Welcome inside

Basil Kerski, dyrektor ECSIt is a joy to welcome you inside the new European Solidarity Centre building in Gdańsk. It is for good reason that we are opening the building on the 25th anniversary of Poland’s regaining its freedom and the 34th anniversary of the August Agreements signed in Gdańsk’s former Lenin Shipyard. As Pope John Paul II said, “The light of Gdańsk goes out into the world!”

The ECS is a state-of-the-art cultural institution that honours our greatest civic success—the victorious Solidarity movement. It is a museum that commemorates the revolution of Solidarity and the fall of communism in Europe, but it is also an educational, research and academic centre, an archive, library and multimedia library. Last but not least, it is a public meeting space for citizens who feel responsible for the development of democracy: a place where solidarity and citizenship are put into practice.

We believe that the experience of the Polish August 1980 gives us civic energy even today and that the heritage of Solidarity is still a source of invigorating ideas for Europe. We are happy that we can be together this day: Europe, Poland, Pomerania and all those of you who feel a connection to the ethos of Solidarity.

I am convinced that we will often meet at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk.

Basil Kerski
Director, European Solidarity Centre