Aleksander Kwaśniewski (born 15 November 1954).
Honorary Citizen of Warsaw since July 2010
He was born in Białogard. In the years 1973 -1977 he studied foreign trade at the Department of Transport Economics at the University of Gdańsk. During his studies he served as Chairman of the University Council of the Socialist Union of Polish Students (SZSP). fr0m 1977, he was a member of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR) until it was dissolved in 1990.
He was employed in journalism. He was the editor-in-chief of the student weekly “Itd.”, then editor-in-chief of the daily “Sztandar Młodych” (“Youth Banner”). Fr0m 1985 to 1987 he served as Minister for Youth Affairs in the Zbigniew Messner Government, and till June 1990 was Chairman of the Committee for Youth and Physical Culture. A participant in the “Round-Table” negotiations. Fr0m 1988 to 1991 he was President of the Polish Olympic Committee (PKOL). After the dissolution of the Polish United Workers’ Party in 1990, together with Leszek Miller he co-funded the Social Democratic Party of the Republic of Poland (SdRP) and then became its Chairman. A year later he participated in organising the electoral coalition of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD). He was a member of Parliament in the first and second term. He served as Chairman of the Democratic Left Alliance Parliamentary caucus. He was a member of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee and the Constitutional Committee of the National Assembly.
As an SLD candidate Kwaśniewski won the Presidential election in 1995. On 23 December that year, he was sworn in as the President of the Republic of Poland and held that office for two consecutive terms until 22 December 2005. He co-founded the project and participated in the referendum campaign for the adoption of the Constitution of the Third Republic of Poland, which he signed on 16 July 1997. He took an active part in efforts to secure Polish membership of NATO and the European Union. On 26 February 1999, he signed the instruments ratifying Poland’s membership of NATO. In late 2004, during the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, he was asked by Leonid Kuchma to be a mediator in the talks between Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych. In 2007, he became a member of the Yalta European Strategy (YES), and in 2010 he became the head of the board of the organisation, acting for the European integration of Ukraine. Since 2008 he has served as Chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, established by the European Jewish Congress to combat racism and anti-Semitism in Poland.