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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

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Title: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland  
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Subject: Edward Bernard Raczyński, Anti-Polish sentiment, Marek Edelman, Stefan Meller, Polish order of precedence, "Polish death camp" controversy, Saxon Garden, Krzysztof Skubiszewski
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych
Official governmental wall plaque
Ministerial logotype
Agency overview
Headquarters Al. J. Ch. Szucha 23, Warsaw
Agency executive Radosław Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Parent agency Council of Ministers

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.

Remit and responsibilities of the ministry

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.


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.


Regional affairs departments

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)

Political Party:       PO       PiS       SLD       UW       PZPR       SdRP

Portrait Name
Party Term of Office Prime Minister
Krzysztof Skubiszewski
Nonpartisan 12 September 1989 25 October 1993 Tadeusz Mazowiecki
Jan Krzysztof Bielecki
Jan Olszewski
Hanna Suchocka
Andrzej Olechowski
Nonpartisan 26 October 1993 6 March 1995 Waldemar Pawlak
Władysław Bartoszewski
Nonpartisan 7 March 1995 22 December 1995 Józef Oleksy
style="background:;" | Dariusz Rosati
SdRP 29 December 1995 31 October 1997 Józef Oleksy
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
60px Bronisław Geremek
UW 31 October 1997 30 June 2000 Jerzy Buzek
Władysław Bartoszewski
Nonpartisan 30 June 2000 19 October 2001 Jerzy Buzek
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
SLD 19 October 2001 5 January 2005 Leszek Miller
Marek Belka
Adam Daniel Rotfeld
Nonpartisan 5 January 2005 31 October 2005 Marek Belka
Stefan Meller
Nonpartisan 31 October 2005 9 May 2006 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Anna Fotyga
PiS 9 May 2006 16 November 2007 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Jarosław Kaczyński
Radosław Sikorski
PO 16 November 2007 incumbent Donald Tusk

Previous officeholders

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

  • Wojciech Rostworowski (26 November 1917 – 27 February 1918) – Director of the Department of Political Affairs
  • Janusz Radziwiłł (4 April 1918 – 23 October 1918) – Director of the Department of State
  • Stanisław Głąbiński (23 October 1918 – 4 November 1918) – Minister for Outside Affairs

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

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

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

  • August Zaleski (30 September 1939 – 25 July 1941)
  • Edward Raczyński (22 August 1941 – 14 July 1943)
  • Tadeusz Romer (14 July 1943 – 24 November 1944)
  • Adam Tarnowski (29 November 1944 – 10 February 1949)
  • Mieczysław Sokołowski (7 April 1949 – 8 December 1953)
  • Aleksander Zawisza (8 August 1955 – 11 June 1970)
  • Jerzy Gawenda (20 July 1970 – 14 July 1972)
  • Jan Starzewski (18 July 1972 – 15 December 1973)
  • Bronisław Hełczyński (17 January 1974 – 15 July 1976)
  • Zygmunt Zawadowski (5 August 1976 – 1 September 1979)
  • Kazimierz Sabbat (1 September 1979 – 7 April 1986)
  • Zygmunt Szkopiak (1989 – 20 December 1990)

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

  • Edward Osóbka-Morawski (21 July 1944 – 2 May 1945)
  • Wincenty Rzymowski (2 May 1945 – 5 February 1947)
  • Zygmunt Modzelewski (6 February 1947 – 20 March 1951)
  • Stanisław Skrzeszewski (20 March 1951 – 27 April 1956)
  • Adam Rapacki (27 April 1956 – 22 December 1968)
  • Stefan Jędrychowski (22 December 1968 – 22 December 1971)
  • Stefan Olszowski (22 December 1971 – 2 December 1976)
  • Emil Wojtaszek (2 December 1976 – 24 August 1980)
  • Józef Czyrek (24 August 1980 – 21 July 1982)
  • Stefan Olszowski (21 June 1982 – 12 November 1985)
  • Marian Orzechowski (12 November 1985 – 17 June 1988)
  • Tadeusz Olechowski (17 June 1988 – 9 September 1989)

External links

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
  • Home Ministry in the version of the archive
  • Polish diplomatic missions abroad
  • Foreign missions in Poland
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