SEA | The President of Poland at SEA
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The President of Poland at SEA

The President of Poland at SEA

On 18 September, the Business Centre Club hosted the Polish President Bronisław Komorowski. The president visited Lubomirski Palace at the invitation of the Euro-Atlantic Association (SEA).
The president was accompanied by former Secretary of State, Head of the National Security Bureau Stanisław Koziej. The subject of the meeting was the National Security Strategic Review and its conclusions, including the economic-security dimension.

President Komorowski thanked BCC for the invitation, emphasized that he felt at home there, among well-known associates and friends. As a former chairman of SEA, he mentioned that the association is conducting a very difficult task, but that it is worth doing because it is a platform for the exchange of views. SEA has been running for 19 years and has achieved its most important statutory objective-Poland’s membership in NATO. Thanks to SEA’s involvement in Polish security issues, the document “Strategic Review of National Security” was created; and now it’s time for the government to act, he said.
The president pointed out that next year, two important anniversaries will be marked-10 years of membership in the European Union and the 15th anniversary of Poland’s NATO membership-and that these occasions should serve as reminders of the arduous journey undertaken and as moments to discuss future plans. The more that Poles hold a skeptical attitude to the effectiveness of the Alliance, according to research, the more the focus should be on restoring the public’s confidence in security policy through the development of Poland’s NATO activities. How closely Poland adheres to Alliance strategy after the Afghan mission certainly will be discussed at the next NATO summit. In his speech, President Komorowski declared Poland has a consistent desire to complete the mission in Afghanistan, but must also put emphasis on building its own national security given the country’s geopolitical situation.
Poland will not go everywhere, every time
During the discussion, members of SEA asked whether Poland should continue to participate actively in missions if such operational activities increase the country’s prestige on the international arena (Ambassador Jerzy M. Nowak). The president said that if needed, and the possibility exists, of course it would involve Poland. But he added, “we will not always go, because then no one will be grateful that we went somewhere. We do not need to prove to the world that we are the bravest. We need to focus on building the security of [our] own territory, which testifies to our credibility in terms of military capabilities. Thus, external liabilities we will deal with to the best of our ability, but not at the expense of building our own security system”.
A professional army with modern equipment
Gen. Andrzej Karkoszka asked about spending on defense. President Komorowski said that there is a subtle battle between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Defence. Certainly, he said, Poland needs to spend funds allocated to defense wisely, but since it decided to set up a modern, professional army, it should be armed with modern equipment, otherwise it makes no sense. As the head of the armed forces, he said he will therefore persuade the MF with other solutions for actions favorable to the army.
Sensitive defense industry
Gen. Leon Komornicki asked about the management of the Polish defense industry. The president said that it was a difficult issue because it deals with powers divided across various ministries. He said there needs to be an awareness of the sensitive nature of the government in certain areas, such as in energy and defense. The consolidation of the defense industry is an important direction, he said, and one that requires good coordination with the prime minister to be effective.
At the end of the meeting, Marek Goliszewski declared that SEA will support the president’s efforts to complete the mission in Afghanistan and in building national security given the country’s geopolitical situation. President Komorowski reminded the audience of next year’s anniversary and expressed hope that the association would take part in it.


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