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New Polish government ministers take office

13.12.2023 20:00
A host of new Cabinet ministers took up their roles after Poland's new government, led by Donald Tusk, was sworn into office on Wednesday.
Polands new government, led by Donald Tusk (front row, centre), after the swearing-in ceremony in Warsaw on December 13, 2023.
Poland's new government, led by Donald Tusk (front row, centre), after the swearing-in ceremony in Warsaw on December 13, 2023.X/Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland

The new Cabinet members assumed their duties shortly after their first meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Warsaw, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Adam Bodnar, a former ombudsman, took over as justice minister and vowed to "do everything in his power" to "fix the rule of law in Poland."

Bodnar said the new government would seek to ensure that "the constitution is complied with" and that "people's rights and freedoms are respected."

He pledged that "Poland will be fulfilling its obligations under international agreements" while being a "loyal member of the European Union," the PAP news agency reported.

Meanwhile, liberal politician Marcin Kierwiński assumed his duties as interior minister, taking over from conservative Paweł Szefernaker, public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported.

Barbara Nowacka took over as the new education minister, promising that school teachers would receive a 30-percent pay increase from February.

She added that "schools should encourage dialogue" and that "the curriculum will be streamlined," the PAP news agency reported.

Meanwhile, left-wing lawmaker Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk started work as the new family, labour and social policy minister, vowing to unveil her policy plans soon, the IAR news agency reported.

The new Culture Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz declared he would "enact policies for the benefit of Polish culture." He added that he would aim to ensure that Polish people "are able to draw from the nation's culture," which he described as "the most valuable of national assets."

Incoming Finance Minister Andrzej Domański said his first task in his new job would be drafting the 2024 budget, the PAP news agency reported.

He added that the 2024 budget bill would be unveiled next week.

Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, the new minister for European Union funds and regional policy, said EU funds should be invested "in such a way as to ensure that the whole country develops for generations to come."

She added that the government would "very swiftly" unblock the EUR 59.8 billion in grants and loans from the EU, frozen due to Warsaw's dispute with Brussels over democratic standards.

The liberal Civic Coalition's Izabela Leszczyna took over the reins of the health ministry, pledging to "put patients at the centre of the healthcare system," the PAP news agency reported.

Leszczyna said she would also seek to ensure that "the work of doctors, nurses, rescuers and other medical staff is well-organised."

Sławomir Nitras replaced Danuta Dmowska-Andrzejuk as minister for sport and tourism, saying that "there will be no revolution" in ministerial policies and vowing to "keep politics out of sport," the PAP news agency reported.

Paulina Hennig-Kloska began her work as climate and environment minister, pledging to focus on efforts to achieve climate neutrality, among other objectives.

She told reporters that a new government strategy would specify "a timetable and sources of funding" for Poland to cut greenhouse gas emissions to "net zero." 

The newly appointed Science Minister Dariusz Wieczorek vowed to deliver "evolutionary changes" to "make Polish science grow."

He added that there would be a boost in spending on research and development and a 30-percent pay rise for university teachers.

President Andrzej Duda swore in the new Polish government during a high-profile ceremony in the presidential palace on Wednesday morning.

The swearing-in ceremony came after parliament gave its vote of confidence to Tusk and his team of ministers on Tuesday night.

The new government was formed after a bloc of parties led by Tusk's liberal Civic Coalition (KO) stormed to power with a strong showing in Poland's October 15 parliamentary elections.


Source: IAR, PAP, rp.pl