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Poland - Relations

28.08.2015

(last updated: 20.02.2017)
 

 

Poland recognised Estonia's independence on 31 December 1920 and re-recognised the Republic of Estonia on 26 August 1991. Diplomatic relations between Estonia and Poland were re-established in September 1991.

Estonia opened its embassy in Warsaw on 20 June 1995. Chargé d'Affaires Riho Laanemäe worked there initially; in 1996 Mr. Peeter Restsinski became the Estonian ambassador to Poland. From 2000 to 2005 the Estonian ambassador to Poland was Mr. Aivo Orav,  from 2005 to 2009 the ambassador was Mr. Ants Frosch, from 2009-2013 the ambassador was Mr. Taavi Toom and from 2013-2014 Mr. Eerik Marmei. As of September 2014, the Ambassador of Estonia to Poland is  H. E. Mr. Harri Tiido.

Estonia has four honorary consulates in Poland. 

Estonia’s first honorary consulate in Poland was opened in Szczecin in 2002. The honorary consul there is Robert Kornecki and the jurisdiction of the consulate comprises  the administrative districts of Zachodniopomorskie, Pomorskie, and Lubuskie. In 2005 a second Estonian honorary consulate was opened in Poznań, which is led by the rector of the Poznan School of Social Sciences Professor Michal Iwaszkiewicz. The jurisdiction of the honorary consulate is the Wielkopolskie administrative district. The honorary consulate opened in Krakow in 2006 is led by lawyer Piotr Paluch, and its jurisdiction comprises the administrative districts of Malopolskie, Podkarpackie and Slaskie. In May 2012 Estonia opened its fourth honorary consulate in Poland in Gdańsk. The honorary consul is the former mayor of Gdańsk and respected lawyer Tomasz Posadzki, and the consulate’s jurisdiction is the Pomorze administrative district.

The Polish Embassy in Estonia was opened in Tallinn in August 1993. Initially the Polish ambassador to Estonia was Ambassador Mr. Jarosław Lindenberg, residing in Riga. Starting November 1994 it was Mr. Jakub Wolasiewicz, who resided in Tallinn. Until August 2014 Mr Grzegors Marek Poznański served as Ambassador of Poland to Estonia. The current ambassador, Mr. Robert Filipczak, presented his credentials to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in September 2014.

Visits of Importance

To Poland
April 2015 Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus on a working visit in Warsaw
September 2014 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a working visit in Gdańsk
July 2014 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at the meeting of the heads of state of Central and Eastern Europe in Warsaw
June 2014 Chairman of the Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson visiting the Sejm of Poland
June 2014 Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet on a working visit
June 2014 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at a working lunch with US President Barack Obama and heads of state of Central and Eastern Europe in Warsaw
March 2014 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a state visit to Poland
October 2013 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at the meeting of the Heads of State of the Arraiolos Group in Karków
November 2013 Minister of Defence Urmas Reinsalu at the meeting of the Defence Ministers of Poland and Baltic States
August 2013 Commander of the Defence Forces Major General Riho Terras on a working visit
July 2013 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a working visit to Warsaw
February 2013 Minister of Defence Urmas Reinsalu
April 2012 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves to Warsaw for a meeting of the presidents of Latvia, Poland and Estonia
April 2012 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip to Warsaw for a meeting of the prime ministers of China and Central and Eastern European countries
June 2011 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip in Gdansk
May 2011 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at a summit of the presidents of Central Europe in Warsaw
December 2010 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
September 2010 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
September 2010 Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo
May 2010 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
May 2010 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a working visit in Lublin and Warsaw
March 2010 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip on a working visit in Warsaw
January 2010 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet on a working visit in Warsaw
December 2009 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a working visit in Warsaw
September 2009 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip on a working visit in Gdansk
January 2009 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a working visit
December 2008 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip in Gdansk
November 2008 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at Poland’s 90th anniversary celebration in Warsaw
November 2008 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip at the meeting of Baltic and Visegrad countries
August 2008 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves

 

