Belfer Center Home > Publications > Press Release or Announcement > Media Features > Polish Foreign Minister: Create European Endowment for Democracy to support transformations in Middle East

EmailEmail   PrintPrint Bookmark and Share

 
Polish Foreign Minister: Create European Endowment for Democracy to support transformations in Middle East

Polish Foreign Minister: Create European Endowment for Democracy to support transformations in Middle East

Media Feature

February 28, 2011

Author: Cathryn Clüver, Executive Director, The Future of Diplomacy Project

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: The Future of Diplomacy Project

 

The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Poland, Radoslaw Sikorski, said the European Union should create an endowment for democracy to financially support nascent democratic organizations and civil society in its Southern neighborhood. Speaking in a recent Future of Diplomacy Project interview, Sikorski referenced the joint EU-US initiative to support democratization in Belarus, which had raised EUR 87 million at a February donors’ conference, as a model to consider for transforming nations in Europe’s North African neighborhood.

Such an endowment “will support the groups that create civil society in undemocratic countries, because never again should we be helpless – should only have the choices between the tyrant and the fanatic,” he said.

He also noted that nascent democratic movements would look first to Europe, not to the United States, for models of functional transition. “Countries are usually reluctant to take the US as an example because you [the US] operate at a different scale and you haven’t had a revolution in a while. They are more likely to listen to advice from comparable countries,” he said, pointing to Europe’s long history of revolutionary movements.

Similarly, democratization efforts had to be supported in Europe’s Eastern neighborhood. Realizing the Eastern Partnership would be part of Poland’s plans for its six-month tenure at the head of the European Council beginning in June 2011, the minister noted. Formal or informal government-to-government talks, such as within the Weimar Triangle, would not be enough to effect true change, Sikorski said. The European Union had to continue to engage oppositional forces in “undemocratic Russia” and in countries in its immediate neighborhood that were still ruled by dictators.

A need for more – not less - Europe

The speed of European integration had to be enhanced through the completion of the Single Market, he said. “Overcoming malaise,” after the financial crisis had to mean “more Europe – we must open our markets to new competition.”

Speaking on the future of Europe’s nascent Foreign Service and its defense and security policy, he said: “We are much better represented in trade after we’ve given up our sovereignty and allowed the Commission to represent us in these negotiations. Diplomacy must be backed up by force occasionally and so diplomacy and defense commitments must be better planned and coordinated.”
Poland would make every effort to enhance Europe’s capacity to advance European defense policy, as the latter could be necessary to enhance its diplomatic goals in the future. “The United States will be delighted by these efforts,” he said. 

Minister Sikorski also addressed the sweeping changes to the operational capacity of the Polish foreign ministry after taking office, Poland and Europe’s relationship with Russia and its role in the future role as a large power in the European Union. 

The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Poland, Radoslaw Sikorski, said the European Union should create an endowment for democracy to financially support nascent democratic organizations and civil society in its Southern neighborhood. Speaking in a recent Future of Diplomacy Project interview, Sikorski referenced the joint EU-US initiative to support democratization in Belarus, which had raised EUR 87 million at a February donors’ conference, as a model to consider for transforming nations in Europe’s North African neighborhood.

Such an endowment “will support the groups that create civil society in undemocratic countries, because never again should we be helpless – should only have the choices between the tyrant and the fanatic,” he said.

He also noted that nascent democratic movements would look first to Europe, not to the United States, for models of functional transition. “Countries are usually reluctant to take the US as an example because you [the US] operate at a different scale and you haven’t had a revolution in a while. They are more likely to listen to advice from comparable countries,” he said, pointing to Europe’s long history of revolutionary movements.

Similarly, democratization efforts had to be supported in Europe’s Eastern neighborhood. Realizing the Eastern Partnership would be part of Poland’s plans for its six-month tenure at the head of the European Council beginning in June 2011, the minister noted. Formal or informal government-to-government talks, such as within the Weimar Triangle, would not be enough to effect true change, Sikorski said. The European Union had to continue to engage oppositional forces in “undemocratic Russia” and in countries in its immediate neighborhood that were still ruled by dictators.

A need for more – not less - Europe

The speed of European integration had to be enhanced through the completion of the Single Market, he said. “Overcoming malaise,” after the financial crisis had to mean “more Europe – we must open our markets to new competition.”

Speaking on the future of Europe’s nascent Foreign Service and its defense and security policy, he said: “We are much better represented in trade after we’ve given up our sovereignty and allowed the Commission to represent us in these negotiations. Diplomacy must be backed up by force occasionally and so diplomacy and defense commitments must be better planned and coordinated.”
Poland would make every effort to enhance Europe’s capacity to advance European defense policy, as the latter could be necessary to enhance its diplomatic goals in the future. “The United States will be delighted by these efforts,” he said. 

Minister Sikorski also addressed the sweeping changes to the operational capacity of the Polish foreign ministry after taking office, Poland and Europe’s relationship with Russia and its role in the future role as a large power in the European Union. 

 

For Academic Citation:

"Polish Foreign Minister: Create European Endowment for Democracy to support transformations in Middle East.", February 28, 2011.

Bookmark and Share

SUBSCRIBE

Receive email updates on the most pressing topics in science and int'l affairs.

<em>International Security</em>

The Summer 2014 issue of the quarterly journal International Security
is now available!

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.