Prime Minister of Poland

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President of the Council of
Prezes Rady Ministrów
Logo of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister
2018-07-04 Mateusz Morawiecki-0603.jpg
Mateusz Morawiecki

since 11 December 2017
Member of European Council
Residence Willa Parkowa
Rezydencja Premiera RP, ul. Parkowa, Warsaw
Appointer President of the Republic of Poland
Inaugural holder Ignacy Daszyński
Formation6 November 1918

The President of the Council of Ministers (Polish: Prezes Rady Ministrów), colloquially referred to as the Prime Minister (Polish: premier), is the leader of the cabinet and the head of government of Poland. [1] The current responsibilities and traditions of the office stem from the creation of the contemporary Polish state, and the office is defined in the Constitution of 1997. According to the Constitution, the President of Poland nominates and appoints the prime minister, who will then propose the composition of the cabinet. [2] Fourteen days following his or her appointment, the prime minister must submit a programme outlining the government's agenda to the Sejm, requiring a vote of confidence. [3] Conflicts stemming from both interest and powers have arisen between the offices of President and Prime Minister in the past.

Polish language West Slavic language spoken in Poland

Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish-language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.

The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. "Head of government" is often differentiated from "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

Poland Republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.


The current and seventeenth Prime Minister is Mateusz Morawiecki of the Law and Justice party. Morawiecki replaced incumbent premier Beata Szydło, who resigned on 7 December 2017. [4]

Mateusz Morawiecki 17th Prime Minister of Poland

Mateusz Jakub Morawiecki is a Polish politician, historian and economist serving as the 17th and current Prime Minister of Poland since 2017. He previously served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Beata Szydło as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Development and Minister of Finance. From 2007 to 2015, Morawiecki was chairman of Bank Zachodni WBK.

Law and Justice national conservative political party in Poland

Law and Justice is a national-conservative, Christian democratic, populist political party in Poland. With 237 seats in the Sejm and 66 in the Senate, it is currently the largest party in the Polish parliament.

Beata Szydło Polish politician

Beata Maria Szydło is a Polish politician who is serving as Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and vice-chairman of the Law and Justice party.

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Origin of the office

Second Republic

Near the end of the First World War, an assortment of groups contested to proclaim an independent Polish state. In early November 1918, a socialist provisional government under Ignacy Daszyński declared independence, while a separate committee in Kraków claimed to rule West Galicia. [5] In Warsaw, the German-Austrian appointed Regency Council agreed to transfer political responsibilities to Marshal Józef Piłsudski, recently released from Magdeburg fortress, as Chief of State of the new Polish nation. [6] Piłsudski summoned Daszyński to the capital to form a government, where Piłsudski agreed to appoint Daszyński as the republic's first prime minister. [5] Daszyński's premiership, however, remained brief, after the politician failed to form a workable coalition. Piłsudski turned instead to Jędrzej Moraczewski, who successfully crafted a workable government for the Second Republic's first months of existence.

Ignacy Daszyński Polish politician

Ignacy Ewaryst Daszyński was a Polish socialist politician, journalist, and very briefly Prime Minister of the Second Polish Republic's first government, formed in Lublin in 1918.

Kraków City in Lesser Poland, Poland

Kraków, also spelled Cracow or Krakow, is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, its Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

West Galicia geographic region

New Galicia or West Galicia was an administrative region of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy, constituted from the territory annexed in the course of the Third Partition of Poland in 1795.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Leopold Skulski in session in 1920. Due to the deep political divides of the early Second Republic, governments were short-lived, frequently falling within months. Gabinet Skulskiego.jpg
The cabinet of Prime Minister Leopold Skulski in session in 1920. Due to the deep political divides of the early Second Republic, governments were short-lived, frequently falling within months.

