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Marek Marian Belka
Member of the European Parliament
Marek Marian Belka is a Polish professor of Economics and politician, has served as a Prime Minister of Poland and Finance Minister of Poland in two governments. Former Director of the International Monetary Fund’s European Department and former Head of Narodowy Bank Polski.
Marek Marian Belka's 2023 biography
Marek Marian Belka’s Background
Marek Marian Belka was born on January 9, 1952 in Łódź – Polish economist and politician, professor of economic sciences, academic teacher and official in international financial institutions
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in 1997 in the government of Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz and in the years 2001–2002 in the government of Leszek Miller. In the years 2004-2005 chairman of the Committee for European Integration, in 2005 minister of sport in his second government, in the years 2010-2016 president of the National Bank of Poland, member of the European Parliament of the ninth term (since 2019).
From 1978 to 1979 and from 1985 to 1986 he completed long-term internships at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, and in 1990 he completed a short internship at the London School of Economics. From 1986 he was also professionally associated with the Institute of Economic Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences. From 1993 to 1997 he was the director of this unit. He cooperated with private universities, m.in the Higher School of Humanities and Economics in Łódź.
Activity in the years 1997–2004
In February 1997 he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the government of Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, replacing Grzegorz Kolodka. He held these positions until October 1997, when he resigned from office together with the entire government after the Democratic Left Alliance lost the parliamentary elections. He joined the Democratic Left Alliance in 1999 and remained a member of the party until 2005.
In October 2001 he became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance again, this time in the government of Leszek Miller. During his term in office, he introduced a tax on capital gains, later called the “Belka tax”. Even during the election campaign, he announced restrictions on social spending. He was later accused of having contributed to the weaker result of the Democratic Left Alliance – Labour Union coalition in the parliamentary elections with these statements. He left the government on July 6, 2002.
From June to October 2003, he served as head of the coalition International Coordination Council in Iraq. From November 2003 to April 2004, he was Director of Economic Policy at the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, responsible for currency reform, the creation of a new banking system and economic oversight.
In April 2004, he was nominated as a presidential candidate to succeed Prime Minister Leszek Miller. On 2 May 2004, Aleksander Kwaśniewski appointed him Prime Minister and Chairman of the Committee for European Integration and swore in his first cabinet. Marek Belka gave an exposé on 14 May, but he did not receive a vote of confidence in the Sejm.
In the second step of appointing the prime minister, no candidate was nominated by the Sejm. On June 11, 2004, the president for the second time appointed and appointed Marek Belka to this office. On 24 June, by a vote of 236:216, the Sejm gave the government a vote of confidence. On 15 October 2004, the Sejm again passed a vote of confidence in his second government (by 234 votes to 218). On 25 April 2005, as a result of the resignation of the Minister of the Environment Jerzy Swatoń, Marek Belka took over the duties of the Minister of the Environment. On 6 May 2005, together with the cabinet, he resigned after not voting in the Sejm on the resolution to shorten the term of office, but President Aleksander Kwaśniewski did not accept his resignation.
On 1 September 2005, Marek Belka also became the Minister of Sport after the separation of this ministry from the Ministry of National Education.
In the spring of 2005, he declared his readiness to support the Democratic Party – demokraci.pl and participated in several of its meetings. In August, he supported the candidacy of Henryka Bochniarz in the presidential election. In the parliamentary elections, he unsuccessfully ran for the Sejm from the first place on the List of the Democratic Party in the Łódź constituency (he received 12,774 votes, i.e. 4.34% of the votes in the constituency), not being a member of this grouping.
On 19 October, at the first sitting of the Sejm of the fifth term, he resigned. He served as Prime Minister until the appointment of the new Council of Ministers on 31 October 2005.
Activity since 2005
On 27 December 2005 he was appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, a post he took up at the beginning of 2006. Then, in January 2009, he became Director of the European Department of the International Monetary Fund.
On 27 May 2010, Bronisław Komorowski, temporarily acting President of the Republic of Poland, appointed him as a candidate for the President of the National Bank of Poland. After announcing his candidacy, Marek Belka stepped down as director of the IMF’s European Department. On 10 June 2010, the Sejm of the sixth term elected him to the position of President of the National Bank of Poland, and a day later – after taking the oath – Marek Belka took office. From 2011 to 2016 he was a member of the Steering Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board.
In June 2014, the weekly “Wprost” revealed an illegally recorded conversation from July 2013 between Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz and Marek Belka and Sławomir Cytrycki, the subject of which were, m.in, changes in the NBP Act and a possible change of the Minister of Finance.
On 21 June 2016, he retired as President of the NBP. In August of the same year, Marek Belka became an independent member of the board of directors of the Real Estate Fund Echo Polska Properties.
On 1 February 2019, he was one of the signatories of the declaration on the establishment of the European Coalition before the upcoming European parliamentary elections. In these elections, he obtained the mandate of an MEP, running from the EC list in the Łódź district. He won 182,517 votes, representing 20% of all votes cast in this constituency In the European Parliament, he became a member and later vice-chairman of the group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. He sat on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.
He represented the SLD until the establishment in January 2021 of the New Left delegation (composed of members of the SLD and Spring), which he did not join, remaining together with Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz and Leszek Miller in the previous delegation, which adopted the name Left for Europe.
He has published over 100 scientific papers, mainly devoted to the theory of money and anti-inflationary policies in developing countries. He specializes in applied economics and contemporary economic thought. In the years 2011-2015 he was a member of the Committee of Economic Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Among the doctors promoted by Marek Belka were m.in Jerzy Pruski (1990), Jarosław Neneman (1997) and Piotr Krajewski (2005).
Privately, he is married to Krystyna Belka, has 2 children: son Piotr and daughter Maria.
Marek Marian Belka's 2023 speaking fees
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