PM Morawiecki’s new govt: continuity and change

Most ministers who served in the last Morawiecki government will serve in the new Cabinet. But there are some significant changes, especially in terms of the government’s structure.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke at a press conference which followed a meeting of the executive of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS). He announced several changes in the government. The changes involved significant restructuring of some ministries as well as changes in personnel.

Jarosław Kaczyński, speaking at the same press conference, called the new administration ”a government of continuity.“ Mateusz Morawiecki added that it was a second term of a government with an overall majority in Parliament which meant that it would be able to implement the programme on which it was elected, the “Polish welfare state model”.

Continuity and change

Of the 22 members of the Council of Ministers fifteen were in the previous Cabinet. The three deputy PMs are the same as in the previous government: Jarosław Gowin, Piotr Gliński and Jacek Sasin. But it is Mr Sasin who gains the most power of the three as he will head a new ministry to supervise state owned companies, including energy companies.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry will be truncated by stripping it of the important portfolio of European Affairs. Jacek Czaputowicz will remain as Foreign Minister but the European Affairs portfolio will now be handled by a separate member of the Cabinet, Konrad Szymański who has been promoted from his previous position as Deputy Foreign Minister.

The Enterprise and Technology Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz, an ally of Mr Gowin and a member of the “Agreement” party that is allied to PiS, will take over the Development Ministry with its portfolio augmented with housing, urban planning and tourism as well as the competences of the Ministry of Enterprise and Technology which she managed in the last Morawiecki government.

Another significant change in the structure of the government is the splitting up of the Ministry of Environment and the liquidation of the Energy ministry. The Environment brief dealing strictly with environmental resources such as forestry will be managed by Michał Woś, former minister for international aid and ally of the Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro and his “Solidarity Poland” party which is allied to PiS.

A new Climate Ministry will be headed by the former Deputy Environment Minister Michał Kurtyka, the man who chaired the Katowice UN Conference of Parties on climate change. He will be in charge of renewable energy, air quality control as well as the National Environment Fund.

Two more changes have been announced in the Finance ministry and in the Ministry of Labour and Family Policy. Tadeusz Kościński replaces Jerzy Kwieciński at finance and Marlena Maląg replaces Bożena Borys-Szopa at Labour and Family Policy.

Jerzy Kwieciński’s departure is a surprise. He was trusted by the PM and was rated highly at home and abroad. It will be interesting to see whether he may resurface in another important domestic or international capacity in the near future.

The incumbent ministers of defence and the interior retain their posts. No changes are recorded in agriculture, transport, maritime economy, digital affairs, health, and education either. The Justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro retains his post too.

Finally, there is a vacancy in the Sports ministry which no doubt will be filled in the next few days. The vacancy is inevitable as the current minister Witold Bańka is departing to head the anti-doping agency WADA.

The constitutional formalities

In accordance with the constitution PM Morawiecki will submit the resignation of the old government at the first session of the new Parliament on 12 November. Within 14 days from that date the President must nominate the person who will form the new government and that Prime Minister will have 14 days to have the government he presents approved by the Lower House of Parliament, after he presents the new government’s programme.

Since PiS has a majority in the Lower House, and has chosen Mateusz Morawiecki as its candidate for PM, his nomination for PM by the President and subsequent vote of confidence in Parliament, are both formalities. Interest will focus on the programme that he will announce rather than the vote in Parliament.

The list of proposed ministers and their functions are as follows:

Andrzej Adamczyk - Ministry of Infrastructure

Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski - Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Piotr Glinski - Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

Mariusz Blaszczak - Ministry of National Defence

Jacek Czaputowicz - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Mariusz Kaminski - Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration

Jaroslaw Gowin - Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Marek Grobarczyk - Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterways

Jadwiga Emilewicz - Ministry of Development (to also include departments of construction and tourism)

Tadeusz Koscinski - Ministry of Finance

Michal Wos - Ministry of the Environment

Marek Zagorski - Ministry of Digital Affairs

Marlena Malag - Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy

Dariusz Piontkowski - Ministry of National Education

Zbigniew Ziobro - Ministry of Justice, Prosecutor General

Lukasz Szumowski - Ministry of Health

Michal Dworczyk - Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland

Jacek Sasin - candidate for deputy PM and minister for supervision of state assets (name yet to be decided)

Michal Kurtyka - Ministry of Climate