Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Friday announced the members of his reformed cabinet, as the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party prepares for the first sitting of the new parliament on Tuesday. At last month’s elections, PiS won a second term in office.
The majority of previous ministers have retained their positions. But a number of changes in personnel were announced, as well as the creation of some new ministries and competencies:
- Tadeusz Kościński becomes the new finance minister, replacing Jerzy Kwieciński. London-born Kościński is a long-standing associate of Morawiecki, with the two having been colleagues at Bank Zachodni WBK (now Santander Bank Polska), where Morawiecki rose to become chairman. Kościński has been serving as a deputy finance minister since July.
- Competence over European policy has been taken away from the foreign ministry and transferred to the prime minister’s office. It will still, however, be run by the same official, Konrad Szymański, but he is now promoted to being a full cabinet-level minister.
- An as-yet-unnamed new ministry has been created to oversee the running of state-owned companies. It will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin. Onet reports that the ministry was created by Jarosław Kaczyński, the PiS chairman and Poland’s de facto leader, to stop politicians from the ruling camp squabbling over lucrative positions for their colleagues and families at state-owned firms, which have long been a source of patronage. However, the web portal notes that Sasin himself “is considered a specialist in nepotism within PiS”.
- Michał Woś becomes the new environment minister. At just 28 years old, Woś has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the five years since he first joined the city council of his home town Racibórz. He is a protégé of the justice minister, Zbigniew Ziobro.
- A new climate ministry has been spun off from the environment ministry. It will be led by Michał Kurtyka, who as deputy environment minister was in charge of organising last year’s COP 24 UN climate conference in Poland. The new ministry will be charged with implementation of EU climate goals.
- A ministry of development has been created – or rather re-created. PiS also established one after coming to power in 2015, but then split it into two parts in 2018. The “new” ministry will be run by Jadwiga Emilewicz, the current minister of entrepreneurship and technology.
- A new ministry of fund management has been created to coordinate the spending of EU funds, and will be led by Małgorzata Jarosińska-Jedynak.
Most of the rest of the cabinet remains unchanged, including:
- Piotr Gliński, deputy prime minister and minister of culture and national heritage
- Jarosław Gowin, deputy prime minister and minister of science and higher education
- Mariusz Błaszczak, minister of national defence
- Jacek Czaputowicz, minister of foreign affairs
- Zbigniew Ziobro, minister of justice
- Mariusz Kamiński, minister of the interior and administration and coordinator of the special services
- Łukasz Szumowski, minister of health
- Dariusz Piontkowski, minister of national education
Among the 21 cabinet members, only three are women.
Main image credit: Adam Guz/KPRM/Flickr (under public domain)
Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland and assistant professor of history at the Pedagogical University of Krakow. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications, including Foreign Policy, POLITICO Europe, The Independent and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.