Six Decades of India-Poland Relations The Way Forward

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While presenting his remarks, Mr Rahul Chhabra, Joint Secretary (Central Europe), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India noted that India-Poland relations are important and have been strengthened in the last five years with several bilateral visits

The year 2014 marks 60 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Poland. In view of this, the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) organised a seminar on ‘Six Decades of India-Poland Relations: The Way Forward’ in collaboration with Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), Warsaw on November 17, 2014 at Sapru House, New Delhi. The seminar was divided into four sessions - inaugural and three panel discussions - where eminent speakers shared their views.

In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Rajiv K Bhatia, DG, ICWA said that India-Poland relations should be viewed in wider regional perspectives. While taking an account of political and strategic development in Europe and South Asia, he emphasised that academic interaction was crucial to develop sound understanding in the complex dynamics of the region as well as to build policy responses.

In his opening remarks, Dr Jarosław Ćwiek-Karpowicz, Research Director, PISM cited that India’s role would be crucial in recent political and strategic development between Russia and the European Union (EU). He also discussed the India-Russia relations and appreciated the new Indian government’s foreign policy to improve relations with neighbours and other countries. He also lauded the policy of inclusive development and growth – sab ka saath, sab ka vikas. At the bilateral level, he highlighted the importance of the Indian Diaspora in Poland in furthering the relations between the countries.

H.E. Mr Tomasz Łukaszuk, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to India delivered the special remarks. He discussed various aspects of India-Poland relations. He noted that there are several areas of cooperation between India and Poland and said that defence and energy security has immense potential for cooperation. He was hopeful that the relationship between the two countries would be further strengthened during the Polish presidency of European Council.

While presenting his remarks, Mr Rahul Chhabra, Joint Secretary (Central Europe), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India noted that India-Poland relations are important and have been strengthened in the last five years with several bilateral visits. He said that both the countries are taking initiatives to expand cooperation in several areas. He added that Poland is a member of various export-import control regimes, and it can help New Delhi get membership of these organisations.

The first session was on ‘India and Poland Perspectives on Emerging Regional Dynamics in EU and South Asia’. The session was chaired by Ambassador SK Bhutani, former Indian Ambassador to Poland. The distinguished panellists were: Dr Jarosław Ćwiek-Karpowicz; Prof Sanjay Kumar Pandey, JNU; and, Dr Jakub Wodka, Department of Foreign Policy Strategy, MFA, Poland. The speakers discussed the recent political dynamics in Europe, especially political crisis in Ukraine, Russia-EU relations and its implications on India-Poland relations, and G20 Summit in Brisbane.

The second session was on ‘Continuity and Change in India-Poland Relations’. The session was chaired by Ambassador RL Narayan, former Indian Ambassador to Poland. The eminent panellists were: Mr Patryk Kugiel, Senior Research Fellow, PISM; Prof Ummu Salma Bava, Centre for European Studies, JNU; and, Dr Sebastian Domzalski, Deputy Head of the Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Poland, New Delhi. The panellists examined the continuity and change in India-Poland relations in the past six decades. While analysing major achievements and challenges for bilateral partnership, speakers also explored future prospects in the bilateral engagement. It was noted that New Delhi and Warsaw should expand their partnership in the multilateral forums.

The third and final session was on ‘India-Poland Defence and Energy Cooperation’. Mr Patryk Kugiel, Senior Research Fellow, PISM chaired the session. The peakers who shared their views were: Mr Amit Cowshish, Distinguished Fellow, IDSA; Dr Arthur Gradzuik, International Economic Relations and Global Issues Programme Coordinator, PISM; and, Dr Ujjwal Bhattacharjee, Senior Fellow, TERI. The session primarily focussed on economic cooperation, and examined scope for expanding economic opportunities in areas of defence and energy. In addition, it was argued that both the countries should expand cooperation in research & development, science & technology and education.

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