The Small Constitution of 1919 outlined Poland's form of government, with a democratically elected Sejm, a prime minister and cabinet, and an executive branch. Despite outlining a parliamentary system, the Small Constitution vested many executive powers onto Piłsudski's position as Chief of State. [7] The executive branch could select and organize cabinets (with the Sejm's consent), be responsible to the ministries for their duties, and require the countersignature of ministers for all official acts. [8] By the early 1920s, rightist nationalists within parliament, particularly Roman Dmowski and other members of the Popular National Union party and the Endecja movement, advocated reforms to the republic's structure to stem the authority of the chief of state (and ultimately Piłsudski) while increasing parliamentary powers. [9] The result was the Sejm's passage of the March Constitution of 1921. Modeled after the Third French Republic, the March Constitution entrusted decision-making exclusively within the lower-house Sejm. [10] The newly created presidency, on the other hand, became a symbolic office devoid of any major authority, stripped of veto and wartime powers. [11]

The Small Constitution of 1919 was the first constitution of the Second Polish Republic. It was formally called the "Legislative Sejm's ordinance of 20 February 1919, entrusting Józef Piłsudski with the further execution of the office of Chief of State". The legislation was published as Dz. Pr. P.P. Nr 19, poz. 226.

<i>Sejm</i> lower house of the parliament of Poland

The Sejm of the Republic of Poland is the larger, more powerful lower house of the Polish parliament. It consists of 460 deputies elected by universal ballot and is presided over by a speaker called the "Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland". In the Kingdom of Poland, "Sejm" referred to the entire two-chamber parliament of Poland, comprising the Chamber of Envoys, the Senate and the King. It was thus a three-estate parliament. Since the Second Polish Republic (1918–1939), "Sejm" has referred only to the larger house of the parliament; the upper house is called the Senat Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej.

Parliamentary system form of government

A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a person distinct from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, the executive does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.

Deriving authority from the powerful Sejm, the prime minister and the council of ministers, in theory, faced few constitutional barriers from the presidency to pass and proceed with legislation. In reality, however, the premiership remained extraordinarily insecure due to the harsh political climate of the early Second Republic, marked by constant fluctuating coalitions within parliament. [12] Fourteen governments and eleven prime ministers rose and fell between 1918 and 1926, with nine governments alone serving between the five-year March Constitution era. [13] Deeply frustrated with the republic's chaotic "sejmocracy" parliamentary structure, Piłsudski led rebellious Polish Army units to overthrow the government in the May Coup of 1926, effectively ending the Second Republic's brief experiment with parliamentary democracy, as well as the prime minister's free and popular elected mandate for the next sixty years.

May Coup (Poland) May 1926 coup détat in Poland

The May Coup was a coup d'état carried out in Poland by Marshal Józef Piłsudski between 12 and 14 May 1926. The coup overthrew the government of President Stanisław Wojciechowski and Prime Minister Wincenty Witos. A new government was installed, headed by Lwów Polytechnic Professor Kazimierz Bartel. The events were partly inspired by the need for extraordinary measures in the face of newly emerging threats to the stability of Poland's independence by Piłsudski's own assessment of the foreign treaties signed by Weimar Germany with France in 1925 and with the Soviet Russia in April 1926, to which Poland's representatives had not been invited.

Distrustful of parliamentary democracy, Marshal Piłsudski and his Sanation movement assumed a semi-authoritarian power behind the throne presence over the premiership and presidency. [14] Piłsudski's August Novelization of the 1921 Constitution retained the prime minister's post and the parliamentary system, though modified the president's powers to rule by decree, dismiss the Sejm, and decide budgetary matters. [15] By the mid-1930s, Piłsudski and fellow Sanationists further stripped parliament and the premier's powers by enacting a new constitution, effectively establishing a strong "hyper-presidency" by 1935. [16] The new constitution allowed for the president to dismiss parliament, the right to freely appoint and dismiss the prime minister, members of the cabinet and the judiciary at will, and promulgated the presidency as the supreme power of the state. [17] Until the outbreak of the Second World War and the resulting exiling of the Polish government, the Sanation movement remained at the helm of a government dominated by the presidency with a weak, subordinate prime minister.

Sanation was a Polish political movement that was created in the interwar period, prior to Józef Piłsudski's May 1926 Coup d'État, and came to power in the wake of that coup. In 1928 its political activists would go on to form the Nonpartisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government (BBWR).

