Links to Bydgoszcz
Early Monday morning in a rainy Warsaw – though the weather forecasts for the rest of the week look more promising.
Looking back on a week when most of my time was devoted to the usual catching up needed after a vacation, in this case Easter holiday in a chilly and sometimes quite snowy Stockholm.
But last week’s programme also included my first visit to the beautiful city of Bydgoszcz where my wife Karin and I were warmly received both by the President of the city, Rafał Bruski, and the Woivoda of the Kujawsko-Pomorski woiwodship, Ewa Mes.
My colleague at the Embassy, Counsellor Gunnar Haglund, had recently visited the city and presented Swedish experiences in i.a. sustainable waste management including waste incineration and it was clear that there was a great interest in Bydgoszcz for further exchange in these matters. The new legislation that came into force this year and that puts the responsibility for the waste in the hands of cities and municipalities seems to be an important driver behind innovative thinking.
And the Swedish experiences clearly show that there is a lot to gain when you stop wasting the waste and instead use it as an asset, not least for production of energy.
But there were other links to Sweden as well. A cultural cooperation with Östergötland and the two cities of Linköping and Norrköping was still well remembered and the experience of opening museums also at nights was taken over from this cooperation – and had clearly been a success.
Most substantial however are the connections created through the fact that there are several Swedish students studying medicine also in Bydgoszcz. In Gdansk there are over 400. In Bydgoszcz less – but still, as I was told, 60 of them!
Now we will look in to the possibilities to further strengthening the ties between Bydgoszcz and Sweden. On a personal level I look forward to the international Opera Festival, unfortunately not this year but in a year’s time we will be there.
Looking forward to ths week I note in my calendar that external activities are becoming more and more frequent. One today in the Medicover hospital in Warsaw. One tomorrow together with BAE Hägglunds.
And Friday I will participate in – and make a short introduction to – a gender equality conference “More Women on the Labour Market and on the Companies’ Boards – Nordic experience, Polish challenge and Europan Dimension”. I will not least be happy to receive our State Secretary for these issues (whom I got to know more than 30 years ago), Ms Amelie von Zweigbergk. She will be contributing to the panel on how to reconcile work and family life, a key issue – as I understand it – for the every day life of many Poles today.
Reporting back to you about this in an upcoming blog…