Interview with Arkadiusz Robaczewski, philosopher, lecturer, Rector’s Plenipotentiary for Studies and Research Programs at Warsaw’s Collegium Intermarium university: “We count on tight cooperation at the Intermarium Winter School”
From 4 to 11 February 2023, the Polish Collegium Intermarium university is organising an “Intermarium Winter School” for young people aged 18 to 26 in Konstancin-Jeziorna, near Warsaw.
For PLN 230 (EUR 50), participants of this event will have the opportunity to listen to lectures by members of the elite of the Polish (and not only!) intellectual landscape, such as prof. Andrzej Zybertowicz, advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland, prof. Przemysław Czarnek, Minister of Education and Science, attorney Jerzy Kwaśniewski, president of the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture, István Kovács, strategic director of the Center for Fundamental Rights, and Dr. Patryk Jaki, Member of the European Parliament, among others.
The event’s organisers encourage young people from Central Europe to participate in order to learn about the history and culture of the countries of the region, talk about its future, and establish relationships that may result in cooperation in such diverse fields as politics, culture, education, and many others. Sébastien Meuwissen met with Arkadiusz Robaczewski to discuss about it.
Sébastien Meuwissen : What is the Intermarium Winter School?
Arkadiusz Robaczewski : The aim of this initiative is to integrate and meet young people from the region. We’re expecting young men and women from from Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, … They are people involved in various social activities for the defence of the basic principles of Christian civilisation. Many institutions are working to challenge the principles on which Europe was built. We don’t agree with that. That is why we invite young people who, through their actions and their awareness, can oppose this trend more or less effectively. We hope effectively.
Sébastien Meuwissen : Why is the defence of Christian civilisation so important?
Arkadiusz Robaczewski : This is a very basic thing. It’s about the good of man. Only these rules allow a man to live decently. It is about defending human dignity – about being able to choose the good. If we question human nature and the truth about it, then we introduce complete freedom into the activities of various institutions, and we make it impossible for man to manage his life. Man then becomes not the master of his action, but is subjected to various external forces, and institutions, but also to his own drives. This is what happens when we deprive man of the possibility of acquiring moral abilities, that is, virtues. Such a person loses the ability to manage his life and eventually sinks into unhappiness.
Sébastien Meuwissen : What is the essence of the Collegium Intermarium university?
Arkadiusz Robaczewski : The Collegium Intermarium initiative is a response to the crisis of academic life. Truth has become absent from universities. And yet these institutions were originally created to search for the truth about the world, about man, and to apply this truth in social life, for example in the law. Today, the narrative about the impossibility of knowing the truth has become common and binding. Decisions in science become something arbitrary, subject to fashions or ideologies. Therefore, it became necessary to create an academic centre that would not succumb to these trends – this is how Collegium Intermarium was created. We refer to what shaped academic and university life, i.e. service to the truth – servire veritati. In addition, the lecturers of our university are elite Polish and foreign researchers.
Sébastien Meuwissen : The word “Intermarium” refers to a geopolitical concept of Poland’s foreign policy in the early 20th century. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Arkadiusz Robaczewski : Yes, it refers to the special role of Poland as the initiator and keystone of certain actions – not only political ones – paving the ground for cultural, historical, and moral unity for the countries that make up the Intermarium. This is especially important today, when the West undermines and removes from public life the principles that have shaped our civilisation. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe have something to refer to, while not cutting off from what is good in the West. Therefore, we hope for intensive cultural cooperation with the countries of the Intermarium, which is reflected in the Intermarium Winter School.
Sébastien Meuwissen : What would you say to incite young people to enrol for the upcoming Intermarium Winter School?
Arkadiusz Robaczewski : We have really outstanding lecturers with whom the participants will also be able to talk more freely outside the lectures, for example in the evenings. In addition, the Winter School will take place in a beautiful place, ideal for cutting off from everyday life. They will be enjoying what the Greeks called eutrapelia, meaning they’re going to have a good time. Besides, thanks to the support of our sponsors, Orlen and PGNiG, participants aren’t required to cover virtually any costs.
Registration for the Intermarium Winter School is possible until Saturday 28 January. All the necessary information is to be found here and here.