- December 30, 2016
The Polish Discussion Club has a new president
The new president of the Polish Discussion Club (PKD) is a lawyer Grzegorz Miłoszewicz, who took the position after a political scientist Andrzej Pukszto.
“I would not connect choosing me for the president with any cardinal changes. Luckily, we have never been, we are not and we will not be the organization of “one leader”. The most important decisions in the club are made together by all the members, less important current issues are discussed by the management. Over two years of our activity have proven that such model of decision making is proving itself and it suits our assumptions well, so we are going to work this way. When it comes to current affairs, it is often impossible to have a board meeting of all members, also every organization needs someone to coordinate its activity and to represent it, and in this range I see my mission”, told zw.lt Grzegosz Miłoszewicz.
Reconciliation and discussion
The new president stressed that the current policy of the Club would not change. PKD will organize discussions on topics bothering the Polish community in Lithuania, invite interesting speakers in the independence of their political views. There are plans to invite a larger number of Polish guests in 2017.
“We will continue our current policy, which is aimed at Polish-Lithuanian reconciliation and creating a platform for discussion of Lithuanian Poles. Still, the basic form of our discussion will be discussions, open for the audience. Traditionally, we will also organize events to celebrate Polish and Lithuanian Independence Days. But we are wondering about new forms of the Club’s activity. I would like us to contribute to as many different initiatives in the Vilnius region as possible, and I mean mostly grassroots projects, not these imposed from the top”, said Miłoszewicz.
Grzegorz Miłoszewicz is a lawyer coming from the Šalčininkai district. In 2002 he graduated rom the University of Białystok. During his studies he cooperated with “Gazeta Wileńska”. In the years 2003-2007 he was an adviser to the mayor of the Šalčininkai district. Later, he served as a youth coordinator in the Šalčininkai district for a year. Since 2008 he has worked at the Ministry of Economy of Lithuania. In the years 2003-2008 he was a president of the Association of Youth “Alternata”.in the Šalčininkai district. Since 2014 he has been an expert of the NGO Law Institute.
A busy year
The former president of PKD Andrzej Pukszto is satisfied with the last year. “2016 was a very busy year in the Polish Discussion Club. In total, over 20 events, smaller, or bigger, took place. Considering the small amount of members and modest financial means of PKD, we should be very happy that so much has been done. These were initiatives of different kinds, but the axis of all projects were Polish-Lithuanian issues”, said the well-known Lithuanian political scientist.
Summing up his cadence, Anrzej Pukszto has a problem with separation of the one most important event of PKD in 2016. “Everyone has their own answer for this question. I guess that the most interesting one was the pre-election discussion of leaders of major political parties about issuees of the Polish minority, organized in the Vilnius University. Something like this has never been organized before. As the vice-president of Social Democrats Algirdas Sysas pointed out during the discussion, to a similar debate organized by this party came only 20 people, while to the debate of PKD in the same room – five or six times more people”, said the former president of PKD.
According to Pukszto, organizing of the presentation of two books important for Polish culture, that have been translated into Lithuanian is also a big success of the Club. These books are a biography of Jerzy Giedroyć by Magdalena Grochowska and a book by Józef Mackieicz “Prawda w oczy niek ole”.
“But from all the non-political events, the meeting with a traveler Wojciech Dąbrowski attracted the biggest audience. In the Polish Institute it was hard to find a single free chair”, added the political scientist.
The Polish Discussion Club was founded in 2014. The first president was a political scientist Mariusz Antonowicz, then other political scientists – Artur Zapolski and Andrzej Pukszto. All the ex-presidents of the Club are still its active members.
Translated by Agnieszka Drabik within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.