Poland's Growing Soft Power

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Poland's Growing Soft Power

Megan Buskey

Poland again leads on democracy promotion.

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Poland’s New Ambitions,” journalist Andrew Curry’s Spring ’10 piece, described how Poland has made democracy promotion a foreign aid priority, funding Belarusian radio stations, training programs for Georgian civil society activists, and scholarships for Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Kyrgyz students to study at Polish universities.   

Poland has recently exerted diplomatic leadership in the field as well, reinvigorating the Community of Democracies (CoD), a decade-old multilateral organization spearheaded by American and Polish diplomats and designed to “respect and uphold… core democratic principles and practices.” Poland hosted the tenth meeting of the CoD July 2-4 in Krakow. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address, calling Poland “an example of what democracies can accomplish,” and announcing a $2 million fund to protect civil society activists. Representatives from 80 official delegations and 200 civil society activists from countries such as Russia, Cuba, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe attended the gathering.