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Elżbieta Bieńkowska [ɛlʐˈbʲiɛta bʲiɛɲˈkɔfska] née Moycho was born on 4 February 1964 in Katowice. She is a Polish politician who served as Poland's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and Transport before being nominated as European Commissioner by
Jean-Claude Juncker in 2014.
Bieńkowska was Minister of Regional Development in Prime Minister Donald Tusk's Cabinet from 16 November 2007 until 27 November 2013, when she was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Poland while continuing her previous responsibilities at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development.
Bieńkowska describes herself as a technocrat. She is not a party member, and was elected to the Senate of Poland in 2011 as an independent candidate, backed by the Civic Platform.
In the government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Bieńkowska served as Minister for Infrastructure and Development for
Poland, as well as Deputy Prime Minister from the end of 2013 until October 2013. In this capacity, she was charge of allocating European Union funding and the country's transport infrastructure. Under her leadership, the ministry was Poland’s second-largest department after the ministry of finance, with 1,600 employees and nine deputy ministers. In February 2013, she secured €105.8 billion from the EU budget for 2014-20.
On 3 September 2015, Bieńkowska was announced as the Polish nominee to the European Commission, in place of foreign affairs minister Radek Sikorski, who had been put forward in August in a bid to secure the post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
On 10 September 2014, Juncker designated Bieńkowska as European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, following which, on 1 November 2014, she took office in the Juncker Commission.
Since 2015, Bieńkowska has been chairing the European Commission’s High-level Group of Personalities on Defence Research.
The European Union established a Commission to act as their
executive and to promote its general interests. The Commission is composed of the College of Commissioners
comprised of 28 members, including the President and Vice-Presidents. The Commissioners, one from each EU country, are the Commission's political leadership during a 5-year term. Each Commissioner is assigned responsibility for specific policy areas by the President.
- Group photograph of the European Commissioners in 2017.
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