July 5, 2017

To a certain extent, the dynamics of Ukraine’s European integration are caused by the active support of our state by neighboring Poland. However, historically and at the present stage the Ukrainian-Polish relations remain controversial and require special attention from the scientific community. An international scientific conference «The Past-the Present-the Future. Polish-Ukrainian Relations in the 20th and 21st Centuries» took place on 22-23 June 2017 at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (UMCS) in Lublin, Poland. Chernivtsi National University was represented at the Meeting by Professor Stepan Melnychuk, Rector; Silvia Marut, Vice-Rector for Financial Affairs, Chief Accountant; Professor Olexandr Dobrzhanskyi, Dean of the Faculty of History, Political Science, and International Relations; Associate Professor Vladyslav Strutynskyi, Deputy Dean for International Cooperation; Yurii Makar, Head of the Department of International Relations; Professor Nataliia Rotar, Associate Professors Pavlo Katerynchuk and Nataliia Nechaieva-Yuriichuk.

The participants were welcomed by Rector of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Professor Stanisław Michałowski, Rector of Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University Stepan Melnychuk, Consul General of Ukraine in Lublin Vasyl Havryliuk, Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Chelm Stanislav Adamiak. Rector Stepan Melnychuk congratulated Professor Ihor Tsependa (Ukraine) and Dr. Jan Malicki (Poland) on being awarded Saints Cyril and Methodius Medals by the Center for Eastern Europe in recognition of their efforts to promote cooperation and reconciliation between Poland and Ukraine, and emphasized the importance of scientific discussion of the topical problems of Ukrainian-Polish relations and a joint search for their solutions.

The conference was structured around three streams. In his speech at Stream I «Poland and Ukraine. History that Divides and Unites» Professor Yurii Makar drew the participants attention to the peculiarities of the formation of Ukrainian-Polish relations in the 19th and 20th centuries, the problematic pages of the history of bilateral relations, and the importance of forming an impartial and stereotype-free approach to the study of the common historical heritage.

Professor Nataliia Rotar presented the report by the Head of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration Professor Anatolii Kruhlashov. In the discussion that opened up during the work of Stream II «Poland and Ukraine. 25 Years of Systemic Changes» Prof. Rotar emphasized the importance of forming a national political elite to ensure sustainable democratic development of Ukraine. Stream III «Poland and Ukraine. Strategic Partnership» started with the introductory lecture «Russia – Poland – Ukraine and Changes in International Order» by Professor Adam Daniel Rotfeld, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland. During the session, a lot of questions were asked about the peculiarities of the current international situation, the prospects for solving the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, and the role of Poland in the modern world.

Rector of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Stanislav Myhalovskyi, Rector of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University Ihor Tsependa, and Rector of Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University Stepan Melnychuk discussed the prospects of further cooperation of the Universities primarily with the aim of training highly skilled professionals.