The importance of willingness to save the country even at the cost of resignation from own privileges

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 19, 2017 11:00

Ambassador Karol Bachura

By Karol Bachura*

Ambassador of Poland to Tirana

I am honored to welcome you on the occasion of the national holiday, commemorating a special event in Polish history: the adoption the Constitution on May 3 of 1791. The 226 anniversary of the 3rd of May Constitution, is most exceptional in many ways – we do not celebrate the memory of military victories, of which there were quite a few in the Polish history, but the anniversary of the establishment of rights. A battle that was not an armed struggle involving bloodshed but a parliamentary strife, political fight, a discussion of the parties and above all it was a debate that ended with understanding and agreement of the vast majority in comprehension of the really difficult situation of the state, and the above partisan willingness to save the country even at the cost of resignation from own privileges. It gave proof that patriotism and well-being of the state can rise above party and private interests.

As the first European constitution and the second in the world – after the American one and a few months before the French constitution, it enforced the thought of Montesquieu on division and equilibrium of power, stating that all authority in human society takes its origin from the will of the people. It established legislative, executive and judicial power, a bicameral parliament, and – although it recognized Catholicism as a dominant religion, it also provided the freedom of belief and peace of faith along with government protection and freedom of religious rites throughout the country.

The May 3rd Constitution was a symbol of the struggle against the oligarchy defending its privileges. It acted in the name of building a strong, modern state, elevation of bourgeois to civic status, embracing peasants with state protection, two-state judiciary and the principle of a three-tiered power. It guaranteed protection to the weak, treated equally all citizens, promoted the victory of honesty above cynicism and injustice. This act combined the Christian traditions of Europe and the values of Enlightenment. This act enabled the rise and survival of the Polish nation through the period of partition, captivity and occupation. It introduced the intercultural dialogue into the canons of state legislation and outlined the ideas underlying the foundations of today's European Union. European thinkers recognized the May the 3rd Constitution as "the most noble good ever received by any nation". The May constitution of 1791 is an example of the parliamentary and democratic traditions of the Republic of Poland. Values contained in it – freedom of religion, equality before the law, tolerance, division of power, governments based on the will of the people – have become the cornerstone of the development of civil society and a role model.

In the year marking the 80th Anniversary of Polish-Albanian diplomatic relations I would like to wish you a very happy evening and thank you so much for your presence.

*Comments made at an event organized by the Albanian Institute for International Studies earlier this month.


Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 19, 2017 11:00