Adam Michnik is a leading Polish intellectual. His life's work is interwoven with the end of the Eastern Bloc and the beginning of Eastern Europe – as a key dissident figure under the communist regime, a civil rights activist and one of the first to conceive of a free, democratic state, and as the publisher of Poland's largest national newspaper "Gazeta Wyborcza". His was one of the most important voices calling for his country's accession to the EU – both inside and outside Poland. As a mediator, he has fought for continuity between Poland and its neighbours in the West and the East. Prior to 1989 he refused in particular to allow the country's link to Germany to be destroyed, and time and time again created a bridge between the two countries. Adam Michnik is to be awarded the Goethe Medal in recognition of the outstanding contribution he has made to the dialogue between Eastern and Western Europe.