Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Poland)

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych
Polish Governmental and Diplomatic Plaque.png
Official governmental wall plaque
Logo msz RP.png
Ministerial logotype
Agency overview
Headquarters Al. J. Ch. Szucha 23, Warsaw
Agency executive Radosław Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Parent agency Council of Ministers
Website www.mfa.gov.pl

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych) is the Polish government department tasked with maintaining Poland's international relations and coordinating its participation in international and regional supra-national political organisations such as the European Union and United Nations. It is considered to be one of the most important offices of state. The head of the ministry is a full secretary of state and thus holds a place in the Council of Ministers.

The current seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, located on Szucha Avenue
During the inter-war period the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was housed in the rococo Brühl Palace in central Warsaw
The MSZ's new extension which in 2011 displayed a large-scale version of Poland's then-presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Remit and responsibilities of the ministry[edit]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible primarily for maintaining good, friendly relations between the Polish Republic and other states. In doing so it is required to act primarily as a representative of the Polish people. To this end all Polish diplomatic missions around the world are subordinate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassadors, whilst receiving their credentials from the President of Poland, are employees of the foreign ministry and are recommended to the President for their posts by the minister of foreign affairs.

The ministry is considered to be one of Poland's most important, with the minister of foreign affairs ranking amongst the most influential people in Polish politics. This position is typically reserved for seasoned, professional politicians, and is thought to require a great deal of tact and intellect.

History[edit]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was first established, with Leon Wasilewski as its secretary, under the authority of the Regency Council when Poland regained (albeit in name only) its independence from the occupying German forces in the First World War. However, the ministry began to fulfil its ascribed duties truly only after the fall of the Regency Council, adoption of the Treaty of Versailles and the rise to power of Józef Piłsudski. The ministry was then, until 1939, located in central Warsaw, with its seat in the Brühl Palace on Piłsudski Square. During the Second World War, the ministry was evacuated, along with the rest of the Polish government, first to France and then onwards to London, where it formed part of the Polish government in exile. During this period Count Edward Raczyński, a man who was later to become President of the government in exile, was the minister responsible. After 1945, when most countries began to afford diplomatic regocnition to the new communist government in Warsaw, at the expense of the government in exile, the authorities of the new People's Republic of Poland refounded the ministry and appointed, as its first minister, Edward Osóbka-Morawski.

Since 1989 and the establishment of the Third Republic, the ministry and its staff have been located in a complex of buildings on Aleje Szucha in central Warsaw, not far displaced from the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.

The current minister of foreign affairs is Radosław Sikorski, a career politician educated at the University of Oxford, who was previously Minister for National Defence, and who has in the past served as both a member of the Sejm and the Senat.

Structure[edit]

Regional affairs departments[edit]

The departments for regional affairs exist to monitor the internal situation and politics of the countries within the area of any one specific department's competence. They coordinate development of bilateral relations, initiate the related undertakings and prepare evaluations. These departments oversee the issue of Poland’s participation in the structures of multilateral cooperation with any relevant partner states, as well as handling interregional cooperation. They are responsible for the substantive activity of relevant Polish diplomatic missions abroad.

Currently the Following regional affairs departments exist:

  • Department of Africa and the Middle East
  • Department of the Americas
  • Department of Asia and the Pacific Region
  • Department of the Committee for European Affairs
  • European Policy Department
  • European Information Department

Ministers of Foreign Affairs (since 1989)[edit]

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister Spraw Zagranicznych
Herb Polski.svg
Msc 2008-Saturday, 11.00 - 13.00 Uhr-Dett 004 Sikorski.jpg
Incumbent
Radosław Sikorski

since 16 November 2007
Formation 26 November 1917
First holder Leon Wasilewski
Website www.msz.gov.pl

Political Party:       PO       PiS       SLD       UW       PZPR       SdRP

Portrait Name
(Born-Died)
Party Term of Office Prime Minister
(Cabinet)
Krzysztof Skubiszewski 2005.jpg Krzysztof Skubiszewski
(1926–2010)
Nonpartisan 12 September 1989 25 October 1993 Tadeusz Mazowiecki
Jan Krzysztof Bielecki
Jan Olszewski
Hanna Suchocka
Andrzej Olechowski candidate 2010.jpg Andrzej Olechowski
(1947–)
Nonpartisan 26 October 1993 6 March 1995 Waldemar Pawlak
20060825 Wladyslaw Bartoszewski by Kubik.jpg Władysław Bartoszewski
(1922–)
Nonpartisan 7 March 1995 22 December 1995 Józef Oleksy
Dariusz Rosati 2007.jpg Dariusz Rosati
(1946–)
SdRP 29 December 1995 31 October 1997 Józef Oleksy
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Bronisław Geremek
(1932–2008)
UW 31 October 1997 30 June 2000 Jerzy Buzek
20060825 Wladyslaw Bartoszewski by Kubik.jpg Władysław Bartoszewski
(1922–)
Nonpartisan 30 June 2000 19 October 2001 Jerzy Buzek
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (senator).jpg Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
(1950–)
SLD 19 October 2001 5 January 2005 Leszek Miller
Marek Belka
Adam Daniel Rotfeld.jpg Adam Daniel Rotfeld
(1938-)
Nonpartisan 5 January 2005 31 October 2005 Marek Belka
Stefan Meller.jpg Stefan Meller
(1942–2008)
Nonpartisan 31 October 2005 9 May 2006 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Anna Fotyga (2007).jpg Anna Fotyga
(1957–)
PiS 9 May 2006 16 November 2007 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Jarosław Kaczyński
Sikorski.jpg Radosław Sikorski
(1963–)
PO 16 November 2007 incumbent Donald Tusk

Previous officeholders[edit]

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Poland (1916–1918)[edit]

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 2nd Republic of Poland (1918–1939)[edit]

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Polish Government in Exile (1939–1945)[edit]

The Polish Government-in-Exile had a wide international recognition until 1945, and limited to just few countries until the 1970s

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of Poland (1944–1989)[edit]

External links[edit]