MFA Undersecretary of State Konrad Pawlik attended the 25th anniversary event of the Centre for East European Studies. “The Centre’s graduates have a chance to become leaders of change in their countries,” he said on Saturday.
Held at the University of Warsaw’s Senate Hall, the event brought together several dozen people from Poland and East European countries, including parliamentarians, members of the diplomatic corps, university authorities, and the Centre’s former and current lecturers, students and graduates.
Addressing the assembled guests, Deputy Minister Konrad Pawlik emphasized that the establishment of the Centre for East European Studies was in keeping with the goals and ideas of opposition intellectuals, who had wanted to build the eastern dimension of foreign policy in the spirit of humanism, solidarity, and international dialogue. “With the programme’s curriculum being so well-rounded, graduates of the Centre for European Studies have a chance to become leaders of change in their countries. Thus, the Centre’s work fits in well with the Eastern Partnership’s social dimension,” he said.
As the deputy foreign minister declared, Poland’s diplomacy will continue to support the education of top specialists from Poland and abroad, who join in efforts to deepen ties between the countries of our region. “I should also stress that the Centre’s curriculum is a two-way street, meaning that young Poles discover the East, its history and present day, and make contacts with citizens of former Soviet republics. Together with their peers from the East, they form a unique group of people who can have a positive impact on Poland’s relations with its neighbours,” he added.
A day before, the deputy foreign minister met with the event’s guests of honour: signatories of the Belavezha Accords. They included Ukraine’s former President Leonid Kravchuk, Belarus’s first leader Stanislav Shushkevich, and Russia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Gennady Burbulis.
The Centre for East European Studies is one of the leading academic units in our region concerned with Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. An important part of the Centre’s educational work are scholarship programmes for foreign students and scholars. Implemented in cooperation with the MFA as part of Poland’s development assistance, the grants make it possible for several dozen foreigners from the former USSR to take up studies at the Centre each year. For young generations, education in Poland is a chance not only to develop their intellectual potential, but also to get to know our country better and promote European values.