I don't know if these ministers are good choices for Poland. Ofcourse I believe that Civic Platform (PO) and the Polish Peoples Party (PSL) will choose the best politicians, experienced men and women for the posts they are suitable for. But personally I know to little about Polish politics and have to less experience with it to be able to judge the appointment of these new minister. I am though sad about the replacement of the excellent Polish minister of foreign affairs Radosław Sikorski. He was a good foreign minister and a very influential one.
Like you I can't understand, speak, read and write in Polish, so I am dependent on English, Dutch and German language news about Poland. So limited. I heard on the other Forum that the position of Civic Platform is weakened. That often happens in Western democracies, when a government coalition has the power for two terms. It get's more opposition, makes mistakes (every political party, every coalition makes mistakes, centre-left: SLD-PSL in the past and centre-right PO-PSL today). No politician and no minister is perfect. Politics and governing is a difficult game, because the reality, economics, monetary and financial affairs, international developments, the employment situation and the state a country is in changes all the time. Life and politics are dynamic, not static.
POLAND'S outgoing foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, is a polyglot foreign-policy wonk who helped lead his country to its heftiest international presence in centuries. Grzegorz Schetyna is a party insider who has evinced little interest in international relations, and who, according to his mother, learned his English from the foreign basketball players on a team he used to help run in his native Silesia. But it was Mr Schetyna who was picked to replaced Mr Sikorski as foreign minister on Friday, when Ewa Kopacz, Poland's new prime minister, presented her cabinet (pictured). At a time when Russia is threatening neighbouring Ukraine, even Mr Schetyna's mother, Danuta, says her son was reluctant to take the job.
Grzegorz Schetyna, the new Polish Foreign minister, who replaced, the experienced Radek Sikorski.
“My son was of the view that in the current international situation, it would be better for Sikorski to steer the [foreign ministry],” Ms Schetyna told the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza. “I don't know myself what prompted Mrs Kopacz to name him to that position. I hope I'll find out soon.”
Ms Schetyna is not the only one perplexed by the choice of her son at a time of growing international danger. (The day before, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that Vladimir Putin had warned in a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart that Russian tanks could be in central European capitals, including Warsaw, within two days.) Mr Schetyna is a political infighter who helped build the ruling Civic Platform party together with the outgoing prime minister, Donald Tusk. The jovial, cigar-smoking, football-loving Mr Schetyna was Mr Tusk's leading lieutenant until his obvious ambition prompted the premier to cut him down to size in 2011, banishing him from senior party and government posts. He has since served as chairman of the parliamentary foreign relations committee, but he treated that post as a slight.
The trigger for the change is Mr Tusk's imminent departure to Brussels, where he will become president of the European Council. In taking over the prime minister's job, Mrs Kopacz has had to ensure Mr Schetyna and other party bosses accept her leadership. She has taken care to put other barons besides Mr Schetyna into senior posts, which allows her to act as an arbiter among party factions and to cement her position. Mr Schetyna has already pulled in his horns. He had earlier called for an internal party vote as soon as possible to determine Civic Platform's leader, but now has fallen into line, allowing the vote to be delayed until after next year's parliamentary elections.
Mr Sikorski, meanwhile, is being kicked upstairs to speaker of parliament. He is well suited to the job: because he does not control a party grouping, he is acceptable to power brokers who do. But the change at the ministry could affect Poland's foreign profile. Mr Sikorski had been a forceful critic of Russia's actions in Ukraine, and had been pushing hard for a firm EU response. Mr Schetyna has said little on the subject, and Mrs Kopacz is also being careful. Asked during her news conference whether Poland should accede to Ukrainian requests for arms, she responded that Warsaw “should not be active participants in an armed conflict.”
It is clear Mrs Kopacz is firmly focused on the electoral calendar. She made few changes to important economic portfolios, and the new government is likely to continue Mr Tusk's generally cautious policies. Poland holds local elections in November; the incumbent president, Civic Platform's Bronislaw Komorowski, is almost certain to win presidential elections next spring. After that come the parliamentary elections. Civic Platform is trying for its third straight parliamentary victory, but until recently had been sagging in opinion polls. Mr Tusk's departure and Mrs Kopacz's new cabinet have given the party a boost: it has jumped in opinion polls by 10 to 12 percentage points. If Mr Schetyna's mother is trying to work out why her son is now Poland's foreign minister, that could be the explanation.
Support for the government led by Ewa Kopacz rose by six percentage points in November, a new opinion poll by CBOS reveals. The number of opponents of the government also dropped by three percentage points. Overall, 41 percent of repondents support the current Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska, PO) government, while only 15 percent oppose it, with 37 percent of no opinion.
The CBOS poll, released Friday, shows that as many as 43 percent of respondents positively assess the new government, while 42 percent were no opinion and 15 percent negatively assess the government. The poll was undertaken between 6-16 November on a representative selection of 934 adult Poles. (jb)