Edition: Lublin 2010
Abstract: Krzysztof Skubiszewski – nominated Minister of Foreign Affairs in September 1989 – was a distinguished professor of international law, appreciated in his country and abroad. Having studied and later taught in several European countries and in the United States, he knew the international scene and perfectly mastered several foreign languages. Moreover, he was a fierce Polish patriot of firm convictions and great personal courage, well prepared for meeting the unprecedented challenges, inherent in a political situation fraught with uncertainty, risks and threats – both at home and in the international environment. Skubiszewski had to conduct the foreign policy of a country weakened and downgraded by more than forty years of communist dictatorship. Yet, thanks to his natural personal authority, intellectual distinction, loyal attitude towards his foreign partners, patient and skilful diplomacy, he rapidly gained esteem and confidence of European and American statesmen and politicians. Thus, he was able to attain – or played a major part in attaining – several goals of vital importance to his country: definitive recognition of the Oder-Neisse frontier by united Germany and normalization of Polish-German relations; extraction of Poland from the complex network of Soviet hegemony; “double-track” relations with Eastern Europe; dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and COMECON; creation of the Visehrad and Weimar Triangles; concordat with the Holy See; treaties of friendship and cooperation with most European states; agreement on Poland’s association with the European Community; initiation of policies leading to Poland’s membership in both the Community and NATO.