Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz

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His Excellency
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz Kancelaria Senatu.jpg
Official portrait, 2011
Prime Minister of Poland
In office
7 February 1996 – 31 October 1997
PresidentAleksander Kwaśniewski
DeputyGrzegorz Kołodko
Roman Jagieliński
Mirosław Pietrewicz
Marek Belka
Jarosław Kalinowski
Preceded byJózef Oleksy
Succeeded byJerzy Buzek
Marshal of the Sejm
In office
5 January 2005 – 18 October 2005
Preceded byJózef Oleksy
Succeeded byMarek Jurek
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
19 October 2001 – 5 January 2005
Prime MinisterLeszek Miller
Marek Belka
Preceded byWładysław Bartoszewski
Succeeded byAdam Daniel Rotfeld
Minister of Justice
Public Prosecutor General
In office
26 October 1993 – 1 March 1995
Prime MinisterWaldemar Pawlak
Preceded byJan Piątkowski
Succeeded byJerzy Jaskiernia
Personal details
Born (1950-09-13) 13 September 1950 (age 72)
Warsaw, Poland
Political partyUnited Workers' Party (1971–1990)
Social Democracy (1990–1999)
Democratic Left Alliance (1999–2005)
Independent (2005–present)
SpouseBarbara Cimoszewicz
EducationUniversity of Warsaw
AwardsOrder of the White Star Order for Merits to Lithuania

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (Polish pronunciation: [vwɔˈd͡ʑimjɛʂ t͡ɕimɔˈʂɛvit͡ʂ] (listen), born 13 September 1950) is a Polish left-wing politician who served as Prime Minister of Poland for a year from 7 February 1996 to 31 October 1997, after being defeated in the Parliamentary elections by the Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS).[1][2][3] He was born in Warsaw.


Cimoszewicz was a member of the left-wing Democratic Left Alliance the leftist candidate in the Polish presidential election of 1990, receiving 9 percent of the vote.

Cimoszewicz was the Prime Minister of Poland from 1996 to late 1997. October 1996, he became the chairman (office in the rank of minister) of the newly established Committee for European Integration, responsible for preparing Poland for accession negotiations with the European Union. He held this position until October 31, 1997.In October 1996, he became the chairman (office in the rank of minister) of the newly established Committee for European Integration, responsible for preparing Poland for accession negotiations with the European Union. He held this position until October 31, 1997.

Cimoszewicz was the Foreign Minister of Poland in the governments of Leszek Miller (2001–2004) and Marek Belka (2004–2005). It was during this time that he, along with Leszek Miller, signed the Accession Treaty that paved way to Polish membership in the European Union.

Cimoszewicz was the speaker of the Sejm (lower chamber of the Polish parliament) from January to October 2005.

Cimoszewicz was for a time a candidate for the 2005 Polish presidential election; but he withdrew before the elections and promised to abandon politics.

On 28 June 2005, Cimoszewicz declared his intent to run for Polish President (see: Election 2005). He instantly became a leader in the polls. He ran previously in 1990 and received 9.21 percent of the vote. In 1990, Lech Wałęsa and Stan Tymiński went on to the second round. Cimoszewicz did not run in the years 1995 and 2000 giving way to his close colleague Aleksander Kwaśniewski who twice became president. His election committee was chaired by the wife of President Kwaśniewski, Jolanta Kwaśniewska.

On 9 July 2005, Cimoszewicz caused a major political uproar by refusing to testify in front of the Orlen commission. He accused seven of its eight members of being politically motivated, partial and bent on undermining his presidential bid. Constitutional experts are split on whether his move was constitutional or if Cimoszewicz broke the law. Fifty-eight percent of Poles disapproved of Cimoszewicz's behaviour before the commission.

According to a poll by Rzeczpospolita, Cimoszewicz was a "hands down" leader on 5 July 2005:

  • Cimoszewicz: 28%
  • Kaczyński: 19%
  • Lepper: 17%
  • Religa: 15%
  • Tusk: 11%
  • Borowski: 5%

He was predicted to win the second round, independent of who was going to reach it from second place. The election was won by Lech Kaczyński.

Cimoszewicz returned to politics during the 2007 parliamentary election, when he won a Senate seat as an independent candidate. He kept his senator's seat until the end of term in 2015.

In 2009, he was one of two candidates to replace Terry Davis as Secretary General of the Council of Europe. However, in September 2009, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe elected candidate Thorbjørn Jagland as the new secretary general.

Since 2015 Cimoszewicz is workstream leader for the Agency for the Modernisation of Ukraine (AMU), where he is responsible for combatting corruption.[4]

In the 2019 European Parliament election Cimoszewicz was elected as the MEP for the Warsaw constituency.

On Ukraine[edit]

In May 2014 Cimoszewicz told an audience that he was unhappy with the way the Russian annexation of Crimea was handled. "The democratic West has so far not reacted in a proper way... If we do not stop that aggressive [Russian] policy at an early stage then we can face a much more difficult situation requiring more efforts taking higher risks... There is one element of that crisis which will be very difficult to be solved: the fate of Crimea."[5]


  1. ^ "Charlemagne: Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz". The Economist. 1 November 2001. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Placówki Dyplomatyczne Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej". Strasbourgre. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Document". MSZ. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Finanznachrichten - Börse & Wirtschaft aktuell".
  5. ^ "Into the Fold or Out in the Cold? NATO Expansion and European Security after the Cold War". Video: NATO Expansion and European Security after the Cold War. The Wilson Center. 2 May 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Poland
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Marshal of the Sejm
Succeeded by