The political transformation and the role of Gdańsk in the democratisation process were the leading topics of the meeting between the authorities of the Political Science Institute of the Faculty of Social Sciences (WNS) UG and the jury of the European Capital of Democracy #ECoD.
The Director of the Institute of Political Science, prof. Arkadiusz Modrzejewski, and his deputy, prof. Jakub Potulski, spoke with Bruno Kaufmann, Martina Fuerrutter and Sanja Bojanić.
The professors emphasised the symbolic and actual significance of Gdańsk in the democratisation processes in Poland and Europe. They also mentioned the role of the academic community, including the University of Gdańsk, in the systemic transformation, highlighting graduates and employees of the University who were not only involved in building the anti-communist opposition but also held key state positions in free Poland.
'Thanks to its rich history and cultural legacy, of which multiculturalism was constitutive, and its coastal location, a specific cultural and political climate has developed in Gdańsk,' emphasised prof. Arkadiusz Modrzejewski. 'Gdańsk was and is a city of freedom. To put it very simply, we see a certain historical continuity here. Even the aftermath of the Second World War and the displacement of the population did not disturb this specific character of the city. The spirit of freedom was reborn, culminating in the creation of Solidarity.'
The European Capital of Democracy is a Europe-wide initiative to introduce innovations and strengthen democracy. From 2023 onwards, one city will be chosen each year by a jury of experts and a jury of European citizens and awarded this honourable title. Together with its citizens, the European Capital of Democracy curates, organises and hosts a variety of activities to strengthen democracy. Visitors from all over Europe – politicians, experts, civil society activists, artists, citizens and media representatives – are invited to participate in the initiative and make the city a stage for European democracy.
'We hope that Gdańsk will be awarded the title of European Capital of Democracy, which it certainly deserves,' added the Director of the Institute of Political Science.