Prime Minister of Poland

Speech made to the Assembly

Thursday, 13 May 1993

I am very touched by having an opportunity to speak to you. Only a year ago I was sitting here in this hémicycle. I was and I still am a member of this Assembly. I feel as though I am at my own home. But my role has become different now. I represent a country – a country that is going along a long route which has never been travelled by anyone else.

Now we have a democratic country. Our economy has been unshackled from central planning. We live in a country that respects human rights and the rule of law, a country building its present and future on the body of basic values that belong to the political grammar of the west.

But even though only a few years have passed, the mood has changed radically, both in the east and the west. The euphoria, optimism, belief in the triumph of freedom and democracy all seem to have been replaced by prevailing feelings of concern, uncertainty and pessimism.

In both parts of Europe, people are debating the sources, strength and development of national and ethnic separatism and the influence of populism. They are trying to find out why civic solidarity loses in the conflict with aggressive nationalism. Some blame the present difficulties in the west primarily on the recession and unemployment which result in deplorable manifestations: economic threats of trade war between the world’s powers. Others underscore political problems: the evident crisis of state structures affecting many countries and the fragility of governments and traditional political parties. Those problems bring about apathy and the citizens’ withdrawal from public life and retreat into privacy.

Post-communist Europe faces problems which seem to be even more difficult. I do not need to talk about the immense tasks that challenge the Poles, as well as the other people who have just regained their freedom and sovereignty.

The transformations go very deep and entail serious social costs, as well as psychological costs that are difficult to estimate. Without leaving their own country, people feel like immigrants who have to learn a new world, new rules of behaviour or even a new language and like people who have to search for a new place for themselves and their families.

The atmosphere of depression and pessimism in the east and the west is reinforced by the tragic conflicts and savage acts in the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union.

Those wars that are fought to capture land and people confront us with the question of the new role of the international community in maintaining and creating conditions for peace, in respecting human rights and rights of minorities and nations.

The triumph of democracy demands a high price to be paid both in internal affairs and international relations. We face huge tasks commensurate to the difficult end of the century. Those tasks are not just a problem of particular countries struggling to find a way to democracy and a development market economy; they concern everyone. The whole of Europe should search for solutions to the difficulties that are so great and severe that they cannot be reduced to problems of any one country.

Poland and other countries of our region are ready to participate in the creation of a new European order. We belong to Europe and we wish to take part in designing its new contours. We are also aware that a successful solution to our problems largely depends on the answer to the question of the shape that the new Europe will take.

The great challenges we face demand courageous thinking, long-term perspective and the ability to see beyond national, regional or group interests and ambitions. They demand strong will and strong European leadership. We must think not only about what others can do for us, but also about what we all can do for a culturally luminous Europe. To paraphrase the famous sentence by John Kennedy “Do not ask what Europe can do for yourself, ask what you can do for Europe.”

Ladies and gentlemen, what is it that we, Poles and central Europeans, can contribute to the work of the creation of a great European community?

A significant contribution we can make to a common Europe is through our commitment, our European passion and our belief in the value and importance of a common Europe.

Our complicated history has always made us turn to Europe. Europe has been the place where the fundamental elements of our common culture and civilisation have been preserved. We have turned to Europe not only for intellectual inspiration, but for models of political organisation and for economic ideas. Poland’s full membership of the Council of Europe was a sign of our return to Europe.

A significant threat posed by the present situation is the destabilisation of our continent. The source of this threat can be found in nationalist movements, ethnic separatism and in regional ambitions.

It should be emphasised that despite the very difficult point of departure, Poland is now a place of peace and stability. That is largely due to the tragic experiences in our history.

The stability and sense of security that the Poles now enjoy originate in large from the state of relations with our neighbours. Thanks to the foreign policy implemented by the successive democratic governments, we have very good relations with all our neighbouring countries.

To show better the significance of this achievement, let me stress the radical character of changes in our external situation over the recent years. A few years ago, Poland bordered on three countries: the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia. Today none of those countries is displayed on the map of the world, and Poland has now not three, but seven neighbours.

A major factor in Poland’s good relations with its neighbours is the fact that all the countries have mutually recognised the existing state borders. There is also no national minority in Poland that uses separatist slogans. The minorities in Poland enjoy all the rights guaranteed by international agreements. In this respect, Poland’s situation is exceptional among the states that have regained independence or, after the fall of the Soviet Empire, have started to lay the groundwork of their own statehood for the first time in their history.

