Polish MEP Prof. Jerzy Buzek will address the opening session of the 10th Annual SusChem Stakeholder event on 17 April. The former President of the European Parliament and former Polish Prime Minister is one of a handful of MEPs with a scientific background and has been influential in shaping European research and innovation policy. His talk will cover the status of EU innovation policy, the role of technology platforms and sustainable chemistry in achieving sustainable growth, and how industry can become more engaged in European innovation initiatives.
Jerzy Buzek was born in 1940 in Śmiłowice, a town in south-eastern Silesia which is now part of the Czech Republic. His science career started in the mechanical and energy engineering department at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice graduating in 1963. He then started work at the Institute of Chemical Engineering in the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gliwice gaining his doctorate in 1969. Jerzy Buzek continued his scientific work throughout the 1970s including a research placement at the University of Cambridge in 1971.
His research work was largely in the field of environmental protection and he was a highly regarded lecturer at the Silesian University of Technology, and later at the Opole University of Technology. In the early to mid 90s Buzek was Poland’s representative at the International Energy Agency programme on the Greenhouse Gas effect. Jerzy Buzek's achievements in scientific research and in teaching were recognised when he was appointed Professor of Engineering.
In late 1980 Jerzy Buzek became a member of Solidarność and in summer 1981 he was a delegate to the First National Congress of Solidarność and became an increasingly important member of the movement. By February 1997 Buzek was coordinator of the panel of economics experts within the Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS) party and was elected to the Polish parliament. The AWS’s success in this election was largely due to its economic policies and the party nominated him for the office of Prime Minister.
Jerzy Buzek's government was sworn in at the end of October 1997 and continued until October 2001, during which time Buzek took Poland into NATO and negotiated the term's of Poland's accession to the European Union. When the AWS lost the parliamentary elections in the autumn of 2001, Jerzy Buzek withdrew from active politics for a few years.
However, following Poland’s accession to the EU in 2004 Jerzy Buzek was elected to the European Parliament with the largest majority in Poland. Once in Brussels, he threw himself into the parliament's work. In particular from a research and innovation view point he was the European Parliament's rapporteur for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7) legislative package, and for the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan. Between 2004 and 2009 he was a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).
Jerzy Buzek's personality and skills, combined with his professional approach to politics led to his election to the office of President of the European Parliament on 14 July 2009. He obtained the biggest majority of any EP President since the first direct elections in 1979 and he was the first President to hail from one of the EU's new Member States. His two and a half year term ended in January 2012.
Prof. Buzek remains an MEP and is actively participates in ITRE activities and the EP's Committee of Foreign Affairs (AFET).
Registration for the Stakeholder event on 17-18 April is open now on the new SusChem website. Click here to find out more about the stakeholder event! We are expecting a record attendance and registration will close on 6 April. So don't delay - register today!