Ruling party leader joins government as deputy PM: Unofficial

The parties that make up the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) block - PiS, Solidarity Poland and Agreement – have agreed that the number of ministries will be reduced from 20 to 14 and who is to be in the government headed by PM Mateusz Morawiecki.

Ruling block renews its vows

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The government ministers must be sworn in by President Andrzej Duda. As a result of his commitments this week this has been put back until next week.

On Tuesday the three parties which make up the block met at a meeting of the new “Coalition Council” and finally agreed on the shape of the government. Full list of expected members of the government below.

The ministries which are being disbanded are those of digital affairs, sport, higher education, regional funds, maritime economy and climate. They are being absorbed by the ministries which remain. All the ministers who currently head these departments, with the exception of Michał Kurtyka (climate) will no longer be members of the cabinet.

Four Deputy PMs

There are to be four Deputy PMs in Mr Morawiecki’s administration. Two of them are the leaders of the three parties making up the ruling block: Jarosław Kaczyński (PiS) and Jarosław Gowin (Agreement). Mr Kaczyński will be responsible for the “Security Committee” of the government that will oversee the work of three ministries: justice, defence and interior. Mr Gowin will be responsible for economic development matters as he is to double up as the Minister in charge of the Ministry of Development that will include responsibility for labour, housing and urban planning.

The two other Deputy PMs are Piotr Gliński who will also be the Culture minister and his ministry will absorb the ministry of Sport. The fourth PM will be Jacek Sasin, the minister for State Assets, the department responsible for the oversight of a large number of state enterprises.

Tipped to be the new boys in the Cabinet

Prof. Przemysław Czarnek is to become minister for education. This department is to be enlarged via absorbing most parts of the ministry of higher education. It is expected that Prof. Czarnek will take a more interventionist stance in education programmes as well as in the universities than was the case with his predecessors in these two departments. He is a committed social conservative, known for strong opposition to LGBTI education in schools.

A surprise choice for minister of agriculture (which is to be expanded with fisheries absorbed from the ministry of maritime economy) is Grzegorz Puda, who is an MP who currently serves as a junior minister in the ministry of regional funds. He was the rapporteur for the animal protection bill in the Lower House. His rumoured nomination has raised hackles among livestock farmers. Mr Puda, if confirmed, will replace Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski who went on record protesting against the animal welfare legislation.

The surviving ministers

The nomination of Michał Kurtyka, currently minister for climate change, to head the ministry of environment which will absorb the ministry of climate will be a clear signal that Poland has committed itself firmly to zero emissions by 2050, in line with EU strictures. The current environment minister MIchał Woś, a member of “Solidarity Poland” will remain a minister without portfolio in the PM’s chancellery.

It is rumoured that Mr Woś is to be the minister responsible for the government’s response to identity issues such as gender. The minister without portfolio from the Agreement party who has not yet been named will be concerned with government contacts with local authorities.

Prof. Zbigniew Rau will retain his position as Minister for Foreign Affairs. Tadeusz Kościński is to retain the ministry of Finance, which will be augmented by responsibility for regional funds. Andrzej Adamczyk is tipped to survive once more as minister for infrastructure which in Poland is responsible for transport. Marlena Maląg is to retain her brief as head of the Family Policy ministry which has been truncated by responsibilities for labour policy moving to the ministry of development. Finally, Adam Niedzielski is expected to remain at the health ministry as the second wave of the pandemic hits.

Zbigniew Ziobro is to retain his justice brief. So do the ministers of the interior (Mariusz Kamiński) and defence (Mariusz Błaszczak).But they will all answer to the PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński in his new role as security supremo.

The key appointment is undoubtedly that of Mr Kaczyński. He will ensure that neither the ambitions of PM Morawiecki nor minister Ziobro rock the boat of the coalition. But the arguments over whether to move in the direction of identity politics and resistance to some EU policies or concentrate on economic and social matters will continue. There will also be arguments within the ruling block on how far to go in reforming the judiciary and other state structures.

List of likely heads of ministries

Tension prior to new coalition agreement was natural: President’s spokesperson

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Ministry of Culture - Piotr Gliński,

Ministry for State Assets - Jacek Sasin,

Ministry of Development - Jarosław Gowin,

Ministry of Infrastructure - Andrzej Adamczyk,

Ministry of Agriculture - Grzegorz Puda,

Ministry of Defence - Mariusz Błaszczak,

Ministry of the Interior - Mariusz Kamiński,

Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Zbigniew Rau,

Ministry of Environment - Michał Kurtyka,

Ministry of Finance - Tadeusz Kościński,

Ministry for Family Policy - Marlena Maląg,

Ministry of Health - Adam Niedzielski,

Ministry of Education - Przemysław Czarnek,

Ministry of Justice - Zbigniew Ziobro.