Football is still the dominating subject for discussions everywhere I go in Warsaw. I am asked to comment upon the latest games at my Polish lessons, quite challenging since the vocabulary is a bit special.
But in addition Euro 2012 is a recurrent theme also when diplomats meet, not least at the Estonian Victory Day Reception earlier today. Sweden is certainly and sadly out of the tournament but it seems that quite a few of my colleagues watched the game against France and liked what they saw. So did I.
It is also worth underlining and repeating that Poland has done a great job as host nation. My Estonian colleague said so today and I can clearly echo his message. Efficient organisation and a warm atmosphere – that’s what we see and hear. Poles have good reasons to be proud.
Slowly I see my own calendar becoming less squeezed than before. I still have quite a few external meetings continuing to get to know people i.a. in Polish media, which is essential to understand the society more in depth, and politics, whish is almost always and everywhere priority number one. I also try to have a special focus on some specific themes and issues. What happens on the European arena especially with the financial crisis is clearly one of them, and hence I was happy to listen to the new Minister of European Affairs Piotr Serafin yesterday.
An example of a very different kind is the area of gender equality, which also – too seldom noted – is essential when promoting economic growth. Estimations tell us that an increased female participation on the labour market could add between 13 and 25% to the European GDP.
Hence I am already looking forward to attend the 4th Congress of Women (Kongres kobiet) in mid-September.
But before that there will be both several more weeks of work in Warsaw and several weeks of vacation in Sweden.
Now in less than two hours I will leave the Embassy (where we have had an ordinary working day today) to celebrate Midsummer in a traditional Swedish way. I have heard from my daughters that the weather conditions in Stockholm are perfect. And at least it has stopped raining outside my window. So it looks encouraging here as well.