Jerzy Buzek

Jerzy Buzek
Jerzy Buzek
President of the European Parliament
Assumed office
14 July 2009
Vice President
Preceded by Hans-Gert Pöttering
Prime Minister of Poland
In office
31 October 1997 – 19 October 2001
President Aleksander Kwaśniewski
Deputy Longin Komołowski
Leszek Balcerowicz
Janusz Tomaszewski
Janusz Steinhoff
Preceded by Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Succeeded by Leszek Miller
Member of the European Parliament
for Silesia
Assumed office
20 July 2004
Member of Sejm
In office
20 October 1997 – 18 October 2001
Personal details
Born 3 July 1940 (1940-07-03) (age 71)
Smilowitz, Germany
(now Smilovice, Czech Republic)
Political party Civic Platform
Spouse(s) Ludgarda Buzek
Children Agata
Alma mater Silesian University of Technology

Jerzy Karol Buzek [ˈjɛʐɨ ˈbuzɛk] ( listen) (born 3 July 1940) is a Polish engineer, academic lecturer and politician who was the ninth post-Cold War Prime Minister of Poland from 1997 to 2001. He has been a member of the European Parliament since 13 June 2004, and he was elected as President of the European Parliament on 14 July 2009, succeeding Hans-Gert Pöttering.[1]


Early years

Jerzy Karol Buzek was born to a Lutheran family on 3 July 1940 in what is now Smilovice in the Czech Republic.[2] He was born into the prominent Buzek family, which participated in Polish politics in the Second Polish Republic during the interbellum. The family was part of the Polish community in Zaolzie.[3] Buzek's father was an engineer. After the Second World War, his family moved to Chorzów. He is a Protestant.

Professional career

In 1963 Jerzy Buzek graduated from the Mechanics-and-Energy Division of the Silesian University of Technology, specialising in chemical engineering. He became a scientist in the Chemical Engineering Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Since 1997 he has been a professor of technical science. He is also an honorary doctor of the universities in Seoul and Dortmund.

From 1997 to 2001, Buzek was a coalition Prime Minister of Poland.

In 1998 he became the first laureate of the Grzegorz Palka Award and was nominated European of the Year by the European Union Business Chambers Forum.

In 1998 he was named Człowiek Roku i.e. Person of the Year by the influential Polish political weekly Wprost. He won the award for a second time in 2009. On receiving the award again, as President of the European Parliament, he stressed that he was the first winner to be honoured for his work beyond the borders of Poland.[4]

He was the first Prime Minister of the 3rd Republic of Poland to serve a full term.

After losing the parliamentary elections in 2001, he stepped back from political life and focused more on his scientific work, becoming the prorector of Akademia Polonijna in Częstochowa and professor in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Opole University of Technology in Opole.

His return to political life in 2004 saw him gain the largest popular vote in Poland as the member for Katowice to the European Parliament standing for the Platforma Obywatelska.

Whilst President of the European Parliament, on 30 March 2011, he was awarded an honorary fellowship of the IChemE at a meeting of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) in Brussels, Belgium.[5]

Political career

In the 1980s, 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 organiser 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.

Jerzy Buzek's government

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.[6] AWS was defeated in the Polish parliamentary election, 2001. Buzek resigned as the chairman of AWS Social Movement, and was replaced by Mieczysław Janowski.

Polish Member of the European Parliament

On 13 June 2004, in the European Parliament election, 2004, Jerzy Buzek was elected a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Silesian Voivodeship, basing his candidacy only on the popularity of his name and on direct contact with the voters. He received a record number of votes, 173,389 (22.14% of the total votes in the region). His current party affiliation is with the Platforma Obywatelska, the governing party in Poland, which is a member of the European People's Party.

In the 2004–2009 European Parliament, he was a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, an alternate member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, a member of the Delegation to the EU–Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, and an alternate delegate for the delegation for relations with the countries of Central America. He served as rapporteur on the EU's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development, a multi-billion euro spending programme for the years 2007–2013.

On 7 June 2009, in the European Parliament election, 2009, Buzek was re-elected as a Member of the European Parliament from the Silesian Voivodeship constituency. Just as in the previous election, Buzek received a record number of votes in Poland: 393,117 (over 42% of the total votes in the district).

