Forum Polonia: No ambassador will do as much as an active Pole

by Joanna Bożerodska

“We are going to talk about Poles and Polish Community abroad on variety of subjects.” said the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Stanisław Karczewski, during the opening of the Forum Polonia which takes place as part of the Economic Forum in Krynica. During the opening session the participants discussed on how to protect the image of Poland and Poles in the world.

“The Senate takes care of the Polish community. I am proud to be able to work together with senators on behalf of Poles all over the world. We have a lot of initiatives and ideas. There is a consensus between the parties on this issue – I do not know if there is any other area where we cooperate with the opposition in a consensus,” said Marshal Karczewski.

As he informed, on the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence, the budget for the current year allocated 100 million zlotys for projects of the Polish community abroad.

“There are so many applications that we have to reject some of them, and we regret it, but on the other hand we are glad because this huge increase in interest indicates that the Polish community wants to cooperate with Poland,” said Stanisław Karczewski.

The first agenda was devoted to defending the good name of Poland and Poles. Referring to the amendment of the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance, the members discussed what actions can be taken by Poles in order to effectively fight for Poland’s good name on the international arena, as well as how the Polish narrative should sound and how to defend it.

“As Poles living in Poland or abroad, we know who we are, what we have in our hearts. The problem we are talking about is not ours, but those to whom we concern. Americans, Germans or Jews sometimes take the wrong perception of history, which has been getting into their heads for 40-50 years.” – said Prof. Marek Rudnicki, President of the Association of Polish Medical Society in Chicago.

According to Prof. Rudnicki, the recipe for promoting Poland is to finance appropriate actions, and to create a whole programme involving both legal means and marketing to run a historical programme addressed not only to the Polish community, but also to people of other nationalities.

“What distinguishes us in the last 3 years are activities that the aim is to support and activate the Polish community. I often have the impression that we have enormous potential, but we do not use it, we do not hear the voice of Poles abroad when it is needed. We have to show our strength.” said Adam Kwiatkowski, Head of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Poland.

He added that Poles themselves should believe in their role in the countries of residence, and in the fact that the authorities of the homeland should take them into account. According to Kwiatkowski, in recent years the situation has changed into a positive one – “Poles can show the national spirit.”

Zbigniew Girzyński, a lecturer at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, pointed out that it was the Senate of the last term that “made millions Poles, scattered around the world, an important element in the communication between Poland and the world.”

“They are our ambassadors. No one, even the most efficient ambassador, consul or director of the Polish institute will do as much as an active Pole who has Poland in his heart and knows that there is a need to get involved in national affairs. The important thing is that as a Polish state we motivate each other.” said Dr. Girzyńki.

As Marshal Stanisław Karczewski noted, in promoting the good name of Poland one should “go in many ways.” He summed up that „this is a great task also for Polish diplomacy, politicians and journalists. The Polish community is also involved in this task and we will use this potential.”

The Marshal of the Senate announced that during the first post-summer session of the Senate, a draft bill amending the electoral law will be presented. Henceforth, one seat for a senator from abroad, who will represent all Polish communities and Poles abroad, will be provided.

“This is the political agreement of all parties, and the President will certainly sign such a law.” – noted Karczewski.

Source: http://zw.lt/gospodarka/forum-polonijne-zaden-ambasador-nie-zrobi-tyle-co-aktywny-polak/

Tłumaczenie by Aleksandra Jackiewicz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Aleksandra Jackiewicz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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