Bronislaw Geremek, a former foreign minister of Poland and onetime anti-communist dissident, was killed Sunday in a car crash, police said, dpa reported.
Geremek, 76, died when the car he was driving was in collision with an oncoming delivery truck near the western town of Luben.
A historian by training, Geremek was one of the founders of the Solidarity union and later became an advisor to its leader Lech Walesa.
After the fall of communist rule, he was elected to parliament and served as foreign minister from 1997-2000. He was a member of the European Parliament since 2004.
The president of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, said he was "deeply saddened" to learn of Geremek's death.
He said Gemerek had shown that it was possible to be close to one's country and also to Europe.
"I have great respect for what he did for his country during the times of change when Poland became a democracy once more," Poettering said.