Europe: A Continent of Reconciliation?
40 Years after Willy Brandt's Visit to Warsaw
Conference on December 7, 2010, Royal Castle of Warsaw

Speakers’ Profiles

Prof. Egon Bahr
Former Federal Minister

Egon Bahr was born on March 18, 1922 in Treffurt an der Werra/Thuringia. After his Abitur he started training as an industrial manager with Rheinmetall Borsig-AG in Berlin. After the war Bahr began working as a journalist for the Berliner Zeitung, the Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Tagesspiegel. From 1960 until 1970 he was First Commentator and Head of the RIAS office in Bonn. Bahr joined the SPD in 1956 and was the party’s Federal Executive Director (Bundesgeschäftsführer) from 1976 until 1981. In 1960 Willy Brandt appointed him Head of the Press and Information Office of the Land of Berlin, and together they developed the basis for the later “New Eastern Policy” (Neue Ostpolitik). In 1969 Bahr became Secretary of State at the German Chancellery and Commissioner of the Federal Government for East-Berlin. He was significantly involved in the drafting of the treaties with Moscow and Warsaw, the Transit Agreement, as well as the Basic Treaty. The motto of the social-liberal eastern policy “change through rapprochement”, along with the “policy of small steps” hearken back to Bahr. From 1972 until 1990 he was a member of the German Bundestag and from 1974 until 1976 Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation in the Cabinet of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. From 1984 until 1994 Bahr was the academic director of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy of the University of Hamburg. Since 1984 Bahr has been an Honorary Professor of the University of Hamburg.

 

Enrique Barón Crespo
Former President of the European Parliament

Enrique Barón Crespo was born in Madrid on March 27, 1944. He studied law and economics in Madrid and Paris. From 1965 until 1970 he lectured in economics at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, where he worked as a lawyer until 1977. He joined the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) in 1977 and after the first democratic elections following the Franco period he became the speaker of the PSOE-Faction in the Congress of Deputies. From 1982 until 1985 he was Minister for Transport, Communication and Tourism. From 1986 to 2009 he was a member of the European Parliament. From 1989 to 1992 he was the President of the European Parliament. Thereafter, and until 1994, he was the chair of the committee for foreign affairs. From 1999 to 2004 he was the President of the Social Democratic Faction. From 2004 to 2009 Enrique Barón Crespo was the chair of the committee for international trade and in 2007 he was one of three delegates of the European Parliament at the intergovernmental conference where the Lisbon Treaty was to be framed. Currently Enrique Barón Crespo is the president of the European Foundation for Information Society.

 

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Member of the Polish Senate

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz was born in Warsaw on September 13, 1950. He studied at the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw and worked as a research assistant and lecturer at the Institute for International Law between 1972 and 1985. He earned his doctorate in 1978. From 1980 until 1981 he was a Fulbright scholar and did research at Columbia University in New York. Cimoszewicz’s political career started quite early: he was a member of the Socialist Youth League between 1968 and 1973, as well as a member of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR). In 1985 he withdrew from politics to work as a farmer, but returned after the Round Table talks to become a PZPR delegate to the Sejm. From 1990 until 1993 he was the leader of SLD’s voting committee, and between 1992 and 1996 he was a member of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe. Cimoszewicz held the position of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice from 1993 until 1995, at which time he became Prime Minister, an office he held until 1997. He was the Deputy Marshal of the Sejm and head of the Constitutional Commission from 1995 until 1996. He was appointed Foreign Minister in 2001, and served in that function until 2005. In 2005 Cimoszewicz was elected Marshal of the Sejm, and in 2007 he became a Senator.

 

Knut Dethlefsen
Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s office in Poland

Knut Dethlefsen was born December 19, 1969 in Neumünster. After his Abitur he carried out voluntary service from 1990 to 1992 with the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim/Auschwitz. Thereafter he studied history, economics, and political science at the Technische Universität Berlin. He completed his studies in 1999 with a Magister Artium. In 1999 and 2000 Dethlefsen worked with the Polish-German youth exchange office in Potsdam. Afterwards he went to the US, where he worked as a legislative fellow on the staff of US Senator Dianne Feinstein. While there in Washington DC Dethlefsen completed a Master of Sciences in Foreign Service at Georgetown University (2002). From 2002 to 2005 Knut Dethlefsen was the Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s office in Shanghai and from 2005 he was the Director of the office in East-Jerusalem. Since 2009 he has been the Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s Representation in Poland, which is based in Warsaw.

