Poland celebrates national day, hails legacy of Europe’s first constitution

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Polish Consul General Miroslaw Adamczyk was at his usual best as he led this year’s Constitution Day celebration on Tuesday (2 May) with a skillful mix of humour and political savviness to connect Poland’s past to Hong Kong’s future.

This year marks the 226th anniversary of the ratification of the 3 May Constitution by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth legislature in 1791. It is claimed to be the very first of its kind in Europe and the second one in the world, preceded only by the United States Constitution ratified a year earlier.

“The relevance and the concept of this constitution, like efficient governance, civil freedoms for all and other values it is promoting are as important nowadays as they have ever been,” The consul general stated in his welcoming speech. “The Polish nation has suffered through the decades because of its complicated and often harsh history, the day of 3 May has always been a reminder of what is truly important for us. I am deeply convinced that we, the Polish people, already learnt from history, that open social dialogue and mutual respect are the core on which not only us but any nation should build a better future.”

Mr Adamczyk also congratulated Carrie Lam, predecessor of guest of honour Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung, for her recent victory while calling on the chief executive-elect to restore the progress to universal suffrage to meet Hong Kong people’s aspiration.

Also enjoying the pierogi, authentic Polish apple juice and Chopin’s piano masterpieces on the night were the diplomatic, political and business communities in Hong Kong, among them former Chief Secretary Anson Chan, director of the EU Office in Hong Kong Carmen Cano and public commentator Chip Tsao.

A series of cultural, business and academic exchanges is on the agenda to celebrate as well the quarter-century mark of the establishment of the Polish Consulate General in Hong Kong.

(Printer – R&R Publishing Limited, Suite 705, 7/F, Cheong K. Building, 84-86 Des Voeux Road Central, HK)