the intervention in Iraq. I note with satisfaction that there
is political will on both sides of the Atlantic to restore a
good climate of collaboration. However, the problem does not
boil down to the climate and atmosphere of the Transatlantic
relations. Joint action is the order of the day.

From the Polish point of view, the new consensus in the
Transatlantic relations should concern two strategically
important areas. First, we are talking about a joint response
of the West to the democratic breakthrough and pro-Western
aspirations of Ukraine, and also about a common political line
toward the other partners in the East of Europe. Second, we
need a closer Transatlantic partnership in the so-called
Broader Middle East. That is particularly necessary for
reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, assuring
international backing for the normalization of the situation in
Iraq, and also to attaining lasting and comprehensive
resolution of the problem of Iran’s nuclear program.
Transatlantic collaboration on all these issues would guarantee
that appropriate ways and means are applied to effectively
resolve these problems. Let me add, that chances for new
openings are appearing with regard to all these issues.

When we speak of the Transatlantic relations, we should
recognize that differences of view on both sides of the
Atlantic are a normal development. However, the new approach
signifies that Europe and the United States will seek – in a
partner-like way – a common denominator, showing respect for
each other’s interests. In the context of Iraq, it is possible
to ascertain – after two years’ experience – that neither is
America capable of getting everything done by itself, nor is
the temptation of playing the role of a ‘‘counterbalance” to
the United States a constructive option for some Europeans for
succumbing to. At the same time, we must be ready for a
serious debate on the structural model of the Transatlantic
relations. That particularly concerns the role and place of

The engagement of the Alliance in Afghanistan, and also in the
training of troops in Iraq, is an expression of a completely
new strategic role of the Alliance. We have given backing to
this new quality, though it is Poland’s priority to maintain
the classic function of the Alliance as an instrument of
collective defence. We support the selective globalization of
NATO’s stabilization activity, because such a role of the
Alliance finds practical use in the modern world. In the view
of the United States, it is the key function of NATO as a
global force. That is so, because Europe is no longer perceived
in America as a potential target of armed aggression on a mass
scale, requiring American protection and guarantees, but as a
partner of the United States in confronting global threats.
NATO must be an instrument of such global partnership.
Otherwise, it will wither away, and the interest of the United
States in the Alliance will become problematic. That, in turn,
would herald the beginning of the end of America’s presence in

I do not have to add that Poland should be – and is –
interested in maintaining the presence of the United States in
Europe and its role as a peculiar European power. For, the
presence of America in Europe introduces an unquestionable
value added. That manifests itself, first and foremost, in
Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia.

We, in Poland, are aware that our close – even privileged –
relations with the United States are not an alternative to our
engagement in European integration. We ask ourselves this
question: how can we take advantage our particularly close
relations with the United States to improve the Atlantic
relations overall? Our commitment to improving the
Transatlantic relations will not be credible unless it is
coupled with an equally strong commitment to the development of
European cooperation.

The prestige of Poland in Washington is today higher than at
any time in the past. This prestige is our new asset and a
priceless value, even if it is a value that cannot be measured.
Let us be frank: other countries spend years striving to have
such relations though without success. The kind of position
that we have in the United States is not gained through
lobbying. That prestige has gained in significance since our
entry into the European Union. Our relations with the United
States are important primarily because only America is in
position to extend security guarantees to Poland – in their
most credible version. This factor must not be underestimated
even in the present situation, when the horizon is fortunately
clear of any threats to our security.

Mister Speaker,
Members of the House,

The triumph of democracy in Ukraine, attained by peaceful
means, is a great achievement of millions of Ukrainians. It is
also our Polish success. The mediation of President Aleksander
Kwasniewski - who won the support of European Union
representatives for the cause, the engagement of numerous
Polish politicians, the activity of Polish parliamentarians
above party lines, the involvement of Polish Euro-deputies and
thousands of young election observers – these and other actions
contributed to an auspicious resolution of the crisis, and
constitute an important investment for the future. The mass
solidarity of Poles with democratic Ukraine is a good point of
departure for a breakthrough in the relations between our
societies. Relations at presidential levels are important, but
it is the people who will determine the future of our states.
In the recent weeks and months, the Ukrainians and Poles have
shown utmost political maturity and proper understanding of the
raison d’├ętat. And because of that, we shall spare no effort to
create solid and at the same time practical foundations for the
development of mutual relations at the level of societies, so
that the change is tangible for millions of the citizens of our
states on both sides of the border.

