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Jerzy Buzek biography

Born in Śmiłowice in the Cieszyn area of Silesia; of Protestant (Lutheran) religious persuasion. He completed his studies at the Silesian Polytechnic in Gliwice, specialising in process engineering (1963); from 1997 he has held the title of professor of technical chemistry. Until 1997 he headed the Institute of Chemical Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gliwice. He received an honorary doctorate from Seoul University and Dortmund University (Germany) for his scientific achievements in the field of optimising technical processes and applying new environmental-protection technologies. In the 1980s he was one of the leaders of the anti-communist Solidarity trade-union movement and was the chairman of Solidarity's first national congress in Gdańsk in 1980. That many-million-strong movement of Poland's democratic opposition brought about a change of the political system in Poland and other Central-Eastern European countries. After Solidarity was outlawed by the communist authorities under martial law (13 December 1981-1983), Jerzy Buzek went into hiding and was active in the underground opposition movement. As a member of a team of experts, he helped draw up the economic programme of the Solidarity Election Action (AWS), the Solidarity-rooted political bloc (AWS) which affiliated Poland's anti-communist groupings and won the 1997 parliamentary elections. He is the eighth Prime Minister of a free and democratic Poland since 1989 and has held that post longer than any other head of government in that period.
During his term in office Poland was admitted to NATO. Four major reforms were carried out -- of the administrative system, education, health care and pension system. A great programme of economic transformation is continuing in the direction of a depoliticised free market (including a programme to denationalise major state enterprises). The Government of Jerzy Buzek is conducting an intensive policy of integration with the European Union.
His wife Ludgarda Buzek also holds a doctor's degree in chemistry and is involved in charitable activities benefiting children. Their daughter, Agata Buzek, completed studies at Warsaw's Academy of Theatre Arts.

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