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Ewa Bożena Kopacz (IPA: [ˈɛva ˈkɔpatʂ] (About this soundlisten); born Ewa Lis on 3 December 1956) is a Polish politician and a Vice-President of the European Parliament. She was Prime Minister of Poland and Marshal of the Sejm - the first woman to have held the latter post. In addition, she was Minister of Health from November 2007 until November 2011. Kopacz has been a member of the Civic Platform since 2001.[1] Kopacz became Prime Minister on 22 September 2014, succeeding Donald Tusk; she is the second woman to hold the office after Hanna Suchocka.[citation needed] Prior to entering politics, she was a pediatrician and a general practitioner.[2] Her term ended on 16 November 2015.

Ewa Kopacz

Ewa Kopacz - Warszawa Konwencja PO (cropped).jpg
Sixth Vice President of the European Parliament
Assumed office
3 July 2019
PresidentDavid Sassoli
Preceded byRyszard Czarnecki
Prime Minister of Poland
In office
22 September 2014 – 16 November 2015
PresidentBronisław Komorowski
Andrzej Duda
DeputyTomasz Siemoniak
Janusz Piechociński
Preceded byDonald Tusk
Succeeded byBeata Szydło
Leader of the Opposition
In office
16 November 2015 – 26 January 2016
PresidentAndrzej Duda
Prime MinisterBeata Szydło
Preceded byJarosław Kaczyński
Succeeded byGrzegorz Schetyna
Leader of Civic Platform
In office
8 November 2014 – 26 January 2016
Preceded byDonald Tusk
Succeeded byGrzegorz Schetyna
Marshal of the Sejm
In office
8 November 2011 – 22 September 2014
PresidentBronisław Komorowski
Prime MinisterDonald Tusk
DeputyCezary Grabarczyk (PO)
Elżbieta Radziszewska (PO)
Marek Kuchciński (PiS)
Wanda Nowicka (Non-Partisan)
Eugeniusz Grzeszczak (PSL)
Jerzy Wenderlich (SLD)
Preceded byGrzegorz Schetyna
Succeeded byRadosław Sikorski
Minister of Health
In office
16 November 2007 – 8 November 2011
Prime MinisterDonald Tusk
Preceded byZbigniew Religa
Succeeded byBartosz Arłukowicz
Personal details
Born
Ewa Lis

(1956-12-03) 3 December 1956 (age 63)
Skaryszew, Poland
Political partyUnited People's Party (Before 1989)
Freedom Union (1994–2001)
Civic Platform (2001–present)
Other political
affiliations
European People's Party
Spouse(s)Marek Kopacz (Divorced 2008)
Children1
EducationMedical University of Lublin
AwardsRoyal Norwegian Order of Merit Order of Saint-Charles Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana

Kopacz has been described as one of the leaders of the European Union, and was ranked as the world's 40th most powerful woman by Forbes magazine in 2015, placing her ahead of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Ellen DeGeneres.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Ewa Kopacz was born in Skaryszew. She is the daughter of Mieczysław and Krystyna Lis. Her father was employed as a mechanic and her mother worked as a tailor. She was raised in the city of Radom, where she graduated from high school. In 1981 she graduated from the Medical University of Lublin. She did a residency in family medicine ("second-degree specialisation") with a focus on pediatrics ("first degree"). She worked at the clinics in the villages of Orońsko and Chlewiska, then town of Szydłowiec, where until 2001 she headed the local health care facility.[citation needed]

Political careerEdit

In the 1980s, Kopacz joined the United People's Party.[citation needed] She entered active politics after her late husband, Marek Kopacz, a prosecutor, stood unsuccessfully for parliament.[4]

In the 1990s, Kopacz joined the Freedom Union and chaired the party's structures in the province of Radom. In the local elections in 1998, the regional council elected her as the councilor for the Masovian Voivodship.[citation needed]

In 2001, Kopacz left the Freedom Union to join the newly established Civic Platform political party. She was then elected to the Parliament in 2005, where she became head of the Health Committee. She worked as the chairperson of the Civic Platform structures of Masovia.[citation needed]

Sejm of the Republic of PolandEdit

Kopacz was first elected as a deputy to the Sejm in 2001.[1] She was subsequently re-elected in 2005, 2007 and 2011. In November 2011 she was elected the Marshal of the Sejm.[5]

Minister of Health, 2007–2011Edit

In 2009 Kopacz gained some degree of international fame by requesting pharmaceutical companies to present the advantages of swine flu vaccines, and demanding they take full responsibility for the side effects. She advised the Polish government to wait until proper testing had been done on the vaccine before investing in it, citing the fact that seasonal flu exceeds the current WHO criteria for pandemic every year but there has been no declaration of a pandemic of this much more dangerous seasonal flu.[6] The Polish government refused to purchase the vaccine in question.[citation needed]

Prime Minister, 2014–2015Edit

 
Kopacz posing with François Hollande during his visit to Poland, 2012
 
Ewa Kopacz with Jean-Claude Juncker

On 22 September 2014 Ewa Kopacz was sworn in as Prime Minister, after Donald Tusk resigned to take office as President of the European Council, and formed a cabinet.[7][8] On 8 November 2014 she was sworn in as leader of the Civic Platform.[citation needed]

In her first major policy speech as prime minister, Kopacz promised more continuity in Poland's foreign policy. She said her government would not stand for a break-up of neighboring Ukraine and would push for a greater U.S. military presence in Poland as a deterrent to possible Russian aggression.[9] For domestic political reasons she decided to replace Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski with her party rival Grzegorz Schetyna.[10] Instead, she made Sikorski the speaker of the parliament.

