POLISH FOREIGN POLICY TOWARDS SMALL EAST-CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES (1989-2009) (Polityka zagraniczna Polski wobec małych krajów Europy Srodkowo-Wschodniej (1989-2009))
The present article is a thorough politological analysis of the contemporary international relations. It is aimed at presenting and attempting to assess Polish foreign policy in the years 1989-2009, giving special consideration to the policy towards small East-Central European countries, i.e. closer and further neighbors of Poland. Showing successes and failures of Polish foreign policy in the years 1989-2009, the author tries to answer the question about the new Polish foreign policy strategy after 2004, i.e. after its accession to the European Union. He proposes many interesting theses, including one that Poland, as a medium size country with its demographic, economic and military potential, could successfully play a role of a leader in East-Central Europe, or even function as a regional superpower gathering around it such countries as Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and even Hungary, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as Scandinavian countries. Taking into account the changing power order at the international arena at the beginning of the 21st century and the development of a new, multi-polarized international order, the author suggests that apart from the co-operation with the small countries of the region, Polish foreign policy should be based on the following assumptions: firstly, the European Union must be a foundation stone of Polish foreign policy; secondly, NATO must be the foundation for Polish security policy; thirdly, Poland should develop co-operation and versatile relations with the United States but it should not support those aspects of American foreign and security policy which do not serve the interests of the West, nor international stability, and question UN's credibility and are aimed at creating divisions in Europe and the world. The author used such research methods as an analysis of documents and international processes and a diagnostic comparative method.
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