The announced changes in the government of Mateusz Morawiecki – the resignation of Henryk Kowalczyk from the function of the minister of agriculture and the nomination of Janusz Cieszyński as the minister of digitization – will mean that we will have the most numerous Council of Ministers after 1989. And one of the most numerous governments, if we also add deputy ministers to the Council of Ministers.
After Henryk Kowalczyk, as a result of farmers’ protests regarding Ukrainian grain – he resignedPresident Andrzej Duda will make changes to the Council of Ministers on April 6. In place of the dismissed Henryk Kowalczyk, the new Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development is to be the head of the parliamentary agriculture committee, Law and Justice MP Robert Telus. Henry Kowalczyk however, he remains in the government as deputy prime minister and head of the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers. On this occasion, there will also be a change in the position of the Minister of Digitization. Until now, it was Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the new minister responsible for digitization is to be the current secretary of state in the prime minister’s office, government plenipotentiary for cybersecurity Janusz Cieszyński.
The most numerous Council of Ministers since 1989
These changes mean that the Council of Ministers will consist of 27 people – the prime minister, three deputy prime ministers and ministers at the same time, the deputy prime minister and 22 ministers. This is the most numerous cabinet in the history of the Third Polish Republic. In terms of numbers, the current Council of Ministers has three more people than the government of Mateusz Morawiecki after the reconstruction of June 2022, two more than the most numerous government of the Third Republic of Poland so far – i.e. the cabinet of Hanna Suchocka from 1992, three people more than the government of Tadeusz Mazowiecki from 1989. In March 2020, the 24-member Council of Ministers of Mateusz Morawiecki – which we described in Konkret24 – was the most numerous cabinet among the 27 member states of the European Union.
In addition to the Prime Minister in the Council of Ministers will be 17 heads of ministries (three are also deputy prime ministers – the head of the Ministry of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak, the minister of state assets Jacek Sasin, the minister of culture and national heritage Piotr Gliński). It is part of the Council of Ministers 9 ministers – members of the Council of Ministerswho do not manage ministries (departments of government administration), but they deal with certain things – for example, Marek Kuchciński is the head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, and Minister Agnieszka Ścigaj deals with issues of social integration.
The most numerous government as of 2020
The appointment of Janusz Cieszyński and Robert Telus will not be the only changes in the government. To the position of Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Justice on the same day the Prime Minister appointed Piotr Ciepluch. Deputy ministers (secretaries and undersecretaries of state) can be included in the broader composition of the government, since – in accordance with the Act on the Council of Ministers – they replace constitutional ministers in their work and can present the government’s position, e.g. during parliamentary sessions. They are appointed by the prime minister on the proposal of the relevant minister.
So Piotr Cieluch is here 86 deputy minister in the government of Mateusz Morawiecki understood in this way. Which means that this government – together with secretaries and undersecretaries of state (commonly referred to as deputy ministers) in ministries and in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister – has a total of 113 people. The same as the Morawiecki government in February 2020. The largest number of deputy ministers are currently in the Ministry of Climate and Environment – seven; in four ministries (state assets, finance, agriculture and justice) there are six of them; the least – because only two deputy ministers are in the Ministry of Culture.
The smallest government in the broad sense was Prime Minister Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz: 14 ministers and 63 deputy ministers. As of January 1, 2007, Jarosław Kaczyński’s government in the first term, in which PiS was in power, had significantly more people: 21 ministers and 89 deputy ministers. There were 18 ministers in the PO-PSL governments, while the number of deputy ministers was decreasing – from 85 in 2008 to 80 in 2015.
PiS governments are the most numerous
several times Konkret24 analysis concerning the composition of the governments showed that the PiS governments were the most numerous – despite the announcements about slimming down the government administration.
January 2017 – 121 ministers and deputy ministers
On January 1, 2016, Beata Szydło’s government consisted of 23 ministers and 93 deputy ministers, but 12 months later there were 20 ministers and as many as 101 deputy ministers.
March 2018 – 126 ministers and deputy ministers
In his speech on March 5, 2018 Mateusz Morawiecki informed126 people were employed in the positions of ministers and deputy ministers (secretaries and undersecretaries of state). “In the next two or three months, we want to reduce this number by 20-25 percent,” said the Prime Minister. So the number of ministers and their deputies was to decrease by 31 people, to 95.
In the first weeks, 17 secretaries and undersecretaries of state were victims of the government’s weight loss. Four months later, the government, apart from the Prime Minister, consisted of 21 ministers and 83 secretaries and undersecretaries of state. So there were 104 people in total.
January 2019 – 104 ministers and deputy ministers
Another year of rule Prime Minister Morawiecki started with 22 ministers, who had 82 secretaries and undersecretaries of state to assist in their ministries. At that time, there were as many as seven deputy ministers in the Ministry of Finance, six in the Ministry of Health, and five in the Ministries of: Investment and Development, Interior and Foreign Affairs.
July 2019 – 101 ministers and deputy ministers
When in July 2019 the prime minister appointed two deputy ministers at the Ministry of Investment and Development, Katarzyna Lubnauer, MP from the Civic Coalition, reminded: “it was supposed to be more modest, it was supposed to be slimmer”. “Instead there is debauchery, there is no doubt that ‘pisanthium’ is in full bloom,” the MP said. Then in government there were 23 ministers and 78 deputy ministers.
February 2020 – 111 ministers and deputy ministers
In February 2020 The Council of Ministers consisted of 24 peopleand there were 88 secretaries and undersecretaries of state in the ministries. In August there was a prime minister, 23 ministers and 81 deputy ministers. The smaller number results from earlier announcements by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki about slimming down the government.
September 2021 – 95 ministers and deputy ministers
In autumn 2021, apart from the Prime Minister, Morawiecki’s government consisted of 19 ministers and 76 secretaries and undersecretaries of state in ministries and the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.
June 2022 – 107 ministers and deputy ministers
the Council of Ministers numbered 24 people: the prime minister, 16 ministers, heads of ministries (including four deputy prime ministers) and seven ministers without ministerial assignment, but members of the government with offices in the prime minister’s office).
What distinguishes Mateusz Morawiecki’s government from previous cabinets, including those from PiS, is the growing number of ministers-members of the government who do not manage any ministry and the growing number of secretaries and undersecretaries of state in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister. Currently, we have 9 ministers-members of the Council of Ministers and 14 secretaries and undersecretaries of state in the prime minister’s office.
Main photo source: the Prime Minister’s Office