Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has presented the main assumptions of Polish foreign policy for 2008 before the Polish Lower House, according to Polskie Radio.

In his address delivered in the Sejm on Wednesday morning, Sikorski introduced five key priorities of Polish foreign policy for the current year.

‘To strengthen Poland’s position in the European Community’, is the first priority in the Foreign Minister’s opinion.

The second, ‘ensuring better security through NATO membership’ should involve a better commitment on the part of the USA in modernisation of the Polish army.  At this point, Sikorski stressed Poland’s solidarity with Georgia and a need for Georgia’s future membership in NATO.

‘To improve Poland’s image on the international arena’, came as the third objective.  Radoslaw Sikorski said his Ministry would support initiatives aiming to promote Poland as a modern state and mentioned as examples the Polish Season in the UK, the year 2011 when Poland would preside over the EU, and finally the EURO 2012 football championships to be co-hosted with Ukraine.

The fourth objective accorвing to Sikorski, is ‘to boost the position of Poles living abroad’ and should involve improved consular support offered to Polish emigrants and adhering to the provisions of the ‘Poles Charter’ introduced last year, which gives Poles living in countries such as Belarus freedom of movement to travel in and out of Poland.

The fifth and final policy initiative, ‘to heal Polish diplomacy’ should be based on a new system of diplomatic training to streamline co-operation between the Polish foreign ministry and Polish and international experts and organisations.  Sikorski told the Lower House he would also like to improve languages skills among Polish diplomats.

Radoslaw Sikorski also defined Poland’s national interest and stressed the importance of further integration with the EU.

‘Poland’s membership in the EU inspires us to make a leap in civilisation. [...]  Such a leap is definitely in our national interest’, the Foreign Minister said.

He also criticised the former Law and Justice government’s foreign policy for its rigid attitude, and its labelling of the EU as ‘them’.

‘We all want the foreign policy of Poland to add to [Poland’s] prestige. [...]  Let us not involve the ideological squabbles among the political parties in our foreign policy’, Sikorski appealed to MPs.

In his speech, the Foreign Minister expressed a hope that Poland would soon join the group of EU Members who have ratified the Lisbon Treaty and adopt the common currency.

‘Today, our standard of life is not nearly half as high as that in the richest EU states, but if we maintain the rate of our economic growth [...], Poland may close the gap in 20 years’, he stressed.

Sikorski also expressed regret that he had not managed to cover all of the important issues regarding the Polish foreign policy, but informed that they could be found in a document called ‘The Assumptions for the Polish Foreign Policy for the year 2008’ prepared by the government in a co-operation with President Lech Kaczynski.

Polskie Radio