Facilitating Polish-Swedish cooperation

Blogging should be a regular exercise. I dislike my own irregularity. I have some excuses, but they are not really valid.

First there was this subregional conference in Budapest early February. Extraordinary city even if the weather and the ambitious programme kept me inside rather than enjoying the remarkable architecture and atmosphere along the Danube.

Then there was this regional meeting in Stockholm for all Swedish Ambassadors in the EU. Great opportunity both for interacting with colleges and for capturing political reflections and messages from our Ministers. Obviously the financial crisis continues to stay in focus.

But I noted also, not least, the continued strong emphasis on EU enlargement (with e.g. an important decision about a possible candidate country status forSerbiacoming up next month). And the emphasis on the EU neighbourhood policy including the Eastern Partnership as well as on the international human rights agenda – all issues very close to my own heart.

In addition I got the opportunity to meet key counterparts for Poland in the different Swedish ministries having the responsibility to take the declaration on intensified bilateral cooperation from May last year forward. This is an undertaking that now is very much in focus for this Embassy and myself.

Already very much is ongoing – especially in the area of Foreign Policy and within the framework of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy from 2009. Increasingly joint initiatives are taken and a very “down-to-earth” every day cooperation is taking place. Since I arrived in June last year I have seen much of this and to some extent been involved myself i.a. in the process of forming the “European Endowment for Democracy” – a Polish initiative brought forward during the EU Presidency.

But there are plenty of opportunities to become broader and deeper. Many officials I meet in Warsaw have already contacts established in Stockholm but are also keen to intensify the interaction. And the same could be said about Swedish actors in different fields. Innovation was one of the areas I discussed in Stockholm where Poland and Sweden already are sharing a joint responsibility within the EU Baltic Sea Strategy.

And yesterday I had the opportunity to discuss the area of environment with the new Polish Minister Marcin Korolec.

So there has been a lot of travelling and networking ongoing these last weeks. But no excuse for not blogging. On the contrary. I’ll try to improve.


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