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Beata Maria Szydło ([bɛˈata ˈmarja ˈʂɨdwɔ] (About this soundlisten); née Kusińska [kuˈɕiɲska]; born 15 April 1963) is a Polish politician who has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2019, and who previously served as Prime Minister of Poland from 2015 to 2017, as a member of the Law and Justice party. She was the third woman to hold the office, after Hanna Suchocka and Ewa Kopacz.[1]

Beata Szydło

Premier RP Beata Szydło w Parlamencie UE.jpg
Prime Minister of Poland
In office
16 November 2015 – 11 December 2017
PresidentAndrzej Duda
DeputyMateusz Morawiecki
Piotr Gliński
Jarosław Gowin
Preceded byEwa Kopacz
Succeeded byMateusz Morawiecki
Deputy Prime Minister of Poland
In office
11 December 2017 – 4 June 2019
Prime MinisterMateusz Morawiecki
Preceded byMateusz Morawiecki
Succeeded byJacek Sasin
Member of the European Parliament
for Lesser Poland and Świętokrzyskie
Assumed office
2 July 2019
Personal details
Born
Beata Maria Kusińska

(1963-04-15) 15 April 1963 (age 56)
Oświęcim, Poland
Political partyLaw and Justice
Spouse(s)Edward Szydło
Children2
EducationJagiellonian University
WebsiteOfficial website

In March 2015, Szydło won internal endorsement to be her party's candidate for Prime Minister at the forthcoming parliamentary election. Shortly after this, she successfully led the presidential campaign of Andrzej Duda, Law and Justice's nominee for President of Poland, to victory. On 25 October, Law and Justice went on to win majority government for the first time in the party's history, and Szydło was duly appointed Prime Minister on 16 November by President Duda.

She was a vocal critic of numerous European Union policies, particularly on immigration, and robustly defended her government from criticism by other EU leaders. During her time in office, she was ranked 31st in Forbes magazine's ranking of the world's 100 most powerful women.[2] and the 10th among the most influential female political leaders.[3] In December 2017, she was abruptly forced to resign as Prime Minister after Jarosław Kaczyński, the Chairman of Law and Justice, withdrew confidence from her to continue as the party's lead election candidate within the Sejm. Her resignation was accepted by President Duda, who at the same time designated her deputy, Mateusz Morawiecki to be the new prime minister. Morawiecki took office three days later, and immediately appointed Szydło his Deputy Prime Minister.[4]

Szydło stood for the European Parliament at the 2019 European Parliament elections, and was successfully elected to represent the constituency of Lesser Poland and Świętokrzyskie; she received the highest number of individual votes of any candidate in Poland. She subsequently resigned as Deputy Prime Minister.

Contents

Early years and educationEdit

Szydło was born in Oświęcim and raised near Brzeszcze, where her father was a miner.[5] She graduated from Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 1989[6] where she completed studies at the Department of Ethnography.[7] In the years 1989 – 1995, she was a PhD student at the Philosophy and History Faculty of that university. In 1997, she completed post-graduate studies for managers of culture at Warsaw School of Economics, whereas in 2001 at Kraków University of Economics - management of local government in the European Union.

Early political careerEdit

Szydło was elected Mayor of Gmina Brzeszcze at the age of 35, holding this position for seven years.[7] During her campaign, along with locals she helped renovate the school in a small town of Pcim, which lost its roof in a storm.[7] In 2004, she participated in International Visitor Leadership Program.[8] In September 2005, she was elected to the Sejm, the lower house of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland receiving 14,499 votes in 12 Chrzanów district, as a candidate of the conservative Law and Justice party.[6] She was elected member of the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Parliament of the Republic of Poland. She was appointed vice-chairman of the Law and Justice Party On 24 July 2010, and later in September 2014, she succeeded Stanisław Kostrzewski as the treasurer of the Law and Justice party.

Following her successful leadership of Andrzej Duda's presidential campaign, at the Law and Justice party convention on 20 June 2015 Szydło was named as Law and Justice's candidate for Prime Minister in the Polish parliamentary election.[9] She was widely seen as being more moderate than Law and Justice chairman Jarosław Kaczyński.[10]

At the October 2015 election, Law and Justice won a decisive victory, becoming the first Polish party to win an outright majority since the end of Communism. Szydło was sworn in as prime minister on 16 November 2015.[11][12]

Prime Minister of Poland, 2015–2017Edit

 
Beata Szydło with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas during the Bratislava Summit, 2016
 
Beata Szydło speaking on National Independence Day in Kraków, 2016

On 18 October 2015 she made her keynote address (pl), further receiving 236 votes in favour of her government. One of her first decisions was to remove the European Union flag from press conferences at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister and to replace the clock in the meeting hall of the Council of Ministers with a Cross.[13][14] In meetings with voters, she promised to reduce the retirement age and raise the minimum wage.[15] She declared introducing the 500+ programme will be her priority as Prime Minister. The programme was introduced on 1 April 2016, supplying families with 500PLN for every child, starting from the second child. It is intended to serve as a demographic stimulus, and enhance population growth.

