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  • The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed out prizes on Thursday to the winners of the 28th edition of the Foreign Minister's Competition for the best MA thesis on contemporary international relations. This year, 43 dissertations written in 2016 were submitted to the competition.

    The award committee, chaired by Jacek Czaputowicz, the director of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, awarded three prizes and four distinctions. 

    Joanna Tarnowska from the Kraków University of Economics received the top prize for her MA thesis titled "The influence of the degree of synchronization of business cycles of selected European Union countries with the German economy on the adequacy of monetary policy of the European Central Bank. An econometric analysis in view of Poland's accession to the euro zone in the context of the experience of other countries."

    Hanna Wiczanowska from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań received the second place award for her dissertation titled "Freedom of expression as a restriction on the freedom of conscience and religion according to the Strasbourg, American and Islamic standards."

    Katarzyna Ciura from the Białystok Technical University came in third place with her dissertation titled "Consequences of the emergence of the Eurasian Economic Union from the perspective of Polish enterprises".

    The Committee also distinguished: Milena Adamczewska from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Sylwia Lacek from the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Weronika Rucka from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and Jolanta Sierańska from the University of Warsaw.

    Speaking at the awards ceremony, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that the competition has existed since 1989, and thus, he said, is as old as the new, sovereign and already transformed Poland. 

    "I am very happy that the competition is getting more and more popular," Minister Waszczykowski said. 

    “Judging by the titles of the dissertation and some of the summaries, I am very pleased that many of them are comparative. You provide a very serious interesting approach, not only in how you describe the facts, not only in how you recount the past, but also in your comparisons, and subsequently drawing conclusions for the future from these comparisons. This is very valuable,” he said.

    "I have to admit that I had to read some of these titles three times in order to get my head around them because of the complex material you were comparing,” the minister joked. 

    Foreign Minister Waszczykowski congratulated the participants of the competition, and expressed his hope that the outstanding works will interest publishers. 

    "I also hope that this is the beginning of academic and administrative careers for you all: either in universities or in state institutions that will use your well-established knowledge shown in your master's thesis,” he added.

    The Foreign Minister’s Competition has been organized annually since December 1989. 

    Its aim is to draw students' attention to particularly important issues concerning the role of Poland on the international scene and its foreign policy as well as, more broadly, the various challenges arising from the developments in Europe and in the world.

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