Polish foreign policy

  • Securitization of Past: Analysis of the Katyń Issue in the Context of EU Integration

    This paper provides a theoretical explanation of what causes historical issues to impact bilateral relations between two states. The case which was chosen for analysis – popularly known as the Katyń issue – involves changes in Polish foreign policy towards the Russian Federation due to the remembrance of the Katyń Massacre. The main assumptions are based on the concept of securitization and its analytical framework, particularly the societal portion, which is proposed by the Copenhagen School of security study. The process of European integration can be seen as the main causal factor leading to a complex of vertical and horizontal competition between Poland, the EU, and Russia over the construction of their historical identities with a referent object of securitization in Poland. The main conclusion of this paper suggests that significant differences in the understanding of various nations’ roles in WW2 between the EU and Russia have led to the securitization of the Polish historical image of WW2. The Polish audience considered it important to accept the historical truth. The Katyń issue in Polish–Russian relations has become a case that reflects the process which leads to securitization of disputes between historical victims and victimizers on a state–to–state level. 

  • Parisian Culture's Views on Eastern Europe as a Factor in Contemporary Polish Foreign Policy

    When analyzing events which unfolded in the Ukraine during the final months of 2004 and the involvement of Polish politicians and public opinion in the struggle for the preservation of the democratic character of presidential elections, a question arises regarding the connection of their actions with the political projects of Jerzy Giedroyć, the founder and sole editor of an influential magazine and a centre of political thought, which was Culture, published in Maisons-Laffitte, near Paris, in the years 1947–2000. Historians and political scientists rightly emphasize the fact that the „Eastern doctrine”, also known as the ULB doctrine (from the abbreviation of „Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus”), has been a constant element of Polish foreign policy since 1989. Generally speaking, Giedroyć was convinced that nationalist impulses would eventually destroy the Russian empire from within, and a sovereign Poland would gain three new neighbours in the East: Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus. This process was expected to take place in the near future, as foreseen by Culture contributors who called on the émigrés from Eastern Europe to work together in laying solid foundations for the future partnership.


    In the new, post-Cold War reality Polish foreign policy faced challenges stemming from the need to set targets that would reflect the interests of Poland, as well as take into account the changes in the international environment. Gradually, the assumptions and directions of foreign policy were rebuilt, with an aim to ensure the safety of the country in both internal and external dimension, to provide the territorial integrity, strengthen the sovereignty and create optimal conditions for the development of the state and society. After 1989, as a consequence of the concentration of efforts of Polish diplomacy on the implementation of strategic directions of foreign policy, others had a secondary meaning. Polish vital interests were located in the Euro-Atlantic area, in the immediate vicinity, as well as in Central and Eastern Europe, which is why in the first place all strengths and resources were engaged there in order to implement the strategic tasks of foreign policy; the Western Balkans remained on the sidelines, in the territory of former Yugoslavia. Nevertheless, this did not mean the total marginalization of the post- -Yugoslav region, and the perception of the events associated with the disintegration of the Yugoslav federation as not directly, but only indirectly connected with Polish interests.

  • The Eastern Dimension of the EU’s and Poland’s Policy

    The article seeks to assess the degree to which Poland exercises power and influence in the Eastern policy of the European Union (EU) from the early 21st century until now, focusing on the attributes of Poland’s latest contribution to the EU policies – the Eastern Partnership (EaP). The article examines also challenges and discussions on Polish strategy towards Eastern Europe. The authors prove that the main points of Poland’s Eastern policy are that the improper attention to it will result in loss of status positions in the international arena; Poland should not be limited by the role of the architect artist in Franco-German project in Europe; European perspective is the only incentive that can encourage the reforms in Eastern Europe; the failure to provide such a perspective would lead to social and economic instability in the region and the drift towards the participation in reintegration projects in post-Soviet space with Moscow; the Eastern Partnership should be considered as a step towards the joining the EU; Europe will take Poland into consideration only as a regional leader; Russian neo-imperialism is a challenge for Poland’s security and needs a strict reaction.

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