The “Open Letter to European Public Opinion” by Some Contrary Polish Intellectuals

Even though I concluded in my previous weblog entry of earlier today (directly below) that it has had no practical effect on official Polish policy (yet) . . . I still think you might find interesting the “open letter to European Public Opinion, ” the brainchild of the editor-in-chief of the Polish quarterly Krytyka polityczna (“Political Critique”). The Le Monde article by new correspondent-in-Poland Christophe Châtelot which first drew my attention to it is here; and here is one of the places where you can refer to the Polish original (it’s in the middle of the page, under the “List otwarty . . .” heading) in case, say, you want to evaluate my Polish-to-English translation skills.

Click on “More…” to proceed to the English translation (you know we don’t want to take up valuable homepage space to impose this on €S visitors who aren’t the least bit interested in this sort of thing . . .)

Open letter to European public opinion

We the undersigned, citizens who voted for the entry of Poland into the EU, desire to add our voice to the matter of the form of the European Constitution. We have come to this decision because our opinion is not represented by either parliament or the main media.

The media and politicians place before us as a choice “Death or Nice,” at other times they merely suggest that above all we should reach a compromise. The phraseology of national interest used by all parties from the LPR to the SLD obscures the fact that the Constitution for Europe is the next step on the way to European integration. Positive phenomena, such as what the building of common centralized institutions and more democratic elections appear to us to be – which unify nations in one organism and accelerate the creation of a European public sphere – are presented to us as obvious threats. Everyone in an official position maintains that it lies in our interest to retain the measures established at Nice, that our national identity requires insisting on a preamble in which the contribution of Christian values to the European tradition is emphasized.

We want another Europe.

A Europe which has common values, such as liberty, equality, solidarity, but which isn’t required to name their sources, because it doesn’t desire to repel or exclude anyone. We want a Europe that is politically strong, justly administered, which is single-mindedly heading for unity – because only through that can we resist the dangers of unilateral economic globalization. We don’t want to be, in a common Europe, a country that makes integration more difficult, that is a symbol of conservatism and particularism. We are worried that the depiction of our national interest as the opposition to the common European interest does not work to our benefit, that the consequences of this will lead to the formation in Europe of a group of countries swiftly developing and integrating and, on the other hand, of “also-rans,” in which we will find ourselves.

And we desire that our opinion be considered, just like all the others.

To this point this letter has been signed by [list of initial signatories follows].

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