Higher School of International Relations and Social Communication in Chełm organized an EUact event in Poland on 4 April 2019. The event titled “EU Debate 2019” took place at Conference Hall – Hotel Europa, Lublin ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 29.
As not that many events related to the EU are organized in Poland, the debate attracted students from five universities. Interesting discussion was provided by experts from EU issues, well-known politicians that covered the topics such as “EU regional policy”, “Citizen-Society-Nation in the EU” and “Variants of the direction of democratization processes of the functioning of EU institutions”. The event made it possible to answer bothering and important questions about the EU.
Most of the young people in Poland are EU supporters and show enthusiasm for Poland’s membership in the EU. They appreciate the opportunities created by the European community: freedom of movement, development opportunities. The issue of admitting refugees to Europe still arouses great emotions among Poles. As one of the speakers underlined “We appreciate the separateness, but Poland was and is a country with strong Christian roots and the majority would like it to remain.”
Young Poles want the strong EU Community institutions. They want a strong EU economy, but they also want a Union that respects the individuality of individual states. As one of the speakers summed up: “We need a Europe of homelands, where economic ties will be strengthened while preserving cultural separateness.” Young Poles see a great need to actively participate in the vote to the European Parliament (EP) elections. They do not want to remain a “lonely island of Europe”, they see the need to belong to the EU. A large proportion of young people declare participation in the EP elections. Former Marshal of the Lublin Voivodship Grabczuk stressed “If we want to be in the EU, we have to vote.”
The debate contributed to greater involvement in the EP elections, mainly active students took part in it – representatives of academic self-governments, representatives of scientific sections, opinion-forming students, well-known and popular in the academic community.
- Beata Mazurek – Member of the Parliament, Vice Marshal of the Polish Sejm, PiS politician
- Elżbieta Kruk – Member of the Parliament, Chairwoman of the National Council of Radio Broadcasting and Television, from 2016 member of the National Media Council, PiS politician
- Krzysztof Hetman – Member of the European Parliament, V-ce President of the PSL, former Marshal of the Voivodship, PSL politician
- Professor Kazimierz Kik – a well-known figure in Poland, an advocate of the EU;
- Krzysztof Grabczuk (PhD) – PO politician, EU supporter, former mayor Chełm, former Marshal of the Voivodship
- Riad Haidar – PO politician, doctor, activist, local government official, well-known Polish politician
With remarks from:
- Przemysław Czarnek, Voivode of Lublin
- Jarosław Stawiarski, Marshal of the Voivodeship