To Estonia
March 2015 Working visit of Rafał Trzaskowski Secretary of State for European Affairs
December 2014 President Bronisław Komorowski on a working visit
November 2014 Working visit of Ryszard Kalisz Minister of the Interior
October 2014 working visit of Józef Oleksy Deputy Marshal of the Sejm
March 2013 Prime Minister Donald Tusk on a working visit
January 2013 Parliament Speaker Ewa Kopacz
August 2012 Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski
December 2011 President Bronisław Komorowski at the meeting of the Baltic presidents in Vihula
March 2011 President Bronisław Komorowski on a working visit
December 2010 Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski on a working visit
December 2010 Minister of Justice Krzysztof Kwiatkowski on a working visit
April 2010 Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski  in Tallinn at the informal NATO foreign ministers` meeting
April 2009 Prime Minister Donald Tusk on official visit
August 2008 President Lech Kaczynski on a working visit
March 2008 President Lech Kaczynski on a working visit
March 2008 Defence Minister Bogdan Klich
December 2006 Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga on a working visit
March 2006 Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz on a working visit
July 2005 President Aleksander Kwaśniewski on an official visit

In November of 2011 Poland joined the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence located in Tallinn. Poland’s contribution to the policing of Baltic airspace is also noteworthy. Polish fighter planes have guarded the Baltic airspace as part of the rotating schedule since 2006 and their last rotation was in 2012 from April to August.

Regular consultations on European Union, consular and political topics take place between the foreign ministries of Estonia and Poland.

The heads of parliament and different parliamentary commissions have also held meetings. An Estonia-Poland parliamentary group has been continued in the XIII Riigikogu; the group has 10 members and is headed by Aadu Must.

At the beginning of 2013 a Poland-Estonia parliamentary group was formed in Poland’s Seim, at present it has 15 members and is headed by MP Krzysztof Łapiński.

Agreements
  • Agreement on Cultural and Scientific Co-operation (came into force 28.01.93);
  • Agreement on Friendly Co-operation and Neighbourliness of the Baltic Sea States (came into force 06.05.93);
  • Agreement on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments (came into force 06.08.93);
  • Agreement on International Road Transport (came into force 30.10.93);
  • Agreement on Co-operation Between Region and Local Governments (came into force 24.01.94);
  • Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (came into force 09.12.94);
  • Agreement Concerning Civil Air Transport (came into force 06.11.95);
  • Consular Agreement (came into force 12.01.97);
  • Agreement on Rendering Legal Aid and Legal Relations in Civil, Work and Criminal Matters (came into force 08.02.00);
  • Agreement on the Fight Against Organised Crime and Other Criminal Activities (came into force 07.02.04);
  • Agreement on Co-operation in Tourism (came into force 20.02.05);
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Poland on the Mutual Protection of Classified Information (came into force 09.06.05).
  • Intergovernmental Visa Representation Agreement (came into force 05.04.12)
As of 1 May 2004 the economic relations between Estonia and Poland are regulated by the regulations of the EU's internal market and bilateral agreements in the areas that are under the jurisdiction of individual member states.

Economic Relations

TRADE

Poland is Estonia’s biggest foreign trade partner among Central European countries, ranking 7th among all of Estonia’s foreign trade partners for several years.

The trade turnover between Estonia and Poland was about 1,3 billion euros during the last three years, it is about 5 % of the total of Estonia’s trade volume. In 2015 Estonia’s export to Poland constitutes 264 million euros, import about 1 billion euros, trade balance was in favour of Poland by 0.74 billion euros. 

Estonia’s export to Poland increased 13.3% in 2015 in comparison to the previous year. Poland is one of the markets to where Estonian companies could export even more.

 

Estonia’s main export articles to Poland are machinery and equipment 36,8%, wood and wood products 9,8%, juwelry – 9,0%, paper products – 7,6%.

Main import articles - machinery and equipment 32,2%, chemical products 12,0%, metals -10% and transport vehicles -8,3%.  

Examples of good economic co-operation are: partnership between air-companies Nordica and Lot Polish Airlines, Polish company ILF Consulting Polska participation at Baltic-connector construction, Estonia’s decision to buy two ferries from Poland’s Remontowa shipyards and co-operation with regional transportation projects Via Baltica and Rail Baltica. 

