Jerzy Buzek, a Lutheran from Poland, was elected July 14 as president of the European Parliament, effective June 2011. Buzek, prime minister of Poland from 1997 to 2001, belongs to the 75,000-member Evangelical (Lutheran) Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland .
Speaking after his election, Buzek said he wants deeper ecumenical and interreligious conversations in the European Union. “Respect for others who think differently” and other principles associated with Christianity “have fundamental importance” for the country’s future identity and development, he said.
Buzek is the first parliament president from a formerly communist eastern European country.
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