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"In the 1000+ years of Poland's history only a few moments have been as decisive"

18.04.2024 19:50
Former president, Alexander Kwaśniewski, has spoken to the Polish Press Agency (PAP) on the occasion of a conference summing up the 20 years of Poland's presence in the European Union - since 1 May 2004. 
Aleksander Kwaśniewski
Aleksander KwaśniewskiPhoto: IAR

"Poland's decision to enter the EU was historic and the accession of our country to the Community on 1 May 20024 was one of the most beautiful moments," said former president Alexander Kwaśniewski in an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP). Kwaśniewski was president during negotiations, the referendum and for the ratification of Poland's accession. 

The interview, conducted by PAP's deputy editor-in-chief Zuzanna Dąbrowska, was on the occasion of a conference to mark this year's 20th anniversary of Poland's membership in the EU. 

Asked about the hopes Poland and its leaders had in 2004 and the extent to which they have been fulfilled, Kwaśniewski replied:

"I do recall the hopes, and they have been fulfilled. [...] I was involved in the entire process - first of all the negotiations, then the campaign for the referendum, so for me it was obvious that the decision to join the EU is a historic one. Throughout the entire course of Poland's history (over a 1000 years) there have only been a few moments of comparable significance. "

Asked what still remains to be done to fulfil the postulates of Poland's entry, Kwasniewski said:

"The European Union is an ongoing project. We cannot just put a full stop to say that we have achieved something and now nothing remains to be done. The world is changing, we are changing, people's expectations are changing, challenges are different. The great power of the EU is its ability to adapt to the necessities of the contemporary world - though for some theses changes take place too slowly, as they must follow democratic principles."

Sources: PAP