Rafał Trzaskowski

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Rafał Trzaskowski
Trzaskowski in 2022
Mayor of Warsaw
Assumed office
22 November 2018
Deputy MayorRobert Soszyński
Michał Olszewski
Renata Kaznowska
Preceded byHanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
Minister of Administration and Digitization
In office
3 December 2013 – 22 September 2014
PresidentBronisław Komorowski
Prime MinisterDonald Tusk
DeputyStanisław Huskowski
Preceded byMichał Boni
Succeeded byAndrzej Halicki
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Secretary of State for European Affairs
In office
22 September 2014 – 16 November 2015
Prime MinisterEwa Kopacz
MinisterGrzegorz Schetyna
Personal details
Born (1972-01-17) 17 January 1972 (age 51)
Warsaw, Poland
Political partyCivic Platform (2004–)
Other political
Civic Coalition (Since 2018)
SpouseMałgorzata Trzaskowska
Alma materCollege of Europe (MA)
University of Warsaw (PhD)
AwardsLegion of Honour Legion of Honour

Rafał Kazimierz Trzaskowski ([ˈrafaw tʂaˈskɔfskʲi]; born 17 January 1972) is a Polish politician and the current city mayor of Warsaw. He is also a political scientist specializing in European studies.

He served as a Member of the European Parliament (2009–2013), Minister of Administration and Digitization (2013–2014) as well as the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland (2014–2015). He was elected a Member of the Polish Parliament in 2015. In November 2017, it was announced that he would be the joint candidate for the Mayor of Warsaw of the Civic Platform and the Modern political party in the 2018 Polish local elections.[1] He subsequently went on to win the elections on 21 October 2018 in the first round and was elected Mayor of Warsaw after defeating his major rival Patryk Jaki of the Law and Justice party.[2][3][4] He received a total of 505,187 votes (56.67%).[5]

In May 2020, Trzaskowski became the Civic Platform's candidate for Presidency of Poland to stand in the presidential election.[6] He made it into the second round of the election but then went on to lose against incumbent Andrzej Duda, receiving 10,018,263 votes or 48.97% of the vote.[7][8]

He is considered as being a member of PO's progressive wing.

Early life and education[edit]

Rafał Kazimierz Trzaskowski was born on 17 January 1972 in Warsaw,[9][10] the son of Polish jazz composer Andrzej Trzaskowski and Teresa née Arens.[11] His half-brother Piotr Ferster was the director of the Piwnica pod Baranami cabaret in Kraków.[12] His great-grandfather, Bronisław Trzaskowski [pl], was a linguist who established some of the first girls' secondary schools (gimnazja) in Poland.[13] As an 8-year-old, he appeared on "Our Backyard" (Polish: Nasze podwórko), a 1980 Polish children's television series, and had a promising career as an actor.[14]

Trzaskowski attended 11th Mikołaj Rej Lyceum [pl], Marcellin College in Sydney, and Cranbrook-Kingswood High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, U.S.A. (1990-1991),[15] then studied international relations and English philology at the University of Warsaw, graduating in 1996.[9][12] He subsequently graduated in European studies from the College of Europe in Natolin (1997).[9] He was granted a scholarship at the Oxford University in 1996 as well as the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris in 2002. In 2004, he obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in political science at the University of Warsaw's Faculty of Journalism and Political Science, after completing a dissertation titled "The dynamics of the European Union's institutional reform" under the supervision of Stanisław Parzymies.[16][17]

Since 1995, he worked as a simultaneous interpreter and an English teacher. In 1998, he became an academic teacher at the National School of Public Administration, and in 2002 at the Collegium Civitas. His scientific interests primarily concern the European integration and international affairs. Since 2002, he has also worked as an analyst at the European Centre in Natolin.[18]

Political career[edit]