The phrase "power behind the throne" refers to a person or group that informally exercises the real power of a high-ranking office, such as a head of state. In politics, it most commonly refers to a relative, aide, or nominal subordinate of a political leader who serves as de facto leader, setting policy through possessing great influence and/or skillful manipulation.

The August Novelization of 2 August 1926 was a set of amendments to the 1921 March Constitution of Poland.

People's Republic

Under the communist Polish People's Republic, the ruling Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR) dominated all sections of the government, as recognized under the 1952 Constitution. [18] Although the premiership continued to exist, the office's power and prestige relied more on the individual's stature within the governing communist party than the position's actual constitutional authority. [19] The office acted as an administrative agent for policies carried out by the PZPR's Politburo, rather than relying on the support of the rubber stamp Sejm. [20] In face of growing protests from the Solidarity movement for much of the 1980s, the PZPR entered into the Round Table Talks in early 1989 with leading members of the anti-communist opposition. [21] The conclusion of the talks, along with the resulting April Novelization of the constitution, adjusted several powers back the Sejm, along with reinstating both the previously dissolved upper-house Senat and the presidency as legal governmental entities.

Third Republic

Tadeusz Mazowiecki, former prime minister of Poland browsing an exhibition at the Europeana 1989 roadshow in Warsaw. Tadeusz Mazowiecki - Europeana - Viewing Exhibition.jpg
Tadeusz Mazowiecki, former prime minister of Poland browsing an exhibition at the Europeana 1989 roadshow in Warsaw.

Following the partially free 1989 parliamentary election, the Solidarity government of Tadeusz Mazowiecki faced the monumental task of formally institutionalizing the office in order to define its relatively vague legal powers. As the communist state was quickly dismantled, this impasse remained due to the series of unstable governments falling in quick succession in the first years of the Third Republic. [22] Matters were not helped by the vagueness of the presidency, whose recreation during the Round Table Talks left a poorly defined yet potentially powerful office. [23] After Lech Wałęsa's direct 1990 election to the presidency, a tug of war between the offices of the premier and presidency regarding the powers of the two offices began, with Wałęsa arguing for increased presidential powers by drafting a new constitution, with the right to appoint and dismiss the prime minister and members of the cabinet. [24] Although Wałęsa later recanted his attempts to create a presidential system, the president continued to advocate for a semi-presidential model similar to that of the Fifth French Republic. [24] The passage of the Small Constitution in 1992, which dispensed with the communist 1952 document, clarified several presidential prerogatives over the prime minister, including the president's right to be consulted on the ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Interior. [25] Although Wałęsa enjoyed a conflict free relationship with Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka, power rifts remained after the Small Constitution's passage, particularly with the Sejm, which Wałęsa repeatedly attempted to dissolve, influence its appointments and shift its constitutional reform agenda towards the presidency's favour. [25]

However, by the 1993 parliamentary election, which brought in a relatively stable left-of-centre coalition government between the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and the Polish People's Party (PSL), as well as Wałęsa's defeat in the 1995 presidential election by SdRP challenger Aleksander Kwaśniewski, an impetus for greater constitutional reform began to proceed. [22] Between 1996 and 1997, a series of reform laws passed through parliament, strengthening and centralizing the prime minister's prerogatives. [26] These reforms would form the basis of the current 1997 Constitution. Significant changes included the ability for the prime minister to call a vote of confidence, the premier's exclusive right to allocate and reshuffle ministers, and also for the prime minister to solely determine the areas of competence for ministries. [27] Many of the prime minister's new powers were gained at the expense of the presidency, which lost the rights to consult ministerial appointments, reject the prime minister's cabinet selection or reshuffles, chair the cabinet, and to veto the budget, although veto powers in other areas remained. [28] Additionally, the previous communist-era Office of the Council of Ministers (Urząd Rady Ministrów) was reformed into the Chancellery in 1997 to act as the premier's executive central office and support staff, assisting the facilitation and coordination of policy among members of the cabinet. [29] The reforms between 1996 and 1997, codified under the constitution, made the prime minister the centre of legal authority within the government. [26]

Selection and responsibilities


Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (left) being sworn in by President Aleksander Kwasniewski (right) in October 2005. Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz i Aleksander Kwasniewski.jpg
Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (left) being sworn in by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski (right) in October 2005.