I wish to express the conviction that Ukraine and all Eastern
Europe have permanently returned to the agenda of important
issues that occupy European and Transatlantic institutions. We
must translate this into a positive revaluation of the present
policies of the West toward our neighbours, and in particular –
to elaborate a realistic and substantial ‘‘opening package” for
the reformist team in Kiev. The myth that our Eastern
neighbours were incapable of meeting Western standards of
democracy and human rights has been debunked. Also, the theory
has been challenged that the nations in that part of Europe
belonged to the sphere of another civilization and culture, to
another ‘‘zone of influence”. Finally, the myth has been
invalidated that the societies in that part of Europe were
mired in apathy, and were incapable of building a civil society
on their own. The earlier events in Georgia, and the orange
revolution in Ukraine, have forced politicians to reassess
their views and opinions based on prejudices and stereotypes.

Members of the House,

The state of affairs in Belarus – with which we share a common
border - causes understandable concern in Poland. We support
the democratic and pro-European aspirations of that country’s
society. Together with our European and Transatlantic
partners, we are trying to co-shape the policy of the West in
such a way so as to ensure full solidarity with the democratic
and freedom tendencies in Belarus. We are not forgetting about
Moldova, either, and the need for a greater engagement of the
West in solving the conflict in Transdniestria.

Members of the House,

Relations with the Russian Federation are of key importance to
Polish foreign policy. Let us make this clear: our involvement
in what happened in Ukraine was not directed against Russia.
Our engagement was motivated by support for fundamental values
– and not by a play of interests. It was important for us to
make sure that the sovereign will of the people was expressed
in Ukraine. No foreign plot was involved. In fact, we deeply
believe that what happened in Ukraine is in the interest of
Russia. Never in its history, had Russia as many supportive and
friendly states on its Western border as it does today. We
would like Russia to have the closest and strongest possible
ties with Europe, the North Atlantic Alliance and the European
Union. I have in mind not only - and not primarily - ties in
the form of networks of oil and gas pipelines, though such
links are very important. However, as concerns Poland and
Europe – it is the common standards of democracy, freedom of
the press and human rights that are the most important factors
of consolidation and security, at the same time constituting a
common denominator. A stable, prosperous and democratic Russia
will be a much more important center of influence in the whole
post-Soviet space than if it followed a policy based on
anachronistic concepts of the so-called multipolar ‘‘zones of
influence”. Furthermore, Russia’s relations with the
democratic Western institutions should not be a zero-sum game
either. The modernization of Eastern Europe and the prospective
integration of Ukraine, Moldova, and also Belarus, with Euro-
Atlantic and European institutions is in the common interest of
a democratic Russia and the West.

For Poland, our membership in the European Union also offers an
opportunity to build a new platform of bilateral relations with
Russia. We shall spare no effort to make progress in resolving
many outstanding problems. A certain experienced Finnish
politician advised that one should seek enemies who are far
away, and friends who are near. It would be desirable if our
two countries were guided by that in their mutual relations.

Members of the House,

A new challenge for Poland is our participation in the joint
discussion on a new vision of relations in our immediate region
after the enlargement of the European Union. Accordingly, it
would also be worthwhile in our internal debate to consider the
place and role of regional policy within the overall tasks of
foreign policy.

Cooperation in the framework of the Visegrad Group, the Central
European Initiative and the Council of Baltic Sea States has
enhanced the identity of Central Europe and ensured stability
in the whole region. After our accession to the European Union,
but even 2 or 3 years before its enlargement, some of our
partners expressed doubts as to the point of preserving the
sub-regional structures. Our view on this matter is different.
What is more, we have managed to use concrete initiatives -
including those connected with our current presidency of the
Visegrad Group – to define the needed direction of the
evolution of cooperation in the region, so that its
desirability and usefulness is convincingly manifested. This
also concern to the Regional Partnership launched in 2001 –
which affiliates the states of the Visegrad Group, as well as
Austria and Slovenia. Our partners have had an opportunity to
become convinced that Poland does not treat the region as a
base for its political ambitions at the EU forum. Nor do we
make pretensions to playing the role of a regional leader. We
have other goals: we want to use our prestige and position in
the European and Transatlantic family to promote the interests
of the region.

