Jan Kułakowski
(1930-2011)
Działacz europejskich i światowych związków zawodowych
Pierwszy Ambasador Polski przy Unii Europejskiej
Główny negocjator wejścia Polski do Zjednoczonej Europy
Patron Międzynarodowej Szkoły Europejskiej w Warszawie

World and European trade unions activist
The first Polish Ambassador to the European Union
The head negotiator for Poland's accession to United Europe
Patron of the International European School*Warsaw

Responsable syndical européen et international
Premier Ambassadeur de Pologne auprès de L'Union européenne
Négociateur en chef de l'accession de la Pologne à L'Union européenne
Patron d'honneur de L'Ecole Européenne Internationale de Varsovie

Warszawa, 2.09.2012


Jan Kułakowski was born on 25th August 1930 to a Polish father and a Belgian mother. He took part in the Warsaw Uprising when he was fourteen. His father and sister were killed in World War II. In 1946 he immigrated with his mother to Belgium where he went to university and graduated with a PhD in Law. In 1954 he began his long-lasting Union activity. In the years 1974-1988, he was the secretary general of the World Confederation of Labour (WCL), the largest trade union in the world. He fought for the rights of political prisoners and for the respect of human rights in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. He opposed totalitarian systems, racism and xenophobia. Thanks to his efforts, in 1981, Solidarność, the largest Labor Union in history, was affiliated with the biggest international Union centre. After 1989, he accepted the post of the first Polish ambassador to the European Communities in Brussels. He became the first Polish minister and plenipotentiary for Poland's Accession Negotiations with the EU in the Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek's government. He was chosen to represent Poland in the European Parliament.


He died after a long illness on 25th June 2011. He was buried in Warsaw's Powazki on 1st July 2011, the same day Poland, which he helped join Europe, held its first presidency of the European Union.

On 2nd September 2002, Jan Kułakowski inaugurated the ceremonial opening of our school, the International European School, Warsaw. On the 10th anniversary of this event, that is, 2nd September 2012, the school started bearing his name.

He was a great Pole and a great European. He was a model of courage, wisdom and responsibility for future generations.