The Warsaw Voice » Other » Monthly - December 21, 2011
Chair of the Year
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The Chair of the Year 2011 Goes to Prime Minister Donald Tusk
Most people in Poland agree that Donald Tusk was the right man to have in charge of the country in 2011, which proved to be a difficult year for Poland. This view was reflected by the parliamentary elections, which, for the first time in the history of postcommunist Poland, were won by an incumbent prime minister.

The Warsaw Voice subscribes to this view. It was a testing year—2012 promises to be even more difficult—and it was Tusk who was in the hot seat. We believe that he passed with flying colors. For this reason we have named him the winner of our annual Chair of the Year award.

The past year was also a tough one for a united Europe, which for the first time confronted its biggest weakness—a tendency to live on credit. The confrontation turned out to be painful, and not only for the guilty.

In Poland, the year was marked by the political fallout of the tragic plane crash that killed the president and 95 others on board, in addition to natural disasters and a parliamentary election, and especially the campaign preceding it. And the global debt crisis, which struck the European Union and also proved a challenge for Poland.

However, at the end of the year we were not worse off than at the start of 2011. We weathered the storm with a sense of security. According to The Financial Times, Poles are doing well because they have not noticed the crisis. We have come to believe that we can cope with it.

What is happening in society and the economy is a combination of many factors, including the public mood. Sociologists as well as astute politicians are aware of that. But knowing that does not necessarily mean they are able to create and maintain the positive mood. The right decisions and the right approach are needed when the chips are down. A leader needs to be credible, gain the public’s confidence and then live up to expectations. Donald Tusk has demonstrated all this in action—which is why the Voice has decided to hand him its Chair of the Year award.


The Warsaw Voice’s annual Chair of the Year award has previously gone to:
1989—Lech Wałęsa
1990—Leszek Balcerowicz
1991—Jan Krzysztof Bielecki
1992—Hanna Suchocka
1993—Warsaw Stock Exchange
1994—Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
1995—The Supreme Court’s Chamber of Administration,
Labor and Social Security
1996—the passenger car
1997—Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Roman Kluska—the Chair of the Decade
1998—Jerzy Buzek
1999—Bronisław Geremek
2000—Aleksander Kwaśniewski
2001—Adam Małysz
2002—Danuta Hübner
2003—Jerzy Hausner
2004—Marek Belka
2005—Rafał Blechacz
2006—the economy
2007—Donald Tusk
2008—Leszek Balcerowicz and Lech Wałęsa—the Chair of the Two Decades
2009—Jacek Rostowski
2010—Aleksander Grad