On this occasion, the Polish President said:
‘This decision is my well-considered decision. The Chancellery needs an officer in the rank of, at least, undersecretary of state for foreign affairs today; hopefully, this rank may change at some point. Our colleague Mariusz Handzlik has worked for sixteen years, in a free Poland, naturally, and in a free Poland only, in the area of foreign affairs, NATO, the United States, as director and deputy director of a department and an ambassador at large. His principal interests have been in security, Poland’s accession to NATO and military affairs. For almost three years now, he has been in charge of the Foreign Affairs Office at the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, but for over six months he has in fact performed the function of undersecretary of state.
Instantly, a question arises, which is not a sensible question, but one often asked: how much will the state budget lose as a result? Nothing. Minister Handzlik will continue to directly administer the Foreign Affairs Office. This may change at some point in the future, but nothing is changing at present. And this promotion to a higher rank is, firstly, something that Mariusz, our friend, has earned himself with his very hard work, extraordinary commitment, great skills and broad contacts. Secondly, this is something that our foreign policy needs; our foreign policy that is today at a not so easy stage in its development. In the years 2005-2007, it was pursued in a consistent way and brought results. It brought results regarding the South-East: Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan; regarding the North-East: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia; regarding our very close relations with the Czech Republic, and our successful negotiations on the Treaty of Lisbon. Please remember that we had won almost all that could have been won: for the square-root system, regardless of the fact that it is worse than the one from Nice, which remains in power until 2017, if the treaty of Lisbon takes effect at all, is better for Poland than the square-root system; and what happens next largely depends on the position of our country. Over the past year, this policy has suffered a setback. I do not want to go into detail today, but it is certain that it is much more difficult today to pursue a tough, bold policy, the policy that has brought yet another major success, that is the missile shield in Poland. You will remember, Ladies and Gentlemen, what problems were involved. Minister Handzlik’s contribution in the struggle to have this shield installed is undeniable. I would like to offer him my warmest thanks for that.
In other words, these two and a half years were a time when we strengthened our position. Contrary to what they say, we strengthened it. We became a player to be reckoned with. The past year has been more difficult. Much more difficult, but I hope that we will set things straight here and I do hope, Dear Mariusz, that you will help us all achieve that. Once again, my warmest congratulations.’
Click here to see the pictures in our Gallery!