Seventeen years after its historic transition from communism to democracy, Poland has achieved a number of its important domestic and foreign policy goals, including the creation of a civil society and market economy, and membership in both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). At the same time, having accomplished these goals, Poland now faces the question of what’s next: what will be its priorities for the domestic challenges that the country faces, what role will it play within the European community, and what will be the nature of bilateral relations with the United States.
With these issues in mind, in November 2005 a Network 20/20 delegation went to Poland seeking answers to three different questions:
- With the recent Polish parliamentary and presidential elections, what will be the domestic priorities of the new government?
- What economic policies will the government pursue in order to address the fiscal challenges that Poland faces?
- What will be the government’s approach towards foreign policy, including relations with the US, NATO and the EU, and its eastern neighbors, including Russia?
After an intensive week of meetings in Warsaw and Krakow with senior government officials, business leaders, parliamentarians, academics, and representatives from foundations and the non-profit world, the Network 20/20 delegation reached certain preliminary conclusions.