Place of Birth. Education. Born in Lipno, Wloclaw Voivodeship. In 1970, he graduated with honors from the Faculty of Foreign Trade of the Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw (now the Warsaw School of Economics). In 1972-1974. studied at St. John’s University in New York, USA. In 1975 he defended his doctoral dissertation at the Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw.
Career. 1969-1981 – Member of the ruling Polish United Workers’ Party (PUWP).
1978-1980 worked at the Institute of Marxism-Leninism in Warsaw.
1978-1981 led a group of scientists that developed an alternative project of economic reforms in Poland.
1980-1981 – Consultant of the trade union association Solidarity.
In August 1989, Lech Walesa invited Balcerowicz to join the first Solidarity government and lead economic reforms in Poland.
On September 12, 1989, Balcerowicz took over as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the government of Tadeusz Mazowiecki and headed the Economic Committee under the Polish Council of Ministers.
Balcerowicz proposed his plan for an early transition from the planned state economy, inherited from the Polish People’s Republic, to market relations and the supremacy of private property. The proposed set of reforms was called the Balcerowicz Plan, often also referred to as “shock therapy”.
Balcerowicz’s plan assumed a strict limitation of inflation, bringing the state budget, commodity and money markets to equilibrium within a year, transferring all spheres of the economy to market principles. For this, retail prices were increased, budget subsidies were cut, cash incomes were limited, and for enterprises a partial internal reversibility of the zloty was introduced and its uniform rate was established.
Balcerowicz retained his post in Jan Krzysztof Bielecki’s cabinet, but in December 1991 Jan Olszewski’s government was formed without his participation.
After leaving the government, Balcerowicz worked as a visiting fellow at Brown University and the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, USA. Since October 1992 he has been teaching at the Warsaw School of Economics.
In 1992-2000. – Chairman of the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Warsaw.
In April 1995, he founded the centrist political party, the Union of Freedom, which he headed until December 2000. In 1997, the party took third place in the elections and entered the ruling coalition.
From October 1997 to June 2000 – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the government of Jerzy Buzek.
From January 2001 to January 2007 – Chairman of the Polish National Bank, Balcerowicz’s candidacy for this post was submitted by the President of Poland Alexander Kwasniewski.
In 2000-2002. Baltserovich was also an adviser to Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze on economic issues.
In 2003 he was elected a member of the prestigious Group of Influencers of the International Institute of Finance.
In 2007 he founded and headed the Civil Development Forum Foundation.
In October 2008, Balcerowicz became one of eight members of the European Expert Group on the development of recommendations for preventing the consequences of the global financial crisis in the EU countries.
2008-2012 – Chairman of the Board of Directors of the research organization Bruegel.
On April 22, 2016, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a decree appointing Baltserovich as the President’s representative in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and co-chair of the group of strategic advisers to support reforms in Ukraine. One of the areas of his activities in his new position, Balcerowicz called active work with Western investors and politicians to present the real situation in Ukraine.
In April 2017 Leszek Balcerowicz, as originally planned, completed his mission in Ukraine and did not extend cooperation with Strategic Advisory Group for Reform Support (SAGSUR)…
Awards. Balcerowicz has received a number of prestigious prizes and awards, both Polish and international. In particular, in 2005, Kwasniewski presented him with the country’s highest award – the Order of the White Eagle – for his contribution to the transformation of the Polish economy. In July 2007, the analytical center European entrepreneur institute (Brussels) awarded Balcerowicz the title of “the largest reformer in the European Union”.
He is an honorary doctor of 30 universities in different countries, as well as the author of over a hundred publications on economic issues.
January 18, 2023