 

Dr Karen Donfried
Former Vice-president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States

Until late October 2010 Karen Donfried was the Vice-president of the German Marshall Fund (GMF). During her time with the GMF she not only served as the Fund’s vice-president, but also as a senior director for policy programs and as a director for foreign policy. Prior to that she worked as a European Affairs specialist in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division of the Congressional Research Service (CRS). From 2003 until 2005 she handled the Europe portfolio on the Policy Planning Staff in the Office of the Secretary of State. Dr Donfried completed a PhD and MALD at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Magister at the University of Munich in Germany. She holds a bachelor’s degree in government and German from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

 

Dr Peter Frey
Editor in chief of the ZDF

Peter Frey was born August 4, 1957 in Bingen am Rhein. After his Abitur in 1976 he pursued political science, pedagogy, and romance studies from 1978 until 1986 and received a PhD for his thesis on “Spain and Europe: the Spanish intellectuals and European integration”. Already during his studies he started to work as a self-employed journalist for the Südwestfunk, the Frankfurter Rundschau, and the ZDF. In 1991 and 1992 he was the correspondent and deputy head of the ZDF in Washington DC. From 1998 until 2001 Frey was the head of the ZDF’s main editorial office for foreign policy and was in charge of moderating the “auslandsjournal”, as well as several special broadcasts. From 2001 to 2010 he was head of the ZDF’s studio in Berlin and was in charge of moderating the programs “Berlin direkt”, “ZDF Sommerinterviews” and “Berliner Runde”. Since April 2010 Frey has been editor in chief of the ZDF.

 

Anke Fuchs
President of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation

Anke Fuchs was born on July 5, 1937 in Hamburg. After her Abitur she began law studies, completed them in 1964 when she passed the state examination. Subsequently she worked as a desk officer on labour law and social policy with the DGB-Bezirk Nordmark. From 1971 until 1977 she held the position of executive member of the board of directors of IG Metall. Since 1956 Fuchs has been a member of the SPD and was elected a member of the Hamburg parliament in 1971. From 1980 to 2002 she was a member of the German Bundestag. From 1998 to 2002 she held the office of Vice-president of the German Bundestag. Prior to her election to the Bundestag she was appointed Secretary of State of the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Order in 1977, and after her election she was appointed parliamentary secretary of state of the same ministry. Shortly before the end of the social-liberal coalition under Chancellor Helmut Schmidt she was appointed Federal Minister for Youth, Family and Health in April 1982. During the campaign for the first Landtag of Saxony after the German Reunification in October 1990 Fuchs was the SPD’s top candidate against Kurt Biedenkopf. In that election the SPD attained its best result for the Landtag of Saxony to the present day. Since 2003 Anke Fuchs has been the President of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

 

Sigmar Gabriel
Leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)

Sigmar Gabriel was born on September 12, 1959 in Goslar. After his Abitur in 1979 he first completed his military duty and in 1980 he commenced his studies in politics, sociology, and German. In 1989 he passed the state examination for becoming a teacher in secondary school. Already during his studies he was working for the unions IG Metall and ÖTV in the field of political education for adults and in the field of children and youth work for the Sozialistische Jugend Deutschlands (SJD). He joined the SPD in 1977 and was a member of the Kreistag of the county of Goslar from 1987 until 1990. From 1990 until 2005 Gabriel was a member of the Landtag of Lower Saxony and in 1998 and 1999 he was head of the SPD-faction in the Landtag of Lower Saxony. From 1999 to 2003 Gabriel was the Minister-President of Lower Saxony and afterwards he returned to be the head of the SPD-faction in the Landtag of Lower Saxony. From October 2005 until October 2009 he was the Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety. Since 2007 Gabriel has been a member of the SPD’s executive committee and was elected the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in November 2009.

