Diplomatic relations between Poland and Canada were established in June 1919.
Initially, the Polish Embassy in London was responsible for conducting diplomatic relations due to the dominium status of Canada. The first Polish diplomatic representation in Canada was the Consulate General in Montreal, established in 1919. In 1933, the consulate was moved to Ottawa. In 1942, the Polish government in exile decided to elevate the diplomatic representation in Ottawa to the status of a diplomatic mission. In 1947, the first diplomatic representation of Canada in Poland - a mission in Warsaw - was opened. Mutual raising of the posts to the rank of embassies took place on 29 April 1960.
Political cooperation after 1989
Major bilateral visits at the level of the highest authorities of both countries: 1990 - Visit of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki to Canada, 1994 - Visit of President Lech Walesa to Canada, 1999 - Visit of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to Poland, 2008 - Visit of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Poland, 2010 - Visit of Polish Senate Marshal Bogdan Borusewicz, 2012 - Visit of Prime Minister Donald Tusk to Canada, 2014 - Visit of Governor General J. J. Borusewicz to Canada. E. David Johnston in Poland, 2014 - visit of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Poland, 2015 - visit of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Poland, 2016 - visit of President Andrzej Duda to Canada, 2016 - visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the NATO Summit in Warsaw, 2018 - visit of Polish Senate Marshal Stanisław Karczewski to Canada. In addition to visits at the highest level, regular meetings are held at the level of ministers, secretaries and undersecretaries of state of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defence and other ministries, as well as chairmen of various committees and teams. These meetings are held in various formats, both bilateral and multilateral, on the occasion of conferences or other international events. Interparliamentary contacts are an important element of political cooperation. In 2016, bilateral friendship groups were set up in both parliaments. In 2017, Canadian parliamentarians visited Poland. During the visit of the Senate Marshal Stanisław Karczewski to Canada in 2018, a meeting with representatives of the Canadian-Polish Parliamentary Friendship Group took place. The current very good state of Polish-Canadian bilateral relations results primarily from intensive political dialogue, steadily developing bilateral cooperation and gradually growing trade exchange. The Polish-Canadian political dialogue consists of a broad spectrum of issues concerning, among others, security (NATO), democratisation and economy. Both our countries present convergent views on the further development and future of the North Atlantic Alliance. Both Poland and Canada have given strong political support to the process of democratic transformation in Ukraine. Both countries also have a similar attitude to the policy towards Russia, including the international sanctions applied to that country. Poland and Canada are linked by close military cooperation. Between 2014 and 2017, approximately 200 Canadian soldiers were stationed in Drawsko Pomorskie as part of the NATO Reassurance operation. In June 2017, the Polish and Canadian military began cooperation within the framework of the Battalion Battle Group of NATO eFP NATO in Latvia. Soldiers of both countries take part in joint training and military exercises in Poland and Canada, e.g. participation of Polish soldiers in the Maple Resolve 18 exercise or Canadian soldiers in annual military manoeuvres ANAKONDA in Poland. In the international arena, Poland and Canada also cooperate within the framework of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), G7+, the Arctic Council, as well as in forums of many organizations and programs of the United Nations system. An extremely important aspect of Polish-Canadian cooperation is the historical ties between the two countries: Poles have been contributing to its construction and development since the beginnings of Canadian statehood. Polish soldiers were trained in Canada during World War I, fought side by side with Canadians during World War II, and Polish citizens found refuge in Canada during the difficult years of communist Poland. After the fall of communism, Canada supported our aspirations to join NATO and was the first member of the Alliance to ratify Poland's accession documents to this organisation. Today, Canadians of Polish origin are one of the largest national minorities in Canada (about 1.1 million) and live in all provinces and territories of Canada.
Poland is Canada's largest trading partner in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2018, trade between Poland and Canada reached a record level of over 2.85 billion CAD. Exports from Poland to Canada in 2018 totaled over 2.1 billion CAD, imports from Canada to Poland over 0.74 billion CAD. Poland maintains a surplus in trade with Canada. A TABLE WITH DATA ON CANADA IN ANNEX. Poland supported the signing of a free trade agreement between CA and the EU. This agreement (CETA), which has been in force since 2017, may increase trade by 23%. The most important product groups that Poland exports include: aircraft parts, silver, skins, wooden machines and furniture. Poland imports from CA components of the aviation industry, electrical equipment, machinery and agri-food products.
