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European Integration


The course of the public debate on the subject of Poland's membership in European Union as well as the lack of the doctrine of Poland's integration with EU in the policies of the Polish government reveal a deep crisis of Polish political thought and Polish foreign policy. The crisis will not be overcome without a serious public debate. A strong state needs to be based on political doctrine rooted in political thought. Without philosophical and politico-theoretical approach to the surrounding reality in its present social and political shape we will not be able to define our national interests and objectives, and find the ways to achieve them. Political philosophy and political theory can not be merely abstract, set apart from the real world. The lack of realism is characteristic of discussions on European integration. As a result Poland does not have a clearly defined notion of how its membership in European Union may be help the long-term realisation of the Polish national interest. The discussions on Poland's membership in European Union that have been led for the last several years lack clear and unequivocal language. Many times in public debates the same terms acquire a totally different meaning which hinders a rational exchange of arguments or working out by Polish political elite a common stand in matters that are crucial in the process of Poland's integration with European Union. We hope that works that have been undertaken as a part of the program European Integration will help to change the course of discussion on Poland's integration with European Union and to work out a cohesive Polish doctrine of integration.

The program European Integration has been started with a conference The idea of Europe (June 1998). The first stage of realisation of the project is recapitulated in the book Does Poland have its own doctrine of integration with Europe? (December 1998), containing the lectures that were delivered on the conference The Idea of Europe and the texts written by CPT experts. The subjects raised during the conference were continued in the workshops and in discussions with the leading specialists on the problems of European integration as participants (e.g., the discussion The controversy of the direction of changes in United Europe. Does Poland have its own stand? with the participation of minister Jan Kulakowski and professor Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Cracow, April 1999) as well as in the works of CPT experts.

As a part of the program European Integration the educational activities have been started. In the spring semester of the academic year 1998/1999 in Pontifical Academy of Theology (PAT) the CPT ran a course on the European integration. It included lectures and discussions. Mostly PAT students frequented the course. It presented to the participants the full picture and the complex character of European integration process and its consequences for the Polish politics in the nearest decade. The pronouncements delivered during the course as well as additionally ordered texts will be published as the contents of a textbook on European integration for the participants of the course in the years to come, and for all who are interested in the problems of European integration. The Adenauer Foundation supported financially the first edition of the course.

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