According to Article 154 of the Constitution of Poland, the president must nominate the prime minister to the post. However, the nomination process is not solely dictated by presidential preference, it rather reflects the leader of the party which obtained the most seats in the previous parliamentary election, or the leader agreed upon by a coalition. [30] The president is neither entitled to dismiss the prime minister, appoint nor dismiss individual members of the cabinet, or the council of ministers as a whole at will. [31] Upon his or her selection, the prime minister will then propose members of the cabinet, and within fourteen days, must submit a program outlining the new government's agenda to the Sejm, requiring a vote of confidence from among its deputies. [3] In the event that a vote of confidence fails, the process of government formation passes to the Sejm, which will then nominate a prime minister within fourteen days, who will again propose the composition of the cabinet. [32] An absolute majority of votes in the presence of at least half of all Sejm deputies is required to approve the cabinet, which the president will then accept and administer the oath of office. If the vote of confidence fails again, the process of nomination is handed back to the presidency, who will appoint a prime minister, who will then nominate other members of the cabinet. [33] If the vote of confidence fails a third time, the president is obliged to shorten the Sejm's term of office and call for new elections. [34]

As part of political tradition, the prime minister and his or her ministers take the oath of office inside the Column Hall at the Presidential Palace, in a ceremony administered by the president. [35] Upon their inauguration, the prime minister and his or her ministers must take the following pledge before the head of state:

"Assuming this office of prime minister [deputy prime minister, minister] I do solemnly swear to be faithful to the provisions of the constitution and other laws of the Republic of Poland, and that the good of the Homeland and the prosperity of its citizens shall forever remain my supreme obligation." [36]

The oath may also be finished with the additional sentence, "So help me, God." [36]

Role in the cabinet and powers

Article 148 of the constitution stipulates that the prime minister shall act as the representative of the cabinet as a whole, delegate its agendas, coordinate the work of ministers, ensure the implementation of policy adopted by the cabinet, and issue regulations. Additionally, the prime minister acts as the superior of all civil servants. [37] The prime minister is further assisted by a deputy prime minister (or ministers), who will act as a vice-president within the council of ministers. [38] The make-up of the cabinet, its distributed portfolios and its governing style, however, very much depends on the premier's personality. [39] He or she cannot, however, hold the presidency nor any other high state office, such as the chairmanships of the Supreme Chamber of Control, the National Bank of Poland, or the Ombudsman for Citizens Rights, simultaneously. With the power to distribute and reshuffle cabinet members, the prime minister can also discharge the functions of a minister. [40] Similarly, the prime minister can call upon the cabinet to repeal a regulation or order from any minister. [41]

As the Prime Minister's power derives from parliament, he or she, along with other ministers, must answer questions from deputies during each sitting of the Sejm. [42] The premier and other ministers are also constitutionally mandated to answer interpellations from deputies within 21 days of their submission. [43]

In accordance to Poland's semi-presidential system, most official acts of the presidency require the Prime Minister's countersignature in order to become valid. [44] Through this, the Prime Minister acts as a gatekeeper to the President to certain acts, while also accepting responsibility to the Sejm for the president's actions. [44] This legal relationship, established under the constitution, attaches a significant presidential dependence on the prime minister's signature, arguably enlarging the premier's responsibilities and legal standing. [44] The President, however, does not need the Prime Minister's countersignature for a limited selection of other acts, including the appointment of judges, conferring orders and decorations, appointing a president to the Supreme Court of Poland, exercising pardons, making a referral to the Constitutional Tribunal, or appointing members to the National Broadcasting Council. [45] The presidency's most significant power over the prime minister is the right to veto the government's legislation, but this procedure may be overruled by a three-fifths voting majority in the Sejm. [46]

The Prime Minister can also submit a vote of confidence of their cabinet to the Sejm. [47] A vote of confidence in the cabinet can be granted by at least half of all of the Sejm's deputies. [46] Similarly, if the council of ministers loses its majority support within the Sejm, the cabinet can be forced to resign in a constructive vote of no confidence. [39] The motion must be approved by at least 46 deputies, and then passed by a majority vote. [48] In such an event, a new prime minister must be simultaneously appointed. [39] Additionally, the premier must submit the resignation of their cabinet at the first sitting of a newly elected parliament, as well as after a vote of no confidence has been successfully passed against the council of ministers or upon their own individual resignation. [49] In the event of the prime minister's resignation or death, the president can either accept or refuse the cabinet's resignation of office. [50]