Poland plays an important role in many regional projects which aim to bring the peoples of our part of Europe close together, and to ensure their close co-operation in creating conditions for peace and progress.

We have actively supported, and continue to support, the Vishehrad Agreement of four countries: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. An important stage in the development of co-operation within the “tetragon” area has been the introduction of a free trade zone called CEFTA. We view this co-operation as a step towards full integration with the European Community, as well as a vital factor of stability in the region, and a model of civilised and effective modernisation of countries moving out of communism.

What should be stressed is our effort to create other regional agreements: the central European initiative in the south, and the Baltic agreement in the north, not to mention the system of bilateral links with our neighbouring countries, developed to create conditions for peaceful co-operation to the benefit of all parties involved. With the same goal in mind, we promote transfrontier, local and regional co-operation.

Ladies and gentlemen, integration of Poland and other countries of the Vishehrad Agreement with the European Community and western security structures will not destabilise our continent, but, on the contrary, will be conducive to its favourable development and to a new balance established after the conclusion of the cold war.

Our economic potential, markets, proximity to the large countries of the east can all contribute to a dynamic development of the whole of Europe. Working towards close, political, military and economic ties with Europe, we do not wish to cut off and isolate the countries lying east of Poland.

We are convinced that the ties of Poland – the ties of the Vishehrad countries – with the European Community and Nato will also be beneficial to the countries that no so long ago belonged to the Soviet Union. For we can offer much to them when working together with western countries.

A trip to Moscow, Kiev, Vilnius or Minsk suffices to show how important the example of Poland and other central European countries is for the local way of thinking about reforms and democratic transformations. What is being discussed in those eastern countries is the experiences of our shock therapy, of the opening of our economy to the world, of the liberalisation of prices, the introduction of currency convertibility, of ownership transformations, of the advantages and disadvantages of the adopted party systems, etc. Our distinguished experts are invited to those countries to serve as advisers.

Our government lends its fullest support to ties of that kind. We consider it as our simple duty to share with those whom we are able to help.

We believe that we could do much more for those countries in agreement and co-operation with western countries. Our major assets are the knowledge of central and Balkan Europe, the knowledge of languages and of the problems those countries are facing while making their way out of the rubble of communism. Together we are able to do a lot of good for the countries that seek hope and assistance.

An agreement along the Paris-Bonn-Warsaw axis may bear particular importance in that respect. The idea of close co-operation along this line, which emerged some time ago, and which envisages periodic meetings of foreign ministers of the three countries, still awaits its raison d’être to be found. A large-scale project of assistance of the countries of the former Soviet Union – not only for Russia, which at present attracts the attention of the world – may actually serve this purpose, and the venture should be joined by other interested countries.

Poland knows the price of peace. Poland knows the price of freedom. Our national tradition has many times in history made us join the struggle for independence of other countries in the belief that it would also contribute to our own freedom. It is this belief that in the 19th century bore the slogan “For our freedom and yours”.

That tradition is still very strong in Poland. It finds expression, among other things, in Poles actively taking part in the work of international peacekeeping forces in different parts of the globe. We are ready to intensify our participation in the efforts of the international community aimed at maintaining and – hopefully in the future – at creating conditions for peace.

There are many lessons to be learnt from the tragic experiences of the peoples of former Yugoslavia. One of those lessons concerns the inadequacy of, and delays in, the response of the international community, including Europe. Those experiences should be very well thought through. What is necessary is a collective reflection on the conditions for the creation of effective safeguards of respect for human rights, for the rights of minorities and the rights of nations on our continent and in other parts of the world. We are ready to take part in the search for new answers and new solutions that could prevent the tragic Balkan events from happening again. We are also ready to participate in creating the conditions for permanent peace and justice.

Poland is ready to participate actively and carry relevant costs related to the common security of Europe’s democratic countries. We hope for a fast- moving process of integration with the Western European Union and Nato. We are glad to notice a growing western understanding of our security needs. Our security means greater security for Europe and for our eastern neighbours too.

There are problems which, due to their very nature, cannot be dealt with within the borders of individual states, or within the borders of communities or pacts. Those comprise new security problems which incorporate aspects other than those of a military nature, such as mass migrations, ecological threats, international crime, drug trafficking, radioactive substances and illegal arms trade. Situated in the area affected by those threats, Poland is vitally interested in searching for effective international solutions with regard to all those problems.

