Even 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, West Germany's economic performance still serves as a model for those further to the east. Poland, for instance, has posted one of the more successful economic records of the countries of East-Central Europe. But this success is nothing compared with what West Germany was able to achieve in the two decades after World War II.
You've heard it a lot in the last few months: Europe is cheaper than it's been in a long time. The time to go is now. But Europe is a big place. So where should you go to make the most of the strong dollar?
A smaller number of Poles continue to take to the streets or try to organize actions similar to the Solidarity mobilizations of the past. And perhaps the smallest group of all tries to channel that dissatisfaction into advocacy within the system to change the nature of Polish politics.
LONDON -- Europe is once again divided between East and West -- only this time the fault line runs through the European Union. The eastern members -- most notably Poland and the Baltic states -- are clinging fast to the EU in the face of Russian aggression. At the other geographic and political extreme, the United Kingdom is threatening to walk out on Europe for good. Decisions being taken today on Europe's eastern and western peripheries are likely to shape a new balance of power.
Going overboard with the geopolitical analysis, the media invites wonky policy insiders to discuss how "U.S. interests" should be deployed in the fight to protect Kiev.
Ryszard Zoltaniecki is a sociologist who has also worked in the Polish foreign ministry, where he served as the ambassador to Greece. It was not long into our August 2013 interview in an outdoor café in Warsaw that we began to address larger questions like the European financial crisis. The economic setback, he pointed out, marked the end of an era.
In Poland, even when we lost 30 soldiers in Iraq, this war was not so controversial in public opinion. In Afghanistan, since the time when we increased our troops in 2007, public opinion has been largely negative. It became even more skeptical with the Obama policy and the surge. And now we have 41 soldiers who died in Afghanistan.
They're parcelling out the jobs and blame in our latest latest Week to Week news quiz. Here are some random but real hints: It gave the country a new...
I talked with Maciej Kozlowski, who served in the Polish embassy in the United States, became the ambassador to Israel, and was responsible for Middle Eastern affairs on his return to Poland, about his work on Christian-Jewish relations, the debate in Poland and Israel over the work of historian Jan Gross, and why a new liberal movement has yet to emerge in Poland today.
Whether it's the NSA, European intelligence agencies, private corporations, or the police, Katarzyna Szymielewicz is deeply concerned about the erosion of privacy and civil rights. We talked about how she became involved in this work, how Polish politicians have reacted to surveillance issues, and why Snowden deserves the EU's Sakharov Prize.
I would like to make a distinction between two terms -- terms that are often used interchangeably, but in actuality, while connected in some ways, stand as unique and separate from one another. The terms are "patriot" and "nationalist."
In 2011 the Palikot movement, which championed libertarian positions in favor of legalizing marijuana, supporting LGBT rights, and reducing the influence of the church in the secular sphere, surprised everyone by catapulting into parliament with 10 percent of the vote. Long-time feminist activist Wanda Nowicka ran on the Palikot ticket in 2011 and won a seat.
They walk among us -- those agents of change. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded of who they are. Take note of five stand-outs creating significant sea changes.
Poles are happier than they've been in years. More than 80 percent report that they are "very happy" or "quite happy," and that number has risen steadily since 2000. But happiness in Poland seems to derive largely from private life. There's not a lot of volunteering, and even the rates of Church attendance have been going down.
In an interview in Warsaw in August 2013, Dariusz Kalan, a Central Europe expert with the Polish Institute for International Affairs (PISM), talked about Poland's attempt to represent the region in European bodies, why young people are leaning toward conservative movements, and how Central Europe views Russia.
Compared to the other countries in the region, Poland's transition to democracy and a market economy seemed to involve a great deal of negotiation. The country embarked on Round Table negotiations in spring 1989 that prepared the way for semi-free parliamentary elections on June 4 of that year.