Bronisław Geremek, former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs (1997-2000) and member of the European Parliament (from 2004) died yesterday in a fatal car accident when his car collided head-on with a van.
Geremek, who was a Professor of History and eminent scholar at, among others, the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Sorbonne, was a key figure in Poland’s drive towards democracy during the ‘Solidarity’ period acting as one of Lech Wałęsa’s chief advisors.
Professor Geremek also oversaw Poland’s entry into NATO and as Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs countersigned the NATO accession agreement in 1999.
Bronisław Geremek was respected and loved for his wit, wisdom and positive politics. He was honoured by a number of institutions. His honours include the Order of the White Eagle (Poland’s highest decoration); the Grand Cross with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; honorary degrees from the Sorbonne, University of Bologna, Columbia University, University of Utrecht. Professor Geremek was also an Officer of the French Légion d’honneur.
He will be sorely missed.