 

Dr Irina Kobrinskaya
Executive Director of the Foundation for Prospective Studies and Initiatives, Moscow

Dr Irina Kobrinskaya was born in Moscow in 1950. She graduated from Moscow State University, where she earned her doctorate at the Institute for U.S. and Canada Studies in 1983. Between 1988 and 1992 she was a senior research fellow at the Institute of Political Sciences at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Upon returning to Moscow she was invited to take the post of research and program coordinator of the program “Russia and its Neighbours” at Carnegie Center. In 1998 she was appointed director of the newly founded Moscow Center of the New York East-West Institute, a position she held until 2001. Since 2002 Dr Kobrinskaya is the executive director of the Foundation for Prospective Studies and Initiatives and leading research fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Irina Kobrinskaya is the author of 4 and co-author of 30 monographs, about 200 articles in periodicals on domestic and foreign policy, and international security. She edited more than 30 books and regularly comments on foreign policy issues.

 

Bronisław Komorowski
President of the Republic of Poland

Bronisław Komorowski was born June 4, 1952 in Oborniki Śląskie close to Wrocław. He studied at the Institute for Historical Sciences, University of Warsaw. After receiving his degree in 1977 he first worked as a journalist for Słowo Powszechne. From 1980 until 1981 he worked at the Centre for Social Studies of Solidarność. After the end of the People’s Republic of Poland in 1989 Komorowski was a member of the Sejm. From 1989 until 1990 he was the Director of the Cabinet at the office of the Council of Ministers and subsequently, until 1993, Deputy-Minister of Defence. From 1997 until 2000 Komorowski was the chair of the Sejm’s defence committee, and from 2000 to 2001 he was Minister of Defence in the Cabinet of Jerzy Buzek. In 2001 he joined the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska – PO) and has since been a member of the party’s executive committee. In 2005 he became Deputy-Marshall of the Sejm and from 2007 he became Marshal of the Sejm. In March 2010 Komorowski was appointed as PO’s candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. After the plane crash of April 10, 2010 and the death of President Lech Kaczyński, Komorowski assumed the official functions of President in his function as Marshall of the Sejm. Following the presidential elections held in June and July 2010, Komorowski was sworn in as President of the Republic of Poland on August 6, 2010.

 

Tadeusz Mazowiecki
Former Prime Minister

Tadeusz Mazowiecki was born on April 18, 1927, in Płock. He began law studies at the University of Warsaw in 1946 but did not complete them. He was a member of the Catholic PAX community between 1945 and 1955, from which he was later banned due to opposition activity. In 1957 he was a co-founder of KIK, the Catholic Intelligentsia Club. A year later he founded and at the same time became chief editor of the Catholic intellectual monthly Więź. Between 1961 and 1971 he was a delegate to the Sejm for the Catholic Znak movement. After that he took part in the opposition movement of Catholic intellectuals in Wrocław against the communist regime. From 1978 he was a lecturer with the Flying University. From 1980 he was an adviser to the Solidarność trade union and chief editor of the weekly paper of the same name. After the imposition of martial law in Poland (December 13, 1981) Mazowiecki was imprisoned. He was released in 1982 as the last of those imprisoned during that time. In 1989 he took part as an adviser in the Round Table talks, and that same year was elected prime minister by the Sejm. He resigned from office in 1990. Mazowiecki was co-founder of the Democratic Union, later Freedom Union, whose presidency he held from 1990 to 1995. Between 1992 and 1995 he was a special correspondent to the UN Commission on Human Rights in Bosnia, but resigned from his mandate in protest against the passivity of the international community during the massacre of Srebrenica. Since 2010 he has been an adviser to President Bronisław Komorowski in matters of national and international policy.

 

Janusz Reiter
Head of the Centre for International Relations (CSM), former Ambassador of Poland

Janusz Reiter was born on August 6, 1952 in Kościerzyna. From 1971 until 1976 he pursued German studies, philosophy, and sociology at the University of Warsaw. From 1977 until 1981 he worked as a journalist for the newspaper Życie Warszawy, from 1984 until 1989 for Przegląd Katolicki, and from 1989 until 1990 for Gazeta Wyborcza. He also worked with Polish Television. From 1990 until 1995 Reiter was the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Germany. In 1996 he founded the Centre for International Relations, which he heads as president until the present day. From 2005 to 2007 Reiter was Poland’s Ambassador to the US.

