2006 | 18 | 149-176
Article title

Poland's sovereignty and national identity in the light of the Polish and EU Constitutions

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This study considers the essence of sovereignty as a legal and political category and that of national identity as a cultural and social category, as exemplified by Poland, which since May 1st, 2004 has been an EU member. The paper points to the evolution of the content of the concepts: 'sovereignty' and 'national identity' and is focused on their current understanding in the era of globalisation and integration. Poland has been at the sharp end of those phenomena, which intensified while her constitution was being enacted as well as while the country negotiated accession to NATO and to the European Union. The author intends to demonstrate that the era of 'absolute and full sovereignty' had passed as a result of globalisation and growing interdependence. Based on an exegesis of Poland's Constitution as well as of the EU Constitutional Treaty and comparisons of their respective provisos, the author outlines, in their light, the sovereignty of Poland as both a nation state and a member of the European Union while attempting to demonstrate that the country's membership in the latter strengthens sovereignty and national identity rather than undermines them, bearing in mind that that it enhances the country's national and international security, including its political, economic, financial and military security. He claims that Poland's Constitution and that of the EU (should the latter enter in force, which seems doubtful), by enhancing each other, will bolster Poland's sovereignty and national identity both in the EU and on the wider international arena. Apart from that, the author attempts to prove that when Poland self-limits her political sovereignty, as a result of, e.g. joining voluntarily the EU upon the nation's approval (Poland did hold a referendum on the accession), the competence of the Polish state as a subject of international law has not been diminished, it has not lost the right to exercise sovereign power as far as security, economy, the armed forces, alliances, education, culture, etc. and so forth are concerned. Self-limitation, imposed for the sake of the state and national interest, serves to gain allies, partners and export markets, makes it possible to have and impact on and to create international reality. Because of that, we enhance our role in the world, our internal and external subjectivity and by the same we strengthen our sovereignty and national identity.
  • J. M. Fiszer, Instytut StudiĆ³w Politycznych PAN, ul. Polna 18/20, 00-625 Warszawa, Poland
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