On May 30, 2018, Liberte! Foundation (Poland) in cooperation with Republikon Institute (Hungary) organized as a part of the European Liberal Forum’s Ralf Dahrendorf Roundtable series a debate titled “POLEXIST: Ensuring Poland’s Position in the EU under the Current Political Climate”. Recent triggering of Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Poland and ongoing political developments in the country that have weakened Poland’s position in the European Union served as a direct pretext for the discussion. The event, held at the Faculty of International and Political Studies of the University of Lodz (Lodz, Poland), generated a lot of interest among local audience, gathering over 70 people. Four speakers, representing various areas of pubic life, took part in the discussion. Mrs Joanna Burnos, International Cooperation Representative for the Nowoczesna party, was joined by Mrs Katarzyna Knapik, spokesperson for the Obywatele RP, Mr Csaba Toth, ELF Board Member and Director of Republikon Institute, partner of the event, as well as Mr Tomasz Kamiński, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of International and Political Studies of the University of Lodz, the host of the event.
An hour-and-a-half-long discussion resulted in a number of crucial observations. Moderated by Mrs Olga Łabendowicz, representative of Liberte! Foundation, main organizer of the roundtable session, the debate had three main objectives: to diagnose the status quo, provide recommendations for remedying the current situation, as well as to identify the desired results at the same time taking into account anticipated challenges. The speakers appear to have managed to address all these issues – first, in their opening statements prepared from the perspective of an opposition party, a civil society organization, a Hungarian NGO, and academia – and then in the joint moderated discussion with voices from the audience. Therefore, in light of the above mentioned, the Ralf Dahrendorf Roundtable organized by the Liberte! Foundation has delivered on all aspects included in the event proposal – realizing the event program fully, gathering more attendees than initially anticipated, and most of all bringing about a lively discussion on the issues of vital importance to the European Union, engaging the audience in a thought provoking and highly educational debate.