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Universidad Europea de Madrid Awards Honorary Doctorate to Lech Walesa

31/01/2011


Lech Walesa at UEM

Universidad Europea de Madrid awarded an honorary doctorate to 1983 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lech Wałęsa in recognition of his defense of independent unionism and for becoming Poland's first democratic president after the fall of communism. This is the first honorary doctorate that he has received from a Spanish university.

Lech Wałęsa is a Polish politician, former union leader and activist for human rights and winner of the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize for his defense of independent unionism. Cofounder of Solidarity, the first independent union in the former Soviet bloc, Wałęsa was also the first Democratic president of Poland from 1990 to 1995. His struggle for democracy and dialogue, which led him to play a key role in the end of communism in Europe, has been recognized internationally on numerous occasions with distinctions such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom (USA), the Award of Free World from Norway and the European Award of Human Rights.

After receiving the award, Wałęsa made an appeal to the spirituality, consciousness and values that underpin a free society. "This world needs for us to take a more active role," he said, encouraging the university community to work together for a better world.