Between 2000 and 2001, he started working for Jacek Saryusz-Wolski at Poland's Office of the European Integration Committee. In the years 2004–2009, he was an advisor of the Civic Platform political party at the European Parliament. In 2009, having received 25,178 votes, he was elected Member of the European Parliament representing the Platforma Obywatelska party.[19] During his election campaign he was supported by well-known Polish personalities and artists such as Tomasz Karolak, Grzegorz Turnau, Michał Żebrowski and Urszula Dudziak. At the European Parliament, he was a member of the European People's Party. In 2010, he was the head of the election campaign of Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz running for the post of the mayor of Warsaw in the 2010 Polish local elections.[20]

On 27 November 2013, Trzaskowski was sworn in as the Minister of Administration and Digitization by President Bronisław Komorowski. During his ministry, Trzaskowski created a system of notifying the Government Security Center warning citizens, about violent meteorological phenomena. He was responsible for cooperation with local governments, supervision over voivodes and assistance to victims in connection with natural disasters, for example during the floods in 2014, as well as cybersecurity, accessibility of content on the Internet for people with disabilities and protection of personal data on the web. On 24 September 2014, he became Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and dealt with co-ordinating matters relating to the EU across the different ministries of the Donald Tusk cabinet. At that time, Trzaskowski was the main negotiator in relations with the EU on behalf of the prime minister and coordinated the work of ministries in relations with EU institutions.[21]

In 2015, he participated in the 2015 Polish parliamentary elections and won a seat in the Sejm having received 47,080 votes.[22] In 2016, he became a National Council Member of the Civic Platform party. In the same year, he assumed the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs in the shadow cabinet created by the Civic Platform.[23] On 29 March 2017, he became the vice-chairman of the European People's Party.[24] As a Member of the Sejm, Trzaskowski was a member of the European Union Affairs Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee and the Digitization, Innovation and Modern Technologies Committee. In parliamentary activities, Trzaskowski mainly dealt with issues related to foreign affairs, European policy, defence, as well as health policy, protection of civil and minority rights, and self-government support. During his time, he submitted over 150 interpellations and over 70 parliamentary questions. In 2017, he received the order of the Legion of Honour for his contributions to strengthening the Polish-French relations.[25]

In February 2020, he was elected as Civic Platform's vice-chairman.[26]

Mayor of Warsaw[edit]

Rafał Trzaskowski at the European People's Party Congress in Malta, 2017
President Joe Biden during conversation with Trzaskowski and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

In November 2017, it was announced that he would be the joint candidate for the Mayor of Warsaw of the Civic Platform and the Modern political party in the 2018 Polish local elections.[1] He subsequently went on to win the elections on 21 October 2018 in the first round and was elected Mayor of Warsaw after beating his major rival Patryk Jaki of the Law and Justice party.[2][3][4] He received a total of 505,187 votes (56.67%).[27] During his mayoral term, Trzaskowski introduced, among others, a free nursery program for Warsaw kids, increased funding under the Warsaw in vitro program and carried out record purchases of clean public transport vehicles. In the first years of his term in office, six new stations of the second metro line were commissioned and works on the construction of the third metro line were started.[citation needed]

Along with the mayors of the capitals of the other Visegrád Group countries, Trzaskowski signed the Pact of Free Cities in December 2019 to promote "common values of freedom, human dignity, democracy, equality, rule of law, social justice, tolerance and cultural diversity".[28] In August 2020, the mayors released a joint statement, which expressed solidarity with the protesters in Belarus and condemned the violence used by the state authorities. It also appealed to the European Union "to review its policy towards Belarus and introduce measures against those responsible for the violent crackdown".[29]

LGBT rights[edit]

On 18 February 2019, Trzaskowski signed a 12-point LGBT Declaration aimed at combating discrimination of the LGBT community and providing guidance in the area of personal security, education, culture, sport, administration, and employment.[30][31] Trzaskowski also declared his intention to follow World Health Organization guidelines.[clarification needed] His action and the declaration itself met with criticism from the national conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.[32]

2020 presidential election[edit]

Trzaskowski speaking at a rally in Katowice during the 2020 presidential election.

