Wiesław Lewicki was born in 1957 in Gliwice, the hometown of many Poles who are well known in Germany, most prominently the footballer Lukas Podolski who enjoys cult status. Even during his studies of philosophy and environmental and engineering sciences at the Politechnika Śląska in Gliwice (Silesian University of Technology in Gleiwitz), Lewicki was active in student circles. After he left Poland for Germany in 1985, he continued his studies, focussing on management and euromarketing. He then worked in the French company Saint-Gobain and ran his own consultancy firm System Management. When Poland was accepted into the European Union in 2004, he seized the opportunity and founded the bilingual magazine “Polregio” and an association of the same name in which he organised the Polonia in the Euroregion of Meuse-Rhine. He also made the case for a cooperation with the city of Aachen by putting on concerts, exhibitions and festivals which he managed to persuade not just Poles living abroad in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgian as Poles, but also Poles living abroad in Great Britain and Ireland, to attend. On top of this, invitations were sent to Poles from Belarus and Romania. At the same time as founding the magazine “Polregio”, Lewicki set up the website www.polregio.eu and the German-Polish integration platform in the Internet, which benefited from his time as the editor of “Głos Polski”, the newly launched quarterly magazine of the Union of Poles in Germany “Zgoda” (Związek Polaków w Niemczech “Zgoda“). When the Polregio Association was integrated into the structures of the Polish Congress in Germany (Kongres Polonii Niemieckiej) that was founded in 1992, Wiesław Lewicki became its Deputy Chair. After his election as Chair in January 2009, he reformed the association thereby ensuring the medial integration of the German Polonia. Thanks to his initiative, the Internet portal Polonia-Viva was set up for Poles living abroad in Germany which drew upon a cohort of online journalists living here, who were either Polish or came from Poland. As the Chair of the Convention of Polish Organisations in Germany, Lewicki always stressed the pressing need for the German government to invigorate the provisions of the “Treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland on Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation” of 17 June 1991. During the “Round Table” consultations on the issues of the German minority in Poland and the Polish minority in Germany, he spearheaded the delegation of the German Polonia and, in this capacity, was one of the signatories of the “Joint Declaration of the Round Table” that was concluded in Warsaw on 12 June 2011.
By virtue of his roles in the Convention of Polish Organisations in Germany, he also took part in the meetings of the European Association of Polish Communities (Europejska Unia Wspólnot Polonijnych, ( EUWP)), an alliance of umbrella organisations in the countries of Europe. For ten years there he was responsible for the association’s Internet presence and was involved in the regulatory work of the EUWP. In 2016, in his capacity as Deputy Chair, he registered the organisation, which was then 30 years old, as a lobby group in Brussels. Whilst still Chair of the Polish Congress in Germany, Wiesław Lewicki launched the renowned Polonicus prize. The prize, which is considered the European Oscar of the Polonia, honours the German-Polish dialogue in Europe and promotes the reputation of Poland in Europe and around the world. Since 2010, the prize has been awarded as part of the programme supporting the international Charlemagne Prize at a gala of the Polonia in the Coronation Hall of Aachen Town Hall. With this accolade, the European Polonia honour personalities whose work and commitment have aided European unity and integration and the positive perception of Poland in a special way. In all, 46 prizewinners have been honoured during the last eleven occasions, including Professor Władysław Bartoszewski, Professor Norman Davies, Professor Karl Dedecius, Professor Gesine Schwan, Archbishop Professor Alfons Nossol, Thorsten Klute, the Polonia representative of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council and the President of the Republic of Poland, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Wałęsa.