Aleksander Kwaśniewski

Former President of Poland

Aleksander KwaśniewskiAleksander Kwaśniewski is the former President of the Republic of Poland (1995 – 2005). He was born on 15 November 1954 in Białogard, Poland.

He participated in the famous “Round-Table” negotiations in Poland that finally brought the peaceful transformation of Poland and the whole Central and Eastern Europe from communism to democracy. A co-founding member and first chairman of the Social Democratic Party of the Republic of Poland. He won the presidential elections for the first time in 1995, running against the incumbent Lech Walesa. He is the co-author of the new democratic Constitution of Poland, which he signed into law on 16 July 1997.

A great advocate of Poland’s membership in both NATO and the European Union, it was under his leadership that Poland finally joined NATO in 1999. He is an active supporter of further alliance enlargement under the “open door” policy. A strong proponent of European integration, Kwaśniewski campaigned for approval of the European Union accession treaty in 2003, and saw Poland become a member on 1 May 2004.

Aleksander Kwaśniewski was one of the leading figures in European politics. Author of numerous local and regional initiatives, he joined the global war on terror and backed the decision to send Polish troops in Iraq. As a longstanding supporter of Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty, Aleksander Kwaśniewski inspired the international mediation efforts during the Orange Revolution, helping the young democracy in Ukraine to prevail.

During his presidency, he courageously confronted the past, significantly contributing to the reconciliation between the Poles and the Germans and the Jewish and Ukrainian people.