President commemorates Solidarity message to workers

A message written by the Solidarity trade union to the “working people of Eastern Europe” on September 8. 1981, carried the union’s philosophy across national borders, President Andrzej Duda writes in an article marking the 40th anniversary of a message to a region then still under communist oppression.

In the article, which will appear in print media around the world in September, Duda writes that the ideas contained in the message, especially its appeal for sustainable growth and international solidarity, were today being realised in Central-East Europe through multi-national projects.

"The essence of the 'Message to the Working People of Eastern Europe' was a common fate and the idea of solidarity across borders," the president writes. "As it was 40 years ago, this idea guides us like a compass today, and underlies our close co-operation in the region - in the Visegrad Group... or the Three Seas Initiative grouping of countries lying between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas."

Recalling the changes that Solidarity ushered in, Duda wrote that they introduced a "spirit of modernity" to Central-East Europe, and made the region turn to sustainable development rather than short-term gains.

"We realise that social and economic goals must be harmonised, that we need sustainable growth that does not prioritise short-term profits. We also understand the importance of social cohesion and the fair distribution of the fruits of economic growth," the president writes.

Starting from September 17, Duda's article will be published by the worldwide media project "Telling Poland to the World," a joint initiative by Poland's Institute for New Media, the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), the Foreign Ministry and the Polish Press Agency.