20th Anniversary of PISM
The 17th Foreign Policy Forum, combined with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the appointment of the first director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) , was opened by Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland. Dr. Sławomir Dębski, Director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs, welcoming the President to the ceremony, stressed that the Institute is an instrument by which Poland participates in the international expert’s debate on the future of Europe and the world.
17 SEP 2019

In a speech addressed to the Institute's employees and guests, President Andrzej Duda expressed his gratitude to the Institute for its contribution to shaping Polish foreign policy. He added the opinion that this effort would be continued. Jacek Czaputowicz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, in his speech, added to his wishes the opinion that PISM is a reliable source of information. An institute is perceived broadly as an active actor, who participates in the presentation of the Polish position in the world. The representative of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Director Paweł Jabłoński, read out a congratulatory letter from Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. In his speech, Prof. Ryszard Stemplowski, the first director of PISM, stressed the role of institutional independence and autonomy in the analysis of foreign policy: The Institute must be autonomous, and analysts must be independent in their opinions. The first discussion panel of the Forum was devoted to the issue of Poland in a changing world in 1999-2019 and the role of expert institutions (think tanks). The panel gathered former Institute employees who continued their professional and academic careers: Dr Adam Eberhardt, Director of the Centre for Eastern Studies, Dr Beata Górka-Winter from the University of Warsaw, Dr Jakub Kumoch, Ambassador of Poland to the Swiss Confederation, Dr Ernest Wyciszkiewicz, Director of the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding, and Piotr Krawczyk, Director of the Polish Intelligence Agency. The discussion was moderated by the director of PISM. The participants agreed that expert knowledge is the basis for effective action, and the relationship between experts and decision-makers is mutual: politicians need experts, and experts need politicians because thanks to them they can gain influence over reality.

Four members of parliament participated in the Foreign Policy Forum: Piotr Apel (Kukiz 15), Władysław Teofil Bartoszewski (Polish People’s Party),  Włodzimierz Bernacki (Law and Justice) and Michał Szczerba (Civic Coalition). The debate was moderated by the director of PISM Sławomir Dębski.

Members of parliament answered questions concerning Poland’s relations with key partners, including the United States and Germany, as well as effective diplomacy. All panelists agreed that the presence of US troops in Poland, and other countries of NATO’s eastern flank, contributes to improving the security situation in the region. Włodzimierz Bernacki called for maintaining high level of defence spending. He also underlined that developing the North-South axis, both economically and politically, should be Poland’s priority. Michał Szczerba pointed out that close cooperation between the US and the European Union will enable both to boost their influence in world affairs. Piotr Apel emphasised the role of Polish diaspora in furthering Polish-American relations. Władysław Teofil Bartoszewski stressed the importance of continuity in foreign policy and called for closer cooperation in the framework of the Weimar Triangle.