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There is no official document specifying the order of precedence in Poland. In practice, the precedence of officials in Poland is based on an outdated informal instruction dating back to 1992. Polish civil servants responsible for the protocol often need to make ad hoc decisions based on tradition, general rules of etiquette and common sense.[1]

An official order of precedence existed during the Communist era, but it was rendered obsolete by the transition to democracy that started in 1989. In 1992, a new guideline was prepared by Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka, Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski, and Janusz Ziółkowski, the chief of the President's chancellery. The new document, however, was never formally adopted as legally binding. Furthermore, the adoption of the current Constitution of Poland in 1997, the territorial administration reform of 1999, Poland's entry into the European Union in 2004, and other events have rendered this guideline obsolete as well.[1]

The lack of an official regulation in this matter leaves so much ambiguity that the only office whose position in the order of precedence is generally accepted is that of the President of the Republic. In everyday usage, the precedence is often based on such criteria as: source of power (elected officials take precedence before appointed ones), position of the given office in the constitution, as well as a person's seniority and salary (better paid officials are assumed to be also more important). Many questions remain unresolved though. The marshals (speakers) of both chambers of parliament are usually considered to take precedence before the prime minister based on their position in the line of presidential succession. Opponents of this view argue that the prime minister is constitutionally more powerful and therefore should be treated as Poland's second top official. The precedence of individual ministers, as well as chiefs of chancelleries, is uncertain, as is the question of MPs' and senators' precedence before secretaries of State.[1]

The territorial administration reform has raised the question of whether the voivode, the national government's representative in a voivodeship (region), takes precedence before the voivodeship marshal, a popularly elected head of a voivodeship, or vice versa. Similarly, with Poland's integration into the European Union, came the problem of Polish members of the European Parliament's position in the order of precedence. Another bone of contention is the position of ecclesiastical officials vis-à-vis secular ones. Traditionally, Roman Catholic clergymen are treated with great reverence in Poland and are often assigned very high – even if undue from the protocolar point of view – positions in the order of precedence.[1]

The list below is taken from the official website of Prime Minister's Chancellery.[2] It is based on the unofficial instruction of 1992 with later addition of several new offices created after that date. Offices that no longer exist, but are included in the list, are marked in italics.

