New Government nominations in Poland

Marek Matraszeck, Founding Partner and Chairman of CEC Government Relations in Poland, introduces the new government nominations.

On the 15th June, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz announced the new nominations for ministers following her decision to dismiss from the Government those ministers who were implicated in last year’s “Waitergate” scandal. Andrzej Czerwinski, a leading Civic Platform MP, becomes the Minister of State Treasury in place of Wlodzimierz Karpinski; one of Poland’s leading cardiologists Marian Zembala takes over at the Ministry of Health from Bartosz Arlukowicz, and the Minister of Sport is Adam Korol, Poland’s world champion rower. Also nominated as State Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Chancellery to be the new intelligence services coordinator is Marek Biernacki, a former Minister of Interior and more recently Minister of Justice, replacing Jacek Cichocki in that role. Biernacki is also considered to be the informal leader of the PO’s conservative faction.

Anna Nems becomes a new State Secretary and deputy Minister for Economy handling the coal sector, whilst Dorota Niedziela becomes State Secretary in the Environment Ministry. 

There is no announcement as yet who will take over as the next Speaker of Parliament following the forced resignation of Radoslaw Sikorski.

The nominations come at a time when Kopacz is under pressure to restore her credibility after last week’s sackings, which many saw as a panic reaction to the latest “Waitergate” revelations. Her nominations indeed came quickly, but what is surprising is that they were made not from within top PO ranks – and indeed two of the new ministers are not even linked to the PO party. The move may be interpreted in two ways: either as a sign of desperation in that no credible high-ranking figures could be persuaded to take up the posts so close to an election that the PO seems destined to lose; or, more sophisticatedly, that Kopacz is seeking to destigmatize key government positions from the PO brand, and to paint a picture of a government that is more technocratic than political. The nomination of Zembala to Health suggests this, and indeed Zembala follows the noble tradition of another famous cardiologist, the late Zbigniew Religa, in that position.

Regardless of the motive, few expect that the new ministers will make any real impact before the elections in October, or that they will be able to change the party’s fortunes. At most the new ministers, appearing to be scandal-free, will be expected to produce few headaches for Kopacz and reduce the number of possible scandals or controversial decisions in the run-up to October. Given the scale of problems besetting Kopacz, that represents a success of sorts – but little more.

Marian ZembalaMinister of Health – Marian Zembala

Graduated in 1974 with honors from the Medical University in Wroclaw. From 1975 to 1981 he was an assistant and senior assistant at the Department of Cardiac Surgery of the Wroclaw University. After obtaining a PhD degree inf medical sciences he became an assistant professor. In 1985 he joined the newly established Department of Medical University of Silesia in Zabrze (under the supervision of Professor Zbigniew Religa). He then specialized in the field of cardiac surgery.

In 1993, he was a director of the Silesian Center for Heart Diseases in Zabrze, and in 1997 became a member of the Polish Council of Transplantation. In 1997-1999, he was the president of the Polish Society of Transplantation. In 1998 he received a professorship title in the field of medical science. In 1997, he was the first in Poland to perform a single lung transplant. In 2011, he became a chairman of the Scientific Council at the Polish Ministry of Health.

 In 2014, he received a councillor mandate for the Silesian region council fifth term from the Civic Platform.

Adam KorolMinister of Sport – Adam Korol

He was a Polish rower, four-time world champion, Olympic champion of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Five-time Olympian (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012). Four-time world champion in the men’s double fours competition (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009), champion of Europe (2010). sculls (with A. Bronikowski, S. Kruszkowskim and M. Kolbowicz). 

He was an honorary member of President Bronislaw Komorowski support committee before accelerated presidential elections in 2010 and prior to the presidential elections in 2015. 

Andrzej CzerwinskiMinister of State Treasury – Andrzej Czerwinski 

In 1979 he graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automatics and Electronics of the Academy of Mining and Metallurgy in Krakow. He completed postgraduate studies in Pennsylvania, Salzburg and Copenhagen. In 1979 -1989 he worked at the Department of Energy Krakow Region in Nowy Sacz. Then he was self-employed for a period of four years. 

In 1994 – 2001 he served as mayor of the city of Nowy Sacz, he also served in the City Council. During this period he co-founded the Association of Polish Counties. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR). Since 2001, he is part of the Civic Platform as an MP. He specializes in the field of energy and the economy. 

In the current Parliament, he has been the Chairman of special committee for energy and natural resources and deputy chairman of economy committee. He is also a member of the European Union Affairs Committee.

Anna NemsDeputy Minister of Economy – Anna Nems 

She graduated from the Foreign Trade Department of Cracow University of Economics. She joined the Civic Platform in 2006 and in 2010 was elected the councillor of Zawiercie. From 2006 to 2009 she was a Vice-President of the city council, then for period of one year she was the deputy mayor of the Zawiercie. 

In the 2011 elections, she was on the eighth position on the list of candidates to the Sejm in the Civic Platform constituency No. 32 in Sosnowiec. She received a parliamentary mandate with 9086 votes, which gave her a fifth result among other Civic Platform candidates.

Dorota NiedzielaDeputy Minister of the Environment – Dorota Niedziela 

In 1991 she graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences. She was the co-owner of the veterinary clinic in Kety and Bielsko-Biala. The selected board of the Association of Silesian Veterinary Polyclinics (2006) and Secretary of Polish Veterinary Medical Association (2010). 

In 2001 she took part in organizing the Civic Platform local structures in Kety. In 2006, as part of the Civic Platform, she was unsuccessful in run for office in the district council of Oswiecim, and in 2010 the regional council. In the 2011 parliamentary elections, she obtained a parliamentary seat from receiving 6166 votes in the Chrzanowski district.

Marek BiernackiCoordinator for Intelligence Services – Marek Biernacki 

In 1985 he graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Gdansk. In the 80s he was an activist of the underground “Solidarity” structures.

From 7 October 1999 to 19 October 2001 he was the Minister of Interior and Administration in the government of Jerzy Buzek. During his tenure the Central Bureau of Investigation was established.

Since 2002 he is part of the Civic Platform. From February 2002 to October 2004 was the Deputy Marshal of the Pomeranian voivodeship, he also served as a regional councillor until 2005.

In the parliamentary elections of 2005 he became an MP from the district of Gdynia of the Sejm fifth term. On January 13, 2006 he was appointed ombudsman in the so-called “Civil Platform shadow cabinet” and was in charge of internal affairs. On November 3, 2005 he became a member of the Sejm Special Services Committee and due to in-committees rotation became its chairman. In the 2007 parliamentary elections he receive an MP mandate for the third time. 

On May 6, 2013 he was appointed by President Bronislaw Komorowski as the Minister of Justice in the second term of PM Donald Tusk government. His tenure ended on September 22, 2014. He became the Chairman of the Special Services Committee the same month.

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Lauren Roden

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