For the regional governments of the voivodeships, the prime minister is empowered to appoint a voivode for each of the republic's sixteen provinces, who supervises the central government's administration in the regions, as well as the functions of local government. [51] The Sejm, upon a motion of the prime minister, can dissolve a local or regional government if it is flagrantly violating the constitution or legal statutes. [52]

Among the office's emergency and security powers, the prime minister can request to the president a military commander-in-chief of the Polish Armed Forces during a time of war, or order a partial or general mobilization in the event of a direct threat to national security. [53] The prime minister also retains the right to appoint and dismiss the heads of the special services, including the Policja, the Border Guard, the ABW, the AW, and the Government Protection Bureau. [54] The heads of both the ABW and AW are entitled to directly report to the premier. [54] [note 1] In the event of public disorder, the prime minister can, upon a motion by the interior minister, authorize special armed units of the Policja to restore order. [54] If such units prove ineffective in such a situation, the prime minister is authorized to call upon the president to deploy the Polish Armed Forces to bring law and order. [54]

Relationship with the presidency

Throughout the history of the Third Republic, the relationship between the prime minister and the president has ebbed and flowed. In the early to mid-1990s, the relationship largely depended on different interpretations of the vague, legal prerogatives of each office at the time, though since the passage of the Constitution of 1997, political preferences and individual personalities have characterized the relationship. Conflicts between the two offices, however, have generated party splits and political paralysis in the past.

Both before and after his 1990 election to the presidency, Lech Wałęsa had a deeply strained relationship with Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, stemming from Wałęsa's belief that Mazowiecki was not aggressive enough in the dismissal of former Polish United Workers' Party members from senior government and economic positions. [55] Mazowiecki's famous 1989 Thick Line speech (gruba kreska) further exacerbated the splintering. The split between the two men fractured the original uniting Solidarity Citizens' Committee by 1990, with intellectuals supporting Mazowiecki's new Citizens' Movement for Democratic Action, while workers supported the Centre Agreement, a political movement based around Wałęsa. [55]

Similarly, Prime Minister Jan Olszewski also retained a notoriously strained relationship with President Wałęsa during Olszewski's brief government between 1991 and 1992. Olszewski proceeded with a cautious approach to economic reform instead of implementing shock therapy, putting him at odds with the president. [56] While Wałęsa advocated for constitutional reform to enlarge presidential prerogatives over the prime minister, Olszewski launched a campaign to deliberately embarrass the president and undermine Wałęsa's stature, releasing a list of alleged ex-communist collaborators within the Sejm, with some conspirators linked to the president. [57] Wałęsa was further infuriated by Olszewski's attempts to gain influence within the Polish Armed Forces by appointing Radosław Sikorski as deputy defense minister without consultation. [56] Wałęsa repeatedly called for the Olszewski government's dismissal, which the Sejm obliged, forcing the collapse of Olszewski's coalition in June 1992. [58] Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka, who succeeded in forming a government after Waldemar Pawlak's failure to gather a workable coalition, enjoyed a far more amicable relationship with the president. [59]

President Lech Kaczynski (left) and Prime Minister Donald Tusk (right), seen during Tusk's oath of office in November 2007. Frequent disputes between the two leaders characterized Polish politics between 2007 and 2010. Tusk L Kaczynski 2007.jpg
President Lech Kaczyński (left) and Prime Minister Donald Tusk (right), seen during Tusk's oath of office in November 2007. Frequent disputes between the two leaders characterized Polish politics between 2007 and 2010.

