According to the new constitution approved by referendum on May 25, 1997 (in force since October 17, 1997), Poland is a democratic constitutional state; the social market economy is constitutionally guaranteed. The catalog of fundamental rights, which also includes the protection of minorities, corresponds to international human rights standards. A citizens ’rights ombudsman (elected by Parliament for 5 years) has been monitoring the implementation of fundamental rights since the end of 1987.
According to campingship, Poland is a republic with a parliamentary system of government, in which the president has a strong position. The legislature lies with the bicameral parliament (four-year legislative period), consisting of the Sejm and the Senate, which in exceptional cases can meet as a “national assembly” for a joint session. Since the last amendment to the electoral law (2001), the 460 members of the Sejm have been elected according to the principles of personalized proportional representation in 41 constituencies (7–19 seats per constituency) (at the state level there is a threshold of 5%, for list connections of 8%). There are discounts for parties belonging to national minorities. The 100 members of the Senate are elected by a relative majority in 40 constituencies with 2 to 3 (or 4 in Warsaw City) seats. The Senate can review all bills adopted by the Sejm and, if necessary, submit amendments, which the Sejm can reject with an absolute majority. The Senate may only propose its own legislative initiatives in their entirety. The Sejm can dissolve itself with a two-thirds majority or be dissolved by the President under certain conditions (e.g. failed formation of a government). This also results in the automatic dissolution of the Senate.
The head of state is the President of the Republic, who is directly elected for a period of 5 years (one-time re-election possible). In the first ballot, the absolute majority of the valid votes cast is required, while the second ballot takes place as a runoff. The President has a considerable position, particularly in the field of foreign and security policy and the state of emergency. He has the right to initiate legislation and can either appeal against legislative resolutions of the parliament by way of preventive review of norms or use his veto, which the Sejm only approves with 3 ⁄ 5Majority of those present can be rejected. The President can only issue implementing ordinances on the basis of a special statutory authorization. With a few exceptions, the President’s files must be countersigned. The National Assembly can request the impeachment of the President if he has violated the Constitution or simple laws or if he has committed a criminal offense. The approval of at least two thirds of the members of the “National Assembly” is required for the acceptance of this proposal.
Executive power is mainly exercised by the Council of Ministers chaired by the Prime Minister. The »Cabinet Council«, which can be convened by the President and meets under his chairmanship, only has an advisory function. The process of forming a government, in which both the President and the Sejm are involved, is extremely complex. As a rule, the prime minister and, on his suggestion, the ministers are appointed by the state president. The head of government presents his program to the Sejm within 14 days and puts the vote of confidence, for the affirmation of which an absolute majority (if more than 50% is present) of the MPs is required. If this majority is not achieved, the initiative to form a government passes to the Sejm. With an absolute majority of the legal number of members, the Sejm can pass a constructive vote of no confidence and thus form a new government. A destructive vote of no confidence and a ministerial indictment before the State Court are permissible against individual ministers.
The Constitutional Court consists of 15 judges. In addition to reviewing norms and disputes between organs, he is also responsible for constitutional complaints by citizens.
Since May 2015 (re-election 2020), A. Duda from the national conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) has held the office of President. In the parliamentary elections in October 2015, the PiS was also able to win an absolute majority of the seats in the Sejm. Prime Minister wude B. Szydło. She resigned at the end of 2017 due to dissatisfaction with her previous government balance sheet. Her successor is M. Morawiecki, who also comes from the Law and Justice Party (PiS). The national conservative government of Poland is not always in line with the policies of the European Union . Against the background of the refugee and migration crisis escalating in 2015/16, Poland refused to accept any significant number of refugees. In 2018, the European Court of Justice issued an injunction against the Polish judicial reform, as it jeopardizes the independence of the judiciary from the executive government.
In terms of foreign policy, Poland broke away from Russia when it joined NATO (1999) and became a member of the European Union (since 2004) and turned to the West. In 2013/14, the Ukraine crisis became the focus of Polish foreign and security policy. It strained relations with Russia and led to closer cooperation with the USA.