I am saddened by the violent death of Pawel Adamowicz, the mayor of Gdansk, the symbolic city of Solidarnosc, during a public charity event on Sunday.
Adamowicz was a political lawyer who served as Mayor for over 20 years. His relentless work to build bridges between communities made him popular and respected in all circles. His ability to bring people together and find agreeable solutions for all was his strength.
He will be remembered as the righteous man who helped build democracy, in Poland, and in Europe.
Adamowicz's commitment to issues such as entrepreneurship, social inclusion and standing up for the rights for migrants and minorities contributed greatly to forging European policies.
On behalf of the EESC, I pay tribute to this unique European. My deep condolences go to Pawel Adamowicz's family and to the Polish people saddened by this futile and unacceptable murder.
His death reminds us that we must fight all forms of violence and persevere in our search for dialogue to protect human rights, the rule of law and democracy at large. His work to open minds and open societies will not be forgotten. Civil society will not shy away from its responsibility to restore balance in political discourse.
We will continue on his footsteps in Europe and elsewhere.
In his words, "Only love can unite. Tylko Miłość może łączyć."