Inaugural meeting of the Youth Council
– One thing I want to emphatically point out – this is a body where you can say anything. And I want you to approach it this way This is a body in which there are no taboo subjects, there are no subjects that cannot be raised. (…). There are no only right problems here. Any topic can be discussed and any thesis can be put forward,” said Polish President Andrzej Duda at the inaugural meeting of the National Development Program’s Youth Council.
He stressed that he is pleased that the Council will deal with topics related to youth in the broadest sense. He recalled that the proposal to establish a Council for Youth Affairs was the initiative of presidential advisor Mr. Lukasz Rzepecki, which he readily agreed to, as the problems of young people and their needs are of great interest and importance to him.
The president pointed out that the period of the pandemic and the problems that arose in connection with it – in schools, in families, in various communities – made him realize how difficult the situation of young people is and how wise solutions are needed, solutions that are targeted but not imposed by force, instinctive, ones that young people will want to adopt and quickly internalize as their own.
– I had no doubt that in order to be able to prepare such solutions, it is necessary first of all to talk to young people,” he said.
In his opinion, young people themselves should discuss topics that are important to them, and what they need, because they know it best. The role of adults is to support, hint and share life experience.
Given that there are more than 4 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in Poland, and they make up a significant part of society, the problems of this social group are an incredibly important issue.
– You are the next generation, and you are the ones who will run the affairs of the Republic – in all dimensions of its daily functioning. What kind of development opportunities you have, what is your relationship to public things, how the state treats you, how you perceive them, how you perceive the policy on youth issues that is implemented by the state is of fundamental importance,” the President said.
The President said that for him the future of Poland is the most important thing, he wants it to be as good as possible, therefore he cares that young people feel good about it, that they understand it, and that they have a vision of what our country should look like in the future – so that the next generation will also live well in Poland.
According to the President, the most general goal of the Youth Council is to discuss how to create such conditions in our country that, on the one hand: give young people the best possible opportunities for development, and on the other: make the affairs of the Republic now and in the future the best possible.
– I would like you to take the Council seriously, but also to treat it as a friendly place. You can be sure that from the point of view of the office of the President there is no question of political views. This council is open, you are representatives of different backgrounds, you may have different opinions – and that is very good for you (…) It is a matter of cultural discussion and making arguments. I hope also to seek agreement and solve problems,” he said.
For his part, the President has declared, his willingness to attend Council meetings, in case an important issue arises, or if Council members feel there is a need. It is a matter of setting a convenient date. Minister Bogna Janke, who is the President’s representative for dialogue, has also joined the Council. She will participate in the discussions and, if necessary, provide assistance on the issue of talks and dialogue.
The President expressed the hope that meetings within the framework of the Council will not only make it easier to understand the young generation and its needs, but also make it possible to solve at least some of these problems or propose solutions that young people can immediately accept as favorable to them.
– I care that you feel that you are understood,” concluded President Andrzej Duda.
photo: Marek Borawski / KPRP