Prime Minister Beata Szydło: The government is listening attentively to the voice of citizens

We should hold realistic talks and we should be listening – that is what we need most now. I thank all those who have engaged in dialogue and want to hold it. I encourage those who avoid dialogue to enter into it, Prime Minister Beata Szydło stated at the ceremony at which the President of the Republic of Poland appointed new members to the Social Dialogue Council and entrusted its leadership to the government.

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Photo: P. Tracz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

Those ruling the country, irrespective of their function, have a duty to listen carefully to the voice of the citizen, of people who elected us. I wish to ensure that the government I am honoured to lead has from the very beginning listened attentively to the voice of the people, and has engaged in a dialogue with them, declared the head of the government.

Dialogue at different levels

Prime Minster Szydło underlined that the Social Dialogue Council is a special forum, statutorily defined, but the dialogue should be held at different levels. We should have dialogue always and everywhere. That is how I understand my mission and that is how the government I represent sees it, she pointed out.

During the ceremony, the leadership of the Council was entrusted to the government. I am very glad that the government, and Minister Elżbieta Rafalska on its behalf,  is taking over the leadership in Social Dialogue Council at this very moment, in these difficult times. I believe that Minister Rafalska is the best person who will not only ensure that dialogue is effective, but will also provide a new formula for the work undertaken by the Council, stated the Prime Minister. Beata Szydło congratulated the head of the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Welfare on the appointment.

She also thanked Henryka Bochniarz – president of Polish Confederation of Private Employers “Lewiatan”, and Piotr Duda – the head of National Commission of Independent Self-Governing Trade Union „Solidarność”, for the last two years of cooperation in the Council involving representatives of workers, employers and the government.

Government’s programme is implemented in consultations with the Poles

The head of Polish government reminded that her government has been ruling the country for almost two years. Many difficult reforms and decisions have been made. She underlined that they have not always been accepted by everybody, adding that governing the country means taking responsibility for the proposed programme and implementing this programme consistently. We have been appointed to do what the people expect us to do. Frequently the time is of essence. In the past two years, we have implemented many difficult reforms, which required dialogue and compromise. I believe that everybody present here today may congratulate themselves since we did manage to do something good for Polish people and for our country. We can all take credit for the greater dignity of Poles’ life and for our safer country, said Beata Szydło.

In Prime Minister’s opinion, the incumbent government has taken responsibility for the country having first thoroughly analysed its social situation and following social consultation and dialogue that were held in the course of numerous meetings with the Poles all over the country.

Polish people told us how they imagined Poland and what they expected from the government. We did our best to translate these expectations into projects and programmes. Some have already been implemented and some are being launched, said Beata Szydło.

We who govern the country should remember, first of all, that Polish people and Poland need dialogue. Those who entrusted us with responsibility for themselves, for their affairs and for their country have the right to dialogue, the Prime Minister said.

Draft amendments to the Act on Social Dialogue Council

At the meeting of Social Dialogue Council, President Andrzej Duda presented his draft amendment to the Act on the Council. President’s amendments presented to the Council for consultation included a proposal to add members with advisory capacity, namely Chief Labour Inspector, next to the representatives of the President and heads of NBP and GUS. Also the Council’s rules of voting by correspondence would be changed as well as the way of financing Voivodship Dialogue Councils.

At the plenary session of Social Dialogue Council, Prime Minister Beata Szydło underlined that dialogue means that people are talking to one another and they listen to all the parties involved. We may create new institutions, but if we fail to listen to each other and to collaborate, we will achieve little, Beata Szydło pointed out.

She suggested that when debating the proposed amendment, it would be worthwhile to consider how to speed up the procedure of consultation of new acts. I agree with Mr President that draft acts should not be consulted for such a long time and I cannot afford this as well, she stated.

Maybe representatives of Sejm and Senate presidiums should become members of the Council. Since draft acts are prepared by the parliament, this solution is worth considering, added Prime Minister Szydło.

I think that it is crucial for us to remember and to understand that we are here, at this social dialogue table, not for ourselves, not for the government, not for the parliament, not for Mr President, and not for trade unions, but for the citizens – for Polish people, highlighted Beata Szydło.

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