The enlargement of the European Union and NATO, the total
change of the geopolitical picture of Europe, and also the
emergence of new challenges, has altered the context of action
of the whole institutional construction in Europe – and not
only of the sub-regional links. These institutions must
determine a new sense for their existence. That, too, is a
task for our policy.

Members of the House,

We would like the May summit meeting of the states of the
Council of Europe in Warsaw to generate a specific vision of
the future and place of that organization in the context of
other European structures. The point is to ensure that the
visions being elaborated by the respective institutions, such
as the Council of Europe or the OSCE, are coherent visions.
For, those institutions require total reconstruction. It is
especially important to eliminate the overlap and duplication
of actions, as well as institutional rivalry. We should
counteract the tendency of the respective organizations to
focus on their own internal problems. And let us not delude
ourselves that one-off solutions or miracle cures are possible.

At the turn of January, Warsaw will host another session of the
Warsaw Reflection Group, which affiliates distinguished
analysts and researchers from Europe and North America. It will
have the task of preparing a report on the complementarity of
the European structures. It is most important not to lose any
of the normative, political and operational achievements of the
institutions functioning in Europe. The matter is urgent. It is
the case, because the last OSCE Ministerial Council in Sofia
demonstrated how the natural identity crisis of that
organization may be exploited for the pursuit of
particularistic political goals. This is how we perceive the
attempts to restrict the activity of that organization in the
human dimension. Such an approach is short-sighted and may lead
to effects that are opposite to what was intended. For our
part, we are considering a constructive, joint search for new
solutions. The appearance of new challenges and asymmetrical
threats, such as international terrorism, proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction and new phenomena, such as failing
or failed states, highlights the need for a redefinition of the
global international order. In shaping Polish foreign policy,
we act on the assumption that effective multilateralism is the
key to ensuring world peace and stability. We shall make every
effort to preserve and strengthen the multilateral institutions
of global management, particularly the United Nations.

In this context, reform of the UN is the most urgent matter.
In autumn of 2002 the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, pointed out the need to restructure
the UN. At that time, he put forward the initiative of
elaborating a New Political Act for the United Nations for the
21st century. Changes were necessitated by the fact that while
the system of world security is dynamic, the structures remain
static. In effect, that leads – first of all – to a conceptual
inadequacy of the organization. The UN often lacks the means
to counteract new types of threats and resolve new problems.
The issue is that for many years now the major conflicts have
been emerging inside states, rather than in the relations
between them. On the one hand, the international community
usually expects the UN to intervene quickly and effectively,
and on the other – the Organization does not possess suitable
norms, procedures and instruments.

Secondly, it is a case of political inadequacy, which means
that the alignment of forces inside of the organization does
not reflect the actual balance of power in the world. Thirdly,
there is institutional inadequacy, which causes United Nations
bodies and officials to work in an ineffective and outdated

The Polish initiative, therefore, was a comprehensive vision of
UN reform. We proposed that a draft of the changes be prepared
by a Group of Independent Personalities. As known, the
Secretary General established such a group over a year ago and
it presented its report last December. The year 2005 will test
the capacity of the United Nations, and especially its member
states, to take action for reform. The scheduled high-level
meeting on the anniversary of the Millennium Declaration should
bring political consensus on the package of changes. The
question is: Will it deliver? The question remains open.
There is no simple answer.

In its commitment to changing the UN, Poland does not pursue
any hidden goals. We are not demanding a permanent seat on the
Security Council, we are not advocating institutional change.
We are acting on the assumption that first, you have to
identify the problems, define a new mandate of the Organization
– and only then deliberate on the institutional changes. Our
approach is guided by the interests of the international
community; we are moving beyond regional parochialism. Our
initiatives primarily comprise an intellectual contribution; it
is an attempt at innovative, creative thinking.

