Ewa Kopacz

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Ewa Kopacz
Ewa Kopacz - Konwencja PO (cropped).jpg
Prime Minister of Poland
In office
22 September 2014 – 16 November 2015
President Bronisław Komorowski
Andrzej Duda
Deputy Tomasz Siemoniak
Janusz Piechociński
Preceded by Donald Tusk
Succeeded by Beata Szydło
Leader of the Civic Platform
Assumed office
8 November 2014
Preceded by Donald Tusk
Marshal of the Sejm
In office
8 November 2011 – 22 September 2014
President Bronisław Komorowski
Preceded by Grzegorz Schetyna
Succeeded by Radosław Sikorski
Minister of Health
In office
16 November 2007 – 8 November 2011
Prime Minister Donald Tusk
Preceded by Zbigniew Religa
Succeeded by Bartosz Arłukowicz
Personal details
Born Ewa Lis
(1956-12-03) 3 December 1956 (age 58)
Skaryszew, Poland
Political party United People's Party (Before 1989)
Freedom Union (1994–2001)
Civic Platform (2001–present)
Alma mater Medical University of Lublin
Religion Roman Catholicism
Awards Royal Norwegian Order of Merit Order of Saint-Charles Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana

Ewa Kopacz [ˈɛva ˈkɔpatʃ] (born Ewa Lis; December 3, 1956) is a Polish politician and a former Prime Minister of Poland. Previously she was the Speaker of the Sejm, the first woman to have held the post. In addition, she was Minister of Health from November 2007 until November 2011. Kopacz has been a member of the Civic Platform since 2001.[1] Kopacz became Prime Minister on September 22, 2014, succeeding Donald Tusk; she is the second woman to hold the office after Hanna Suchocka.[2] Prior to entering politics, she was a pediatrician and a general practitioner.[3] Her term ended on November 16, 2015.

Kopacz has been described as one of the leaders of the European Union, and was ranked as the world's 40th most powerful woman by Forbes magazine in 2015, placing her ahead of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Ellen DeGeneres.[4]

Early life[edit]

Ewa Kopacz was born in Skaryszew. She is the daughter of Mieczysław and Krystyna Lis. Her father was employed as a mechanic and her mother worked as a tailor. She was raised in the city of Radom, where she graduated from high school. In 1981 she graduated from the Medical University of Lublin. She received second-degree specialisation in family medicine and a first degree in the field of pediatrics. She worked at the clinics in the villages of Orońsko and Chlewiska, then town of Szydłowiec, where until 2001 she headed the local health care facility.

Political activities[edit]

In the 1980s, Kopacz joined the United People's Party.

In the 1990s, she joined the Freedom Union and chaired the party's structures in the province of Radom. In the local elections in 1998, the regional council elected her as the councilor for the Masovian Voivodship.

In 2001, Kopacz left the Freedom Union to join the newly established Civic Platform political party. She was then elected to the Parliament in 2005, where she became head of the Health Committee. She worked as the chairperson of the Civic Platform structures of Masovia.

Sejm of the Republic of Poland[edit]

Kopacz was first elected as a deputy to the Sejm in 2001.[1] She was subsequently re-elected in 2005, 2007 and 2011. In November 2011, she was elected the Marshal of the Sejm.[5]

Minister of Health[edit]

In 2009 Kopacz gained some degree of international fame by requesting pharmaceutical companies to present the advantages of swine flu vaccines, and demanding they take full responsibility for the side effects. She advised the Polish government to wait until proper testing had been done on the vaccine before investing in it, citing the fact that seasonal flu exceeds the current WHO criteria for pandemic every year but there has been no declaration of a pandemic of this much more dangerous seasonal flu.[6] The Polish government refused to purchase the vaccine in question.

Pro-life activists in Poland had called for her excommunication after she was involved in arranging, in accordance with Polish law, an abortion for a 14-year-old girl, citing Canon 1398, which automatically sanctions anyone who allows the procedure to occur.[7]

Prime Minister[edit]

Ewa Kopacz with Jean-Claude Juncker

On September 22, 2014 Ewa Kopacz was sworn in as Prime Minister, after Donald Tusk resigned to take office as President of the European Council, and formed a cabinet.[8][9] On November 8, 2014 she was sworn in as leader of the Civic Platform.


  1. ^ a b Kopacz, Ewa. "O mnie" [About me]. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ "President confirms incoming PM Ewa Kopacz". Polskie Radio. September 12, 2014. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Życiorys Ewy Kopacz. Kopacz jako minister zdrowia - Polska - Newsweek.pl". Newsweek.pl. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  4. ^ The World's 100 Most Powerful Women Forbes
  5. ^ "Ewa Kopacz elected Polish Sejm Speaker". Voice of Russia. November 8, 2011. Archived from the original on September 26, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Polska bez szczepionki - Ewa Kopacz (03.11.2009)". Vimeo. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Poland Pro-Life Groups Call for Health Minister's Excommunication After Abortion Involvement". June 24, 2008. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Ewa Kopacz sworn-in as new Polish Prime Minister". The Hindu (Warsaw). September 22, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ "New Polish PM Ewa Kopacz unveils new cabinet". Euronews. September 26, 2014. Archived from the original on September 20, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Zbigniew Religa
Minister of Health
Succeeded by
Bartosz Arłukowicz
Preceded by
Grzegorz Schetyna
Marshal of the Sejm
Succeeded by
Radosław Sikorski
Preceded by
Donald Tusk
Prime Minister of Poland
Succeeded by
Beata Szydło
Party political offices
Preceded by
Donald Tusk
Leader of the Civic Platform