#YearOfNewTasks: Prime Minister Beata Szydło on reconstruction of shipbuilding industry and informatisation of the state

Reconstruction of maritime economy and inland navigation, possibility of handling official formalities without leaving your home, informatisation of schools are only some priorities for this year. On Wednesday, as part of the review of ministries, the Prime Minister met with the Minister of Digitisation Anna Streżyńska and the Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation Marek Gróbarczyk.

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Photo: P. Tracz/Chancellery of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Beata Szydło mentioned the fact that the Ministry of Digitisation and the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation were new ministries. She emphasized that although both ministries were small, they were also one of the busiest institutions.

Reconstruction and development of the shipbuilding industry

Prime Minister Beata Szydło informed from last year the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation had begun the reconstruction of the shipbuilding industry and reorganisation of maritime economy. It also carried out the activities aimed at economic revival of northern Poland and inland navigation. All those plans and projects that were prepared will translate into specific results, said the Prime Minister.

The shipbuilding industry is the most important element of the functioning of our maritime economy. Another element is navigation, both on a small and large scale. Here we will focus on restoration of inland navigation, declared Minister Gróbarczyk. He added that a great importance was attached to Polish ports and their development, as well as to previously underestimated fisheries.

In the first months of its functioning, the Ministry of Maritime Economy prepared a draft Act on activation of shipbuilding industry and complementary industries. The Act entered into force on 1 January 2017. It provides for competitive rules of functioning of the shipbuilding industry.

Marek Gróbarczyk also talked about the recent symbolic return of the Szczecin Shipyard to Szczecin. It is of course only a small step on the road to restoring our production capacities, but a very important one, since we have created a very strong group, he stated.

The Minister informed that the construction of two ferries for Polska Żegluga Bałtycka was about to begin soon. We hope that the talks will be completed and the contract will be signed in March so that in the second quarter of the year a symbolic keel could be laid to mark the construction of a new ferry, he said. The beginning of the ferry construction will also mark the beginning of reconstruction of the Polish shipyards.

Plans of the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation for 2017

Minister Gróbarczyk talked about the start of the building of a navigable channel through the Vistula Spit. The process of selecting the contractor to prepare the feasibility study and the preparation of the environmental impact report are underway. The investor is the Maritime Office in Gdynia.

Apart from the tasks related to reconstruction of the shipbuilding industry, the priorities of the ministry include support for fishermen. We are preparing to open several inland navigation schools. We will rebuild the vocational education, announced Minister Marek Gróbarczyk. He declared that the projects implemented by the Ministry corresponded to the Responsible Development Plan and the concept of reindustrialisation of the country.

The Convention concerning the network of European waterway system within the trans-European transport network will be ratified soon. The accession to the AGN is a part of the strategy related to development of the entire inland navigation sector.

On-line offices

Prime Minister Beata Szydło announced that in 2017 the Ministry of Digitisation would continue facilitating the handling of official matters at administration offices for citizens and also for entrepreneurs. Minister Streżyńska undertook a difficult task of coordinating the IT systems and finding solutions in the central and local government administration that will lead to budget savings thanks to harmonisation of specific procedures, emphasized the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister also talked with Minister Anna Streżyńska about informatisation of schools and educational establishments. The process is underway and will be continued, stated Beata Szydło.

Efficient e-government is a source of savings for the state and its citizens, said Minister Streżyńska. The projects implemented by the Ministry of Digitisation are to ensure time saving and convenience of citizens. The services which will be available online include e.g. filing a request for an ID card. In 2017, the service will be used by over 8 million citizens who will replace their ID cards. In addition, the Ministry works in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education on the possibility to enrol children to schools electronically.

Plans of the Ministry of Digitisation for 2017

Among the major tasks of her ministry, the Minister of Digitisation listed the coordination of IT government management, cyber security and a greater accessibility of services for citizens. The aim of the Ministry is to ensure equal opportunities for young people in terms of Internet access and to support digital development and generate real savings for the state.

The most important task is the management of state IT systems. It is a very important area, since the activities in this regard support the IT sector itself, and support the economic development of the country in general and the development of efficiency of the state as such, said Anna Streżyńska.

Over PLN 3 billion will be invested in providing broadband Internet and liquidating the so-called white spots, declared the Minister of Digitisation. Over 83% of households covered by our project are located in small towns and villages, with the population below 5 000. Over 50% of those households are located in villages with less than 500 residents, which had no access to Internet yet, said the Minister. Investments in broadband Internet will be co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

The investments are closely related to building the National Education Network which will comprise all Polish schools and ensured their cyber security. The network will ensure access to advanced educational materials, e-textbooks, e-grade books and similar products. Already this year we have invested PLN 124 million in educating children in rural areas on coding. This will continue, said the Minister of Digitisation. She said it referred also to training of teachers and instructors.

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