Yes, we were blessed to make our living in completely different times our grand- and our parents were grown up. The first one, remembering WWII, the latter one People’s Republic of Poland. We know both times luckily just from books and direct stories told by our beloved predecessors. Poland and Europe we live in, being nowadays probably as challenging as during previous times in every aspect of life (but challenging differently), demands from us answering same questions but in different background, which have a common ground – where we want to go, which Poland do we want to live in, for which Poland serve and lead as its future diplomats.
There is no doubt in my view that the place of Poland stays not next to but within the European Union. It is crucial to realise, especially from the perspective of future leaders, that we will not be able to maintain a strong voice outside when not accompanied by the rest EU27 speaking one common voice. The most important question is what to do in order to have our voice heard within the EU and furthermore – to have bigger influence on what the EU will say – also in the name of Poland. The current situation is the more important when we think about changing voting procedure in the Council (Ioannina compromise) and chapter 2 of the Lisbon Treaty saying explicite where the foreign policy of the EU28 shall be made .
Poland shall have strong allies within the EU. In my opinion we do not have to build anything new, but what we need to do is to strengthen already existing bodies. Two most important are the Visegrad Group (V4) and the Weimar Triangle (specifically in that order). Poland has a very privileged role – as a pro-European and the biggest member in the middle-eastern part of EU and leading country in V4, binds this region with France and Germany – key players when it comes to any decision-making mechanism in the EU, who are with Poland members of the Weimar Triangle same time. Why V4 as the first one and then Triangle? Because we cannot forget about equals votes in the Council between V4 on the one side and France with Germany on the other. Poland shall work together with V4 and after that – take advantage from lobbying leading capitals in the EU decision process – Berlin and Paris thanks to the Triangle. We also tend to forget about the potential of the newest EU member and future members from former Yugoslavia states – Croatia and Serbia in particular. Both of them have a very positive attitude towards Poland and we do not take advantage neither economically nor politically.
To sum up, I want to see Polish diplomacy using every possible tool, especially soft diplomacy, to reach the most efficient ways of getting Poland involved in stating and solving problems, looking for the most promising allies and simply being active in the EU. Stronger diplomacy based on true and partnership relations within the EU means bigger influence on the EU voice outside and at the end –stronger Polish voice heard both in Moscow, Washington and Beijing. The plan will not work without Polish long-term pragmatic vision which will be also responding to the needs of current global issues.