On 15 May 2020, he was chosen by the Civic Platform party leader Borys Budka to be their candidate for Presidency of Poland to stand in the presidential election, after Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska's resignation from her candidacy.[6] On 28 June 2020, he earned second place in the first round of the 2020 Polish presidential election, winning 30.46% of the votes, and advanced to the second round, which took place on 12 July 2020.[33][34] In the second round of voting, Trzaskowski won 48.97% of the votes, losing the election to the incumbent Andrzej Duda, who won 51.03% of the votes.[35]

Wspólna Polska movement[edit]

On 17 October 2020, Trzaskowski inaugurated what he termed as "a social and civic movement" named "Wspólna Polska".[36] A part of it, called "New Solidarity", was to be a trade union for the self-employed and those working on term contracts. Around 11,000[37] members registered within days of the announcement.[38] As of May 2023, the movement's website has not been updated since May 2021,[39] and as of July 2023, it has been taken down altogether. The movement's Twitter account has not been active since December 2021.

Other activities[edit]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Małgorzata, a graduate of Kraków University of Economics.[42][43] They have two children: Aleksandra (born 2004) and Stanisław (born 2009).[44]

The Polish right-wing to far-right weekly newspaper Gazeta Polska published an article describing the alleged collaboration of Trzaskowski's mother with the Communist secret police.[citation needed] Teresa Trzaskowska is said to have been an informant operating under the pseudonym of "Justyna" and reported about US diplomats and Polish musicians, especially jazz musicians. She was also said to have spied on Jerzy Matuszkiewicz and Leopold Tyrmand.[45] These allegations were widely publicised by Trzaskowski's opponents during the 2020 Polish presidential race. Trzaskowski never confirmed or denied them.[46]


  • Dynamika reformy systemu podejmowania decyzji w Unii Europejskiej, Wydawnictwo Prawo i Praktyka Gospodarcza, Warsaw 2004
  • Polityczne podstawy rozszerzenia UE, Wydawnictwo Natolin, Warsaw 1997
  • Przyszły Traktat konstytucyjny. Granice kompromisu w dziedzinie podejmowania decyzji większością kwalifikowaną (co-written with Jan Barcz), Wydawnictwo Prawo i Praktyka Gospodarcza, Warsaw 2004


