I come from Łódź in Central Poland. I graduated from the University of Łódź and was awarded a PhD in economics. Throughout the 1980s I held the position of director of the Centre for European Studies at the University of Łódź and Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute. At the beginning of the 1980’s I served as deputy press officer for the Solidarność trade union, Łódź region and policy board secretary at the Centre for Socio-Professional Studies at the Solidarność Regional Executive (1980-1981).
I was the first Polish Minister for European Integration, one of the architects and negotiators of Poland’s accession and membership with the EU (1991-96, 2000-2001).
I have been a Member of the European Parliament since 2004 and became the first Pole to serve as the EP Vice-President and in 2007 Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. Between 2004-2012 I was the head of the Polish Delegation in the EPP Group in the EP.
I was also the EP’s rapporteur on energy security and author of the 2007 EP report on the EU’s foreign policy on energy, as well as co-author of the EP’s 2010 regulation of security of gas supply and EU 2050 Roadmap in the field of energy. As Chair of the EP delegation to NATO (2009-2014) I worked on issues related to the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). I was also the rapporteur on the EU’s foreign policy towards BRICS countries.
Since 2004 I have been actively involved in the EP in all issues related to the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy, especially its Eastern dimension. I initiated the establishment of the Eastern Partnership Parliamentary Assembly Euronest, and became its Vice-President. I am also the author of many resolutions on Ukraine, Russia and Europe’s Eastern Partnership Policy ahead of the 2013 Vilnius Summit. Currently I have served as the European Parliament’s standing rapporteur on Ukraine (since September 2014).
In June 2014 I was entrusted with the function of EPP Group Vice-President for Foreign Affairs. I am a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Constitutional Affairs Committee, and a Substitute Member of the Economic and Monetary Committee of the European Parliament. I am also Member of the EP Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and Delegation to the Eastern Partnership Parliamentary Assembly Euronest, as well as Substitute Member in the Delegation to the EU-Armenia, EU-Azerbaijan and EU-Georgia Parliamentary Cooperation Committees.
Since 2006 I have also served as the EPP Vice-President (the biggest pan-European political party) responsible for Eastern Policy and Energy Policy. In this capacity I co-chair EPP Energy and Europe Ministers Meetings.
I have lectured at a number of universities, among those in Edinburgh, Lyon, Grenoble, Oxford and Paris. I was the Director of the European Union Institute at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, Vice-President of the College of Europe, Bruges and Natolin and the the founder of the European Institute in Łódź, which prepared and educated Polish officials to work in EU institutions.
I am a board member of the Polish Institute of International Affairs, TEPSA and Friends of Europe.
I had the honour of receiving the Order of 'Polonia Restituta' and the French Legion of Honour Medal. In 2007, I was awarded the Ukrainian Order of Merit and later the Georgian Presidential Order of St. George.