A day in between
Friday last week was one of my best days in Warsaw so far. Why?
What first comes to my mind is certainly the fact that our Prime Minister successfully concluded his participation in the Eastern Partnership Summit.
In a visit like this there are so many things that you fear might go wrong. When you eventually know that it is a satisfied delegation that is boarding the airplane back to Sweden it you certainly have reasons to feel relieved. I did.
In a broader perspective though the key issue is the event in itself and its outcome. A success for sure. First and foremost because it managed to mobilise such a high level attendance at this particular moment – meaning that Eastern Europe is not losing but rather gaining attention.
Heads of state and government have good reasons to focus on the financial issues and the Euro. Additionally the continuation of the Arab spring is and should be high on the agenda. But in spite of all this, the countries in our Eastern neighbourhood are not forgotten but on the contrary given renewed attention.
The challenges are there with Belarus as the most obvious example. But the opportunities are there as well – the advantages with European integration – and made clearly visible through the partnership.
Tomorrow we will receive the next group of visitors, this time the Swedish Parliamentary Committee on European Union affairs. A programme of 1,5 day put together by our Embassy staff – quite a challenge when only around five days are remaining until the elections on Sunday.
Still, the programme looks great – especially tomorrow – and I will use the opportunity to be introduced to some key issues just by participating. I am new and here I am served the possibility to learn about foreign policy, energy, shale gas, the elections and much more through Polish experts. Extremely useful.
Today is a day in between. Giving valuable office time for i.a. keeping control over my calendar as well as reading a draft report on the election campaign and its final stages. I just wish I already now could follow some Polish media myself. But I am still at an earlier stage in my language studies: practicing telephone calls and learning genitive.
Useful for everyday life. Still I need to learn much more. Perhaps I could glance through a newspaper article after Christmas? I wonder. But I will do my best.