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Marek Marian Belka (Polish pronunciation: [ˈmarɛk ˈbɛlka] (About this soundlisten); born 9 January 1952 in Łódź) is a Polish politician and professor of Economics, a former Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Poland, former Director of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) European Department and former Head of Narodowy Bank Polski (National Bank of Poland).[1] Since 2019, he has been serving as a Member of the European Parliament.

Marek Belka
Marek Belka NBP.jpg
Prime Minister of Poland
In office
2 May 2004 – 31 October 2005
PresidentAleksander Kwaśniewski
DeputyJerzy Hausner
Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka
Preceded byLeszek Miller
Succeeded byKazimierz Marcinkiewicz
President of the National Bank
In office
11 June 2010 – 20 June 2016
Preceded byPiotr Wiesiołek (Acting)
Succeeded byAdam Glapiński
Minister of Sport
In office
1 September 2005 – 31 October 2005
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byTomasz Lipiec
Minister of Finance
In office
19 October 2001 – 6 July 2002
Prime MinisterLeszek Miller
Preceded byHalina Wasilewska-Trenker
Succeeded byGrzegorz Kołodko
In office
4 February 1997 – 17 October 1997
Prime MinisterWłodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Preceded byGrzegorz Kołodko
Succeeded byLeszek Balcerowicz
Personal details
Marek Marian Belka

(1952-01-09) 9 January 1952 (age 67)
Łódź, Poland
Political partyPolish United Workers' Party (before 1990)
Democratic Left Alliance (1999–2005)
Independent (1990–1999, 2005–present)
Spouse(s)Krystyna Belka
EducationUniversity of Łódź
AwardsOrder of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Bene Merito (Poland)
Marek Belka in 2013
Unveiling a bronze sculpture (Galeria Chwały Polskiej Ekonomii) by himself, Warsaw Stock Exchange, March 2014

Early life and educationEdit

Belka graduated from the Socio-Economic Department of the University of Łódź in 1972 and later studied on scholarships at Columbia University, University of Chicago and London School of Economics. He holds an M.A. in economics of foreign trade and a PhD in economics from the University of Łódź;[2] his thesis was on US anti-inflationary policy.[3] He became a professor in 1994.

Early careerEdit

From 1990 until 1996 Belka worked as consultant for the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Poland and the World Bank. He served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in 1997 and from 2001 to 2002; and as an economic consultant of the President of the Republic of Poland in the meantime. He also served as Adviser to the three successive Prime Ministers of AlbaniaFatos Nano, Pandeli Majko and Ilir Meta – from 1997 to 2001.

Later, Belka worked as an advisor to JP Morgan for Central and Eastern Europe from 2002 to 2003. In 2003 he was responsible for economic policy in the interim Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq.

Political careerEdit

Belka was designated Prime Minister of Poland by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski on 29 March 2004 and sworn into office the next 2 May. He failed to receive the required parliamentary support on 14 May, but on 11 June he was designated again. On 24 June he finally managed to receive enough support in the Sejm – the Lower House of Polish Parliament – winning a vote of confidence by a majority of 235 votes to 215.

Belka joined the new liberal Democratic Party - in May 2005, but failed to win a seat in Łódź in the 2005 elections. Also in 2005, he was a candidate for the post of OECD Secretary General, but lost to José Ángel Gurría.

From 2006 to 2008, Belka served as Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe(ECE).[4]

In 2007, Belka was proposed by Poland as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but the European Union (EU) finally decided to advance former French minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn's candidacy.

On 15 July 2008, Strauss-Kahn named Belka as Director of the IMF's European Department, a position Belka took up on 1 November 2008.[5][6] In this capacity, he led the fund's response to the global economic crisis in Europe.[7]

On 27 May 2010 Belka was nominated as the next President of the National Bank of Poland by Acting President Bronisław Komorowski.[8] On 10 June 2010, he was approved by the Parliament (253 votes in favor; 184 against) as Head of National Bank of Poland.