Color key
Legislative power Executive power Judicial power Other
# English title Polish title Current office holders
As of 16 November 2015
1. President of the Republic of Poland Prezydent Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej Andrzej Duda[3]
2. Marshal of the Sejm
(Speaker of the lower house of parliament)
Marszałek Sejmu Elżbieta Witek
3. Marshal of the Senate
(Speaker of the upper house of parliament)
Marszałek Senatu Tomasz Grodzki[4]
4. President of the Council of Ministers
(Prime Minister)
Prezes Rady Ministrów
(Premier)
Mateusz Morawiecki[5]
5. Deputy Presidents of the Council of Ministers
(Deputy prime ministers)
Wiceprezesi Rady Ministrów
(Wicepremierzy)
6. Deputy Marshals of the Sejm
(Deputy speakers of the lower house of parliament)
Wicemarszałkowie Sejmu
7. Deputy Marshals of the Senate
(Deputy speakers of the upper house of parliament)
Wicemarszałkowie Senatu
8. Ministers – members of the Council of Ministers Ministrowie – członkowie Rady Ministrów
  • Mateusz Jakub Morawiecki (Prime Minister)
  • Piotr Tadeusz Gliński (Deputy Prime Minister, Culture and National Heritage)
  • Jacek Robert Sasin (Deputy Prime Minister, State Assets)
  • Henryk Kowalczyk (Deputy Prime Minister, Agriculture and Rural Development)
  • Mariusz Błaszczak (Deputy Prime Minister, National Defence)
9. President of the Constitutional Tribunal Prezes Trybunału Konstytucyjnego Julia Przyłębska
10. First President of the Supreme Court
(Chief Justice)
Pierwszy Prezes Sądu Najwyższego Małgorzata Manowska[7]
11. President of the Supreme Administrative Court Prezes Naczelnego Sądu Administracyjnego Jacek Chlebny[8]
12. President of the Supreme Audit Office Prezes Najwyższej Izby Kontroli Marian Banaś[9]
13. Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection
(Ombudsman)
Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich Marcin Wiącek
14. Commissioner for Children Rights Protection
(Ombudsman for Children)
Rzecznik Praw Dziecka Mikołaj Pawlak
15. President of Institute of National Remembrance Prezes Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej Karol Nawrocki[10]
16. Chairpersons of Sejm committees Przewodniczący komisji sejmowych
17. Chairpersons of Senate committees Przewodniczący komisji senackich
18. Members of Sejm Posłowie na Sejm
19. Senators Senatorowie
20. Secretaries of State Sekretarze Stanu
21. Chief of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland Szef Kancelarii Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej Halina Szymańska
22. Chief of the Chancellery of the President of the Council of Ministers Szef Kancelarii Prezesa Rady Ministrów Michał Dworczyk
23. Chiefs of the Chancelleries of the Sejm and of the Senate Szefowie Kancelarii Sejmu i Senatu
  • Agnieszka Kaczmarska (Sejm)[11]
  • Piotr Świątecki (Senate)[12]
24. Presidents of the Supreme Court Prezesi Sądu Najwyższego
  • Michał Laskowski (Criminal Court)
  • Joanna Misztal-Konecka (Civil Court)
  • Piotr Prusinowski (Labour Court)
  • Joanna Lemańska (Extraordinary Court)
  • Małgorzata Manowska (Professional Responsibility Court)
25. Chief of the General Staff and commanders of the branches of the Armed Forces Szef Sztabu Generalnego i dowódcy wojsk
  • Rajmund Andrzejczak (Chief of the General Staff)
26. Undersecretaries of State Podsekretarze Stanu
27. Voivodes
(Governors)
Wojewodowie
28. Polish ambassadors Polscy ambasadorowie
29. Presidents and chairpersons of national-level administrative offices and committees Prezesi i przewodniczący urzędów, komitetów i komisji sprawujących funkcje naczelnych lub centralnych organów administracji państwowej
30. Deputy presidents and chairpersons of national-level administrative offices and committees Zastępcy prezesów i przewodniczących urzędów, komitetów i komisji sprawujących funkcje naczelnych lub centralnych organów administracji państwowej
31. Directors General Dyrektorzy generalni
32. Directors Dyrektorzy

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Zapis stenograficzny (1768) 231. posiedzenie Komisji Spraw Zagranicznych w dniu 24 maja 2005 r." (in Polish). Warsaw: Biuro Prac Senackich. 2005. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ (in Polish) Precedencja Archived 2008-10-29 at the Wayback Machine, Chancellery of the President of the Council of Ministers
  3. ^ "Home". prezydent.pl.
  4. ^ a b (in Polish) Senate of the RP
  5. ^ Chancellery of the President of the Council of Ministers
  6. ^ (in Polish) Sejm of the RP
  7. ^ "Duda powołał Pierwszą Prezeskę Sądu Najwyższego. Wybrał Małgorzatę Manowską, choć miała mniej głosów". gazetapl (in Polish). Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  8. ^ (in Polish) Supreme Administrative Court of the RP Archived 2008-11-07 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Supreme Audit Office of the RP Archived 2012-04-15 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ https://www.pap.pl/aktualnosci/news,568375,dr-jaroslaw-szarek-zlozyl-przed-sejmem-slubowanie-na-prezesa-ipn.html
  11. ^ (in Polish) Sejm of the RP Archived 2011-12-07 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ (in Polish) Senate of the RP
  13. ^ (in Polish) Chancellery of the President of the Council of Ministers Archived 2012-01-17 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading