After the proclamation of martial law in Poland in December 1981, a Solidarność Coordinating Office Abroad was set up. Led by Jerzy Milewski, the organization eliminated any internal opposition and succeeded in being recognized by most Western partners as the foreign representative of Solidarność. The Coordinating Office received most of its financial aid from trade union internationals and from the United States. Initially, the Coordinating Office was active mainly within international institutions such as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the International Labor Organization. From 1984 onward, the organization sought to influence senior politicians and governments and became an important reminder to the Western world of the Polish crisis, as well as providing financial and material aid to the banned Polish trade union. However, it did not have a definitive impact on policymaking and remained largely dependent on its allied organizations.

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