Former prime minister and ex-president of the European Parliament, of which he has been a member since 2004
Buzek currently sits on the parliament?s foreign affairs committee and on the industry, research and energy committee. In July 2009, he was the first Eurodeputy from Central and Eastern Europe to be elected president of the European Parliament. During his two-and-a-half-year term, he helped finalize the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, which replaced the Nice Treaty. Buzek has for years specialized in energy-related issues and, together with Jacques Delors, proposed the establishment of a new European Energy Community to exercise a firm and effective EU energy policy. He is also a human rights activist and has worked to foster closer ties between the EU and its neighbors. Buzek has a degree in chemical engineering and in 1997 was appointed a professor of technical sciences. In the communist era he was an opposition activist, and in 1981 he was elected chairman of the first Solidarity trade union convention in Gdańsk. As Polish prime minister 1997-2001, Buzek conducted key reforms to the pension, healthcare, education and administrative systems. He also reformed the mining sector. His government brought Poland into NATO in 1999 and began membership negotiations with the EU. In November 2012, Polish President Bronisław Komorowski awarded him the highest Polish decoration, the Order of the White Eagle, in recognition of Buzek's contribution to democracy in Poland and his political achievements on the international arena. Buzek has received honorary degrees from many institutions of higher education in Poland and abroad and is also an honorary citizen of more than a dozen Polish cities.