Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Poland)

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych
Official governmental wall plaque
Ministerial logotype
Agency overview
HeadquartersAl. J. Ch. Szucha 23, Warsaw
Agency executives
Parent agencyCouncil of Ministers

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych, MSZ) 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. The head of the ministry 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, Articom office building at 21 Szucha Avenue, which in 2011 displayed a large-scale version of Poland's, then-presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Remits and responsibilities of the ministry[edit]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible primarily for maintaining 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 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.


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 fulfill its duties truly only after the fall of the Regency Council, adoption of the Treaty of Versailles and the rise 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 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 recognition to the new communist government in Warsaw, at the expense of the government in exile, the authorities of the new Polish People's Republic 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 cash-for-visa scandal is an 2023 political scandal concerning alleged corruption when granting visas by officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Polish consular service.[1][2] The majority of recipients left Poland for North America or other Schengen Area countries.[3]


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:[4]

  • Administration Office
  • Asia-Pacific Department
  • Bureau for the Protection of Classified Information
  • Bureau of Archives and Information Management
  • Bureau of Control and Audit
  • Bureau of Finances
  • Bureau of Human Resources
  • Bureau of Infrastructure
  • Department for Cooperation with Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad
  • Department for Proceedings before International Human Rights Protection Bodies
  • Department of Africa and the Middle East
  • Department of Consular Affairs
  • Department of Development Cooperation
  • Department of Economic Cooperation
  • Department of European Union Law
  • Department of Foreign Policy Strategy
  • Department of Public and Cultural Diplomacy
  • Department of the Americas
  • Department of the Committee for European Affairs
  • Department of United Nations and Human Rights
  • Diplomatic Protocol
  • Director General's Office
  • Eastern Department
  • EU Economic Department
  • European Policy Department
  • Information Technology and Telecommunication Office
  • Inspectorate of the Foreign Service
  • Legal and Treaty Department
  • MFA Press Office
  • Minister's Secretariat
  • Operations Centre
  • Political Director's Office
  • Security Policy Department

Ministers of Foreign Affairs (since 1989)[edit]

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister Spraw Zagranicznych
Zbigniew Rau
since 20 August 2020
Formation26 November 1917
First holderLeon Wasilewski

Political Party:   PO   PiS   SLD   UW   SdRP   Independent

Portrait Name
Party Term of Office Prime Minister
Krzysztof Skubiszewski
Independent 12 September 1989 25 October 1993 Tadeusz Mazowiecki
Jan Krzysztof Bielecki
Jan Olszewski
Hanna Suchocka
Andrzej Olechowski
(born 1947)
Independent 26 October 1993 6 March 1995 Waldemar Pawlak
Władysław Bartoszewski
Independent 7 March 1995 22 December 1995 Józef Oleksy
Dariusz Rosati
(born 1946)
SdRP 29 December 1995 31 October 1997 Józef Oleksy
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Bronisław Geremek
UW 31 October 1997 30 June 2000 Jerzy Buzek
Władysław Bartoszewski
Independent 30 June 2000 19 October 2001 Jerzy Buzek
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
(born 1950)
SLD 19 October 2001 5 January 2005 Leszek Miller
Marek Belka
Adam Daniel Rotfeld
(born 1938)
Independent 5 January 2005 31 October 2005 Marek Belka
Stefan Meller
Independent 31 October 2005 9 May 2006 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Anna Fotyga
(born 1957)
PiS 9 May 2006 16 November 2007 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Jarosław Kaczyński
Radosław Sikorski
(born 1963)
PO 16 November 2007 22 September 2014 Donald Tusk
Grzegorz Schetyna
(born 1963)
PO 22 September 2014 16 November 2015 Ewa Kopacz
Witold Waszczykowski
(born 1957)
PiS 16 November 2015 9 January 2018 Beata Szydło
Jacek Czaputowicz
(born 1956)
Independent 9 January 2018 20 August 2020 Mateusz Morawiecki
Zbigniew Rau
(born 1955)
PiS 20 August 2020 Incumbent Mateusz Morawiecki

Previous officeholders[edit]

Kingdom of Poland (1917–1918)
Second Polish Republic
Polish government-in-exile

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

Republic of Poland / Polish People's Republic


  1. ^ Szczęśniak, Agata. "Na czym polega "afera wizowa"?" [What is the visa scandal?]. (in Polish). Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  2. ^ Stankiewicz, Andrzej (14 September 2023). "Wawrzyk, Bollywood i specsłużby USA. Ujawniamy kulisy afery wizowej". Onet Wiadomości (in Polish). Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  3. ^ Bartosz T. Wieliński, Afera wizowa. Polska zaczęła zagrażać sąsiadom [Visagate. Poland has begun to threaten its neighbours.], Gazeta Wyborcza
  4. ^ "Organisational units". Retrieved 5 April 2018.

External links[edit]