Radosław Sikorsi

EPP

 

Sikorski’s speeches on European affairs have raised his profile and standing (although his criticism of the UK’s European policy means that his views are not universally appreciated).

He stands a good chance of getting the position of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, especially since he was made co-chair (with Elmar Brok MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee) of the EPP’s foreign ministers group.

Poland has now publicly put Sikorski’s name forward for the role, although he may choose to wait for another big role on offer soon – UN Secretary-General.

Born in 1963, Radek Sikorki chaired the student strike committee in Bydgoszcz in 1981 while studying at the I Liceum Ogólnokształcące. He later travelled to the United Kingdom to study English, and after martial law was declared in December 1981, was granted political asylum in Britain in 1982.

He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and was elected to the Bullingdon Club, a notorious dining society that had among its members the current British prime minister, David Cameron. In 1987, Sikorski was awarded British citizenship, and began working as a journalist, including as a war correspondent in Afghanistan.

Returning to Poland in 1989, he became deputy defence minister and initiated the campaign for Poland to accede to Nato. He would later become deputy foreign minister (from 1998 to 2001) in a government led by Jerzy Buzek, later to become the President of the European Parliament.

A convinced European and a convinced Atlanticist, Sikorski was resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC from 2002 to 2005 before returning to Poland. In 2007 he renounced his British citizenship and became Poland’s foreign minister.

In this role he has successfully pushed Poland forward as a leading player in the European Union. In 2012 he was named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine for “telling the truth, even when it’s not diplomatic”, a reference in part to his strident calls to the United Kingdom to participate more constructively and effectively in European affairs (such as in a speech in Berlin during Poland’s EU presidency in 2011).

Sikorski is married to Anne Applebaum, an American journalist and historian.