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Friday, 30 November 2007

Poland’s political system maintains its continuity

On 30 November, 2007, President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczynski met in the Presidential Palace with members of the Club of Polish – Speaking Ambassadors.

By virtue of decision dated 30 October, 2007, the President of the Republic of Poland awarded the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland to Mr Bedřich Kopecký – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to Poland in recognition of his outstanding services in developing Polish-Czech cooperation

During the ceremony the President of RP addressed the assembled guests by saying:

”The first time I had a pleasure to meet Polish- speaking ambassadors was a number of years ago, at the time when I was not the President of the Republic of Poland but the Mayor of the Capital City of Warsaw. Back in those days, the group of Ladies and Gentleman capable of speaking our difficult language was much smaller. I am exquisitely pleased to see it has grown so much – especially being aware of the fact that we, Poles, use an old language which on top of that has changed less than others. In other words, a Polish person will, though with difficulty, understand the 14th century Polish whereas when it comes to other languages this, as I am told, is not the case. But Polish is quite unique even among other Slavonic languages. It is difficult.

We are pleased because, firstly, it is a sign of what is happening not only in Poland but also across the world – i.e. we are facing an internationalization of a kind, internationalization, in the best sense of the word. It is much more frequent that Ambassadors to different countries, not just to Poland, are trying to master the native tongue of the state in which they are residing, in which they carry out their important mission. And on the other hand, this is a phenomenon which is directly related to our country. In fact, more and more states tend to send persons with the command of our language. Polish is becoming more widely used, at least in the diplomatic circles. We are more than pleased to see this happen. Ladies and Gentleman, our today’s meeting falls in the period not marked by any uncommon event in Poland – it is not the first time during the eighteen-year long history since the establishment of an entirely independent state in 1989 that an early election has been called. It has been held for the second, or rather for the third time, as one could claim that the elections of 1991 were also premature – i.e. the so called 10th term in office did not last four but merely two years. The same applied to the Sejm of the first term in office, and now we are faced with the same situation as far as the last Sejm is concerned. That being said, obviously, the change of the ruling party, the change of coalition is always significant. Hence, we are now engaged in a discussion on what issues should be subject to some revaluation, and what should be left as they are. It is beyond doubt for me that You find such discussion interesting. Over the lunch, we will have an opportunity to briefly exchange our views on the subject. But, on the whole, Poland’s system of power, its political system maintains its continuity – there have been no changes whatsoever in this respect. Likewise, the continuity of Poland’s international position as a NATO member is maintained. I have mentioned NATO first as we have been part of it for a longer period of time, more than eight and a half years, whereas in the European Union we have been a member state for three and a half years. Nothing changes in this respect and, to put it very clearly: nothing must change. As regards other issues – further discussions will be held.

Let me once again thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen, for investing much effort into learning Polish. I know that for some persons learning foreign languages is a hobby, they derive pleasure from it. Unfortunately, I do not belong to this group so I treat it as a very hard work which you undertook in order to speak Polish. The fact that you will find this skill useful during your mission in Warsaw is an obvious one, but I hope that you will also find it helpful during subsequent missions fulfilled in the future”. 

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