Starzyk was a diplomat appointed by governing party PiS (Law and Justice Party), but distanced himself from the party’s attempts to block Donald Tusk’s second candidacy for the European Council’s top job. Last March Poland’s right-wing government suffered a setback in its effort to prevent the reappointment of the former Polish premier for a second 30-months term as Council President.
The outgoing ambassador reportedly could not hide his bewilderment at the conservative government’s decision to field MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski as a rival candidate against Tusk for the Council top job. Saryusz-Wolski is now one of the names being mulled to replace Starzyk.
Starzyk was closer to Konrad Szymański, Poland’s former minister for European affairs, than to current Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski. His career ended abruptly when information came to light that he had worked for the former communist state security service.
According to the news portal Onet.pl, Starzyk was recruited by the Communist military forces in the late 1980s and had reportedly concealed this information in his statement under the lustration legislation, under which people in 53 categories, including diplomats, must state whether they worked for the communist secret services.