The Chicago Council on Global Affairs: “Poland: Rising to the Challenge,” Polish President Lech Kaczyński, April 30

FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2010



His Excellency Lech Kaczyński, President of the Republic of Poland

His Excellency Lech KaczynskiPoland has combined strong economic growth with increased security commitments to rapidly emerge as an influential European Union member state and a strong ally to the United States. In the aftermath of the global economic downturn, Poland was the only country of the 27-member European Union to avoid a recession and sidestep the brunt of the economic crisis. Poland’s central bank estimates GDP growth in 2010 at around 3 percent, providing President Kaczyński additional leverage for his recent call for Poland’s membership into the G20.

Poland has expanded its influence and leadership in Europe by playing a substantial role in both NATO and the European Union. In response to new and pressing security concerns on the regional and international level, Poland will be leading a new round of discussions on developing a European security architecture for the future. Poland also has been a key ally of the United States and was one of just three countries to enter Iraq with U.S. forces in 2003. Polish troops have also fought in Afghanistan since the beginning of the NATO mission in 2002. Looking forward, Poland will be a vital player in reforming NATO to deal with the myriad of complex global challenges of the 21st century, including non-proliferation, energy security, and the preservation of peace and freedom in Europe.

His Excellency Lech Kaczyński was elected President of the Republic of Poland in 2005. With a Ph.D. in law science and university professor, he began his career in politics as a member of the opposition movement in the second half of 1970s when Poland was under the Soviet Union’s domination. In 1981, he was placed in an internment camp for almost one year because of his activities in the Polish Solidarity movement. He was first elected a member of Parliament in 1989 and went on to act in parliamentary committees on legislation and social matters. He served in positions in various state institutions, including President of the Supreme Chamber of Control and Codification Committee. In June 2000 he was appointed Minister of Justice, a position that brought him wide appreciation for his tough fight against crime and corruption. Mr. Kaczyński was elected Mayor of Warsaw, Poland’s capital, in 2002.

The Fairmont Chicago
200 North Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60601

12:00 Noon  Registration and Security Check-In
12:30 p.m.   Luncheon, Remarks, and Discussion
2:00 p.m.   Adjournment

Members $50
Nonmembers $60



  • Due to strict security procedures, please arrive early.
  • You must bring a valid photo ID (official state ID/driver’s license/passport).
  • Registration closes at 5:00 p.m. on TUESDAY, APRIL 27.
  • Registrations are nontransferable, and NO WALK-INS WILL BE ALLOWED
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