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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 01, 1988

REPORT ON A WORKING CONFERENCE [OF OPPOSITION LEADERS]

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    Report on a Working Conference [of Opposition Leaders] regarding emphasis that should be placed on the legal registration of Solidarity and the status of social participants in the Roundtable discussions
    "Report on a Working Conference [of Opposition Leaders]," September 01, 1988, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Personal papers of Andrzej Stelmachowski. Translated for CWIHP by Jan Chowaniec. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112192
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A report from a working conference
At a meeting held on 1 September 1988, chaired by Prof. Andrzej Stelmachowski,[1] there was a discussion on preparations to a possible “Roundtable.” Participants in the discussion were: B. Geremek, P. Czartoryski,[2] M. Król,[3] H. Wujec,[4] A. Michnik,[5] J. Kuro,[6] S. Grabska,[7] K. Sliwi0ski,[8] T. Gruszecki,[9] R. Bugaj,[10] J. Moskwa,[11] A. Wielowieyski, K. Wójcicki,[12] H. Bortnowska,[13] Z. Grzelak.[14]

Differences of opinion among the participants concerned mostly the degree of to which emphasis should be placed on the [legal] registration of “Solidarity” as opposed to the preparation of broader topics of possible future talks. Attention was drawn to the danger of too wide a range of topics, which might water down the cause of “Solidarity.” In this connection it has been agreed that it is necessary to prepare a detailed schedule of negotiations, in which the question of “Solidarity” would be awarded the first place.

Another matter discussed was the status of social participants in the “Roundtable” discussions. It has been acknowledged that it has to be precisely defined.

In the course of the meeting M. Król submitted a report on his talk with Minister Kiszczak,[15] and P. Czartoryski described the situation in Silesia.

As a result of the discussion it has been agreed:

1. The point of departure for the preparations for the talks is a document submitted by L. Walesa on 25 August 1988, in which three major areas for talks have been formulated: unions, pluralism of associations, and economic and political reforms;[16]

2. The date for the meeting of the so-called Group of 60 was set for 9 October 1988 in Gdansk (still to be agreed with L. Walesa);[17]

3. The formation of topical groups, which were to prepare papers for the Gdansk meeting, as well as for future talks conducted by L. Walesa. The following groups have been set up:

- a group for trade union matters (Kuron, Merkel,[18] Malanowski,[19] Wujec, Rosner,[20] Milczanowski [21] );
- a group for economic questions (Wielowieyski, Gruszecki, Bugaj—with an invitation to G. Janowski [22] for agricultural matters);

- a group for pluralism of associations (Geremek, Szaniawski,[23] Paszyski,[24] Bratkowski [25] and possibly M. Król—future systemic questions).

It has been agreed that further topical groups should be established, which would cooperate with a group of “Solidarity” advisors. Among other things, the question of youth and generational differences should be brought up.

The question of contacts, the press and other media was entrusted to J. Moskwa, and the preparation of papers for discussion in Gdansk—to K. Wóycicki.

[1]. Andrzej Stelmachowski, an advisor to the Episcopate and Walicsa, from 1987 president of the Warsaw KIK, member of the Citizens' Committee appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity”, in the years 1987-1989, as a plenipotentiary of L. Walesa, conducted confidential talks with the authorities, which led to the “Roundtable;” from 1989 a senator and marshall of the Senate.


[2]. Pawel Czartoryski, a member of the Warsaw KIK leadership, member of the Citizens' Committee appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity,” “Roundtable” participant.


[3]. Marcin Król, editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine Res Publica, member of the KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity.”


[4]. Henryk Wujec, an active member of the Warsaw KIK, from 1980 an activist of NSZZ “Solidarity”, from 1988 secretary of the KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity,” “Roundtable” participant, from June 1989 a deputy to the Sejm, secretary of the National Committee for Reconciliation (OKP).


[5]. Adam Michnik, in the 1970s an activist of the Committee for Workers' Defense (KOR), from 1980 an advisor to NSZZ “Solidarity”, “Roundtable” participant from May 1989 editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, from June 1989 deputy to the Sejm.


[6]. Jacek Kuro, in the 1970s a leading KOR activist, from 1980 an advisor to NSZZ “Solidarity”, member of the KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity”, “Roundtable” participant, from June 1989 deputy to the Sejm.


[7]. Stanislawa Grabska, vice-president of the Warsaw KIK, member of the KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity”, “Roundtable” member.


[8] Krzysztof Sliwiski, member of the Warsaw KIK leadership, member of the KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity.”


[9] Tomasz Gruszecki, an economist, from 1980 an advisor to NSZZ “Solidarity.”


[10] Ryszard Bugaj, an economist, in the 1970s cooper-ated with KOR, from 1980 an advisor to NSZZ “Solidarity”,

member of the KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity”, “Roundtable” participant, from June 1989 deputy to the Sejm.


[11] Jacek Moskwa, a journalist, (supporting) secretary of KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity.”


[12] Kazimierz Wójcicki, a journalist, secretary (assistant) of KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity.”


[13] Halina Bortnowska, editorial member of Tygodnik Powszechny, member of KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity.”


[14] Janusz Grzelak, a psychologist, from 1980 activist of NSZZ “Solidarity”, participant of the “Roundtable.”


[15] Czeslaw Kiszczak, CC PUWP Politburo member, minister of internal affairs, chief initiator of the “Roundtable”, in August 1989 nominated for Prime Minister, however unsuccessful in formulating the government due to “Solidarity's” refusal to participate.


[16] “Oswiadczenie w sprawie dialogu” [A statement on dialogue] of 25 August 1988, published in Tabako. Strajk 88 (Warszawa, 1992), pp. 248-250.


[17] A group of Lech Walesa's advisors, who in December 1988 formed a Citizens' Committee of Chair-man of NSZZ “Solidarity” (political representation of the “Solidarity” camp just on the eve of “Roundtable” deliberations).


[18] Jacek Merkel, “Solidarity” activist from Gdansk, member of KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity” “Roundtable” participant, from June 1989 a deputy to the Sejm.


[19] Andrzej Malanowski, a lawyer, scholar at the University of Warsaw, activist of the Polish Socialist Party (an opposition group activist from 1987).

[20] Andrzej Rosner, a historian, chief of the “second-circulation” publication “Krag” [Circle].


[21] Andrzej Milczanowski, a lawyer, “Solidarity” activist from Szczecin, member of KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity,” “Roundtable” participant.

[22] Gabriel Janowski, an activist of the “Solidarity” of Individual Peasants (RI), member of KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity,” “Roundtable” participant.


[23] Klemens Szaniawski, philosophy professor, chairman of the Committee for an Understanding of Creative and Scholarly Associations, member of KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity.”


[24] Aleksander Paszyski, journalist, businessman, member of KO appointed by the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity”, “Roundtable” participant, from June 1989 a senator, Minister of Construction and Space Economy in the Mazowiecki government.


[25] Stefan Bratkowski, a journalist, in the years 1980- 1981 leader of a grass-roots reformist movement within the PUWP, president of the Polish Journalists' Association, member of KO of the Chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity.”