Grzegorz Pietruczuk is FEPS Progressive Person of the Year

FEPS Progressive Person of the Year 2023


This year we have chosen Grzegorz Pietruczuk, Mayor of Bielany in Poland, as our FEPS Progressive Person of the Year. He was awarded during the Progressive Yearbook 2023 launch event, one of our flagship yearly publications.

Grzegorz is a champion of local political leadership and humanitarian assistance. He has been at the forefront of supporting refugees (mainly women and children) from Ukraine, ensuring that those who arrive feel the solidarity of fellow Europeans and keep their faith in the possibility of a better life in the community of EU nations.

Since the first edition of the Progressive Yearbook, we introduced the tradition of choosing a Progressive Person of the Year in order to focus the limelight on a hardworking progressive who can show the way for others. It is someone who has delivered an outstanding achievement and who can inspire others; someone who can motivate progressives to renew and reinforce their commitment to our common cause.

In choosing Grzegorz, we highlight an outstanding example of behaviour within Poland and an example that should serve as a model of selfless support to those escaping the tragic conditions created by Vladimir Putin’s cruel and unprovoked war. Our political family badly needs the examples of composure, solidarity and sacrifice that Grzegorz embodies far away from the high offices of Brussels.

Mayor Grzegorz Pietruczuk kindly welcomed the FEPS delegation in Warsaw and showed us his work in support of Ukrainian refugees. Read the interview by FEPS Secretary General László Andor in the Progressive Yearbook 2023.

Unexpectedly for most Europeans, the year 2022 became overshadowed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The war has not only devastated Ukraine but also affected every country in Europe and many others in the rest of the world. In one way or another, nearly one third of the Ukrainian population became displaced in 2022, and millions decided to flee to Poland, the largest EU member state sharing a border with Ukraine. It is not an exaggeration to say that the shock of the war electrified Poland, and the whole country came to have just one priority – to provide military as well as humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, almost without limit. However, the work of local actors – municipal leaders and volunteers – is often hindered not only by the shortage of financial resources but also by disinformation on migration – a topic FEPS has studied in various contexts in recent years.

Grzegorz Pietruczuk is the fourth high-level personality of the progressive political family to be selected as Progressive Person of the Year. Before him, the Mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri; the current Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans; and Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland, were awarded this recognition.

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