EurActiv Awards Winners

Jerzy Buzek (Poland)

A politician, professor of technical sciences and prime minister of Poland in the years 1997 – 2001. Since 2004 member of the European Parliament, elected in July 14th 2009 as its president. For years he has been actively engaged in European politics, maintaining, however, an attitude of dialog and compromise.

Being the first Central European President of the European Parliament is also a major achievement of Jerzy Buzek.

In the 1980s Jerzy Buzek was an activist of the democratic anti-communist movements, including the legal (1980–1981 and since 1989) and underground (1981–1989) Solidarity trade union and political movement in communist Poland. He was an active organizer of the trade union’s regional and national underground authorities. He was also the chairman of the four national general meetings (1st, 4th, 5th and 6th) when the Solidarity movement was allowed to participate in the political process again.

Jerzy Buzek was a member of the Solidarity Electoral Action (Akcja Wyborcza Solidarność, AWS) and co-author of the AWS’s economic program. After the 1997 elections he was elected to the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish Parliament, and was soon appointed Prime Minister of Poland. In 1999 he became the chairman of the AWS Social Movement (Ruch Społeczny AWS) and in 2001 he became the Chairman of the Solidarity Electoral Action coalition.

Between the years 1997–2001 he was the Prime Minister of Poland, first of the right-centrist AWS–UW coalition government until 2001, and then of the rightist AWS minority government. His cabinet’s major achievements were four significant political and economic reforms: a new local government and administration division of Poland, reform of the pension system, reform of the educational system, and reform of the medical care system.[4] AWS was defeated in the Polish parliamentary election, 2001. Buzek resigned as the chairman of AWS Social Movement, and was replaced by Mieczysław Janowski.

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