Summing up the week
Friday late afternoon. A long week approaching its end. And a long period without a blog as well.
Hectic days have been mixed with days focused on curing my cold. There are a lot of viruses around these days, and it would be a relief to finally get rid of them. I really look forward to restarting my jogging as soon as possible. Ten kilometres around Warsaw in sunshine, that is my private vision today. Let’s see how many weeks it takes to make it into a reality.
These last weeks have been politically very interesting, especially since the European Union managed to reach an agreement about the EU-budget 2014-2020 – where I was happy to see both Swedish and Polish leaders satisfied with the outcome.
I made a brief visit to Stockholm recently and managed to squeeze in a visit to the Polish Institute for a meeting both with the new Director Arkadiusz Bernas (who is replacing Katarzyna Tubylewicz) but also with all staff. We are cooperating closely in many ways i.a. very recently around LGBT-issues and the visit of Barbro Westerholm to Warsaw. They are really doing an excellent job, not least in modernising the image of Poland in Sweden. And I realise that I need to familiarize myself more with the famous Polish composer Witold Lutosławski - beacuse this year is his. The 100th Anniversary of his birth.
Because of my journey to Sweden I missed the visit by the Director of the Swedish documentary “Searching for sugar man”, Malik Bendjelloul. But I hope to see the movie very soon.
The week before gave us some excellent opportunities to interesting meetings during the visit of the Swedish MP Fredrik Malm from the Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs in the Swedish Parliament. I am happy to see the political interest interest in Sweden for visits to Poland increasing continously. In two weeks we will have another visit, then one week to the next and another ten days to the next… In parallell I had a very fruitful meeting with the Polish-Swedish friendshipgroup in the sejm, expressing a clear interest in a closer cooperation with Swedish colleges in a broad number of issues. Our Embassy will try to facilitate this as much as we can.
Already next week we will have a major event here hosted by Poland through the meeting in Gdańsk with the Foreign Ministers from the so called NB8-group (that is the Nordic and the Baltic countries) and from the Visegrad 4-group (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary). The first one is at present chaired by Sweden and the second by Poland, so the initiative is certainly very timely.
And it is no coincidence that the Statement of Foreign Policy presented by Foreign Minister Carl Bildt in the Parliament two days ago takes its clear starting point in our own part of the world: http://www.government.se/content/1/c6/20/90/53/c7791e9a.pdf Our neighbourhood areas are for obvious reasons fundamental to a foreign policy that at the same time embraces very different global issues like climate change, human rights abuses and free trade. I really recommend the declaration for reading – not primarily for professional reasons, even if it is my job to do so, but since I believe it gives a valuable insight in the priorities of Swedish foreign policy (that recently has been ranked by European Council for Foreign Relations as number four within EU with a prominent position also for Poland).
Enjoy the reading – and the weekend!