At her first EU summit in October 2014, Kopacz managed to persuade the other Member States that Poland deserved lucrative concessions as part of a deal to cut European carbon emissions.[11] After the European Commission opened infringement proceedings against Poland for violating particle pollution levels and was investigating reports that it has also exceeded limits on nitrogen oxides, Kopacz's government declared 2015 to be the Year of Improving Air Quality and backed a proposal to empower regional authorities to clamp down on pollution from vehicles and from the burning of coal and wood in homes.[12]

Poland's 2014 local elections, a ballot expected to provide a solid show of support for Kopacz, saw her party instead attract fewer votes than the opposition for the first time in almost a decade.[11]

As part of a cabinet reshuffle in June 2015, Kopacz purged Sikorski and three ministers from her government after the surprise defeat of President Bronislaw Komorowski, a party ally of Kopacz, in the presidential elections. She also demoted the official who oversees Poland's intelligence services.[13] Instead, she appointed a group of relative political unknowns to her government in an effort to regain voters' trust and avoid defeat in the upcoming elections. The appointments included a former Olympic rower, Adam Korol, who was named sports and tourism minister, and Marian Zembala, a celebrated heart surgeon, who became the new minister for health.[14]

In the national elections, Kopacz received 230 894 votes, which was the highest individual score in the country, and she received a mandate deputy of parliament VIII term.[15] However, her party lost the elections. In accordance with the constitution, she resigned along with all other members of her cabinet at the first sitting of the newly elected Sejm. She remained in office until her successor Beata Szydło was sworn in on 16 November 2015.

Member of the European Parliament, 2019-presentEdit

Since becoming a Member of the European Parliament following the 2019 European elections, Kopacz has been serving as one of its Vice-Presidents; in this capacity, she is part of the Parliament's leadership under President David Sassoli.[16] Within the centre-right European People's Party Group (EPP), she is part of the leadership team around chairman Manfred Weber.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

When Tusk's sister Sonia suffered a stroke in 2005, Kopacz became involved in her treatment, travelling to hospitals around Poland with her.[4]

She was married to Marek Kopacz until 2008.[18][19] and has a daughter, Katarzyna from her marriage.[20]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Kopacz, Ewa. "O mnie" [About me]. Archived from the original on January 5, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  2. ^ "Życiorys Ewy Kopacz. Kopacz jako minister zdrowia - Polska - Newsweek.pl". Newsweek.pl. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  3. ^ The World's 100 Most Powerful Women Forbes
  4. ^ a b Annabelle Chapman (September 11, 2014), Poland’s PM in Waiting Newsweek.
  5. ^ "1ST SITTING OF THE SEJM OF THE 7TH TERM" (PDF). European Information and Documentation Centre. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Polska bez szczepionki - Ewa Kopacz (03.11.2009)". Vimeo. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Ewa Kopacz sworn-in as new Polish Prime Minister". The Hindu. Warsaw. September 22, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  8. ^ "New Polish PM Ewa Kopacz unveils new cabinet". Euronews. September 26, 2014. Archived from the original on September 20, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  9. ^ Marcin Goettig and Pawel Sobczak (October 1, 2014), New Polish PM signals cautious approach on euro accession Reuters.
  10. ^ Pawel Sobczak and Christian Lowe (September 19, 2014), New Polish PM brings her rival into government Reuters.
  11. ^ a b Henry Foy (November 27, 2014), Kopacz faces tough year as elections loom Financial Times.
  12. ^ Beth Gardiner (June 7, 2015), Coal in Poland Lowering Life Spans The New York Times.
  13. ^ Pawel Sobczak and Christian Lowe (June 11, 2015), Polish government purge may be too late to avert election defeat Reuters.
  14. ^ Marcin Goclowski (June 15, 2015), Polish PM appoints political novices to her struggling government Reuters.
  15. ^ http://parlament2015.pkw.gov.pl/349_Wyniki_Sejm
  16. ^ The new European Parliament Vice-Presidents European Parliament, press release of July 3, 2019.
  17. ^ EPP Group re-elects Manfred Weber as Group Chair European People's Party Group (EPP), press release of June 5, 2019.
  18. ^ Echodnia - Pogrzeb Marka Kopacza, byłego męża marszałek Sejmu (zdjęcia)
  19. ^ Mariusz Gierszewski: Największy dramat Ewy Kopacz: zamach bombowy na jej męża. „Następnego dnia bałam się włożyć kluczyki do stacyjki”. NaTemat.pl
  20. ^ Sebastian Sulowski, Katarzyna Karpa: Jak się rozwiodła Ewa Kopacz. dziennik.pl, 9 lipca 2008

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Zbigniew Religa
Minister of Health
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Bartosz Arłukowicz
Preceded by
Grzegorz Schetyna
Marshal of the Sejm
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Radosław Sikorski
Preceded by
Donald Tusk
Prime Minister of Poland
2014–2015
Succeeded by
Beata Szydło
Party political offices
Preceded by
Donald Tusk
Leader of the Civic Platform
2014–2016
Succeeded by
Grzegorz Schetyna