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Rafał Dutkiewicz activities and accomplishments

Rafał Dutkiewicz (born 6 July 1959 in Mikstat, Poland)

Education, early activity:

He graduated from Wrocław University of Science and Technology, with a major in Applied Mathematics. In 1986 he received a PhD in formal logics at the Catholic University of Lublin. Having obtained his PhD he had a one-year scholarship in Freiburg im Breisgau. For more than 10 years he has been giving lectures on logic and introduction to mathematics at several universities, including the Catholic University of Lublin and University of Wrocław.

During the martial law period, he was an activist in the underground movement “Solidarity” in Wrocław. In the years 1989-90 he was a co-leader and then the leader of Civic Committee in Wrocław, which, representing “Solidarity”, won the first partially-free parliamentary elections in 1989 and the first democratic local elections in 1990.

In the 1990’s he founded the Polish branch of Signium International, an international executive search company. He was also a co-founder of the ESKA Radio.

Mayor of Wrocław from 2002 to 2018:

In 2002, as an independent candidate supported by the PO-PiS coalition, he was elected as the Mayor of Wrocław. In the following municipal elections in 2006, he was re-elected in the first round of voting, gaining over 85% of votes. In 2010 he won in the first round again, with approx. 72% of the votes, and has remained in office for a third term. In 2014 he was re-elected for his fourth term as the Mayor of Wrocław.

During Rafał Dutkiewicz’s presidency, Wrocław has seen the highest number of public investments in its post-war history.

Under his leadership, Wrocław has won numerous awards and distinctions in Polish, European and global rankings on knowledge-based economy and implementation of a “smart city” model.

According to the Eurostat data, between 2006 and 2016 the Lower Silesia region (the capital of which is Wrocław) had the highest increase of the employment rate in the entire UE (i. e. 276 regions). At least half of new jobs in the Lower Silesia were created in Wrocław, which means that with more than 400.000 new jobs Wrocław is the European leader in this area.

In this period Wrocław has seen a steady growth of the GDP per capita, more than 10% annually. It was the result of investments from more than 200 international and Polish companies representing the most modern sectors of production and services.

Overall, in those 16 years the city budget has tripled, exciding the level of 1 billion Euro, GDP per capita has doubled, the number of tourists has increased fivefold, reaching 5 million visitors in 2018, and the passenger air traffic has grown more than 16 times. According to 2018 statistics, Wrocław is ranked the third fastest growing city with Dublin and Prague at the head of the list of 200 European cities with populations above 250 thousand. The improvement in citizen’s quality of living is also signified by 75% decrease in infant mortality rate and greater average life expectancy, which has increased by 3 years.

During his service Wrocław has become a truly international city. In the Wrocław agglomeration inhabited by 900.000 citizens, there are almost 200.000 foreigners from 124 countries (50% of them are from Ukraine).

Over the four terms of Dutkiewicz’s service as a Mayor, the city’s landscape has changed, among others, through the renovation of hundreds of historic tenement houses, and Wrocław’s major landmarks including the Centennial Hall, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and through the modification and development of the city’s transportation network and urban commuting system. It was his initiative to erect several monuments and installations, not only in Wrocław but also in Paris, Strasbourg, Lviv and Berlin. In 2015 “The Book of Henryków” was entered in the Memory of the World Register, UNESCO’s list of the world’s most important documents. “The Book of Henryków” is a Latin chronicle from the 13th century kept in one of Wroclaw museums, famous for containing the very first sentence written in Polish.

In recent years, Wrocław has hosted many important international events including the Weimar Triangle Summit Meeting (2003), FIBA EuroBasket (2009), Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships (2010), and the European Culture Congress (2011). Since 2010, Wrocław has been working together with the Atlantic Council to organize the Wroclaw Global Forum – a cycle of prestigious transatlantic meetings of politicians and diplomats.

Wrocław was one of the host cities of UEFA Euro 2012 Football Championship and 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship.

In 2016 Wrocław was the European Capital of Culture as well as the UNESCO World Book Capital. Wrocław’s 2016 ECOC programme is considered to be one of the best in history, and it was accompanied by a number of large-scale investments in infrastructure such as opening of several new museums, cultural centres and the new concert hall deemed one of the best in Europe. Among four thousand (bigger and smaller) events held in 2016 in Wrocław the city hosted the European Film Awards ceremony and the Theatrical Olympics.

In 2017 Wrocław successfully organized the World Games. In the bidding process, Wrocław defeated, among other candidates, Cape Town, Moscow and Budapest.

The World Games are an international multi-sport event, meant for sports or disciplines that are not contested in the Olympic Games (e.g. karate, rugby). The event was opened by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee.

