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The Warsaw Voice » From the News Editor » December 30, 2010
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From the Editor-in-Chief
December 30, 2010   
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The New Year is here again: time for another Mandatory Look into the Future. No more summaries. Now is the time for a new perspective. This will be an interesting year, mainly in the economy and finance. Despite delays, the European Union will have to agree on a mechanism of emergency measures: who gets how much, when, and how much it will cost. The list of patients suffering from ills of extravagance, or in danger of their financial nerve snapping as it gets stretched to breaking point, is long. It might not be the longest in history, but what do we care about past tensions; we have our own and those from the past are not very instructive.

For now, we just have the preliminaries: discussions on the scale of the danger and the solutions, both possible and impossible. As everything in the EU, things are in statu nascendi, but they will ultimately assume a distinct form. As far as I can see, this will happen in the second half of the year. The first half, under Hungary’s presidency, will still be a time of readying for action. With its own problems to face, Budapest may not have sufficient strength to help find a method and convince the other countries to adopt it.

The second half of the year will be Poland’s presidency. It will be the presidency of the biggest of the new member states, a country that is coping quite well, a nation that once opened the door to a new era. With that now distant deed, we wrote an important chapter in Europe’s history. It was a kind of textbook for moving from one system to another. Now we have an opportunity to write another chapter. This one is like a manual for a marriage that’s been through a lot and faces the challenges of maturity.

Leading the EU, Warsaw will have a unique position, that of initiator and creator, and of a special bridge between the old and new members of the community, representing all the members but having the unique experience of the new ones.

We leave 2010 aware of the challenges, but in respectable condition. An active foreign policy has ensured us decent international contacts, and internal stability has gained us a reputation as a credible country. This is a solid foundation for doing a good job at the helm of the EU.

That is, as long as we don’t trip ourselves up by failing to make the necessary changes in how the state works, by doing nothing about the party-political chaos and social tensions, by focusing on marginal issues.

We can expect an interesting year in different areas. I hope this will include culture and science. For instance, this is the year when the European capital of culture for 2016 will be chosen. After all, our perspective should extend beyond Dec. 31, 2011.
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