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National Day Message by H. E. Mr. Maciej Szymański, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Bulgaria

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends of Poland,

230 years ago, on the 3rd of May, 1791, the first modern written constitution was adopted in Europe and the second in the world - the Polish one. The adoption of this important law by the Grand Sejm Rzeczypospolitej of the two peoples, uniting Poland and Lithuania in one state, sitting in Warsaw, is a major turning point in history. The legacy of the Constitution of the 3rd of May, the idea of ​​the system of government it contains, and the message of freedom and democracy are an extremely important part of Europe's achievements. The refore, the celebration of the 230th anniversary of the adoption of this constitution is an inspiring holiday.

The authors of the Constitution of the 3rd of May are considered to be the Polish King Stanisław II August, the great Lithuanian Marshal Ignacy Potocki and Hugo Kołłątaj, a clergyman and philosopher. The document is inspired by the political and social thought of the European Enlightenment and the American Constitution of 1787. It includes 11 members who build the foundations of the then modern statehood. The first article defines the Roman Catholic religion as dominant, but at the same time regulates the freedom of religion and religious practices of other religions. Article V of the Constitution divides the power into legislative, executive and judicial. The Seimas of two chambers passes the laws; executive power must be in the hands of the King and the Guardians of the Law; the judiciary - in the hands of independent courts. More important than the individual articles, however, is the principle contained in the Constitution: "All the power of human society derives from the will of the people." The authors of the basic Polish law believe that the government should not serve the interests of a small circle of people, but work for the good of the whole nation.

Today, the Constitution of 3rd of May is considered by Poles as one of the turning points in the history of the country. That is why I want to share with you my great pride and joy on the occasion of the 230th anniversary of the adoption of this document. This is an important day for Poles and Lithuanians, for all the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe who have contributed to the achievements of the former Polish Commonwealth. This is our common holiday and common inspiration.

The photos are provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Above: H. E. Mr. Maciej Szymański, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Bulgaria

Below: The poster for the documentary exhibition "The Constitution of May 3, 1791", organised on the occasion of its 230th anniversary by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Institute in Sofia. The exposition consists of 9 boards, telling about the adoption of the first modern written constitution in Europe and the second in the world; containing facsimiles of the document, the state seal, Jan Matejko's famous painting on the adoption of the constitution, as well as the first Polish and foreign printed editions of the Basic Law. The exhibition can be viewed until the 1st of June 2021 at the Polish Institute.