One of the main purposes of Mayor Dutkiewicz's presidency - the promotion of Wrocław internationally as business-oriented metropolis, hub of innovation, science and culture - was supported by new partnerships with European cities, launched from 2002-2018. Wrocław signed new partner agreements with Lviv (Ukraine, 2002), Hradec Kralove (Czechia, 2003), Kaunas (Lithuania, 2003), Lille (France, 2013), Vilnius (Lithuania, 2014), Reykjavík (Iceland, 2017) and Oxford (United Kingdom, 2018).
From 2002 to 2018 R. Dutkiewicz initiated several internationally renowned cultural projects in European cities:

  • Strasbourg: The glass sphere called United Earth set in the focal point of the Agora of the European Parliament relates to the great idea of openness and expansion of the European Union (2004).
  • Lviv: The monument commemorating the group of 25 professors of the Lviv Polytechnic and the Jan Kazimierz University in Lviv was executed on the Wuleckie Hills on 4 July 1941. It was opened on 3 July 2011 in Lviv.
  • Paris: Three installations were set in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church: a plaque commemorating Polish King Jan Kazimierz, the founder of the University of Lviv (2011), the busts of Pope John Paul II (2014) and Edith Stein (Teresia Benedicte a Cruce OCD) in 2018.
  • Berlin: A Fritz Stern bust was unveiled on 10 October 2018 in Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, to commemorate the outstanding historian, born in pre-war Breslau.

During his service at a City mayor post, R. Dutkiewicz consequently fostered an idea of Wrocław as democratic, open and tolerant city regardless the race or religious denomination. In 2016, on International Day of Peace, he invited the highest representatives of different denominations to the meeting in the Church of Peace in Świdnica, where they signed the “Appeal of Peace’’. This inter-faith document was signed on 21st of September by the highest representatives of the Roman-Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran, Ukrainian Greek Catholic, Orthodox and Pentecostal churches, Jewish and Muslim communities and the 14th Dalai Lama. It was the third visit of the Dalai Lama in Wrocław on the invitation of the Mayor Dutkiewicz (in 2008, 2010 and 2016). In 2008 HH Dalai Lama was awarded the title of the Honorary Citizen of Wrocław by the City Council.

Thanks to the intensive promotional campaign, Wrocław was awarded the title of European Best Destination 2018.

The name “Wrocław” has become one of the top three most powerful public brands in Poland, one that is most strongly associated with Europe and the future.

Rafał Dutkiewicz has been ranked the best mayor in Poland for 3 consecutive years (2010, 2011, 2012), according to a Polish edition of Newsweek magazine. In 2013 he was awarded the title of “Super Mayor” and, as such, will not be ranked on future lists.

Recent Activities:

In April 2019, on invitation of the prestigious Robert Bosch Academy, Dutkiewicz began his residency as a fellow at the Richard von Weizsäcker Academy and moved to work from Berlin. His main focus was urban development, local democracy and European integration. His recent engagements and contributions include:

  • working with the Deutscher Staedtetag and the Democracy Study Centre in Kiev
  • liaising with the Zukunft Berlin Foundation as a co-organizer of the conference commemorating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
  • collaborating with the EU–Japan Fest foundation in organizing a conference on the European Capital of Culture
In November 2019, Dutkiewicz followed in the footsteps of Władysław Bartoszewski and Bronisław Komorowski as the third Polish speaker to deliver a speech in Bundestag. In April 2020 he was admitted, for one year, as a Senior Fellow in the Democracy Study Centre in Kiev. He is a member of Wrocław University Council.

Selected Awards:
  • Officer of the Order of the Crown - a national order of the Kingdom of Belgium (2006)
  • Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity (Italy, 2006)
  • Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (Poland, 2009)
  • Order of the Polar Star (Sweden, 2011)
  • Knight of the Legion of Honour (France, 2013)
  • Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (Poland, 2015)
  • Erich Kästner-Preis, awarded by the Presseclub Dresden” for his commitment to humanitarian issues and promotion of tolerance (2015)
  • Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany, 2017)
  • Deutscher Nationalpreis for his commitment in promoting good relations between Poland and Germany. In the previous years the award was received by, among others, Václav Havel, Karl Dedecius and Fritz Stern (2017)
  • Jerusalem Prize in recognition of merit to the State of Israel and Polish-Jewish community (2019)
  • Promotional Emblem of the White Eagle Foundation (2019)
  • Europaurkunde, awarded by the government of Brandenburgia (2019)
  • Order of Merit of the Free State of Saxony (2019)
  • Doctor honoris causa by the Technical University of Wrocław in recognition of exceptional contribution to the development of the academic field in Wrocław (Poland, July 2020)
  • St. Hedwig of Silesia Prize (Nagroda Księżnej Jadwigi Śląskiej) by the University of Wrocław, in recognition of exceptional merit to the Polish-German reconciliation (Poland, October 2020)
  • Medal "Bene Merentibus” by the SARP (Polish Architects Association) (Poland, October 2020)

Rafał Dutkiewicz is also the honorary member of the Atlantic Council and the Academia Europaea. On his initiative, on 16 December, 2011 the first Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub was successfully launched in Wroclaw.

Dutkiewicz is fluent in German, English, and communicates in Russian.

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