WARSAW, Poland — Grzegorz Bierecki, World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) second vice chair and president of the National Association of Cooperative Savings & Credit Unions (NACSCU), has been named to Poland's National Development Council, a newly established nonpartisan advisory body that offers input on social and economic issues to Polish President Lech Kaczyński. The appointment of Bierecki, who heads WOCCU's member organization in Poland, was made Feb. 15 at Kaczyński's invitation.
"The appointment of the council is an expression of my well-established belief that a strategic plan is needed for the development of Poland from a long-term perspective," Kaczyński wrote to Bierecki in a letter thanking him for his participation. "I do hope that the works of the council will introduce a new quality into the debate about the future of Poland. It is extremely necessary these days given both the national and international challenges that our country faces."
Kaczyński convened the council to better address issues critical to Poland's social and financial well-being. Of the council's 44 members, Bierecki is the only representative chosen from among Poland's financial institutions. The council's 10-member financial team is rounded out by four university finance professors and five former finance ministers and deputy ministers.
"The nomination of Grzegorz Bierecki is another example of the importance that President Kaczyński attaches to Poland's credit unions, as well as to the personal role Grzegorz has had in their re-establishment," said Pete Crear, WOCCU president and CEO. "Under his leadership, Poland's credit union movement has become a true success story, not only in its rapid development, but in terms of the comprehensive financial services its credit unions provide to two million Polish families."
The council is designed to offer non-political perspectives on important social issues from a variety of personal and professional viewpoints. In addition to finance, council discussion topics will include Poland's demographics, infrastructure, educational and scientific development and other subjects. The group will convene its next meeting in Warsaw on Feb. 25 to discuss conditions and perspectives on Poland's public finance situation.
"Credit unions have played an important role in the transition of the Polish economy and society from communism to a market economy and democracy," Bierecki said. "Now is the time to define their role in serving the future of Poland."
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.