Estonia-Poland trade 2007-2015 (million euros)

 

Export

Import

Turnover

Balance

2006

91.3

409.9

501.2

-318.6

2007

117.0

517.5

634.4

-400.5

2008

159.9

497.5

657.4

-337.6

2009

113.4

410.5

523.9

-297.1

2010

142.6

586.7

729.3

-444.1

2011

182.2

852.2

1034.4

-669.9

2012

176.5

882.0

1058.5

-705.6

2013

207.6

1083.9

1291.5

876.3

2014

236.5

1037.0

1273.5

-800.5

2015

264

1000,1

1264,1

-736,1

 

INVESTMENTS

As of June 2016 Estonia’s direct investment position in Poland was 51 million euros (0,9% of total foreign investments). The primary sectors for investments were the wholesale and retail trade sector; the manufacturing industry; and finance and insurance activities.

Polish direct investments in Estonia  was 50,4 million euros. Investments mostly went to the wholesale and retail trade; finance and insurance activities; and the professional, scientific and technical activities.                                    As of April 2016 there were 163 enterprises with Polish participation working in Estonia.

TOURISM                                                                                                                         In 2016 Estonia accomodated 22 728 tourists from Poland, Popular destinations among Polish tourists are Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu county and Ida-Virumaa.

 

Cultural Relations

Estonia and Poland’s cultural relations are close and diverse. A detailed overview of the Estonian cultural events that have taken place with the help of the embassy can be found on the Embassy in Warsaw’s page for news and events: http://www.estemb.pl/est/esileht/uudised/.

At the end of 2007 a branch of the European Institute of Culture EUNIC was established in Warsaw, of which the Estonian Embassy is a member. The EUNIC in Warsaw organises events that introduce European culture. The Estonian Embassy has participated in the EUNIC event European Language Days and the joint EUNIC event in Warsaw “Poems on the Underground” and in the project “Awakening of the Summer”. For more information about the activities of EUNIC Warsaw, visit their webpage: http://www.warszawa.eunic-online.eu

ESTONIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

The works of A.H. Tammsaare, J. Kross, A. Valton, M. Unt, and E. Niit have been translated into Polish. As of the year 2000, very little Estonian literature has been published in Polish. The last work was in 2008 when Mart Laar’s book on the Forest Brothers called “War in the Woods” was published. Translations of the works of poet Aarne Puu and other Estonian poetry have been published.

It is possible to study the Estonian language and culture as a second foreign language within the Hungarian studies department at the University of Warsaw.

Co-operation between the University of Warsaw and the Estonian Institute began in the fall of 2007. As of  the fall of 2011 Estonian is being taught at the University of Warsaw by Svetlana Kass. In addition to the Estonian language, literature and culture classes organised by the Hungarian studies department at the University of Warsaw, it is also possible to study Estonian in Krakow at Jagiellonian University (http://www.uj.edu.pl/index.en.html) under Aarne Puu. Instructor Robert Bieleck in the Hungarian studies department of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan has also taught Estonian, though not continuously due to a lack of interest. The university press also published the first Estonian language learning book meant for Polish speakers, which was written by Robert Bieleck.

For those studying Estonian, a traditional Mother Tongue Day supported by the embassy takes place every year. However, there are only a few interested in learning the language. University students are more interested in classes about Estonian culture and society.

In March 2014 in Gdansk were held the third international literary festival "The European Poet of Freedom". From Estonia participated writer and poet Jaan Kaplinski, whose book "Teiselpool järve" (2008) was nominated for the grand prize of the festival. Poetry collection was translated into Polish by Estonian poet living in Krakow - Aarne Puu.

VISUAL ARTS

Estonian art exhibits are constantly being held in Poland.

Exhibits from the collection of KUMU have toured Poland in Warsaw and Szcsecin, as has the photo exhibit on the history of the Republic of Estonia compiled by the Estonian Institute in honour of the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

The exhibition dedicated to Estonia and Poland’s shared history entitled “Three Lions and a White Eagle” at the Warsaw Art Museum examined Estonia-Poland relations from 1919-1939. In addition, the Polish public has had the opportunity to become acquainted with the works of artists Jaan Toomik, Leonhard Lapin, Ly Lestberg, Mark Raidpere, Sirje Runge, and others.