As far as migration problems are concerned, we are explicitly against attempts made by individual states to pass the responsibility for creating their own security conditions on to other countries. The only possible result of such an approach is an export to weaker countries of one’s own social and political tensions which partially derive from illegal immigration; the weaker countries are thus being transformed into some kind of refugee camps. In order to avoid that situation, bilateral agreements must be concluded between the countries involved and, first, purposeful action should be taken on a European scale.

If we are not able to solve our common problems together, there is a danger that, consciously or not, we will draw a new border between the east and the west, right along the line of the former border separating the two hostile blocs.

These are the major areas to which we can contribute in the process of constructing a strong, steady and integrated European Community. To allow our full participation in the collective effort, certain conditions must be satisfied by European Community countries. .

We expect a clear commitment by the Community to the idea of a common Europe. We await its unequivocal declaration stating that a common Europe is also a goal it seeks to achieve. We note with satisfaction every sign showing that our submissions are received with growing understanding. It is in this welcoming spirit that we receive, among other things, the suggestions of the European Commission addressed to member countries.

Europe has been our goal and our hope. This hope was, and continues to be, an important mobilising as well as stabilising factor.

That is vital not only for our countries, but also for all of Europe. The Community bears great responsibility not to let that asset be irreversibly lost. Power also means obligations to be met and responsibility to be assumed. The Community should not devote all of its attention to the undoubtedly important, but at the same time narrow problems of the Single Market. If it turns its back on its neighbours, that attitude must eventually backfire and affect unfavourably the Community itself.

A purposeful, open and dynamic policy from the Community towards our countries will be beneficial for the transformation and stimulation of the development of our political systems as well as for consolidation of our democratic institutions.

Opening the Community’s markets to products from central and eastern Europe is not only a requirement of a fundamental principle of justice, but also of economic logic. Despite the declared will of offering our countries assistance by conclusion of asymmetric European agreements, the facts and trade balances show that the main beneficiary of that exchange is the Community itself. The restrictive trade policy we face, a policy that is being implemented under the veil of diverse excuses, is doing tangible harm to our countries and undermines confidence in the Community’s good intentions. The policy gives rise to misgivings that group self-interest and the influential lobbies of various countries are able to impose their will at the expense of Europe’s long-term benefits.

Lack of imagination and wide perspectives in Community policy towards our countries may result in the strengthening of those parties and circles in central and eastern Europe that are against European integration. So far, those groups are still in the minority.

In our relations we need not follow the somewhat classical sequence: first economic integration, followed by political and defence integration. The character of our times forces us to accelerate the process of integration in all those aspects. Only political will and pragmatism should determine the order, pace and character of transformations as regards each of those areas of action. What is extremely important for us is not just changes in economic relations, but a growing sense of security and participation in the political decision-making process in Europe.

It should be stressed at this point that the political and defence integration, being advantageous for the whole continent, will also largely contribute to the consolidation of new and still fragile democratic institutions in our countries.

We can participate in the creation of conditions for stability and security in Europe while Europe can contribute to the consolidation of democracy and better development prospects in our countries.

Poland appreciates very much the assistance offered to us by the Council of Europe. In particular, we recognise the great value of helping us:

  • in strengthening protection of human rights;
  • in amending our legal system to get a full rule of law;
  • in supporting local democracy and transfrontier co-operation;
  • and in the whole scope of different training programmes.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are convinced that the primary challenge for the democratic and developed Europe, for both the European Community and EFT A countries, is finding a formula of integration with us, the inhabitants of the other Europe. Together we have to search for ways of building an all European community.

A long-term European policy should originate from the ideals of Jean Monnet and Robert Schumann, for whom the unity of western Europe was only to be a point of departure, a preparatory stage preceding creation of a common Europe.

This moment has now come. The window of opportunity opens before us. Let us not overlook it in an unconscious struggle for a vision of Europe that already belongs to the past. What we need is a political will inspired by those ideals, by the ideal of a broadened Europe, of a Europe that preserves the richness of the different identities of its peoples, but which is at the same time open and generous, of a Europe that is luminous with the value of its economic achievements and cultural creativity, and a sense of obligation towards weaker and poorer societies. It is only such an ideal of Europe that can render a purpose to our efforts and make true the bold vision of the Treaty of Rome.

Thank you for your attention.


