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Cities in POLAND

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State structure

Under the new 1997 Constitution, Poland is a parliamentary democracy, in which state power is decentralized and the rights of individual citizens are strengthened.
The powers of the president have been diminished in favor of parliament and government. The highest body is the Sejm, the parliament, with 460 seats. In addition, the Senate was re-introduced in June 1989 with 100 seats. The Senate has the right of amendment, but amendments can be stopped by the Sejm with a two-thirds majority.

The members of the Sejm are elected once every four years on the basis of proportionality.

The president is the head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces and is directly elected once every five years. He can dissolve parliament under certain circumstances, such as if the Sejm does not approve the state budget within four months of reading. He can also block parliamentary legislation with a presidential veto that can be overturned with a majority in both houses of parliament. For the current political situation see chapter history.

Administrative division

Since 1999, Poland has been administratively divided into 16 provinces, which replace the 49 wojewodztwa from 1975. The then existing structures were replaced by self-government on three levels: regional level (voivodships), district level (315 powiats), and municipal level (gminas). Regional self-government takes place through regional governors (voivods), who are appointed by the central government, and newly elected regional councils (sejmiks). The responsibility for developing and implementing regional economic policy rests with the sejmiks, who have independent legal personality and their own budget.

The provision of government services is the responsibility of the districts or powiats.
At municipal level, the 2,489 gminas have been given new budgetary resources and powers to tax in order to provide the main services.

Membership in international organizations

Poland is a member of the United Nations, the WTO, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Poland has also been a member of NATO since March 1999 and the European Union since 2004.


The Polish education can be divided as follows:

Primary education class 1 to 6
Gimnasium class 7 to 9
Liceum class 10 to 12
'Technikum' class 10 to 13
Vocational education lasts 2 to 3 years

Regarding the pre-school period there are “kindergarten” and preschool sections of primary schools for children between three and six years old.

Primary and secondary education between seven and sixteen years old is compulsory and free. Pupils take a kind of exam every year before they are allowed to go to the next group. A general certificate must also be obtained in order to be able to attend further courses. These courses are also free and are given in general schools and vocational training courses. Figures from the 1997-1998 school year show that 96-98% of secondary school students choose another course of study, of which 30% went to general schools and 20% to vocational courses. can walk.

Approx. 20% of the students go to higher education. There are 178 general universities, technical universities and colleges. Often an entrance exam must be passed. State universities offer four to five and a half year courses, while private institutes also offer three-year courses.

In 1998, Polish education developed positively. The reform, which started in September 1999, is mainly aimed at raising the general level of education. Poland has opted for a secondary education system that places a stronger emphasis than before on general technical education and higher education in order to improve the mobility of school-leavers in the labor market.

Vocational training is a bit poor as a result of this reform which mainly is on general and higher education.


Dydynski, K. / Poland
Lonely Planet

Hus, M. / Polen
ANWB media,

Wijnands, S. / Polen

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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