Conference topics:

Freedom, sovereignty, the rule of law


Gdansk University of Technology

Freedom, sovereignty and the rule of law are values and vitally important conditions without which an independent state cannot function. Their preservation and passing on to successive generations allowed the Poles to regain their independence and restore Poland to the map of Europe and the world.

After one hundred years of the restoration of the Polish state, the question arises about what freedom today is as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, what its boundaries are and what obligations are imposed by freedom, sovereignty and the rule of law on the 21st century Poland and its citizens.

At the threshold of the second century of independent Poland, these values and conditions should be considered from the point of view of the common good, as elements leading to national and supranational solidarity, giving rise to Christian love for the homeland and referring to the 1052 years of Polish statehood.

The centenary of the restoration of independence by Poland forces us remember that freedom, sovereignty and the rule of law are not values given to us once and for all. The jubilee of the restoration of independence reminds us of the need to upkeep the restored freedom and to strive to strengthen it in the interest of our homeland.

These issues, in the light of the Catholic social teaching and its principles: the common good, social participation and solidarity, and the values of truth, freedom, justice and love will allow us to confront constructively many dilemmas currently facing Polish citizens.


The history of the 100 years since the restoration of independence has shown us different forms of freedom, sovereignty and the rule of law, which have made and continue to make a significant contribution to the development of the reborn Poland. These particularly include the ones that co-shape: (1) cultural, (2) family, (3) civic, (4) economic and (5) political sphere of life of our national and state community. At the same time, they also make us aware of the importance of the principle of a lawful state and the principle of social pluralism in shaping the social order that actually and not just declaratively take into account the social nature of man.

Inspirations from Catholic social teaching on the subject of sovereignty, freedom and the rule of law

  1. Cultural sovereignty of a national community

The cultural sovereignty of every nation, as was emphatically emphasized by John Paul II in a speech at the UNESCO headquarters on 2 June 1980, is among its fundamental rights. This kind of sovereignty necessarily implies respect for the freedom and right of every nation to its own culture in which it expresses itself and lives.

According to John Paul II, the requirement to respect cultural sovereignty of every nation „is not an echo of any ‘nationalism’, but a permanent element of human experience and humanistic perspectives of mankind. Basic sovereignty of people is expressed in the culture of their nation. It is also sovereignty that makes people the most sovereign at the same time.” (John Paul II, The future of man depends on culture, speech at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris on 2 June 1980, No. 14).

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