Thank you very much, Mrs Suchocka, for your interesting speech to our Assembly. You have kindly agreed to answer questions without notice from members of the Assembly. I already have a list of ten members who have said that they wish to put questions to you. You are a member of the Assembly, so you know our procedure. Each of our colleagues has no longer than thirty seconds in which to put his question. You may then answer. The questioner has the opportunity to put a supplementary question, again lasting no more than thirty seconds. Nine of the ten members who want to ask questions have kindly informed me of the nature of those questions, so I have been able to group some of them together.

The first two questions relate to economic affairs and are to be asked by Mr Kelam from Estonia and Mr Güner from Turkey. I call Mr Kelam. He is not here, so I call Mr Güner.

Mr GÜNER (Turkey)

I am pleased to see you among us once again, Mrs Suchocka. I am aware that Poland’s privatisation programme is an important part of its economic reforms. Please could you elaborate a little on that? What are the problems? Are you satisfied with the programme’s implementation? How are you coping with the problems?

Ms Suchocka, Prime Minister of Poland

I suspect that Mr Kelam is so pleased that Estonia has become a member of the Council of Europe that he is not here.

On Mr Güner’s question about Poland’s privatisation programme, this is probably not the place in which to give a lecture on that. However, I can give some general information on our progress. I shall give some examples of privatisation. The rise in production in Poland has been the result mainly of the dynamic development of the private sector. The position in Poland has always been different from that of other eastern and central European countries as it has always had a much larger private sector, even under communist rule. Currently, there are 1,6 million non-agricultural private businesses. A quarter of manufacturing is in the private sector. Overall, almost 60% of Poles now work in the private sector, which accounts for almost half of our gross domestic products.

Agriculture was, in effect, privatised under the communist regime. We began our privatisation programme in 1991 when we passed the first bill to allow us to proceed with privatisation. Two weeks ago, our parliament passed a mass privatisation bill. The privatisation process follows different paths and we follow the best path for a particular privatisation. We do not think that having only one path is the best way to proceed in a country such as Poland. The first path was created in 1991, and the second was created two weeks ago with the mass privatisation bill. We are now preparing the third path with the so-called pact of enterprises. That involves the privatisation of state-owned enterprises and will give more power to both the employers and the employees.

Privatisation will not be from the centre, from the government administration, but from the bottom. We propose to include about 4 000 enterprises in the process. It is a huge task for us, a big experiment, but we have to start with experiments because if we follow the way of other countries we shall not be successful. We are looking for our own way.


Do you want to ask a supplementary, Mr Güner?


No. I thank Madam Prime Minister for her excellent information which is to my full satisfaction.


Thank you Mr Güner. I would never deny you the right or opportunity to thank Mrs Suchocka. Three of our colleagues want to put questions on equality between men and women and on related problems. Mrs Robert of Switzerland wished to ask a question but as she is not present, I call Mrs Err of Luxembourg.

Mrs ERR (Luxembourg) (translation)

Madam Prime Minister, during the debate on the right to free choice of maternity, which took place at the beginning of the week, the Polish delegation, with one exception, played a big part in securing the rejection of the recommendation included in the report.

I would like to know what you, as a woman and in your capacity as Prime Minister, think personally about the free choice of maternity.

Mrs HAVIK (Sweden)

In an open letter from the Polish feminist association it is stated that the new abortion law passed by the Polish Parliament in January 1993 allows for abortion if the continuation of the pregnancy threatens a woman’s life or health, if a pregnancy has occurred as a result of legally recognised rape or incest, or if the foetus is seriously deformed. However, the law does not provide for women to decide on maternity under any circumstances. In your opinion, is the outcome of that new legislation satisfactory? If it is not, in what way is your government prepared to take further steps to improve women’s democratic rights in this respect?

Ms Suchocka, Prime Minister of Poland

I am aware of the questions and I know the problem. The matter was discussed in the Assembly and members are aware of the complicated problems. The answer depends on one’s political conscience and beliefs. I have been asked for my personal view and I shall give that. I am a Catholic so my view on the question is based on Catholic dogma. I am against abortion. The law passed by the Polish Parliament was a difficult compromise between two different drafts and different points of view in the parliament. The solutions reached in Polish law are the same or similar to those that exist in Spain, Portugal or Israel. In those countries, people of one religion form the highest percentage of the population, and religion plays an important role. Poland is such a country because Catholics form about 90% of the population. As I have said, the law that we have passed is a compromise. Of course, my personal answer will not be accepted by those who are strong fighters for the right to free maternity. I have given my personal view and, as I am a Catholic, I have no choice to present any other.


