Developing the Strategic Partnership

Published 18 March 2015 in:

Photo: Catarina Axelsson/MFA

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Two days have passed since the visit by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to Warsaw for talks with his Polish counterpart, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz. When I summarise, I am so satisfied that we achieved what we from an Embassy point of view first and foremost wanted: a boost to the Strategic Partnership between Poland and Sweden, now strongly anchored at the Heads of Government level.

Were the talks in themselves successful? Yes, they definitely were. We are so likeminded in a broad range of issues like the Russia/Ukraine crisis, the Eastern Partnership and the importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. There were also several areas for further cooperation identified. Most important however was the simple fact that the Partnership was reconfirmed, broadened and strengthened by the good contact established between the two Prime Ministers. That is very good news indeed.

Additionally the meeting in Warsaw is both preceeded and followed by several other contacts at Government level. Like today, Wednesday, when Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Pawlik is visiting Stockholm for talks both about Eastern policy and about development cooperation.

The hours in Warsaw were of course primarily used for the official consultations, but PM Löfven also found time for an informal meeting with different representatives for the Polish society (including the Women’s movement) in our Residence about gender equality and economic growth.  How to facilitate women’s participation in the labour market on equal terms with men? How to fight stereotypes? And how to engage more men in the efforts to promote gender equality in its broadest sense?

The men at the Embassy joined the HeForShe-movement, launched by the UN and with PM Löfven as a global Ambassador. Like men have done in other Swedish Embassies (like Washington). And like all male Ministers in the Swedish Government.

Gender equality is one of many areas where Poland and Sweden can cooperate more. The visit of PM Löfven definitely energised our partnership.