Origins of the Centre

The Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) was established on the basis of an Order of the Minister of Foreign Economic Co-operation, which came into force on 1 January 1991. Marek Karp was appointed the first director of the newly established institution. The head office was organized in a couple of rooms in a tenement house formerly owned by RSW “Ruch” (the media company of Communist Poland) in 6a Koszykowa Street. In the first years of its operation, OSW was focused on monitoring the process of disintegration of the Soviet Union for the needs of the state administration.

Over time, the analytical component of the Centre for Eastern Studies was developed, and OSW began offering its expertise to support decision-makers in the process of forming Poland’s foreign policy. [TH1] At the same time, some of the materials developed by OSW became available to the broader public. The area of research gradually expanded as well – initially to include the Balkans and Central Europe. Then, in 2005, the German team was created, to be followed by teams of experts in Turkish and Chinese affairs. At present, over forty experts work for OSW. We are Poland’s largest think tank and one of the largest in Europe.

For the first twenty years of its operation, OSW was an entity financed from the state budget, reporting to the minister in charge of economic affairs. In 2011, the Sejm (lower house of the Polish parliament) passed an act transforming the Centre for Eastern Studies, granting it official status on the highest level. At present, OSW is supervised by the Prime Minister’s Office, its director is nominated by the Prime Minister, and the institution is financed from a subsidy allocated to it as a specific part of the state budget. In 2006, OSW was named after its founder, Marek Karp, who had died under tragic circumstances.


OSW Directors:

Marek Karp - dyrektor w latach 1991-2003
Marek Karp (1991–2003)
Jacek Cichocki - dyrektor w latach 2004-07
Jacek Cichocki (2004–2007)
Jolanta Darczewska - dyrektor w latach 2007-11
Jolanta Darczewska (2007–2011)
Olaf Osica - dyrektor w latach 2011-16
Olaf Osica (2011–2016)
Adam Eberhardt - dyrektor od 2016 r.
Adam Eberhardt (2016–2022)