The Council received an open letter from the Polish feminist association, but I do not have the time here and now to read it out. There is shocking information in that letter and I hope that you have read it. If you have not, I shall hand it to you. It contains information which does not accord with equality between men and women. The former communist countries had other laws and that was some kind of freedom, but we are deleting communism and have to change the laws. In many cases, you have made them stronger and harder than those in many other countries.

Ms Suchocka, Prime Minister of Poland

I know all the arguments of the feminist movement and I also know the arguments of the other side, the pro-life movements. Of course, the feminist’s view of this problem is quite different from my personal view. But, as you know, parliament decides and it has passed the law. It thought that perhaps this law was the best. I can tell you that both the pro-life fighters and the feminists are disappointed by the law. In my opinion, such a compromise is perhaps the best way to try to solve the problem in Poland. Of course, the feminists will start again, but that is normal. There was a difference of opinion in the debate in the Assembly because the problem is so complicated and difficult. I think that difference of opinion will exist for ever.


Thank you, Mrs Suchocka. We now have two questions related to crime, the first of which is from Sir Russell Johnston of the United Kingdom.

Sir Russell JOHNSTON (United Kingdom)

In your address you mentioned organised crime. I understand that it is a serious and, indeed, a growing problem in Poland. Is there anything that we can do to help you to tackle this problem, and have you sought the assistance of western countries in this respect?

Mr KÖNIG (Austria)

As has been said, organised crime is an ever-increasing problem, especially for countries in central and eastern Europe. One of the areas of organised crime is car theft, which is a major source of income for international organised criminals. Is the Polish Government willing to introduce the sort of documents for cars that are used in western European countries, the so-called Typenschein identity cards, as a prerequisite for the legal sale of cars so as to join the fight against organised crime?

Ms Suchocka, Prime Minister of Poland

As I said, crime, and especially crime on the eastern borders of our country, is one of our biggest problems but it is caused not only by internal factors but by the situation outside. Poland lies on the route between the former Soviet Union and the western countries. That is why the problem is so great in Poland. Of course, we try to combat crime. When I visited Germany, I met Chancellor Kohl and the Minister for Internal Affairs to discuss how we can work together to stop crime. I believe that we will find a solution but money and good organisation are necessary. As we are in a period of transformation, we have difficulties with both of those things. We must first computerise our borders to ensure closer border controls – I do not mean that we wish to close the borders but that we must introduce more control.

We are considering car documents but it is not easy simply to introduce them. We must decide how to organise such documents and avoid crimes involving them. We could create new crimes involving black market sales of car documents. We are considering the issue, but the problem is, how should we prepare for the process? In this respect, western countries could be very helpful. Your ministers and ministers from our country could form a working group to consider how we can co-operate and find the necessary solution.


Madam Prime Minister, I appreciate the fact that you are ready to co-operate with western institutions and experts. Nevertheless, I urge you to look into the question of documents which, in western countries, are an approved means of making it far more difficult to sell stolen cars illegally. I am pretty sure that you will be given all the help available in the west so that you may proceed as efficiently as possible.

Ms Suchocka, Prime Minister of Poland

I have said that we are ready to come to an agreement with other countries. We came to an agreement with Germany and we are now looking for the best way to guarantee the process.

Mr GOTZEV (Bulgaria) (translation)

Madam Prime Minister, you have just outlined some really marvellous prospects regarding the relationship between the former communist countries and that part of Europe which is already united.

In this connection, do you have the impression that communism is staging a sort of comeback in Poland, in the form of neo-communism? Do you think that it is necessary to take steps to counteract this tendency, if it exists? Above all, what action do you intend to take in the economic field where, I think, the danger is greatest?

Ms Suchocka, Prime Minister of Poland

You have outlined many problems. My short answer, is that I can only offer to read the document quoted by Mr Martinez which was prepared here. It deals with the dangers of the transformation process in the whole world. The problems and questions that you mentioned, Mr Gotzev, exist in every country. We are changing from a communist – or to use a wider term, totalitarian – system to a democratic system. In some of the countries around Poland, one can see that some of the elements of the former system are being revised. Does that mean that there is no communism, or that we are at a different stage in the development of social democracy? It is my opinion – but not only mine – that in going forward, we never come to the same water. In Poland our political institutions and organisations are changing so much that it is impossible for us to return to communism. However, there is a danger that the consciousness of society is changing. I have observed that society is favouring the former system but that situation exists in many countries. It is our task to improve our economic life so that we can transform our system in such a way as to make it impossible to go backwards. Of course, that is very difficult.