  1. ^ a b "Trzaskowski wspólnym kandydatem Platformy i Nowoczesnej w Warszawie". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Poland Elections Test Governing Party's Populist Message". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "In Warsaw's local election, Europe's identity crisis plays out". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Rafał Trzaskowski wygrywa wybory prezydenckie w Warszawie". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  5. ^ "WYBORY SAMORZĄDOWE 2018". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b Zaborowska, Malwina (May 2020). "Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska rezygnuje ze startu w wyborach prezydenckich". www.rmf24.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Wybory prezydenckie odbędą się 28 czerwca - podała marszałek Sejmu". www.msn.com. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Marszałek Sejmu Elżbieta Witek podała termin wyborów prezydenckich". TVN24.pl. 2 June 2020. Marszałek Sejmu Elżbieta Witek poinformowała w środę, że wybory prezydenckie w 2020 roku odbędą się 28 czerwca.
  9. ^ a b c "Rafał Trzaskowski". Sejm. Archived from the original on 3 July 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  10. ^ Krasa, Agnieszka (30 August 2016). "Rafał Trzaskowski". WP (in Polish).
  11. ^ Maj, Igor (29 June 2019). "Zmarła matka Rafała Trzaskowskiego Teresa Trzaskowska - Wiadomości". Radio ZET (in Polish).
  12. ^ a b Lubelska, Krystyna (27 June 2009). "Trzaskowski Rafał". Polityka (in Polish).
  13. ^ Czernecka, Gabriela (9 July 2020). "Rafał Trzaskowski ujął internautów zdjęciem z dziećmi!". Viva (in Polish).
  14. ^ "Rafał Trzaskowski". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Rafał Trzaskowski – matura'91 – Koło Wychowanków Gimnazjum i Liceum im. Mikołaja Reja" (in Polish). Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  16. ^ "dr Rafał Trzaskowski". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Dr Rafał Trzaskowski". Ośrodek Przetwarzania Informacji — Państwowy Instytut Badawczy.
  18. ^ "Rafał Trzaskowski – sociable patriot". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Wyniki wyborów / Lista wybranych posłów". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Poliglota z Europarlamentu zastąpi Boniego. Kim jest Rafał Trzaskowski?". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  21. ^ "TRZASKOWSKI RAFAŁ, PHD". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Wybory do Sejmu i Senatu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej 2015". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Nowa Platforma - najważniejsze decyzje Rady Krajowej PO". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  24. ^ "EPP Congress in Malta – Highlights of the First Day". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  25. ^ "Rafał Trzaskowski odznaczony Legią Honorową "za wkład w rozwój relacji francusko-polskich"". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  26. ^ "Platforma Obywatelska ma nowe władze. Rafał Trzaskowski i Bartosz Arłukowicz wiceszefami partii". gazetapl (in Polish). Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  27. ^ "WYBORY SAMORZĄDOWE 2018". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  28. ^ Walker, Shaun (16 December 2019). "Islands in the illiberal storm: central European cities vow to stand together". the Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  29. ^ "Trzaskowski podpisał się pod oświadczeniem ws. Białorusi". Rzeczpospolita (in Polish). Retrieved 22 July 2023.
  30. ^ "Mayor of Warsaw signs the LGBT+ Declaration". Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  31. ^ "Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski signs LGBT+ declaration". Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  32. ^ Goclowski, Marcin; Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Anna (21 May 2019). "Polish towns go 'LGBT free' ahead of bitter European election campaign". Reuters.
  33. ^ Sławiński, Aleksander (28 June 2020). "Wybory prezydenckie. Zagraniczne media komentują wyniki pierwszej tury" [Presidential election Foreign media comment on the results of the first round] (in Polish). Wirtualna Polska. Archived from the original on 29 June 2020.
  34. ^ Kulej, Magdalena (28 June 2020). "Duda kontra Trzaskowski. Jest pierwszy sondaż na II turę wyborów" [Duda versus Trzaskowski. This is the first poll for the second round of elections] (in Polish). Wiadomości (Eurozet). Archived from the original on 29 June 2020.
  35. ^ "Państwowa Komisja Wyborcza". pkw.gov.pl. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  36. ^ "(Tweet)". Twitter. 17 October 2020. Tworzymy Ruch@Wspolna_Polska! Dlaczego? Bo wierzę, że są wartości i sprawy, które są wspólne dla nas wszystkich. Dołącz do ludzi, którzy nie są obojętni na stronie
  37. ^ "JEST JUŻ NAS 11 809". ruchwspolnapolska.pl. 17 October 2020. Archived from the original on 17 October 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  38. ^ "Ruch Trzaskowskiego wystartował. Prezydent Warszawy zapowiedział też nowy związek zawodowy". tvn24.pl. 17 October 2020.
  39. ^ "Wspólnie zmienimy Polskę". Ruch Wspólna Polska (in Polish). Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  40. ^ Members of the Council European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
  41. ^ Advisory Group New Pact for Europe.
  42. ^ Pachelska, Katarzyna (19 May 2020). "Żona Rafała Trzaskowskiego może być pierwszą damą RP. Kim jest Małgorzata Trzaskowska? Jest wątek krakowski 19.05.20". Gazeta Krakowska (in Polish). Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  43. ^ "Małgorzata Trzaskowska - wiek, dzieci, mąż, zawód, wykształcenie". Gazeta Wiadomosci (in Polish).
  44. ^ "Małgorzata Trzaskowska - kim jest żona Rafała Trzaskowskiego?". Gala (in Polish). Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  45. ^ "Jak TW Justyna opowiadała SB o Tyrmandzie i Amerykanach. Autolustracja Trzaskowskiego pominęła historię matki". www.gazetapolska.pl (in Polish). 4 September 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  46. ^ "Rafał Trzaskowski zamieścił w sieci wzruszające wspomnienie z okazji Dnia Matki". www.viva.pl (in Polish). 26 May 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Administration and Digitization
Succeeded by
Preceded by Mayor of Warsaw