One of the biggest controversies during her administration, the Polish Constitutional Court crisis, 2015 was officially criticized by the European Parliament, which, on 13 April 2016, passed a resolution declaring that the Parliament "is seriously concerned that the effective paralysis of the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland endangers democracy, human rights and the rule of law".[16][17]

Beata Szydło's government was strongly opposed to the UK's effort to stop EU immigrants claiming in-work benefits for four years if they moved to Britain.[18] Increasing the support for Brexit, Beata Szydło did offer support in return for a permanent base of NATO troops on Polish territory, in breach of a 1997 agreement with Russia.[19]

In December 2017, Jarosław Kaczyński, the Chairman of the Law and Justice party, declared Szydło's position untenable. This had followed a deterioration in relations between Poland and the rest of the European Union. In a state, Law and Justice stated that: “This shows us how we are perceived outside of our borders, the state of our relations with our partners, why we are supported, why we get attacked, and how the actions of our government and of our organisations are perceived by the other Member States. All of this had an impact on the government’s decision (to replace Szydło).”

On 7 December, she resigned from office, along with all members of her cabinet. The next day her resignation was accepted by the President Andrzej Duda, who at the same time designated Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as the new Prime Minister.[4][20]

Later careerEdit

Szydło was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Poland by her former deputy, Mateusz Morawiecki, several days after her resignation as Prime Minister.[4]

Szydło later stood for the European Parliament at the 2019 European Parliament elections, and was elected to represent the constituency of Lesser Poland and Świętokrzyskie. In that election, she received the highest number of individual votes of any European Parliamentary candidate in Poland's history. She resigned as Deputy Prime Minister on 4 June in order to take her seat in the European Parliament.

Security incidentsEdit

On 21 November 2016, Szydło's vehicle was involved in a 5 vehicle crash in Israel which included a police car and ambulance. She was in Israel for government to government talks and to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[21] Just a few months later, on 10 February 2017, Szydło and 2 security officials were injured in a car crash in her hometown, Oświęcim. Her Audi limousine swerved and hit a tree to avoid a small Fiat whose driver was later charged with involuntary violation of traffic safety. She suffered bruises and was hospitalised in Warsaw.[22][23]

Personal lifeEdit

Szydło is married to Edward Szydło. The couple has two sons:[7] Tymoteusz (born 1992), a Catholic priest, and Błażej (1994).[5][6][24] She is a devout Catholic and declares her adherence to conservative Christian values.[25]

State visits galleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Poland country profile". BBC News. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  2. ^ "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Women Who Rule the World: The 25 Most Powerful Female Political Leaders 2017". Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Poland's president designates finance minister Morawiecki as new PM". Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b Adam Easton (26 October 2015). "Beata Szydlo: Polish miner's daughter set to be PM". BBC Online. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Polish Press Agency (16 November 2015). "Beata Szydło – premier" (in Polish). Archived from the original on 21 March 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d Puhl, Jan (20 October 2015). "Polish Elections: Law and Justice Party Regains Credibility by Dialing Down Rhetoric". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Beata Szydło "About me" homepage". Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  9. ^ "PiS picks Szydło as candidate for PM". Warsaw Business Journal. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Poland elections: Conservatives secure decisive win". 25 October 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  11. ^ Prezydent Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (16 November 2015). "Postanowienie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 16 listopada 2015 r. o powołaniu Prezesa Rady Ministrów" (in Polish). Kancelaria Sejmu RP: Internetowy System Aktów Prawnych.
  12. ^ "Beata Szydło sworn in as new Prime Minister of Poland". Polskie Radio dla Zagranicy. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Na konferencjach rządu nie będzie flag Unii Europejskiej. Beata Szydło wyjaśnia zmianę" (in Polish). Wirtualna Polska. PAP. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Krzyż zamiast zegara - nowe porządki w sali posiedzeń Rady Ministrów". TR (in Polish). Onet.pl. 9 December 2015. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  15. ^ Smith, Alex Duval (26 October 2015). "'The name is Szydło, Beata Szydło': Poland's PM in waiting emerges from obscurity". the Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Poland's 'paralysis' of top court is 'danger to democracy' – European Parliament". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  17. ^ "European Parliament scolds Poland". 13 April 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Poland hints that the UK will have to soften its hard line on immigration during Brexit talks". Business Insider. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Prime Minister Beata Szydło: NATO Summit was Poland's huge success". www.msz.gov.pl. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  20. ^ Grzymala-Busse, Anna (12 December 2017). "Analysis | Poland's right-wing government has a new prime minister. Here are the 5 things you need to know". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Polish PM involved in Jerusalem pile-up". Times of Israel. 21 November 2016.
  22. ^ "Polish prime minister hurt in car crash but prognosis good". AP. 10 February 2017.
  23. ^ "Man charged in car crash that injured Polish prime minister". AP. 14 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Poland's PM attends first Mass celebrated by her son". ABC. 28 May 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Beata Szydło modli się o zwycięstwo! ZDJECIA tylko na SE.pl" (in Polish). Super Express. 21 June 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2016.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Ewa Kopacz
Prime Minister of Poland
2015–2017
Succeeded by
Mateusz Morawiecki
Preceded by
Mateusz Morawiecki
Deputy Prime Minister of Poland
2017–2019
Succeeded by
Jacek Sasin