• November 2, 2012
  • 270

Aziewicz: It’s No Time for Thinking About Alternative Scenarios

Tadeusz Aziewicz, fot. www.aziewicz.pl

It would be tactless if a Polish politician instructed Lithuanian government. Better relationships are in the interest of both nations and that is why I am optimistic about changes in the Lithuanian politics. I believe in common sense of both Polish and Lithuanian politicians, says Tadeusz Aziewicz, a deputy from the Civic Platform and a chairman of the Polish-Lithuanian parliamentary association, in a conversation with PL DELFI. Antanas Baranauskas street already exists in his home town. Pomerania’s MP regrets that there isn’t one in Sejny. This fact proves that there is still plenty of work to do on the Polish side.

Several days ago you were present at the elections in Lithuania on behalf of the Polish Sejm. Everybody was surprised not only by the results of the individual parties but also, for example, by the vote-buying that is practised on a large scale. I would like to ask what was your impression of the Lithuanian elections?

I left Lithuania with a positive general impression. The electoral commissions that I have visited worked properly – much like in Poland. I haven’t noticed any negligence. I’ve heard about buying votes but as an observer I can only make judgements based on my own experience.

During an interview for Polish Press Agency you expressed hope that a change of power in Lithuania will lead to positive changes in Polish-Lithuanian relationships. I would like to believe that this will happen. Does Polish authorities have any plan B in case it turns out that the new government, similarly to the previous one, is not very willing to make an effort to meet Polish demands?

 Better relationships are in the interest of both nations and that is why I am optimistic about changes in the Lithuanian politics. It’s no time for thinking about alternative scenarios. I believe in common sense of both Polish and Lithuanian politicians. A new thing is a good result of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania which shows that Lithuanian society opens their minds to the problems of Polish minority. I am happy about this and I hope that this will also cause a good change in the Lithuanian Sejm and the government.

What are the conditions that the Civic Platform is going to set for the new Lithuanian authorities, for the Social Democrats and the Labour Party? Is it enough to meet one of the demands such as the proper spelling of Polish names? Or will the entire set of solutions that would make Polish minority’s lives easier come into play?

Polish foreign policy is conducted by the government and not by MPs. I can only say that the Republic of Lithuania is a sovereign state. In 1994 it voluntarily ended the treaty, which described the relationship with Rzeczpospolita, and the agreements concerning Polish minority rights. Definitely, we are expecting specific actions that would bring us closer to the realization of the treaty provisions.

You are a chairman of the Polish-Lithuanian parliamentary association and a member of the parliamentary assembly of the Sejm, the Senate and the Seimas. The activities of these bodies has stopped in recent times. Do members of the Polish parliament have an idea to bring them back to life?

During the electoral campaign we were restrained while members of Lithuanian parliament, for obvious reasons, had different priorities at that time. As a matter of fact, it is always a problem to want the same thing in bilateral relations between Poland and Lithuania. In Poland, as you’ve noticed, apart from the joint parliamentary assembly there is also a Polish-Lithuanian association open to deputies and senators, friends of Lithuania who want to undertake some actions to improve the relations between our countries. I would be really happy if there was a Lithuanian-Polish association in the new Sejmas. I think that the Parliamentary Assembly should meet after the formation of the new government of the Republic of Lithuania and discuss the possible ways to solve the main problems.

I’ve read on your website that for many years you look after the Lithuanian trainees in Polish Sejm. Is that a way to win young Lithuanians over and an attempt to create a “lobby” in Vilnius that would favour Poland?

Not everything is politics. I support young people from Lithuania because it gives me great satisfaction. They are very nice and interesting young people from whom I learn a lot. Their melodious Polish reminds me of my father – Wilniuka, who misses his native country a lot. I am uplifted by their openness and Europeanism. I see them as hope for breaking away from the past that makes it difficult to achieve normality in Polish-Lithuanian relationships.

I have an impression that young people are neglected in Polish politics. I think that young conservatives and young liberals are more likely to reach an agreement with their Lithuanian peers than the politicians of the older generation. But let’s change the subject. You are an MP from Gdynia. Please, tell us how does the cooperation between Gdynia and Klaipėda look like?

This cooperation is going on for 20 years now. It is going well and it concerns sport, culture and economic initiatives. It is also worth noticing that Antanas Baranauskas street is coming into existence in my city. He was Sejny Bishop and grat Lithuanian – an activist for reconciliation between both nations. It is a pity that there is no such street in his home town – Sejny. This fact proves that there is still plenty of work to do on the Polish side.

Coming back to the topic of Polish-Lithuanian association, how would you advise the new governing coalition that will emerge after the October elections? Where to start improving relations with Warsaw? What kind of rhetoric should be avoided in mutal communication?

It would be tactless if a Polish politician instructed Lithuanian government, especially in such delicate matters. I believe in the power of good will, common sense and responsibility towards common people. Politics is there to make people’s lives better both in Poland and Lithuania.

Thank you for the conversation.

Tadeusz Aziewicz (born in 1960 in Sopot) – a member of a Polish local government and a politician. He graduated from the Faculty of Transport Economics of the University of Gdańsk. In the 80’s he was involved in activity in the opposition. He was also associated with  The Liberal Democratic Congress. In the years 1990-1998 he was a councillor of Gdynia. In the early 90s he was a municipal board member and later a vice-chairman of the Gdańsk voivodeship sejmik. He was the former reasearcher at the Institute of Economic Theory of the University of Gdańsk and at the Gdańsk institute for Marcet Economics. During the rule of the Solidarity Electoral Action and the Freedom Union he was the chairman of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. Since 2005 he is a deputy in Sejm from Gdynia-Słupsk district, candidating from the Civic Platform list. Since 2007 he is the chairman of Polish-Lithuanian parliamentary association. He is also a member of the parliamentary assembly of the Sejm, the Senate and the Seimas.

Source: http://pl.delfi.lt/opinie/opinie/aziewicz-nie-czas-myslec-o-alternatywnych-scenariuszach.d?id=59881379

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

Related post

White-and-red march through Vilnius and a rally in schools’ defence. ‘Poles want normalcy’.

A two thousandth white-and-red march passed through the streets of Vilnius on Saturday, March 23. Participants…

Issues of Polish education have been raised in front of parents and teachers.

The discussion on current issues in Polish education in Lithuania was initiated by the Forum of…

He was a Jarosław for barely a year. The court took away the letter ‘Ł’ from…

Jarosław Wołkonowski sought the right to the original spelling of his name since 1992. The District…