Republic of Austria bestows distinguished decoration on Poland’s former central bank President Marek Belka

(, Vienna)

Austria honors Belka’s contributions to the Vienna Initiative

The Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) extends its congratulations to Marek Belka, former President of Narodowy Bank Polski, who has received the Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold with Star for his services to the Republic of Austria. On behalf of the Austrian government, OeNB Governor Ewald Nowotny presented Marek Belka with the decoration on Wednesday in the OeNB premises.

Marek Belka has enjoyed a long and successful career in economics and politics:

Born on January 9, 1952, in Łódź, Poland, he studied economics and sociology. In 1994 he was appointed as a professor at the University of Łódź and later took on a position as advisor to the Polish President. He then served in two legislative periods as Minister of Finance, before being elected to Prime Minister of Poland in 2004. In October 2005 he stepped down as Prime Minister and resumed his academic and international career.

His academic achievements were distinguished in 2008 when the University of Potsdam awarded him an honorary doctorate degree. His international career led him to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where he headed the European Department from 2009 onward.

Between June 2010 and June 2016 he was President of the Polish central bank and as such represented Poland in the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). This period saw diverse and constructive exchanges between Narodowy Bank Polski and the OeNB.

At the award ceremony, Governor Nowotny paid tribute to Marek Belka’s achievements with the following words: “Marek Belka has shown extraordinary commitment to the Vienna Initiative and thus helped ease the effects of the great financial crisis for Eastern Europe. This is of immeasurable value and we are very grateful to him.”

Note: Award ceremony photos can be found under