• January 9, 2014
  • 179

Polish-Lithuanian relations 2014: lack of breakthrough, an acuminated rhetoric and courtesy gestures

© BFL/Vygintas Skaraitis

The fight during the presidential and the European Parliament elections in Lithuania and while the European Parliament election in Poland (in smaller-scale) will surely have an influence on Polish Lithuanian relations, claim the political scientists asked by zw.lt.

“In the gone year, it turned out that the expectations of serious changes in the Polish national minority’s situation in Lithuania were too excessive. That is why the prognoses for 2014 should be approached with a bigger carefulness” – said Dominik Wilczewski to zw.lt, a political scientist writing a blog the Polish-Lithuanian Meetings.

Barbara Stankiewicz: an acuminated rhetoric doesn’t favour taking viable decisions Owing to the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Parliament will have a reduced number of MPs. “Reducing the mandates will in natural way increase competition between parties” – Barbara Stankiewicz, the doctor of politician sciences in the Institute of Political Sciences by Michał Romer’s University, is certain.

“The European Parliament election in Lithuania will be entwined with the presidential election. By contrast, the election in Poland lays stress on the upcoming election to the Parliament and Senate in 2015. Thus, an electoral campaign to the EU Parliament will have a big influence on the “climate” of the Polish-Lithuanian relations in 2014 and it won’t necessary be a positive influence. Following the electoral rhetoric in both of countries, ones may predict that it won’t make do without a speculation on the subject of Polish minority in Lithuania. However, on the Polish side it should be fewer, because the game is running about a bit different electorate” – explained B. Stankiewicz to zw.lt.

According to her, some rapprochement between the two countries, which started while the fight for the Ukraine, may lighten, although some consolidation may appear on the issues of energy security.

“It is worth adding that an acuminated electoral rhetoric doesn’t favour taking viable decisions connected with problems of national minorities, whose problems’ solution is expected also by the EAPL party’s electorate. And this can even more so intensify the tension” – B. Stankiewicz pointed out.

Dominik Wilczewski: the government will survive, the EAPL will stay in coalition   There will be rather no breakthrough in the Polish-Lithuanian relations. “It doesn’t seem to come any of the groundbreaking events this year. Butkevičius’ government will rather survive until the end of the year, and the EAPL will stay in the coalition. At the moment, the biggest expectations are connected with the draft law of national minorities. There is no knowing when will he stand on the Parliament’s session again. It is highly possible that he will get stuck in parliamentary works and until the end of the year, the bill won’t be enacted” – a Polish political scientist doesn’t reject such possibility.

According to Wilczewski, the conservatives will be stopping that project in different ways, even by registering own projects. “Ones may also expect the return of the Pole’s Charter’s issue, or the supposed connections of the EAPL with the Kremlin administration, which may be undertaken by the conservatives and the nationalists in the progress of campaign before the presidential and the European Parliament elections” – the blogger recons.

However, the main contractor will be the current President of Lithuania. “The tune of the presidential campaign will be called by Dalia Grybauskaitė and the character of that campaign depends on her for the most part: whether the President will be keenly referring to the arguments against the postulates of the Polish minority or not” – D. Wilczewski is certain.

In the two-way relations, by the occasion of various anniversaries, the courtesy gestures may be expected: 25th anniversary of the June election in Poland, 25th anniversary of the Baltic Trail and 20th anniversary of concluding the Polish-Lithuanian treaty.

“This last jubilee is a good opportunity to talk seriously about the Polish-Lithuanian relations, how the treaty postulates are carried out in practice, but I’m afraid that it won’t be sufficiently used and a presumptive debate won’t come out of the circle of experts” – Dominik Wilczewski  summed up the conversation.

Source: http://zw.lt/opinie/relacje-polsko-litewskie-2014-brak-przelomu-zaostrzona-retoryka-kurtuazyjne-gesty/

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

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