President of the European Parliament

On 14 July 2009, Buzek was elected President of the European Parliament with 555 votes of the 644 votes cast, the largest majority ever,[7] becoming the first person from the former Eastern Bloc and the first former Prime Minister since Emilio Colombo to gain that position.[1] He succeeded the German Christian Democrat MEP, Hans-Gert Pöttering.[1] He has pledged to make human rights and the promotion of the Eastern partnership two of his priorities during his term of office, which will last two and a half years until, due to a political deal, Social Democrat MEP Martin Schulz will take over.[1][not in citation given] [8][dead link]

Career Timeline


  • from 1997 to 2001: Professor of technical sciences, actively engaged in public work, Prime Minister of Poland
  • Honorary doctorates of the Universities of Dortmund, Seoul, Süleyman Demirel University (Isparta)
  • University lecturer of long standing at Opole, Gliwice and Częstochowa, researcher at the Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gliwice
  • 1972: Research stay, on a British Council scholarship, at the University of Cambridge


  • 1992–1997: Representative of Poland at the International Energy Agency – Programme of Greenhouse Gas Effect
  • 1996: Organiser and chairman of an international network of 19 institutions working on energy and environmental protection
  • Author of some 200 research papers, over a dozen rationalisations and three patents in the fields of environmental protection, power and process engineering
  • 1981: Member of the independent, self-governing trade union 'NSZZ Solidarność', Chairman of the I National Congress of Delegates of 'Solidarność' in
  • 1981: Active in the Solidarność underground structure after
  • 1997: Elected as a Member of the Polish Parliament in
  • As Prime Minister, in 1999, took Poland into NATO and prepared the country for integration into the European Union (including decentralisation of the State – consolidation of the role of local self-government)
  • In 1998, began accession negotiations
  • 1999: Represented the Social Movement of Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS) in the PPE–DE
  • 1999: Established the annual Pro Publico Bono prize for the best national civic initiatives
  • Set up the Family Foundation together with his wife (1998), having gained greater understanding of the meaning of help for the needy after their experiences with the battle for the life of their own child


  1. ^ a b c d "Euro parliament elects new leader". BBC News. 14 Jul. 2009. Retrieved 14 Jul. 2009. 
  2. ^ The Smilovice (German: Smilowitz, Polish: Śmiłowice) village lies in the region historically known as Austrian Silesia, more precisely the Zaolzie region. This territory was until 1918 part of Austria-Hungary (Austrian part), then from November 1918 part of Poland, then from 1920 part of Czechoslovakia. After the Munich Agreement in 1938 Czechoslovakia agreed to transfer the Zaolzie region to Poland, which, after the 1939 German invasion of Poland, was annexed by Germany. After World War II, it became again a part of Czechoslovakia and, since 1993, part of the Czech Republic. Buzek hails from the Polish minority in Zaolzie. At the time of his birth, it was officially named Smilowitz and was occupied by Germany as part of Landkreis Teschen.
  3. ^ Nowak, Włodzimierz (6 Jul. 2009). "Nad Betlejem, nad Rolą kometa. Zaolziańska saga rodu Buzków". Gazeta Wyborcza.,75248,6792766,Nad_Betlejem__nad_Rola_kometa__Zaolzianska_saga_rodu.html. Retrieved 14 Jul. 2009. 
  4. ^ "Jerzy Buzek Człowiekiem Roku tygodnika "Wprost" – Wiadomości – WP.PL".,1342,title,Jerzy-Buzek-Czlowiekiem-Roku-tygodnika-Wprost,wid,11872962,wiadomosc_prasa.html?ticaid=1c0db. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Sorry". Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Transition by Mario I. Bléjer, Marko Škreb". Google Books. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  7. ^ cs. "Jerzy Buzek – Biography of the President of the European Parliament : Jerzy Buzek". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Henson, Carolyn (14 Jul. 2009). "UPDATE: EU Parliament Elects Ex-Polish PM Buzek As President * Article". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 Jul. 2009. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Prime Minister of Poland
Succeeded by
Leszek Miller
Preceded by
Hans-Gert Pöttering
President of the European Parliament
Academic offices
Preceded by
Yves Leterme
Speaker of the College of Europe Opening Ceremony
Succeeded by
Angela Merkel

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