Warsaw European Conversation 2024

At Polityka Insight and ECFR, we believe there is an urgent need to engage in a critical conversation about the risks and trends shaping the European project.  For this reason, we invite you to join forces, and participate in the Conversation on issues preoccupying the community today, and awaiting it tomorrow.

, Berlin time (CET, UTC+1)

Hybrid event

Venue: Sheraton Grand Warsaw, ul. Bolesława Prusa 2

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After a historic election in 2023, Poland has taken a turn, and many people in European capitals heaved a sigh of relief. In a world in which liberal democracies are continuously put under strain, Poland has taken a step back from the abyss and can be considered a test case of reversing autocratic tendencies and rebuilding a functioning rule-based political system. In the coming weeks and months, Donald Tusk
and his key ministers will travel and bring this message to European capitals as part of their “We’re back” lap of honor.

Today, Poland wants to return to the mainstream of EU politics, rebuild historic formats and alliances, heal old and new wounds, and adopt a constructive and forward-looking attitude. This is easier said than done. The relationship with Germany (and to a lesser extent France) has been damaged, and even if politicians can turn a page, society at large has been strongly indoctrinated by the previous government’s belligerent and revanchist rhetoric. In addition, the issues that the Union must overcome are very challenging: enlargement, energy transition, migration, the future of ESDP, EU reform and potential treaty change, and finally digital regulation. On most of these contentious issues, Polish society has a rather more conservative and reserved attitude than the European mainstream. And this government has a lot of work to do and will not easily dispense political capital on ideals when facing a potential PiS rerun to power. At the same time, Tusk will try to revive pro-European sentiment ahead of the European elections, and use the incoming recovery funds, the upcoming EU presidency, and the 20th anniversary of Poland’s EU accession to his political advantage.

All this might cause dissonance in key European capitals and institutions. At ECFR Warsaw and Polityka Insight, we believe that it is of paramount importance to use the upcoming Warsaw European Conversation to better explain the intricacies of the Polish political situation and the European policy of the new government to European partners. At the same time, we aim to help Polish elites better understand the challenges the Union is facing. Because regardless of the rationale behind Poland’s (speak loud, go slow) European policy, we understand that no one will wait for Poland.

Our ambition at this year’s Warsaw European Conversation is to help frame the Polish-European debate in a way that will allow all sides to understand the challenges ahead of them and the delicacy of the situation. Warsaw needs to be a Central and Eastern European driver and leader of necessary change. In parallel, Poland needs to find an agenda that will be attractive politically to citizens and voters. Because if this government fails to find an enticing European narrative, not only will they lose the next election, society’s enthusiasm for the Union will also start to wane. If and when that happens, we will have made a first dangerous step in the wrong direction.

We invite you to create the Warsaw European Conversation with us.




  • Andrzej Bobiński, Managing Director, Polityka Insight
  • Piotr Buras, Head of Office, ECFR Warsaw




  • Radosław Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland


Europe in 2024: A Year of Reckoning

  • Radosław Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs Poland
  • Věra Jourová, Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, European Commission
  • Mark Leonard, Co-Founder, Director, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Stefano Sannino, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service
  • Chair: Henry Foy, Financial Times



Can Europe Defend Itself?

  • Benjamin Haddad, Member of the National Assembly, France
  • Piotr Błazeusz, Lieutenant general, I Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces
  • Claudia Major, Head, SWP International Security
  • Johan Pelissier, Head of Europe, Airbus
  • Chair: Marek Świerczyński, Head of Security and International Affairs Desk, Polityka Insight



Geoeconomics – Looking for Engines of Growth

  • Román Arjona, Chief Economist at the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission
  • Quentin Genard, Executive Director EU & Governance, Central and Eastern Europe Programmes, European Climate Foundation
  • Ignacy Niemczycki, Deputy Minister of Development, Poland
  • Paola Tamma, EU Correspondent, Financial Times
  • Chair: Adam Czerniak, Director for Research and Chief Economist, Polityka Insight


How to Enlarge and Reform the EU?

  • Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, Director, Centre for Analysis, Planning and Strategy, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France
  • Piotr Buras, Head of Warsaw Office and Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR
  • Jana Kobzová, Foreign Policy Advisor to the President, Office of the President of the Slovak Republic
  • Borja Lasheras, Senior Fellow at CEPA and Special Advisor for Ukraine at EEAS
  • Chair: Joanna Bekker, Deputy Managing Director, Polityka Insight



Climate and Energy transition – a European Green Deal

  • Krzysztof Bolesta, Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, Poland
  • Susi Dennison, Senior Director for Strategy and Transformation, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR
  • Ilona Jędrasik, President of the Management Board, ClientEarth Foundation in Poland
  • Grzegorz Kotte, Vice-President for Technical Affairs, Enea Wytwarzanie
  • Chair: Robert Tomaszewski, Head of PI Energy, Polityka Insight


Digital Future – Between Regulation and Competitiveness

  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia
  • Ewelina Jelenkowska-Luca, Deputy Director and Head of Communication Unit, DG CONNECT, European Commission
  • Mari-Noëlle Jégo Laveissière, CEO, Orange in Europe
  • Dariusz Standerski, Deputy Minister of Digital Affairs, Poland
  • Chair: Carla Hobbs, Deputy Director, European Power Programme, European Council on Foreign Relations