• September 30, 2014
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Polish Discussion Club. It is time for Polish – Polish discussion

“We want to create a platform for the discussion among Poles in Lithuania, which would create new ideas to improve the situation of Lithuanian Poles and Polish-Lithuanian relations” – said Mariusz Antonovich, the political scientist and the president of the newly formed Polish Discussion Club in an interview with UK DELFI.

A couple of days ago, on September 19, a group of political scientists, journalists, social and cultural activists formed the Polish Discussion Club. Such a club existed in the 90s of the last century at the City Board Association of Poles in Lithuania, but then stopped its operations.

“We have been having  a lot of discussions about what kind of policy toward the Polish minority in Lithuania Poland or Lithuania should adopt. However, there is no discussion about what strategy the Polish minority in Lithuania must choose in order to achieve their goals. There is also no debate over which of the postulates of Lithuanian Poles are a priority for them, which ones may be implemented later and what are the most important problems of the Polish minority in Lithuania. There are substitutes of Polish-Lithuanian dialogue, but in Lithuania there is no Polish-Polish discussion “-  claims Mariusz Antonovich.

So the club’s aim is to start such a discussion among the Poles in Lithuania. From the discussion would be created new ideas to improve the situation of Lithuanian Poles and Polish-Lithuanian relations.

“Besides that, we see that the current Polish-Lithuanian discussions usually are carried out at the expert level, and people participating in them are journalists, politicians, academics. There is no chance that within them would speak ordinary Poles and Lithuanians, who have their own opinions in one or the other issues. Therefore, besides creating the platform for Polish-Polish discussion, we want it also to be a place where the locals Poles could meet Lithuanian politicians, intellectuals and diplomats in order to present their views to the Lithuanian political and expert elite, listen to their opinions, get to know and understand one another “- says the president of the Club.

On coming Thursday, October 2, at 8 pm., in the Hall of the Lithuanian Catholic Academy of Sciences at the Pilies 8 street will take place the first public discussion organized by the Polish Discussion Club. The guest of the Club will be the ambassador Antanas Valionis, the former Lithuanian Foreign Minister and the former ambassador of Lithuania in Poland. The discussion will address the prospects of Polish-Lithuanian relations after the change of government in Poland. Polish Discussion Club invites everyone to participate in the meeting. “The only condition of participation is mutual respect, no insults, no usage of hate speech, because Polish Discussion Club is not the place for the political agitation, but just the opposite- a place for discussion and dialogue. Those who only want to shout, repeat mantras or offend other people –  are not welcome here “- warns Mariusz Antonovich.

Translated by Katarzyna Ratajek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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