 

Alain Richard
Former Defence Minister of France

Alain Richard was born on August 29, 1945 in Paris. From 1969 until 1971 Richard studied at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris as well as at the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA). From 1962 he was a member of the Parti Socialiste Unifié (PSU) and was a member of the party’s executive committee from 1972 until 1974. In 1974 he joined the Parti Socialiste (PS) and from 1977 he was the mayor of Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône in the Département Val-d’Oise. From 1978 until 1993 he was a member of the French National Assembly for the Département Val-d’Oise. From 1987 until 1988 Richard was a Vice-president of the National Assembly. Furthermore, he was a judge at the French High Court from 1978 until 1993. In 1995 Richard became a Senator for the Département Val-d’Oise. From 1997 until 2002 he served as Defence Minister in the cabinet of Lionel Jospin. Since 2009 Richard has been the president of the council for sustainable development of the Département Val-d’Oise. Richard is a member of the committee for the scientific orientation of the foundation À gauche en Europe founded by Michel Rocard and Dominique Strauss-Kahn. He is the treasurer of Inventer à gauche.

 

Prof. Dr Adam Daniel Rotfeld
Former Foreign Minister

Prof. Dr Adam Daniel Rotfeld was born March 4, 1938 in Przemyślany near Lemberg (today’s Lviv). He survived the Holocaust in a convent of the Studite Brethren in Uniów. Rotfeld relocated to Poland in 1951 and studied at the Warsaw Academy for Diplomacy between 1955 and 1960. After that he commenced postgraduate studies in journalism, which he completed in 1962. From 1961 until 1989 he was a member of the Warsaw Institute for International Relations. He earned his doctorate at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 1969 with his dissertation on Nations’ Rights to Self-Determination within Modern International Law. He was appointed professor at the University of Warsaw in 2001. From 1991 until 2002 Rotfeld was director of and headed research projects at the International Institute for Peace Studies SIPRI in Stockholm. Since 2001 he has been a member of the National Security Council. In 2002 he was appointed undersecretary within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was followed by the position of State Secretary the next year. Between January and November of 2005 he held the position of Foreign Minister of the Republic of Poland. During his term as Foreign Minister Rotfeld established the Warsaw Reflection Group on UN Reform and Transatlantic Security and Complementarity of European Security Institutions. He is currently a member of the advisory committee of the UN Secretary-General for disarmament.

 

Axel Schäfer
Vice-president of the SPD Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag

Axel Schäfer was born August 3, 1952 in Frankfurt am Main. He is married and has one child. He finished secondary education in 1963 and started a civil service traineeship in 1968 at a professional school and study institute and later pursued advanced training at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum from 1981 to 1982. From 1968 he worked for the city council of Frankfurt am Main and from 1972 for the city council of Bochum. Between 1983 and 1984 he headed the European election office in the SPD’s executive committee under Willy Brandt and Peter Glotz. From 1984 to 1994 Schäfer managed the European offices of Western Westphalia. Between 1999 and 2001 he was the head of a European adult education centre. In 2002 he was appointed secretary general of the European Movement Germany (currently on leave of absence). Schäfer was a member of the European parliament between 1994 and 1999. In 1995 he took a post as election monitor during the Kazakhstan elections and in 2004 during the Ukrainian elections. Since 2003 he has been the vice-president of the European Movement Germany, and since 2007 president of the advisory board of the Association for the Study of Questions concerning Structural Policy. Since 2010 Schäfer has been a member of the regional board of the SPD in North Rhine-Westphalia. Schäfer has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2002. From 2005 to 2010 he was the spokesperson for the SPD parliamentary working group concerning European Union affairs. Since March 2009 he has been president of the regional board of North Rhine-Westphalia of the SPD parliamentary group and as of September 28, 2010 he is vice-president of the SPD parliamentary group concerning European Union affairs and petitions.

