Commentary History

450th anniversary of Polish-Lithuanian Union

On the 450th anniversary of the Union of Lublin which united Poland and Lithuania, Presidents Andrzej Duda and Dalia Grybaskauite in a joint declaration salute their ancestors, who forged a union unlike any Europe had seen before.

The statement reminded that the Union was “an inspiration for the whole of Europe to integrate and build an increasingly stronger cooperation between nations as a response to internal and external threats.”

“Much like back then, today we are just as ready to stand in the face of many adversities and defend the ideals of independence, unity and solidarity together,” the presidents wrote in their joint declaration.

They referred to how the Union of Lublin had strengthened civic culture in the past and how its republican ideas have continued on to social and political life today.

The declaration also compared past unity between Poland and Lithuania to today’s cooperation between the two nations: “By building a common European and transatlantic future, by introducing strategic energy and transport projects and intensively developing cultural and scientific cooperation, we are contributing to creating wealth and security for all of Europe.”

The act of union between the Grand Lithuanian Duchy and the Kingdom of Poland was signed on July 1st, 1569 in the general Sejm in Lublin. Therefore establishing a Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth which became one of the most powerful political entities in Europe. 

The union foresaw that the state would have one ruler, elected in free elections and a single parliament, shared defense and foreign policy as well as currency. Both states retained their official languages, treasury and judiciary.

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