Conference III

The third international scientific conference in the series  „Past, present and future of the Polish-Ukrainian relations in the context of the subjectivity of Central Europe”, November 24, 2021.

At the invitation of the Center for Eastern Europe UMCS and the Institute of Political Sciences and Administration UMCS, the conference was attended by representatives of both domestic and foreign scientific and research centers. The introductory word was delivered by: prof. dr hab. Marek Pietraś - Director of the Institute of Political Sciences and Administration UMCS and prof. dr hab. Walenty Baluk - Director of the Center for Eastern Europe UMCS.

Three panels were planned for the conference.

The first panel "Historical and cultural conditions of Polish-Ukrainian relations" was moderated by prof. Mykoła Doroszko from the Institute of International Relations of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Among participants were: Prof. Ivan Monolatia from the Wasyl Stefanyk Carpathian National University, prof. dr hab. Georgiy Kasianov - Institute of Political Sciences and Administration UMCS, Andrzej Jekaterynczuk, PhD - Department of Culture and Communication Research UMCS and Andrzej Szabaciuk, PhD from the Institute of Central Europe in Lublin.

As part of the discussion, the speakers of the 1st panel raised the issues of historical conflicts between Poles and Ukrainians, which, according to G. Kasianov, should be considered in terms of an ideological conflict, and not a conflict between Polish and Ukrainian society. Poles and Ukrainians should not equate their shared history with the conflict and not allow the imposition of a nationalist and populist narrative. Referring to the concept of the gray rhino, prof. I. Monolatyi warned against ignoring important (historical) problems in mutual relations that could lead to a lasting deterioration in mutual relations. He proposed a model of a new opening in solving difficult cases, including those related to the complex past. In turn, A. Yekaterynczuk, PhD, pointed to the positive trends in the change of negative stereotypes in relations between nations. He also stressed the attention of the audience on the asymmetry in personal exchange and the asymmetry in historical memory between Poles and Ukrainians. Panel moderator prof. M. Doroszko pointed to the need to respect the sovereignty of the historical narratives of both nations.

The second panel "Public diplomacy and strategic communication of Poland and Ukraine" was attended by: prof. dr hab. Mykola Ozhevan - Institute of International Relations of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and the National Institute of Strategic Studies under President of Ukraine, Piotr Andrusieczko, PhD, Polish journalist, editor of the magazine "Ukrainian Journal", Daniel Szeligowski, PhD - Polish Institute of International Affairs and Dr. hab. Vitaliy Makar - J. Fed'kowycz National University in Chernivtsi. The panel was moderated by prof. Marek Pietraś - director of the Institute of Political Sciences and Administration UMCS.

The speakers of the 2nd panel touched upon, among others problems of mutual bilateral relations (V. Makar), the increase in the dynamics of personal exchange and contacts at the inter-state level (P. Andrusieczko). Attention was paid to forcing topics related to historical policy and not using the full potential of Polish soft power and cultural diplomacy. D. Szeligowski, PhD, critically assessed the real state of the strategic partnership between Poland and Ukraine, which differs from the declared status of mutual relations. According to the expert, one should not overestimate the capabilities of the parties and engage in grassroots work to shape such a partnership. In addition, the change of generations should be taken into account and the decentralization of contacts should be supported. Prof. M. Ozhevan drew attention to the problems of communication between nations and pointed to the need to shape a culture of strategic communication between the ruling elites of both countries.

The third panel "Political conditions of Polish-Ukrainian relations" was attended by: prof. dr hab. Volodymyr Fisanow - Head of the Department of International Information of the J. Fed'kowycz National University in Chernivtsi, prof. dr hab. Wojciech Sokół - Department of Political Systems and Human Rights UMCS, dr hab. Mariusz Sienkiewicz - Department of Public Administration UMCS, prof. dr hab. Vasyl Klymonchuk - Head of the Department of Political Science of the W. Stefanyk Carpathian National University, and prof. dr hab. Galyna Zelenko – I. Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The third panel was moderated by prof. dr hab. Anatoliy Kruglashov.

The speakers of the 3rd panel touched upon, among others problems of asymmetry in mutual relations and the changing international order. Prof. V. Fisanov stressed the importance of joint actions to counter the threats posed by Russia. Poland and Ukraine should exert a greater influence on shaping public opinion in Russia. Moreover, he called for the continuation of Jerzy Giedroyc's political legacy. The concepts of Poland's eastern policy were presented by prof. W. Sokół, who at the same time indicated the support given to Ukraine through European integration by the majority of Polish political groups. Dr hab. M. Sienkiewicz emphasized the importance of mutual relations between local government units. In turn, prof. V. Klymonchuk and prof. G. Zelenko positively assessed the significance of Poland's transformational success for Ukraine and pointed to the significant support that Poland provides to Ukraine on the international stage.

The webinar sessions were summed up by prof. Walenty Baluk, pointing to the need for Poland and Ukraine to build a tandem of regional leaders in Central and Eastern Europe.

The webinar was implemented as a public task financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland in the competition "Public Diplomacy 2021" on the basis of a subsidy agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs No. BDG-287/2021.

 

 


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