Poland's Constitution Day
Poles are a nation that not have only created its own history, but also influenced the history of Europe and the world and thus shaped this world, President Andrzej Duda said on Zamkowy Square in Warsaw on Friday, Poland's Constitution Day.
Speaking during observances marking the 228th anniversary of the Constitution of May 3rd, 1791, adopted by the then Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Andrzej Duda said in every nation's history there are moments that constitute fundamental points which have shaped a given nation, its identity, culture, way of looking at the world, the most important values, the way of governing and mentality.
"But there are also such nations, for which these points were not only their own personal historical moments, but they also influenced the course of world history, the formation of political systems in the European space, that is much wider outside the domain of a given state or nation," the Polish president pointed out, adding that Poles are such a nation.
Speaking on Zamkowy Square, the president pointed out that today is a good time for Poland in the country's history. "For 30 years we have lived in a free, truly sovereign and truly independent country. This independent and truly sovereign homeland has lasted longer than the Second Polish Republic [interwar Poland]," he stressed.
As Andrzej Duda added, Poland has taken "very wise decisions." In this context, he thanked all those who brought the country into NATO and the European Union. "It is thanks to their efforts, their decisions, also thanks to the words of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, that we are today in the largest alliances in the world," he pointed out.
"It was a demonstration of political wisdom. You have to be there and it's worth being there," he said.
At the same time, President Duda emphasised that the most important thing is that "Poland simply deserved this presence (...) when looking through the prism of our history, looking through the prism of our merits."
The May 3 Constitution was passed on May 3, 1791, by the Great Sejm (grand parliament) of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and was Europe's first document of its kind, predating the famous French Constitution and following the American one by only four years.
It introduced a hereditary constitutional monarchy (in place of the free election of kings), religious tolerance and the division of power into the legislative, executive and judicial branches, among other provisions.