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Special Guest Speaker Thursday 30 April : Lech Walesa 

Lech Wałęsa is probably the greatest living symbol of the collapse of communism.

As co-founder of Solidarność - the first independent trade union behind the iron curtain – this legendary leader of the strikers in the Gdańsk shipyard showed to the world that even ordinary people - electricians, workers - can bring down dictatorships.
 
For his contribution to the peaceful political and economic changes in Poland as well as bloodless transition from totalitarianism to democracy in the whole Eastern and Central Europe he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. In the years 1990 – 1995 he served as President of Poland, signifying the end of Communist rule in his country.
 
Even after completing his office, Lech Wałęsa remained the active spokesman for the Polish interests on the international arena. He always supported Poland's accession to NATO and the European Union.
 
2008 he was chosen to become a member of the group of “wise men” reflecting upon the future of Europe.