Dr. Marek Prawda
Diplomat, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the European Union
DAAD Scholarship 1987–1989
Four encounters with Germany have had a profound influence on the life and career of Marek Prawda, diplomat, social scientist and distinguished expert on Germany. Born in 1956 in Kielce, Poland, Prawda studied at Leipzig University from 1975 to 1979. He suffered under the narrow-mindedness imposed by the Socialist political system and established contacts with figures in dissident circles. Some of these contacts are still active today. In 1987, after receiving his doctorate in sociology, Prawda went from Warsaw to the University of Hamburg on a DAAD scholarship. There he told his German fellow students about the Polish reform movement before returning to Warsaw to become active in the trade union movement Solidarność. In the Polish capital, Prawda served on the Committee for Self-Government, making his contribution to the country’s political turnaround.
Germany and Poland – I call that a mature partnership, initially as a goal to aim for.
By 1992, Prawda had attained distinction as an expert on Germany, both as a scholar and as Secretary General of the steering committee of the Polish-German Society. The young Republic of Poland sent him to Bonn as a diplomat. His third sojourn in Germany lasted six years. First in Bonn, then in Warsaw and Stockholm, Marek Prawda climbed the career ladder of the Polish diplomatic service. In addition to German, Prawda has also mastered English, French, Swedish and Russian. He returned to Germany in September 2006 as Poland’s Ambassador in Berlin, a post he held until 2012. He combined a love of his native country, which he fought to democratise, with a deep understanding and tangible affection for his host country Germany.
Prawda regards the political irritations that have cropped up between the two countries over the past few years as a part of normal relations. “We’re learning to have differences of opinion. And I call that a mature partnership, initially as a goal to aim for.”
Prawda says he enjoyed living in the “Bonn Republic” as well as in Berlin. The German capital was exactly the right place for bringing interests together after Europe’s eastward enlargement. “We have to place our reconciliation on a solid foundation so that we can have our hands free for practical politics.”
Prawda’s efforts to bring West and East together have now taken him to Brussels. On 1 September 2012, he took up his new post as Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the European Union.