Prime Minister Beata Szydło commemorated Minister Grażyna Gęsicka

Grażyna always believed that each person has the same right to develop and to live in dignity, regardless of what they do, where they were born, who they are and where they live – Prime Minister Beata Szydło said, remembering the Minister of Regional Development for the period 2005–2007. The head of government told about Grażyna Gęsicka’s heritage and called on the politicians to be united when it comes to matters concerning Poland.

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Photo: P. Tracz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Beata Szydło took part in a ceremony of awarding Grażyna Gęsicka’s name to a screening room in the Ministry of Regional Development.

Grażyna Gęsicka’s heritage

Recalling Grażyna Gęsicka’s achievements, Prime Minister Beata Szydło said that she inevitably associates her with the word “development”. Grażyna was the author of the development-targeted part of the Law and Justice’s programme, the head of government said. The Minister of Regional Development could convince others to believe in this idea, she added.

Grażyna always believed, and I also always underline, that each person has the same right to develop and to live in dignity, regardless of what they do, where they were born, who they are and where they live. She really believed in this idea and she taught us to believe in it. This idea has been reflected in the Law and Justice’s programme and in the government, Prime Minister Beata Szydło said. Our actions constitute the heritage which Grażyna Gęsicka prepared, left and implemented, she declared. The head of government underlined that the currently implemented development programmes are Minister Gęsicka’s ideas.

The Prime Minister mentioned that Grażyna Gęsicka was a person who valued Poland above everything else. She worked for Poland. She treated politics as common good and thinking about common good, the Prime Minister underlined.

Poland unites us

I believe that today Grażyna would say that there is one Poland for all of us. We are politicians, we argue, we have the right to have different opinions. We have the right to have different beliefs, however, there are matters for which we always have to unite and it is important to underline it especially on 13th December. Poland unites us, the Prime Minister said.

We may not agree, we may protest, we may have different opinions on different matters but when it comes to talking and thinking about Poland, we should speak with a single voice. It is because Poland is ours – it belongs to all of us. Regardless of who we are, where we live, what we believe in and what we do. We are all Polish, Beata Szydło underlined.

The Prime Minister believes that mitigating conflicts is our duty, the politicians’ duty, and this is what Grażyna would do. The duty is to speak about unity. To speak about common good, to speak about our homeland. To seek agreement where there are different opinions and different beliefs. The opposition which is a total opposition only because they believe that they will benefit if bad things happen in Poland, should consider whether it would be worth working together for the common good, for our homeland, the head of government added. 

Today, Grażyna would say – ‘Let’s do something good for Poland together.’ The development of Poland is worth working towards together, Prime Minister Szydło underlined.

An extremely wise and modest woman

Grażyna Gęsicka was a great person. She was an extremely wise, modest woman who could always introduce extraordinary calmness, Beata Szydło said.

Finally, the Prime Minister thanked Minister Gęsicka’s daughter for giving her a brooch which belonged to Grażyna before she passed away. It is great honour for me, Grażyna was a great model to me, the head of government declared. The Prime Minister announced that Grażyna Gęsicka and Aleksandra Natalli-Świat were two women who have taught her it was worth to undertake even the biggest challenges for the common good.

Politics as a common good. Profile of the Minister

Grażyna Gęsicka was born on 13 December 1951 in Warsaw. She was a sociologist by education.  From 1980 she was a member of “Solidarity” and co-founder of “Solidarity” at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Warsaw. During the martial law in her apartment she organised meetings of the editorial staff of underground Tygodnik Mazowsze weekly that depicted the life of the people who fought the totalitarian regime. She was also engaged in the organisation and lectures of the secret Labourers’ University of the Mazovia Region of the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union “Solidarity”. Despite the fact that she was under surveillance by the Security Service, she was intensely involved in opposition activities, successfully combining them with a scientific career: in 1985 she acquired the PhD degree in humanities in the field of sociology.

In 1989, she participated in the Round Table sessions, representing the social party. Later, in the years 1989-1991, she was the scientific coordinator of the Union Research Centre of the Mazovia Region of the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union “Solidarity”.

Thanks to her outstanding intelligence and knowledge, she was a distinguished expert inter alia in social policy and local development. In the 1990s she advised, among others, the European Commission, the World Bank, the Sejm and the Council of Ministers. High competence allowed her later to act as inter alia Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and Vice President of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development. Thus, she was familiar with the needs of Polish companies and supported their development effectively.

On 31 October 2005, she was appointed the Minister of Regional Development in the first Law and Justice government. Later she continued work in the cabinet of Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński. Under the rule of Grażyna Gęsicka at the then Ministry of Regional Development it was possible to kick-start the machine of EU grants and make good use of the first EU billions from the 2004-2006 budget. At the same time, Minister Gęsicka laid the foundations of the EU funds for 2007-2013. In 2007 she received a Sejm deputy’s mandate in the Rzeszów constituency. She was a promoter of Eastern Poland’s development.

She died in the Smoleńsk plane crash on 10 April 2010.

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