 

Thomas Schmid
Publisher of the Welt-Gruppe

Thomas Schmid was born on October 6, 1945 in Leipzig. In 1952 he relocated together with his family to the Federal Republic of Germany. After his Abitur in 1965 Schmid pursued German and English studies and political science in Frankfurt am Main until 1969. During this time Schmid was a part of the Frankfurt student movement: together with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Joschka Fischer, and Matthias Beltz he founded the Gruppe Revolutionärer Kampf. From 1979 to 1986 he was a lector with Verlag Klaus Wagenbach and later he worked as an independent author. Since 1993 Schmid has been working for the Wochenpost and later on for the Hamburger Morgenpost. In 1998 he became a part of the editorial staff of Die Welt as the head of the opinion department “Forum”. In 2000 he joined the political department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagzeitung and became the editor responsible for the political department in 2001. Since 2006 Schmid has been editor in chief for Die Welt and Welt kompakt – and since 2008 additionally for Welt Online and Welt am Sonntag. Since 2010 Schmid has been the publisher of the Welt-Gruppe.

 

Martin Schulz
Chairman of the Social Democratic Faction in the European Parliament

Martin Schulz was born on December 20, 1955 in Helrath. He completed training as a bookseller and worked for several different publishing houses and bookstores before he was able to open his own bookstore in 1982, which he ran until 1994. Schulz joined the SPD in 1974 and became involved with the Jusos. From 1987 until 1998 he was mayor of the city of Würselen. Since 1994 Schulz has been a member of the European Parliament and since the elections in the European Union in 2004 he has been the Chairman of the faction of the Social Democratic Party of Europe (SPE, today S&D) and is a member of several committees. On November 13, 2009 Schulz was elected the commissioner for Europe of the SPD. In accordance with the agreement achieved with the conservative EVP, Schulz will follow Jerzy Buzek as the President of the European Parliament in 2012. Since 1999 Schulz has been a member of the executive committee of the SPD as well as of the party’s directorate.

 

Dr Angelica Schwall-Düren
Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and Media in the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia

Angelica Schwall-Düren was born on July 16, 1948 in Offenbach/ Baden-Württemberg. After her Abitur she studied history, political science, and French at the universities of Freiburg i. Br., Montpellier and Münster. 1977 she completed her studies and passed the state examination for teachers in secondary education as well as a PhD in economic and social history. From 1977 until 1994 Schwall-Düren was a teacher in Ahaus and Gronau. In 1982 she passed an additional exam in sociology and from 1985 to 1992 she trained as a family therapist and supervisor while still working as a teacher. Schwall-Düren has been a member of the SPD since 1976. From 1994 to 2004 she was a member of the German Bundestag and from 1998 the parliamentary executive secretary of the SPD’s faction in the Bundestag. From 2002 to 2010 Schwall-Düren was the vice-president of the SPD’s faction in the Bundestag responsible for European Affairs. Since July 15, 2010 Schwall-Düren has been the Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and Media of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia.

 

Prof. Dr Gesine Schwan
President of the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance

Gesine Schwan was born on May 22, 1943 in Berlin. During her research for her dissertation on the Polish philosopher Leszek Kołakowski (completed in 1970) Schwan visited the cities of Warsaw and Kraków where she made contacts with Polish dissidents. In 1975 she habilitated at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she worked as professor from 1977. In 1992 she was elected dean at the Otto-Suhr-Institut. From October 1999 until September 2008 she was the president of the Viadrina University in Franfurt (Oder). From 2005 until 2008 Schwan worked as the Federal Government’s coordinator for cooperation in the border-zone and in civil society with Poland. Between 2004 and 2009 Schwan was a candidate for the office of Federal President. In 2009 she was a co-founder of the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance, which she has been directing as president since June 15, 2010. Apart from her career in academia, Gesine Schwan has always been politically active. Since joining the SPD in 1972 she has been active in numerous different political bodies.

 

Radosław Sikorski
Foreign Minister of the Republic of Poland

Radosław Sikorski was born February 23, 1963 in Bydgoszcz. He left Poland after graduating from high school and went to study philosophy and political sciences at Pembroke College, Oxford University. Between 1986 and 1989 Sikorski worked as a reporter for both the Spectator and Observer in Afghanistan, Angola, and Yugoslavia. In 1992 he was appointed deputy Minister of Defense in the cabinet of Jan Olszewski; from 1998 to 2001 he held the position of deputy Foreign Minister under Jerzy Buzek. In 2002 he took up the position of director of the New Atlantic Initiative (NAI) at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. In 2005 he was elected to the Polish Senate and appointed Minister of Defense in December 2005. He has been a member of the Civic Platform (PO) since 2007, from which he was elected to the Sejm that same year. Since 2007 Sikorski has been Poland’s Foreign Minister in the cabinet of Donald Tusk.

