The law on the Polish foreign service, introducing a new post - the Head of the Foreign Service, has entered into force as of Wednesday. Current ambassador to the UK, Arkady Rzegocki, will be the first person to take it, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.
“I would like to thank Minister Zbigniew Rau for his trust and vocation to fulfil this new mission. I pledge that I will not stop in the efforts to build a professional and modern foreign service for the 21st century, the diplomacy of the Polish raison d'état,” he wrote on Wednesday on Twitter.
Mr Rzegocki will continue to be the Polish ambassador to the UK until the end of June.
Arkady Rzegocki is a professor at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, southern Poland, a political scientist with expertise in Polish and English political thought, the concept of raison d'état, as well as the issue of soft power.
In 2011-2016 he was a professor at the Polish University Abroad in London, and since August 2016 he has been the Polish ambassador to Great Britain. Arkady Rzegocki was also the originator and the first head of the Polish Scientific Centre of the Jagiellonian University in London, which has been operating since 2011. He speaks fluent English and Russian.
According to the act, the position of the Head of the Foreign Service is to be separate from the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, currently occupied by Maciej Karasiński. The foreign service head is to comprehensively manage the foreign service, organise courses, and set out the criteria for assessing its members.
Furthermore, the Foreign Service Act envisages a change in the structure of diplomatic ranks. The highest rank will be the minister-plenipotentiary, not the ambassador as it has been until now. The act also provides for a change in the rules for recruiting candidates for foreign service. In addition, the archives Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), covering the period up to 1990, will be made available for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The president, in turn, will be able to appoint special ambassadors.