The implementation of a new constitution in 1997 profoundly effected the relationship between the premiership and presidency. Uncertainties over presidential and prime ministerial power that marked the Third Republic's first years were removed, eliminating the ability of the president to fully disrupt the government, and further strengthening the prime minister's position. [60] Under President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek's government became the first administration to be elected under the new constitution. [60] Despite being from opposite parties (Kwaśniewski's center-left Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland and Buzek's center-right Solidarity Electoral Action), the relationship between both offices was smooth, partly due to Kwaśniewski's non-confrontational personality. [60] Kwaśniewski sparingly used his veto powers in legislation the president did not agree with, choosing to let the government's concordat with the Holy See, a new lustration act and new electoral statutes to proceed without hindrance, though Kwaśniewski vetoed Buzek's privatization plan. [60] Kwaśniewski's relationships with the like-minded social democratic premierships of Leszek Miller and Marek Belka were virtually free of conflict.

Relations between the two executive organs, however, returned to animosity under the presidency of Lech Kaczyński and Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Political rivals for years, fueled by the 2005 presidential poll which saw both men as the main challengers, Tusk's center-right Civic Platform toppled President Kaczyński's twin brother Jarosław's government in the 2007 parliamentary election. Tusk's support for stronger integration into the European Union, including the signing of the Lisbon Treaty, and a rapprochement with Russia, put Kaczyński directly at odds with the prime minister. [61] From 2007 until Kaczyński's death in the Smolensk air disaster in 2010, policy differences between the two offices were a constant source of division, with the president employing his limited veto powers numerous times over the government's legislation; Tusk's government lacked a 60 percent threshold to overturn such vetoes. [61] In response, Tusk made no secret his party's desire to replace Kaczyński in the 2010 presidential election. [61] Although Tusk and Kaczyński found several areas of compromise, clashes between the Chancellery and the Presidential Palace became a regular feature in both the domestic and international political scenes for the next two and a half years. [61] Frustrated by Kaczyński's veto, Prime Minister Tusk argued for a constitutional amendment in November 2009 to strip the presidency of its veto powers, declaring: "The president should not have veto power. People make their decision in elections and then state institutions should not be in conflict...Let us change some provisions so we can have fewer conflicts and more cooperation. We propose changes to the constitution so that the centre of power lies with the government... The presidential veto brings more harm than good." [62]

Currently, both President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki originate from the Law and Justice party. [63]

Support staff and residence

The Chancellery, located along Ujazdow Avenue in Srodmiescie, Warsaw, is home to the premier's executive office and support staff. Gmach Kancelarii Prezesa Rady Ministrow kwiecien 2017.jpg
The Chancellery, located along Ujazdów Avenue in Śródmieście, Warsaw, is home to the premier's executive office and support staff.

The prime minister's executive office is the Chancellery. Located along Ujazdów Avenue in Warsaw, the Chancellery houses the central meeting location of the cabinet. As an office, the Chancellery acts to facilitate government policy between the prime minister and his or her ministers, serve as the premier's support staff, and distributes the administration's information. Additionally in supporting the cabinet, the Chancellery also houses various executive departments answerable directly to the prime minister outside of the council of ministers, including the Economic Council, the Protection Office, and the Civil Service Department.

The official residence of the prime minister is Willa Parkowa, located several minutes walk from the Chancellery next to Łazienki Park. However, the previous Prime Minister Donald Tusk chose to reside in the coastal city of Sopot, near his native Gdańsk in Pomeranian Voivodeship. [64]

The prime minister receives security from the Government Protection Bureau (Biuro Ochrony Rządu) while in office, as well as for six months after departing from the Chancellery.

List of Polish Prime Ministers

Since the inception of the Third Republic, fifteen individuals have occupied the post. The shortest-serving premier was the first government of Waldemar Pawlak, lasting for 35 days between June and July 1992. Pawlak is also the only prime minister to occupy the position twice. The longest-serving prime minister was Donald Tusk, who held the premiership continuously from 16 November 2007 to 22 September 2014. To date, three women, Hanna Suchocka, Ewa Kopacz and Beata Szydło, have served as premier. Suchocka, along with Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Jerzy Buzek, are the only Polish premiers, as of yet, to be invited into the Club of Madrid. [65]

   Democratic Union (UD)    Liberal Democratic Congress (KLD)    Centre Agreement (PC)    Polish People's Party (PSL)    Social Democracy (SdRP) / Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)
   Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS)    Law and Justice (PiS)    Civic Platform (PO)

