Four years in Poland have passed very quickly.
I arrived to Warsaw from Hanoi by a direct LOT flight Monday June 27th 2011, four Days before Poland inaugurated its very successful EU Presidency – and seven weeks after the very successful State Visit by the Swedish King and Queen.
Exciting times followed. Eastern Partnership Summit. Parliamentary elections. Euro 2012 football tournament. Just to mention the first highlights.
There will be more time to sum up impressions later on, but it is difficult to avoid looking backwards for some moments when planning for the future. And the future for my wife Karin and myself will mean moving on – from Poland to another country this summer.
We will however still be around until mid-July, and there is a lot to be done until then. The coming two weeks will be hectic to say the least.
We are of course in the process of analysing the result of the Presidential election in Poland. I am happy that I had the opportunity to meet President-elect Andrzej Duda about a year ago during the campaign to the European Parliament. My successor will eventually present his/her credentials to the new President and develop the relations of our Embassy to his new Chancellery.
In parallell we are in the final stages of preparing our Innovation Days in two weeks time including a Swedish-Polish Innovation Forum June 11th, when our Minister of Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg will pay a visit to Poland. It is really exciting – in these last months of my mission to Poland – to see the cooperation in this area taking off in such an encouraging way.
Poland and Sweden has been jointly responsible for this theme in a regional context within the EU Baltic Sea Strategy, and now it makes a lot of sense to take this kind of cooperation forward also within the framework of our Strategic Partnership.
But much more is to be found in my calendar. Just some highlights:
Inauguration of the Scandinavian Day at Skwer Hoovera in central Warsaw Saturday morning. Followed by the Equality March in Gdańsk in the afternoon. Followed by the handing over of 18 buses, procured from Scania by the City of Słupsk, on Sunday.
On top of that an increasing number of farewells.
From the weeks that have passed I have gathered a lot of inspiring impressions. Like the visit I made to Olsztyn together with my colleague Józef Neterowicz on invitation by the Wojewoda Marian Podziewski, where a great interest was shown for Swedish experiences in the area of cleantech and green solutions in general. On the way back to Warsaw we visited IKEA Industry in Wielbark, a very impressive plant with over 1500 employees, a Swedish profile and a strong orientation towards environmentally sustainable solutions.
It is, not least, impressive to see the ambitions of IKEA being realised to eventually produce as much energy as it consumes – in a renewable way. That sets an example to be followed.