I am sure that, after the bitter lessons of primitive communism, no-one could believe that Poland could return to the version that existed before in Poland. That is my answer.

Mr RUFFY (Switzerland) (translation)

Madam Prime Minister, the academies of science in the former communist bloc were regarded as think- tanks and research institutes which mainly, if not exclusively, served the interests of the party. Despite this severe intellectual hindrance, these establishments brought together some very eminent figures who performed outstanding services for the whole of Europe.

What is the future of the Polish Academy of Science? More generally speaking, what are relations like between the universities and the Polish Government?

Ms Suchocka, Prime Minister of Poland

The academy of science exists, and I believe that it should exist, in Poland. However, as in other matters, it should be reorganised. It is very difficult to find a new place for the academy of science in the context of the old structure and system. As you know, institutions such as universities and the different specialist academies are difficult to change in relation to their structure. Discussion about the place of the academy of science in our society started two or three years ago. We are also looking for a new place for the academy because we now have such a strange situation with respect to the universities and the academy of science. We have to decide on the difference between the academy and universities and how we can organise relations between both bodies.

Of course, it is not so easy to find the answers. The relationship between universities and the state and our law on high schools is difficult. Universities have autonomy and in the new situation there is great autonomy. Of course, we now have the Ministry of Education while we formerly had the special Ministry for Higher Education. We now have only one Ministry of Education for all aspects and levels of education. Autonomy is now safeguarded by the law and by the status of universities.

Mr RUFFY (translation)

Mr President, as you do not intend to deprive us of the opportunity to thank the Prime Minister, I will do so by saying that I particularly appreciated her wisdom on the subject of security in Europe. I am painfully aware of the fact that, because of its Statute, our Assembly is unable to discuss this problem properly.


I have not seen Mr Kovacs. He is not in the hémicycle. I am sure that Mrs Suchocka will be pleased to respond to Mr Kelam, who was giving a radio interview on the occasion of his country being recommended for full membership. I am sure that Mrs Suchocka will be pleased to respond to his question. Mr Kelam, do you want to put your question?

Mr KELAM, special guest from Estonia

Thank you, Mr President. Madam Prime Minister, I would like to ask you about your vision of possible political and economic co-operation between Poland, the Baltic states and, perhaps, Finland. I am reminded that at the beginning of the 1920s there was very close political collaboration at the level of regular meetings of Foreign Ministers of Finland, the Baltic states and Poland. Do you see any such possibility in the near future?

Ms Suchocka, Prime Minister of Poland

I congratulate Estonia on becoming a full member of the Council of Europe. I understand what that means. Poland became a full member of the Council of Europe not so long ago, but it seems very long ago because we feel as though we have been a full member for many years. I see Mr Kelam’s Minister for Foreign Affairs in the hémicycle. I met him some weeks ago and we discussed very carefully the problem of co-operation. Last week, I met the President of Estonia, and we discussed the same problem. The problem of Baltic co-operation is of great importance and interest to all our countries.

In a divided Europe, the Baltic sea was the frontier, but it now just another sea and another place since we became involved in friendly co-operation. However, what is very important for all our countries in that area is pollution. We have discussed that matter very strongly with representatives from other countries and also with tire Prime Minister who visited Poland two weeks ago. I have very good relations with all Prime Ministers of the Baltic states. We know that that is in our common interests.

An important proposal for each country is the Via Baltica. We are all interested in that because it will create the possibility of relations between northern countries and the so-called Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. From Polish territory, that road will go to the south of Europe. It is one of the better projects. I believe that it will be possible to finalise the project, but of course, as I have said several times today, with the help of western countries, because such a burden is not only for us. That is my point of view.


We are all happy with that. Madam Prime Minister, it was certainly a very successful performance, but moreover it was a very happy moment for all of us.

I want to express to you the warm gratitude of the Assembly for your address and for the very devoted way in which you responded to the questions from our colleagues. We have been delighted and honoured to see you back in the Assembly of which you are a respected member.

There is something that we do not do very often. Indeed, it is something that we do very seldom. I have done it only once in my mandate. That something is to give some of our distinguished guests a present which is the medal of the Assembly and which carries their name and the date on which they attended the meeting. I did not want to give you that medal in my office or during the lunch break. I want to give it to you in front of all our colleagues and on behalf of all our colleagues.