Poland needs to become fully integrated with Western democratic capitalism to maintain its reforms and rate of growth, Poland’s U.S. ambassador, Jerzy Kozminski, said at a luncheon lecture at the JW Marriott Hotel at Lenox on Dec. 5.

Membership in both NATO and the EU are considered critical elements in achieving these goals, he said.  “NATO and the EU are our most important agenda for the months and years to come,” Mr. Kozminski said.

The ambassador asked for the assistance of outside investors. “One of the most important factors of maintaining growth is capital,” he said.  “Before, Poland’s growth was mostly from domestic consumption. Now, it’s very important to get external capital inflow.”

Although Poland’s gross domestic product is growing, Mr. Kozminski said he was not optimistic about Poland’s admission to the EU primarily because it does not subsidize its agriculture, while the EU countries do.

Poland’s entry into NATO would  protect NATO members from a security vacuum to the east, he added.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Southern Center for International Studies and the Polish-American Chamber of Commerce (PACC).  For more information, call SCIS at (404) 261-5763 or PACC at (404) 870-4635.