Róża Thun

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Róża Maria
Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein
Róża Thun
Member of the European Parliament
for Lesser Poland and Świętokrzyskie
Assumed office
14 July 2009
Majority 153,966
Personal details
Born (1954-04-13) 13 April 1954 (age 60)
Kraków, Poland
Nationality Polish
Political party Civic Platform
Alma mater Jagiellonian University
Religion Roman Catholic
Website http://www.rozathun.pl

Róża Maria Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein[1] (née Woźniakowska, born 13 April 1954), usually shortened to Róża Thun, is a European Parliament Member (MEP) from Poland. A member of the Civic Platform, she started her term in 2009. Róża Thun was involved in two anti-communist organizations (the Student Committee of Solidarity and the Workers' Defence Committee) in the People's Republic of Poland. After the fall of Communism, she was the chairwoman of the Polish Robert Schuman Foundation, a non-governmental organization promoting European integration. Thun was also the head of the European Commission representation to Poland between 2005 and 2009. Since 2011 she is Vice President of the European Movement International.

Von Thun und Hohenstein arms

Early life[edit]

Róża Woźniakowska was born on 13 April 1954 in Kraków, Poland.[1][2] Her father, Jacek Woźniakowski, was a professor at the Catholic University of Lublin (he also served as the mayor of Kraków between 1990 and 1991).[2] Her mother was a biologist specializing in bats.[2]

Marriage and children[edit]

In 1981, she married Franz Graf von Thun und Hohenstein, who is a count of Bohemian and Austrian nobility. Upon marriage she received her last name "Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein", whereby the German word Gräfin means "countess". They have four children together: son Christoph and daughters Marynia, Sophie and Jadwiga.[2]

Political activities[edit]

Before the fall of communism in Poland[edit]

In 1979, Woźniakowska graduated from the Jagiellonian University with a master's degree in English philology.[1][2] She became a member, and later spokesperson, of the of Student Committee of Solidarity in Kraków.[1] Between 1977 and 1980, she was also associated with the Workers' Defence Committee[1] (an organization aiding political prisoners and their families).

After 1989[edit]

Between 1992 and 2005, Thun was the general director and chairwoman of the Polish Robert Schuman Foundation (Polish: Polska Fundacja imienia Roberta Schumana),[1] a non-governmental organization promoting European integration.[2] From 1998 to 2000, she was a member of the Warsaw City Council.[1] Between 2005 to 2009, Thun was the head of the European Commission representation to Poland.[1]

European Parliament[edit]

Thun became a European Parliament Member (MEP) following the elections of 2009. She gathered some 150,000 votes in the Lesser Poland and Świętokrzyskie constituency.[3] Although Thun ran from the Civic Platform list, she only joined the party after the elections.[3]

As a MEP, Thun is a member of the committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the delegation for relations with Israel and the delegation to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly.[1]

On 15 September 2010 Thun supported the new initiative Spinelli Group formed in the European Parliament, which was founded to reinvigorate the strive for federalisation of the European Union (EU). Other prominent supporters are: Jacques Delors, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Guy Verhofstadt, Andrew Duff, Elmar Brok.

Thun was nominated to the prize for the best MEP of 2011 and 2013 by "The Parliament Magazine" in category of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The prizes have been awarded since 2005. European organizations, associations and institutions that monitor the works of EP are eligible to select the nominees. These proposals make it possible to create a shortlist of 3 names for each category. It is these lists that all MEPs can choose their favourites from, which they do via online voting

Ryszard Czarnecki controversy[edit]

On 26 April 2009 – less than two months before the European elections – Ryszard Czarnecki, a Polish MEP of the Law and Justice party, wrote a blog entry, describing Thun's "troubles" with the Polish National Electoral Commission.[4] According to Czarnecki, the Civic Platform wanted to register its candidate under the name "Róża just Thun",[4] but the Commission refused, stating that according to the law, the candidates must appear under their full names on the ballots.[4] "And so, the voters will see Róża Maria Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein in her full grace",[4] Czarnecki wrote. He later added that "a Gräfin with a German-sounding name might do harm to the Civic Platform".[5][6]

On 20 May 2009, it was revealed that Czarnecki himself will appear on the ballots not under the name Ryszard Henryk, but as Richard Henry, as he was born in the United Kingdom.[6][7] Czarnecki stated that his situation is different, as he didn't choose his names, while Thun chose her surname by marrying her husband.[7] Róża Thun responded that she did it out of love,[7] adding "I pity Richard Henry Czarnecki".[7]


External links[edit]

  • Official website
  • www.facebook.com/rozathun – official Facebook account
  • www.twitter.com/RozaThun - official Twitter account
  • Media related to Róża Thun at Wikimedia Commons