Deputy Prime Minister Jan Björklund visited Warsaw
I have some very hectic days behind me. Fortunately very successful as well. Our Deputy Prime Minister Jan Björklund looked satisfied when I said goodbye to him at the airport late yesterday afternoon.
His main area of responsibility in Government is education and research. Hence, these themes were obvious focus areas for the programme our Embassy prepared for him. We started directly Tuesday afternoon with a visit to the private University SWPS where there were some really excellent presentations made, illustrating the inovative and interdisciplinary character of their activities.
Additionally SWPS is providing education in Swedish for an increasing number of Polish students – for the moment 150. That makes the University a natural and close partner for our Embassy (including for the Lucia celebrations where SWPS students form the procession). I managed to get a picture of the Rector Andrzej Eliasz, Minister Björklund and Professor Witold Maciejewski outside the University before we hurried to next stop – Ericsson office.
Jan Björklund who now made his first visit to Poland had a clear ambition not only to develop the dialogue with his closest counterparts but also to get a broader sense of Poland as an increasingly important actor in Europe. The messages coming from different representatives for the Swedish business community were clearly positive – something Mr Björklund also communicated to Deputy Prime Minister Jan Vincent-Rostowski during their meeting Wednesday morning. Even if some concerns remain in the business climate survey recently made by Business Sweden and our Embassy like bureaucracy and difficulties to obtain information the overall trend is definitely encouraging.
With Minister for Education Krystyna Szumilas Jan Björklund i.a. exchanged experiences around the development of vocational training and apprenticeship systems as a way to fight youth unemployment, and with Minister Barbara Kudrycka cooperation in the area of research including the huge project ESS, European Spallation Source, that is going to be constructed in Lund. Polish Speakers can find more details on the Ministries’ websites:
The final part of the programme was devoted to visits at several memorial sites in Warsaw like the Ghetto wall, Umschlagsplats and the monument for the Ghetto Uprising.
In a couple of weeks there will be a follow up of the Polish-Swedish declaration on cooperation signed during the Swedish State Visit in Poland early May 2011, I clearly see the visit by Deputy Prime Minister Björklund as another sign of the increasing energy the Swedish Government want to put into this strategic partnership, and I have already lost count of all the visitors we will receive later this autumn and winter. Today I will host a briefing for one more group led by the Swedish Ombudsman (JO) Lilian Wiklund.
But best of all news this week was the birth of a son to Daniel Larsson, Head of Business Sweden, and obviously a close colleague of ours. Our warmest congratulations to Daniel and his family. Last week my Deputy Ulrik had a son, this week Daniel. The autumn could not have started in a better way.