EVENT: 4pm Mon 6 May – Radoslaw Sikorski has a well-deserved reputation for being outspoken and sometimes undiplomatic in his major speeches. Poland’s foreign minister told an audience at Blenheim Palace near Oxford that Britain would be “marginalised” if it left the European Union.
“Don’t expect us (Poles) to help you wreck or paralyse the EU”, he said. “Do not under-estimate our determination not to return to the politics of the 20th century”. To a British Tory politician who asked him why “Poland of all countries is selling out to Brussels?”, he retorted crisply, “Do you think we should rely on Britain, like we did in 1939?”.
Mr Sikorski also raised eyebrows when he said in Berlin of Poland’s old enemy, “I fear German power less than German inactivity”.
The AIIA NSW is delighted to present Radek Sikorsky at The Glover Cottages, where he will make his only major speech on his official visit to Australia and New Zealand. After the speech on the future of Europe in the Asian Century – the first on this subject in Australia by a European minister – he will answer questions, and then go on to meet his host, Senator Bob Carr, our foreign minister.
After a break for refreshments the AIIA will then welcome another guest from Poland, theWashington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, who will talk about her well-received new bookIron Curtain.
Radek Sikorski has been Poland’s longest-serving foreign minister since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Warsaw Pact. During his six years in office, he has been a strong supporter of the European Union, and an advocate for the future of the eurozone currency area. In a previous Cabinet appointment, he was minister of national defence.
As a refugee from Communist Poland, he was granted political asylum in Britain, and later became an active figure in politics at the University of Oxford, where he was head of the debating society, the Oxford Union, and a member of the Bullingdon Club, whose members included David Cameron, now British prime minister, and Boris Johnson, now mayor of London.
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