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Geopolitics and the Future of Democracy in Europe with Lech Wałęsa
12:00 - 1:00 PM ET


In the coming year, European countries will hold nine parliamentary elections that will determine the trajectory of the region. High priority elections in Germany, the United Kingdom as well as for the European Union (EU) Parliament, for instance, will determine policy agendas related to the war in Ukraine, immigration and economics as well as energy security. Beyond Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will elect new leadership before the end of 2024, which will also have important implications on the war effort in Ukraine. 

As the European continent braces for this forthcoming year of change, former Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lech Wałęsa will discuss his expectations for the future of Europe. As the conflict in Ukraine enters its third year, Wałęsa will specifically address how electoral outcomes could affect regional support for the war effort. He will also touch on what role Poland and its neighbors should play to advance peace and security in Europe; as well as how what steps NATO and transatlantic partners should be taking.  

Please join Perry World House, in collaboration with the Philomathean Society, for this important and timely conversation with President Lech Wałęsa.  


Lech Wałęsa is a Polish elder statesman, pro-democracy activist and union organizer who served as the first democratically-elected President of Poland from 1990 to 1995. He was the leader of Solidarity (NSZZ), one of the first oppositional and freedom-oriented social movements in the communist bloc, for which he was awarded the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize. His nonviolent struggle as the leader of the democratic opposition resulted in Poland’s successful transition to democracy in 1989, bringing the end to communist rule in the whole Eastern Europe.


Trudy Rubin is the Worldview columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and a member of the Inquirer’s editorial board. Before coming to the Inquirer, she was Middle East correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, covering Israel and the Arab world. Prior to that, she was a staff writer on American politics for the Economist. In recent years she has written from Ukraine, China, Taiwan, Russia, Israel, the West Bank, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan, and more. In 2019, Rubin received the Overseas Press Club of America’s Flora Lewis Award for best commentary in international affairs. In 2001 and 2017, she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary. She is the author of Willful Blindness: The Bush Administration and Iraq. In 1990 she was an exchange journalist at the Moscow News in Russia, and in 1974/5 she was an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow in Cairo and Beirut. Rubin is a graduate of Smith College and the London School of Economics and Political Science.