The activities of the Polish diplomatic and consular missions in Canada are focused on cultural cooperation on the international priorities and objectives of Poland. They contribute to building relations with Canadian opinion-forming and decision-making circles. Public diplomacy activities facilitate and support selected artistic and cultural events, discussions, conferences and exchanges in consultation with Canadian institutional partners. For many years, Polish artists and representatives of various fields of culture have been present on the Canadian cultural scene. The "Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of Canada in the field of culture, academic and sports relations" signed in 1990 is conducive to bilateral cooperation. It provides a general framework for mutual cooperation in the above areas, opening up the possibility of their detailed definition and extension by the institutions and entities concerned, depending on the possibilities and needs of the parties. Due to the specific nature of Canada and the wide autonomy of individual provinces, which are responsible for cultural policy, cooperation with Poland in this field is highly diversified and is not defined in detail by the laws of both countries or bilateral agreements. There are formal and informal forms of cooperation between universities, art agencies, cultural institutions in Canada and Poland, which organise artistic and cultural events, conferences and shows as part of their cooperation. These activities support the diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Poland in Canada by organising or supporting the organisation of numerous concerts, conferences, exhibitions and other cultural and artistic events. Polish jazz musicians, who participate in international jazz festivals and concerts in Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal, are highly renowned in Canada. Canadians appreciate Polish cinema and Polish films are regularly presented at major international festivals in Toronto and Montreal, as well as at regional festival screenings in Sherbrook, Vancouver and Halifax. The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ottawa also presents Polish films at special screenings and at the EU Film Festival in Ottawa. Outstanding Polish pianists, including finalists and winners of Chopin Competitions, participate in concerts organized by the Chopin Societies of Vancouver and Mississauga. The reputation of the Polish theatre, which is highly regarded in Canada, has attracted the interest of organisers of major international theatre events. In 2015, the Poznań Animation Theatre took part in the international animation theatre festival "Festival de Casteliers" in Montreal. In 2017 the Polish Theatre from Wrocław was an honorary guest of the prestigious theatre festival "The Theatre Festival of the Americas" in Montreal, presenting its export performance "Holzfällen Section". With the same art he also participated in Quebec City in the 18th international festival "Carrefour international de théâtre à Quebec". In 2019 the Polish National Ballet from Warsaw, at the invitation of the largest ballet institution in Quebec, "Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal", presented in Montreal "Swan Lake", a performance that is an original interpretation of classical ballet, developed by the artistic director Krzysztof Pastor to the new libretto by Paweł Chynowski.
Cooperation in the field of science
In Canada, due to the exclusive jurisdiction of provincial governments and autonomous territories in the field of education, there is no federal authority for education or higher education. The educational systems of the ten Canadian provinces and the three autonomous territories differ slightly. The provincial ministries of education and higher education establish their own education systems, curricula and policies. International scientific and academic cooperation is therefore carried out directly by the institutions concerned. There are numerous formal and informal forms of cooperation between universities and research institutes in Poland and Canada, as well as cooperation between many researchers who carry out joint projects and research at universities in Poland and Canada. This cooperation is of various nature, depending on the subject matter, possibilities and needs of cooperating universities or research institutions. Each year, Canada enables foreign students, including Polish students, to participate in prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships or Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships programme takes into account such selection criteria as willingness to improve, research potential and leadership skills. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships enables young scientists to conduct research in areas such as health, life sciences and/or engineering, social sciences and the humanities. Youth Mobility Programme supporting the mobility of Polish citizens in Canada and Canadian citizens in Poland On 1 August 2009, the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of Canada on supporting the mobility of young citizens, signed in Warsaw in 2008, entered into force. From that date, young Poles aged between 18 and 35 years may not only travel to Canada, complete their education at higher education institutions, gain work experience and deepen their knowledge of languages, culture and society in Canada, but may also take up occasional jobs. On the date of entry into Canada, they will be granted a work permit for the duration of their legal residence. Applications to the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw (www.canada.pl) for a letter of recommendation, and in some cases for visas, can be submitted to the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw.
Recognition of academic qualifications
Recognition of education in Canada, education matters are the responsibility of individual provinces, and the conditions for admission to a school are largely determined by the school itself. In the case of primary and secondary schools, usually in most cases, certificates issued in Poland are recognized, in the case of universities - the decision belongs to a given university.