poland

We are seeing a kind of diplomatic offensive

“We are seeing a kind of diplomatic offensive and a very diverse one,” sociologist Dr Ryszard Żółtaniecki told PAP. In his opinion, foreign policy will now be implemented by the prime minister, the president as well as the minister of foreign affairs.

According to Dr. Ryszard Żółtaniecki of Collegium Civitas, the situation regarding Polish foreign policy is very interesting, "because we are seeing something like a diplomatic offensive and a very diverse one."

The foreign minister visited Berlin on Wednesday. This was Jacek Czaputowicz’s second visit since becoming foreign minister last Tuesday. On Monday, the head of Polish diplomacy visited Bulgaria, which has held the EU Council Presidency since the beginning of the year.

Following his talks in Germany, the head of the MFA will travel to New York, where he will take part in a UN Security Council meeting together with President Andrzej Duda. On Sunday, he is due to meet with the deputy head of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, in Brussels.

Prime Minister Morawiecki also talked with Frans Timmermans and the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, after his government was sworn in. Prior to that the Prime Minister visited Budapest.

On Tuesday, the Council of Ministers adopted the "Principles of Polish Foreign Policy for 2018,” a confidential document. According to Żółtaniecki, foreign policy will be implemented by the prime minister and the president, and of course its main facilitator, i.e. the minister of foreign affairs.

Żółtaniecki said that "the three are facing a series of huge and very difficult challenges." He said that the new head of the MFA Jacek Czaputowicz has a "very hard and complex time” ahead of him.

The expert said that there are a lot of problems in Poland's foreign policy and he stressed that the conflict with Brussels must be calmed and averted. He explained: “it's not just about putting together a blocking coalition, but about reaching an understanding with European institutions. This is the main strategic goal.”

According to Żółtaniecki, "the activity of the new defence minister is an interesting development.”

He pointed out that Minister Blaszczak's visit to Brussels and the meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and the Supreme Commander of NATO Forces in Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti, as well as a trip to Washington "are not just trips that present or confirm the current line; they are visits aimed at putting things in order.”

According to Żółtaniecki, this will be "a very interesting vector of our foreign policy, because the Ministry of Defence is one of our leading ministries in terms of external relations."

Żółtaniecki said that also in store for Polish foreign policy is an attempt to settle relations with Russia, which, he stressed, will be very difficult but necessary.

Żółtaniecki added that most important from the perspective of Polish foreign policy will be "regional consolidation - Visegrad - plus maybe Austria, perhaps Bulgaria, Croatia, as countries cooperating closely together. But above all, filling this Central European concept, sometimes called the Intermarium, with real content.”

He said that ideological declarations should be replaced by "infrastructure and energy investments, more intensive trade cooperation, as well as cultural and educational co-operation.”

Source: PAP

19.01.2018