The major exhibitions to bring out in 2014 was the book illustrators exhibition "Meremuinasjutud" tour in Poland. In the Z.J. Rumla Library of Warsaw, the exhibition of Estonian photographers A. Haas, B. Pilv, G. Järvet and I. Muusikus "Pildistatud Eesti" was opened in March and in May the same exhibition was opened in city museum of Sieradz. From September to November in Warsaw club Zacheta was opened the exhibition of Flo Kasearu "Me oleme teel".

MUSIC

Polish music-lovers appreciate Estonian music, particularly folk music and classical music.

Estonian musicians have performed at various festivals and given concerts in Warsaw, Poznan and Szczecin. The works of Arvo Pärt,  Urmas Sisask, and Heino Eller have been presented in Poland and performers such as Vaiko Eplik and the Eliit ensemble, blues band Bullfrog Brown, folk musicians Anu Taul, Triinu Taul and Tarmo Noormaa, Svjata Vatra, Abdres Uibo, and Annely Peebo have all performed in Poland.

In June 2014 in Polish National Philharmonie was held the concert by Baltic Youth Philarmonic orchestra, condcucted by the founder and artistic director of the orchestra Kristjan Järvi. In June, in Halfway festival held in Biaystok performed assemble Ewert and the Two Dragons.  In September, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir held three popular concerts in Wroclaw Wracislawia cantas festival, where they performed a capella version of "Kanon pokojanen" by Arvo Pärt. In October 2014 Estonian Music Development Centre in co-operation with Polish partners SONORA music and Nostalgy Festival Poznanis the contact event of Estonian classical music. In November pianist Mihkel Poll and sporano Arete Teemets performed in Otwock festival, where they presented the works of Estonian Composers. In December, the assemble Trad Attack! performed in international Folk music festival in Lublin.

CINEMA

Estonian and Polish filmmakers have a long history together and nearly every major Polish film festival includes an Estonian film. Estonian films have won awards at many film festivals – for example Ilmar Raag’s “The Class”, Jaak Kilmi and Kiur Aarma’s “Disco and Atomic War” – and Estonia’s unique animation has also been recognised (a separate programme of Priit Pärn’s films entitled “Pärnography” was shown at the Warsaw FilmFest).

In 2009 the first Estonian film days took place in Poland, which began in Warsaw and spread from there. The following films were shown: “Taarka”, “Kinnunen”, “Shop of Dreams”, “Knife”, “Autumn Ball”, “Jan Uuspõld Goes to Tartu”, “Navigator Prix”, “Frank and Wendy”, and “The Class.”

Ilmar Raag’s film “The Class” is available on DVD in Poland; also available there are Veiko Õunpuu’s “Autumn Ball” and Kaspar Jancis’s “Frank and Wendy” with Polish subtitles.

In October 2014, director Martti Helde participated at the 30th International Warsaw Film Festival with his film "In the Crosswind". Named the 2014 Estonian movie of the year, it was awarded the ecumenical jury prize at the Warsaw Film Festival. In November, the Estonian-Russian-Finnish-Belarussian-Kazakh co-production "I Won’t Come Back" directed by Ilmar Raag screened at the Sputnik Festival held at the Kinoteka cinema.

Estonians in Poland

According to the Polish Office for Foreigners, as of September 2012 there are 64 Estonian citizens officially residing in Poland, who have valid European Union right of residency on Poland’s territory. There are more Estonian citizens living in Poland, but under different circumstances – businessmen or students that go back and forth between Poland and Estonia or those working at international organisations. The embassy estimates that as of 2014 120 Estonian citizens live in Poland.

It has become a tradition for the Estonian community to gather together for Estonia’s Independence Day and an annual end-of-summer garden party.

The Polish-Estonian Friendship Association has been in operation since 1993; its chairman Mieczyslaw Maciejak was awarded the Order of Terra Mariana 4th Class in February 2002. The Polish-Estonian Friendship Association is composed of people interested in Estonia and organises regular cultural and economic events. In March 2001, the Warsaw City Court registered the society Pro Estonia, which promotes Estonian culture in Poland (www.eesti.pl).

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© Estonian Embassy in Warsaw Karwińska 1, 02 - 639 Warsaw, Poland tel. (48 22) 88 11 810, e-mail: Embassy.Warsaw@mfa.ee