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  • 12 November 2014

    “The changes of 1989 are a common success of Poles at home and abroad. The Polish diaspora never accepted the banning of Solidarity; it supported the democratic opposition in Poland, and organized help for Polish society,” MFA Undersecretary of State Tomasz Orłowski told the “Polish Diaspora for Poland during 25 Years of Democracy” conference, which the European Union of Polish Communities organized at the Polish Senate.

    While inaugurating the conference, Polish Senate Marshal Bogdan Borusewicz recalled that on 30 December 1989 the Senate issued an “Appeal to the Polish Diaspora around the World,” expressing its hope that “the Poles at home and in the diaspora” would unite. In his address, Deputy Minister Tomasz Orłowski referred to the symbolic act of Poland’s last president-in-exile handing over state insignia of the Second Republic of Poland to the newly sworn-in President Lech Wałęsa. Free Poland was founded on the legacy of Polish émigrés and the freedom struggle of Poles living under communist rule. Deputy Minister Orłowski thanked the Polish diaspora for their special commitment to Poland’s membership of NATO and the European Union.


    There was also a practical side to the Senate conference. When welcoming representatives of Polish community organizations from Europe, the President of the European Union of Polish Communities, Helena Miziniak, encouraged them to discuss emergency charity and relief measures for Poland, and to reflect on how to promote Poland’s culture, science and economy.


    MFA Undersecretary of State Tomasz Orłowski spoke about the strategic goals of the national policy on Poles abroad. He identified such points as support for the teaching of the Polish language, in particular in the countries of post-accession migrations; enabling participation in national culture and reinforcing Polish identity; strengthening the role the Polish diaspora play in the public life of their countries of residence; encouraging Poles to return home; and fostering different types of contacts with Poland – involving youth, science, culture, the economy, and local governments.


    “We want to ensure that as many people as possible have access to Polish culture, which will help them cultivate their bonds with Poland. We would also like the biggest possible number of diaspora children to visit Poland,” said Deputy Minister Orłowski. He added that the 2015-20 Government Programme for the Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad is being given finishing touches, and is now subject to social consultations, which also encompass a wide range of Polish diaspora organizations.


    MFA Press Office


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