Polish-British Belvedere Forum looking at mutual relations

The 5th Polish-British Belvedere Forum event, which started on Wednesday aims to establish greater mutual understanding and improve the socio-economic and political partnership between Poland and the UK. Many important issues were discussed during the first day of the event, such as mutual relations after the COVID-19 pandemic and cultural interactions between the both countries.

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Watch the live broadcast here

As the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), the event’s co-organiser stated, “the aim of the event was not only to discuss current Polish-British relations, but also to find Polish and British responses to key European and global challenges.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Forum, organised by the PISM and the Royal Institute of International Relations - Chatham House had to take a hybrid form - with some of the guests and speakers attending in person and others remotely using a digital platform.

The whole event was divided into panels touching upon a variety of themes.

Wednesday, which marked the first day of the forum consisted of “Polish-British Relationship in the Post-Brexit and Post-pandemic World” discussing the future of the Polish-British relations in light of Brexit and COVID-19 pandemic; “Generation “Z” in a Post-pandemic World,” shedding light on the impact of covid-19 and climate policies on the lives of young people, and finally: “Polish-British Cultural Interactions.”

Wendy Morton, Minister for European Neighbourhood and America's Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK, who participated in the Forum, emphasised Britain’s commitment to renewing and strengthening the relationships with Poland.

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“Shared history, that deep partnership and friendship is something that we must always cherish and look to build upon, as we face the challenges and opportunities in front of us,” she stressed.

Zbigniew Rau, the Polish Foreign Minister, talked about the British involvement in Poland’s and Europe’s security. As he pointed out, British soldiers are present in Poland and the armed forces of the two countries also cooperate in the Baltics.

He also discussed other security concerns such as Russian pressure and Zapad-21 military activities as well as the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

“In recent weeks, as we have seen the dramatic development of events in Afghanistan, we have been able to see how much good came out of Polish-British military cooperation. Many lives have been saved,” he pointed out.

“If the UK wants to go global, it should start its efforts here - in Europe. Not only are you welcome here, but you are indispensable,” Zbigniew Rau stressed.

Thursday, marking the 2nd day of the event, brings more subjects of discussion such as ”the Impact of the Katowice Rulebook on COP 26 Glasgow” and ”Politics and International Affairs, Transatlantic Relations and European Security,” focusing on the future of the UK’s cooperation with NATO member states and the EU.

The media patronage of the event was courtesy of TVP World, presented on the first day of the Forum.