NameTook officeLeft officePartyCoalition partner(s)Term in office
1 Tadeusz Mazowiecki 24 August 19894 January 1991 Solidarity Citizens' Committee (KO‘S’) / Democratic Union (UD) ZSLPZPR 1 year, 133 days
2 Jan Krzysztof Bielecki 4 January 19916 December 1991 Liberal Democratic Congress (KLD) ZChNPCSD 336 days
3 Jan Olszewski 6 December 19915 June 1992 Centre Agreement (PC) ZChN–PSL.PL-PChD182 days
4 Waldemar Pawlak 5 June 199210 July 1992 Polish People's Party (PSL) None35 days
5 Hanna Suchocka 11 July 199226 October 1993 Democratic Union (UD) KLDZChN–PChD–PPPP–PSL.PL-PPG-SLCh1 year, 107 days
6 Waldemar Pawlak 26 October 19937 March 1995 Polish People's Party (PSL) SLDUPBBWR 1 year, 132 days
7 Józef Oleksy 7 March 19957 February 1996 Social Democracy (SdRP) PSL 337 days
8 Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz 7 February 199631 October 1997 Social Democracy (SdRP) PSL 1 year, 266 days
9 Jerzy Buzek 31 October 199719 October 2001 Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS) UW– SKLZChN–PPChD3 years, 353 days
10 Leszek Miller 19 October 20012 May 2004 Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) UP– PSL 2 years, 196 days
11 Marek Belka 2 May 200431 October 2005 Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) UP 1 year, 182 days
12 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz 31 October 200514 July 2006 Law and Justice (PiS) SRPLPR 256 days
13 Jarosław Kaczyński 14 July 200616 November 2007 Law and Justice (PiS) SRPLPR 1 year, 125 days
14 Donald Tusk 16 November 200722 September 2014 Civic Platform (PO) PSL 6 years, 310 days
15 Ewa Kopacz 22 September 201416 November 2015 Civic Platform (PO) PSL 1 year, 55 days
16 Beata Szydło 16 November 201511 December 2017 Law and Justice (PiS) None2 years, 25 days
17 Mateusz Morawiecki 11 December 2017Incumbent Law and Justice (PiS) None1 year, 198 days


#President of the Council
of Ministers
Date of birthAge at ascension
(first term)
Time in office
Age at retirement
(last term)
Date of deathLongevity
1 Tadeusz Mazowiecki April 18, 192762 years, 128 days1 year, 133 days63 years, 261 daysOctober 28, 2013
2 Jan Bielecki May 3, 195139 years, 246 days0 years, 336 days40 years, 217 daysLiving
3 Jan Olszewski August 20, 193061 years, 108 days0 years, 182 days61 years, 290 daysFebruary 7, 2019
4 Waldemar Pawlak September 5, 195932 years, 274 days1 year, 166 days35 years, 182 daysLiving
5 Hanna Suchocka April 3, 194646 years, 98 days1 year, 107 days47 years, 205 daysLiving
6 Józef Oleksy June 22, 194648 years, 258 days0 years, 337 days49 years, 230 daysJanuary 9, 2015
7 Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz September 13, 195045 years, 147 days1 year, 266 days47 years, 48 daysLiving
8 Jerzy Buzek July 3, 194057 years, 120 days3 years, 353 days61 years, 108 daysLiving
9 Leszek Miller July 3, 194655 years, 108 days2 years, 195 days57 years, 304 daysLiving
10 Marek Belka January 9, 195252 years, 114 days1 year, 182 days53 years, 296 daysLiving
11 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz December 20, 195945 years, 315 days0 years, 256 days46 years, 206 daysLiving
12 Jarosław Kaczyński June 18, 194957 years, 26 days1 year, 125 days58 years, 151 daysLiving
13 Donald Tusk April 22, 195750 years, 208 days6 years, 310 days57 years, 153 daysLiving
14 Ewa Kopacz December 3, 195657 years, 293 days1 year, 55 days58 years, 348 daysLiving
15 Beata Szydło April 15, 196352 years, 215 days2 years, 25 days54 years, 240 daysLiving


  1. The Policja, the Border Guard and the Government Protection Bureau are directly subordinate to the minister of the interior.

