• April 3, 2014
  • 210

Polish-Lithuanian Academy: Our relations are full of stereotypes

Antoni Radczenko

It is very important that young people take part  in the discussion about Polish-Lithuanian relations – emphasized diplomats and scientists at the opening of the international meeting “Polish-Lithuanian Academy” at the Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations of the University of Vilnius.

One of the main subjects of this year’s meeting is the 20th anniversary of the Polish-Lithuanian Treaty. “Such a meeting is held for the sixth time. It is quite a serious length of time, as we celebrate only 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty. I hope that one day the Academy will also celebrate its 20th  anniversary. At this point, most of all, I would like to thank our students”- said Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, the head of the Institute of Political Science and International Relations.

Mutual knowledge is too small

The attendants were greeted by the counsellor-head of the Political-Economic Department of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius, Maria Ślebioda. “How is it with these relations? I’ve been here for a year and a half. On the one hand there are many positive issues, such as the one today, when I look at your young faces. I have no doubts that this is exactly what we should do “- said M. Ślebioda.

The representative of the embassy added that our relations are still influenced by some stereotypes. “There are also things that are more visible in the media, which do not contribute to the improvement of the relations. There is no secret that our relations are full of stereotypes. Last year there was the research conducted by the Institute of Public Affairs and the Bronislaw Geremek Cenre, which showed that the knowledge of our societies about each other is not too high “- emphasized Maria Ślebioda.

The deputy of the ambassador pointed out that to improve bilateral relations, it is necessary to further develop bilateral cooperation in all possible fields, develop interpersonal contacts and solve several political issues that put a shadow on mutual relations. “20 years after the signing of the treaty we can still feel unsatisfied in a certain way. Although in most fields the cooperation develops well, or even very well, there are some contentious issues, and we would like to define the relations of the two neighbour countries as exemplary.”

Pole and European

The Polish Institute in Vilnius took the event under its wing. The head of the Institute Małgorzata Kasner could not attend the opening, so she sent a written greeting. “I am delighted that once again we can creatively collaborate, and get to know better. I say this not only as the head of the Polish Institute in Vilnius, but also as a Pole and a citizen. Noticing a great role that national societies play in today’s world. It is mainly them who build platforms of the lasting trust”- wrote M. Kasner.

Lithuanian diplomacy was represented by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Neris Germanas.

“It is very important that youth also take part in this discussion, because youth is our future. And to a large extent it depends on you, how will we get to know and understand each other. Especially when there will come a time when we will all have to be together “- said the deputy minister.

In his welcome speech the Lithuanian diplomat also mentioned the Polish-Lithuanian Treaty. “The meaning and the basis of this treaty are still something important and lively. Today I can say that the signing of this document is one of the greatest achievements in the former Lithuanian foreign policy. Although there are still some discussions around the treaty and there are different interpretations of it, this agreement was and is an important step in our mutual relations “- said N. Germanas.

Field trips 

This year’s conference will be attended by about 20 students from Lithuania and Poland. Meetings will take place from the 3rd to 6th of April. This year the organizers are not going to limit themselves to lectures and discussions in university auditoriums, field trips are also anticipated. The participants will visit Dieveniškės, Soleczniki and Turgiele.

The organizer of the project is the Student’s Association ‘RePublica’ of the Institute of Political Science and International Relations, University of Warsaw, and the project partner – the Polish Institute in Vilnius.

For the first time a similar student conference was organized in 2009.

Source: http://zw.lt/wilno-wilenszczyzna/akademia-polsko-litewska-nasze-stosunki-sa-obciazone-stereotypami/

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

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