One of the leading lights of the Solidarity movement – undeniably one of the most important of the late 20th century – and still active in standing up for what’s right (just last year becoming a figurehead for opposition to the Polish government’s fresh anti-communist purges). A former Polish Foreign Minister and historian, he’d also been suggested as a good candidate for first president of the EU, and was one of the few MEPs with genuine name recognition value.
His kind are rare – and exactly what the EU needs if it’s ever going to emerge as something truly worthwhile.
Update: I’d forgotten all about Geremek’s book The Common Roots of Europe. I’m sure I’ve read it, but don’t have a copy. Off to the library, because this all seems strangely appropriate, what with today’s shift in blogging focus and altered tagline. From Amazon’s description: “[Geremek] suggests that it is in everyone’s interest to understand Europe in a wider sense, not just as a geographical concept, but as a political and cultural one too. He discusses unity, variety and collective identity in medieval Europe, social and economic structures in East and West, and the continuity and change in European identity in the intervening centuries.”
Sod it, perhaps I’ll buy the thing…