See also

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  1. Jagielski, pp. 168-169
  2. Article 154, para. 1
  3. 1 2 Article 154, para. 2
  4. "Ekipa Szydło w rządzie Morawieckiego. Jutro expose, głosowanie nad wotum zaufania w środę (" (in Polish). 12 November 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  5. 1 2 Kochanski, p. 7
  6. Bernhard, pp. 82-83
  7. Ludwikowski, p. 14
  8. Lerski, pp. 80-81
  9. Cole, p.28
  10. Garlicki, p. 1
  11. Biskupski, pp. 76-77
  12. Lasok, pp. 19-20
  13. Lesnodorski, p. 119. During this era, two prime ministers entered the premiership more than once. Władysław Grabski served as premier first between June and July 1920 and second between December 1923 to November 1925, the longest term for any leader of the period. Wincenty Witos served as prime minister three times, between July 1920 to September 1921, May to December 1923, and May 1926. Witos' third and final government lasted only four days before being militarily deposed by Piłsudski in the May Coup.
  14. Cole, p. 42
  15. Lukowski and Zawadzki, p. 242
  16. Prokrop, p. 22
  17. Fijałkowski, pp. 41-43
  18. Fijałkowski, p. 92
  19. Zubek pp. 83-128
  20. Bernhard p. 190
  21. Osiatynski p. 30
  22. 1 2 Zubek pp. 96-97
  23. Linz and Stepan p. 280
  24. 1 2 Linz and Stepan, p. 281
  25. 1 2 Schwartz pp. 59-60
  26. 1 2 Zubek p. 97
  27. Zubek pp. 97, 100
  28. Zubek p. 87. According to Zubek, Wałęsa's attempts in the early 1990s to swing constitutional reform towards a presidential system, taking advantage of legal loopholes over cabinet appointments and dissolving parliament, led lawmakers to greatly strengthen the role of the legislature by the 1997 Constitution.
  29. Zubek pp. 107-110
  30. Prokop p. 126
  31. Brodecki and Jankowski p. 26
  32. Article 154, para. 3
  33. Article 155, para. 1
  34. Article 155, para. 2
  35. "Presidential Palace in Warsaw". President of Poland . Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  36. 1 2 Article 151
  37. Article 153, para. 2
  38. Article 147, para. 2
  39. 1 2 3 Brodecki and Jankowski p. 28
  40. Article 147, para. 3
  41. Article 149, para. 2
  42. Article 115, para. 1
  43. Article 115, para. 2
  44. 1 2 3 Garlicki, p. 25
  45. Article 144, para. 3
  46. 1 2 Prokop p. 95
  47. Article 160
  48. Article 158, para. 1
  49. Article 162, paras. 2-3
  50. Prokop, p. 127
  51. Enyedi and Tózsa pp. 290-291
  52. Article 171, para. 3
  53. Articles 134, para. 4; Article 136
  54. 1 2 3 4 "Law enforcement, security services and agencies in Poland. Their accountability and transparency". University of Warsaw . Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  55. 1 2 Van Hoorn p. 205
  56. 1 2 Goldman p. 233
  57. Linz and Stepan p. 282
  58. Simon pp. 65-66
  59. Goldman p. 244-245 When Prime Minister Suchocka fought against a vote of confidence against her premiership in May 1993, the New York Times quoted Wałęsa as saying Suchocka was "[T]he best premier we have had, and she still gives rise to hope."
  60. 1 2 3 4 Bernhard p. 242
  61. 1 2 3 4 Szczerbiak pp. 21-22
  62. "Polish PM says president should lose veto power". Buenos Aires Herald. 21 November 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  63. Charles Crawford (26 October 2015). "Who are Poland's victorious Law and Justice party, and what do they want?". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  64. "Gdzie w Warszawie mieszka premier Donald Tusk? Gdzie mieszka Tusk w Warszawie?". 19 December 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  65. "The Club of Madrid offers condolences to Polish Government, People and Members Suchocka and Mazowiecki". Club of Madrid . Retrieved 12 April 2010.

Works cited

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