Tadeusz Mazowiecki

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Tadeusz Mazowiecki in 2007

Tadeusz Mazowiecki (18 April 192728 October 2013) was a Polish author, journalist, philanthropist and Christian-democratic politician, formerly one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement, and the first non-communist Polish prime minister since 1946.


Inaugural address of Premier Tadeusz Mazowiecki (12 September 1989)[edit]

"Inaugural address of Premier Tadeusz Mazowiecki" (12 September 1989)

  • We all desire to live with dignity in a sovereign, democratic, and law-abiding state, one that everybody - regardless of their worldviews and ideological and political diversity - can consider their own.
  • We want to live in a country with a sound economy, one where it is profitable to work and to save money, and where meeting our basic material needs entails no anguish or humiliation. We want a Poland that is open to Europe and to the world; a Poland which, with no inferiority complex, contributes to the creation of material and cultural goods; a Poland whose citizens will feel they are welcome guests in the other countries of Europe and the world, and are not deemed troublemaking intruders.
  • We reject a political philosophy asserting that economic reforms can be launched over and against society, above people's heads - one that pushes democratic change aside.
  • We, as a people, must surmount the sense of hopelessness and confront the challenge of the moment - namely, the tasks of extricating ourselves from economic disaster and reconstructing our state.

Speech at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (30 January 1990)[edit]

Speech at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (30 January 1990)

  • The Polish people are acutely aware of belonging to Europe and the European heritage. They are as conscious of this as are the other European peoples situated at the cultural crossroads adjacent to the superpowers, experiencing alternating phases of political existence and non-existence and hence feeling the need to strengthen their identity. In all these situations, Europe has always remained a beacon, an object of affection which the Poles felt ready to defend.
  • If we have managed to survive as an entity, we owe this partly to our deep attachment to certain institutions and certain values regarded as the norm in Europe. We owe it to religion and the Church, our attachment to democracy and pluralism, human rights and civil liberties and to the ideal of solidarity.
  • Our country is confronted with the enormous task of reconstituting the rights and the institutions that characterise modern democracies and rebuilding a market economy, after an interruption of several decades. Added to this, there is the need to overcome enormous economic problems. We not only have to re-create rights and institutions but, in cases where they were non-existent, we have to start from scratch. Otherwise, our two European worlds will never manage to live in harmony.

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