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Presented By: Copernicus Center for Polish Studies

CCPS Lecture. Poland’s Place in Europe: Mission Accomplished?

Jacek Stawiski, editor-in-chief, TVN24

Jacek Stawiski Jacek Stawiski
Jacek Stawiski
After regaining independence in 1989-90 by means of a peaceful revolution that toppled communism, Poland began to shed the legacy of Soviet Russian domination. Eventually, joined by other newly liberated neighbors, it opted for the dissolution of the Soviet bloc institutions such as the Warsaw Pact and COMECON. It was the dream of many Poles to become a fully integrated member of the mythic West, and this seemed to be realized once Poland joined NATO and the EU. But was this the end of Poland’s history? Was this the time to proclaim, “mission accomplished”? Poland soon realized that there is no end to history. What was Poland’s place in EU and NATO? Should she become a 38 million Austria or Norway, just sit and become richer and richer while the world outside Poland burns, or should Poland use its newfound place to influence and change Europe and NATO? If so, where is Poland heading now, and might the issue of Europe again define Poland’s politics? Or should Poland leave the EU and if so, where will Poland go?

Jacek Stawiski is the editor-in-chief of TVN24, a Polish 24-hour commercial news channel. He studied history at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, specializing in the history of Polish Jews and international diplomatic history. In 1994 he joined BBC World Service in London. At TV24, Stawiski is the host of Horizon, a program covering international affairs, for which he made two documentary films: Colonel House (on the U.S. role in restoring Poland’s independence in 1918) and We, the People (on Lech Wałęsa’s historic speech in the U.S. Congress in 1989). He frequently writes commentary for the website as well as Polish newspapers and weeklies, and lectures on journalism at Jagiellonian University.

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