In June 2014, the Polish magazine Wprost published a series of transcripts of secret recordings involving senior Polish government officials, including one in which Belka discussed the forthcoming 2015 election with the interior minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz.[9] Belka said he would not resign over the remarks he is alleged to have made. The secret recordings were believed to have been made in one or more restaurants in the capital, Warsaw, and thought to date back as far as Summer 2013.[10]

In 2016, news media reported that Belka was considering taking up the role of the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).[11]

Member of the European Parliament, 2019-presentEdit

In the 2019 European Parliament election Belka was elected as the MEP for the Łódź constituency. In Parliament, he has since been serving on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. In addition to his committee assignments, Belka is a member of the delegation for relations with the United States.

Other activitiesEdit

International organizationsEdit

  • European Investment Bank (EIB), Member of the Appointment Advisory Committee (since 2017)[12]
  • European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), Member of the Steering Committee (2011-2016)[13]
  • Joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee, Chairman (2011-2015)[14]
  • European Bank Coordination Initiative (EBCI, Vienna Initiative 2), Chairman of the Steering Committee (2013-2016)[15]

Corporate boardsEdit

  • Echo Polska Properties, Independent Member of the Board of Directors (since 2016)[16]
  • Bank Millennium, Member of the Supervisory Board (2002-2004)
  • LOT Polish Airlines, Chairman of the Board of Directors (2002-2003)

Non-profit organizationsEdit


Belka received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 2006.[19]

Belka is an Honorary Member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. In October 2013 he was elected into the Polish Economy Hall of Fame.[20]

Personal lifeEdit

Belka is married and has two children. The family lives in Łódź.[21]


  1. ^ "Belka szefem NBP. Spór w koalicji – Wiadomości w". Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Marek Belka". Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  3. ^ Annie Maccoby Berglof (4 July 2014), Poland’s central bank chief Marek Belka on crises and secret tapes Financial Times.
  4. ^ United Nations Web Services Section. "The Biography of Marek Belka". United Nations. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Press Release: IMF Managing Director Strauss-Kahn Names Former Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka as Director of the European Department". 15 July 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Marek Belka « iMFdirect – The IMF Blog". Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  7. ^ Jan Cienski (28 May 2010), Ex-PM to become Poland’s central bank chief Financial Times.
  8. ^ jagor, PAP, IAR (27 May 2010). "Komorowski: Marek Belka kandydatem na prezesa NBP". Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ BBC News (June 2014). "Poland leak: PM Tusk faces questions in parliament", BBC News, 24 June 2014. Accessed 28 July 2014.
  10. ^ Easton, Adam (June 2014). On the recordings Belka was caught coordinating monetary policy with the current government, an act expressly forbidden by the Polish Constitution which mandates the NBP remain politically independent. "Poland bugging: The table talk that shook Warsaw", BBC News, 25 June 2014. Accessed 28 July 2014.
  11. ^ Marcin Goclowski (24 February 2016), Poland's chief Belka considers EBRD job -minister Reuters.
  12. ^ Appointment of the Members of the Appointment Advisory Committee European Investment Bank (EIB), press release of 6 February 2017.
  13. ^ Marek Belka, Visiting Professor in Practice, Institute of Global Affairs London School of Economics.
  14. ^ Marek Belka, Visiting Professor in Practice, Institute of Global Affairs London School of Economics.
  15. ^ Marek Belka, Visiting Professor in Practice, Institute of Global Affairs London School of Economics.
  16. ^ Marek Belka joins Echo Polska Properties as Independent Non-Executive Director Echo Polska Properties, press release of 10 August 2016
  17. ^ Council for the Future of Europe Berggruen Institute.
  18. ^ Membership Trilateral Commission.
  19. ^ "Annual Review 2006 : People, Honours and Awards". Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  20. ^ Information with fotos at the NBP website (in Polish)
  21. ^ Annie Maccoby Berglof (4 July 2014), Poland’s central bank chief Marek Belka on crises and secret tapes Financial Times.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Grzegorz Kołodko
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Leszek Balcerowicz
Preceded by
Halina Wasilewska-Trenkner
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Grzegorz Kołodko
Preceded by
Leszek Miller
Prime Minister of Poland
Succeeded by
Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Government offices
Preceded by
Piotr Wiesiołek
President of the National Bank
Succeeded by
Adam Glapiński