• June 6, 2023
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Integration or Disintegration? International Scientific Conference in Vilnius

Vilnius hosted the 10th International Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference titled “The place of Vilnius and Warsaw in the processes of regional and Euro-Atlantic integration (disintegration) – progress, challenges, perspectives”. The event took place on 1-3 June. The Association of Polish Scientists of Lithuania (APSL) organised the conference.

The first day of the conference took place at the Embassy of Poland in Vilnius. Konstanty Radziwił, the Polish Ambassador to Lithuania, welcomed the participants. He wished all of them fruitful deliberations from a scientific point of view and encouraged to develop as many interesting ideas as possible.

“I hope that this meeting, of course not the last one, will be an important contribution to the future of our part of the world, and perhaps the world in general, primarily in the context of defending certain principles of international conduct. So that, forceful, brutal, aggressive solutions of the kind we see today are impossible. This is a great challenge and task for all of us,” remarked Konstanty Radziwiłł.

More than 20 meetings

This is another conference organised by the Association of Polish Scientists of Lithuania.

– Although theoretically, this is the tenth international conference, in reality, our association, which was founded in 1989, has already organised more than twenty such meetings. We simply started counting them only ten years ago,” says Prof. Dr Wojciech Stankiewicz, President of the APSL, in an interview with ‘Kurier Wileński’.

Vilnius Jubilee

This year’s event is dedicated to the celebration of the 700th anniversary of Vilnius.

“Taking into account that many different organisations celebrate the 700th anniversary of Vilnius, we decided not to raise the issue of the capital’s jubilee, which started to be celebrated already at the end of January. We decided to broaden the scope of different issues and look at these 700 years not only from a historical point of view but more broadly. Practically throughout this period, one of the closest ties has been that of Vilnius and Warsaw or Lithuania and Poland. It is from this point of view that we have decided to organise a conference titled “The place of Vilnius and Warsaw in regional and Euro-Atlantic integration (disintegration) processes – progress, challenges, perspectives”. We have chosen an aspect – integration processes that have changed over time. Therefore, we will consider several issues, among them economic cooperation, i.e. integration processes from a historical perspective. We have covered different years, but of course, we do not have to look only backwards, only at history, but also at today. Cooperation between Poland and Lithuania is particularly topical today, so many papers were given from this point of view. For several years now, we have started the conference with a panel discussion,” continues the president of the APSL.

Numerous participants

“This year we managed to organise a fairly large conference. There are about 80 people on the list of participants. Most of the speakers are scientists from Poland. Also present are scientists from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belarus and, of course, Lithuania. The Association of Polish Scientists of Lithuania has been a member of the Polish European Community Studies Association for six years. It unites scientists from five countries – the UK, France, Germany, Austria and Lithuania. The guest speaker at the conference is a representative of the Association of Engineers of Great Britain,” notes Prof. Dr Wojciech Stankiewicz.

Many issues were raised

Among others, prof. dr hab. Jarosław Wołkonowski, Professor of the Branch of University of Białystok in Vilnius, delivered a paper on defence spending in NATO countries after 1990. Professor Bogusław Grużewski (Vilnius University) discussed labour markets in the Baltic countries in the face of integration processes. Speakers included Dr Antanas Valionis, diplomat, politician and political scientist, Dr Algimantas Kasparavičius from the Institute of Lithuanian History.

Dr Zdzisław Julian Winnicki from the University of Wrocław spoke about the determinants of integration in Europe from the perspective of the civilisational paradigm, Dr Alina Grynia from the Branch of University of Białystok in Vilnius spoke about climate diplomacy as a challenge for the European Union and its Member States. Prof. dr hab Wojciech Lis, a Professor at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, spoke about respect for common historical and cultural heritage as a condition for stimulating cooperation between Poland and Lithuania in regional and Euro-Atlantic integration processes. Prof. dr hab Małgorzata Dziembała, a Professor at the University of Economics in Katowice, spoke about the cohesion of Polish regions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prof. Viacheslav Chebotarov and Dr Iegor Chebotarov from the University of Luhansk (Ukraine) also spoke.

Support from sponsors

An event on an international scale could not take place without the help of sponsors and partners.

This is another conference organised by the APSL, which is supported by the Embassy of Poland in Vilnius. In addition, our sponsors are: Department of National Minorities under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, Polish Institute in Vilnius and Go Vilnius tourism agency,” emphasises the interviewee.

In their free time from the debates, the conference participants had the opportunity to visit Vilnius and Kernavė, the oldest capital of Lithuania, with a guide.

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

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