Members of the House,

A serious domestic debate should be devoted to the future
profile of Poland’s political, military and economic engagement
in a global set of relations. I am referring to Poland as a
state that – through its accession to the European Union – has
entered a new system of international relationships, of which
the Union is a collective subject. Stanislaw Wyspianski wrote
with a sense of irony in ‘‘The Wedding”: ‘‘The whole damn world
can take up arms, provided Poland’s countryside remains at
peace with no alarms”. That is not and must not be the motto of
Polish foreign policy in our times. Security has become truly
indivisible, and threats to our national security may originate
in exotic and highly remote regions. Therefore, it is the
imperative of Polish foreign policy to seek national security
in the framework of international security, in cooperation with
other states. Our role in Iraq should be examined from
precisely that point of view.
The problem is that the demand for such difficult and costly
roles to be played by NATO and European Union is not likely to
diminish. NATO is militarily engaged in Afghanistan and expects
that Poland, among others, will also make active contribution.
The European Union is establishing battle groups. The
humanitarian disaster in South-East Asia points to the need for
remodeling the concept of such groups, so that they will be
able to deliver effective international relief in such crisis
situations. The situation in Sudan also indicates the need for
such actions. Therefore, we face the need of drafting a
sensible doctrine of international engagement of our military
forces in similar operations. We are talking mainly about
humanitarian interventions. That kind of Polish involvement
will require broad public understanding.

Until now, the obvious though relatively recent postulate that
we should transform ourselves from a country that was helped by
others into a country helping those in greater need, could have
sounded as an empty, abstract declaration. The tragedy in Asia
has demonstrated how important it is for Poland to join relief
efforts and show solidarity. Helping those who are weaker,
poorer, afflicted by disease, hunger and disasters should
henceforth change our sensitivity and awareness, but it also
should have its organizational and financial dimension.

Mister Speaker,
Members of the House,

Poland’s entry into the EU structures and policies necessitates
a reassessment of our relations with non-European states and a
redefinition of our place in the global system. Europe is
increasingly perceived as an entity. We should be influencing
the shape of the EU policy toward the non-European regions. We
have certain advantages: we have never been a colonial state,
we have a developed network of missions, numerous communities
of Polish expatriates, as well as a large pool of experts and
researchers. Our greatest weakness and restriction are the
modest resources at our disposal. You cannot pursue an active
policy without adequate funds.

The government’s recently-adopted strategy toward the non-
European developing states is a signal of political will, and
of the need for action. It is an important signal, since it is
of a concrete and systematized character. This strategy goes
beyond general declarations. It is a task for years to come.
The rank, significance and attractiveness of such partners as
China, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, some
Arab states, the RSA, Nigeria, Angola, Brazil, Argentina,
Chile, Mexico and many others, will continue to rise. In order
to take advantage of the opportunities provided by Poland’s
participation in global processes, we must consistently
modernize our system of management of foreign policy

Members of the House,

The fact that many Poles, people with Polish roots live abroad
is part of our national identity. Over the past years, we have
built a comprehensive government strategy of cooperation with
expatriate Polish communities. There is a proven mechanism for
the realization of that policy. Some issues here deserve
special attention. That particularly applies to the assistance
for Poles in the East, who often find themselves in a difficult
material situation. That applies to the implementation of the
Polish minority postulates in Lithuania. That also applies to
the possibility of self-fulfillment of the cultural identity by
Poles in Germany. I wish to take this opportunity to express
my appreciation and thanks to both houses of parliament for
their help, assistance and active work with the Polish
expatriate communities.

Mister President,
Mister Premier,
Mister Speaker,
Members of the House,

The balance sheet of foreign policy in recent years has been
impressive. The accession to the European Union crowned many
years of efforts and opened a new chapter in the history of our
state. We have built a strong position in the Transatlantic
relationship, and high prestige in Europe. The changes in
Ukraine have opened new opportunities for our policy in the
East. We have started actively moving into areas outside of

The international environment in which we operate is
exceptionally unpredictable and unstable. The situation is
prone to dynamic changes. That sharpens the dilemmas we face
and complicates the search for the right responses.

I have attempted today to focus the attention of the Members of
the House on these fundamental dilemmas, tasks and priorities.
Many states face similar challenges. And in today’s world, the
only effective response to most international problems is a
collective response.

In conclusion, allow me to repeat my conviction that the
effectiveness of our foreign policy is largely determined by
the following elements: continuity and consistency, and also
recognition of the national interest above party lines – which
is reflected by the joint or convergent positions of the main
political forces on the goals and tasks of foreign policy of
fundamental significance to the state and nation.

Thank you for your attention.”