 

Prof. Dr Fritz Richard Stern
Historian

Fritz Richard Stern was born in Breslau (today’s Wrocław) February 2, 1926, but was forced to emigrate to the United States with his parents in 1938. He acquired US citizenship in 1947. He studied at Columbia University (New York) where he started an academic career after having earned his doctorate in 1953 under Jacques Barzun. In 1967 he was appointed to the position of Seth-Lowe professor for history, which he held until his retirement in 1997. He is considered one of the most important contemporary American historians. His research focus includes the history of historiography and the cultural and political history of modern Europe, in particular that of 19th- and 20th-century Germany. In 1987 he was the first foreigner to be invited to the German Bundestag to deliver a speech commemorating the events of June 17, 1953. Fritz Richard Stern has received several awards for his work. He is a member of the order “Pour le mérite” and has received honorary doctorates from the universities of Oxford and Wrocław.

 

Christian Wulff
President of the Federal Republic of Germany

Christian Wulff was born in Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, on June 19, 1959 as the second child of Rudolf and Dagmar Wulff. He gained his Abitur at Ernst Moritz Arndt Grammar School. At an early age, he became active as a pupil and later as a student representative, including within the Schüler Union and the Junge Union (youth organizations affiliated with the CDU). From 1980 to 1986 Christian Wulff studied law, with a specialization in economics, at the University of Osnabrück. In 1987 in Hanover he passed his first state examination in law. Thereafter he pursued practical legal training at the Oldenburg Higher Regional Court and passed the state examination in law in Hanover in 1990. That same year, he joined a law firm. In 1986 Christian Wulff became a CDU member of the Osnabrück council, and from 1989 to 1994 he was leader of the CDU group. He remained a member of the council until 2001. In 1994 he was elected to the Lower Saxony Landtag. In March of that year, he became the leader of the CDU parliamentary group in the Landtag, and in June he was elected chairman of his party in Lower Saxony. In 1998 he was elected CDU Deputy Federal Chairman. After the Landtag elections in 2003, Christian Wulff was voted Minister-President by the members of the Lower Saxony Landtag on March 4, and he was confirmed in this position on February 26, 2008. He held the office of Minister-President until June 30, 2010, the day of the 14th Federal Convention, which elected him tenth President of the Federal Republic of Germany. At his own request, his CDU membership was suspended that same day. Christian Wulff has been a patron of the German Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Organization, since 2001. Christian Wulff is a Catholic. His has an honorary doctorate from Tongji University in Shanghai, is a senator of the Max Planck Society, and an honorary senator of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg.

 

Paweł Zalewski
Member of the European Parliament

Paweł Zalewski was born in Warsaw on September 25, 1964. He studied history and law at the University of Warsaw. He took part in opposition movements in the 1980s, acted as underground editor, and was a member of the International Student Organization. In 1989 he took part in the Round Table talks and was an adviser to the Minister of Education between 1989 and 1991. In 1991 he was elected to the Sejm from the Democratic Union. Two years later he co-founded the Conservative Coalition. In 1999 he was appointed deputy president of the political council of the Conservative Citizens’ Party. In 2002 he became a member of Law and Justice (PiS) and in 2007 its deputy president. He held that position until he left the party later that same year. From 1991 to 1996 Zalewski taught as an assistant at the Warsaw School of Economics. He worked as managing partner for an international HR consulting company from 1996 until 2002 and again between 2003 and 2005. In 2002 and 2003 he worked for the administration of the Mazovian voivodeship. He was elected to the Sejm in 2005 as a PiS candidate, and reelected in 2007. Due to internal differences he left the party in 2007 and became a member of the Civic Platform (PO). He was elected to the European Parliament from the Civic Platform in 2009. Paweł Zalewski is deputy president of the International Trade Commission of the European Parliament, an expert on international affairs, and rapporteur on Polish foreign policy.