New parliamentary committees – negotiations completed, composition known

komisje sejmowe

In addition to deliberations in the plenary chamber, parliamentary and senate committees also play a key role in the legislative process. They are established to deal in detail with issues in specific areas. Several weeks of negotiations on the composition of the committees to work in the new parliamentary term have been completed. On Tuesday, 21.11.23. A resolution was passed electing members of the parliamentary committees by ballot. The motion to elect them passed with 273 votes. There were 178 MPs against and three abstentions.

Parliamentary and Senate committees – what are their tasks?

Parliamentary and Senate committees are bodies set up to improve the work of parliament in specific areas. As a result, the functioning of the Diet and Senate is based on teamwork and the division of issues by subject areas. Attendance at parliamentary committee meetings is mandatory, and there is a penalty for unexcused absences in the form of a reduction in emoluments.

A distinction is made between the so-called. Standing and extraordinary committees (including committees of inquiry). The former function throughout the term of the parliament. Extraordinary commissions, on the other hand, are established when exceptional circumstances arise. In addition, a given committee may create subcommittees to deal more specifically with particular issues. Parliamentary and Senate committees analyze, consider and give opinions on laws. They can express their support for draft legislation, make comments and amendments, or request that the draft be rejected. They can also request information from individual members of the Diet to determine the facts within a given issue.

New parliamentary committees – who will work on environmental issues?

In the new term of the Sejm, 29 standing committees have been established, and in the Senate, the number of committees has been increased from 16 to 20, according to the latest amendment to the Rules of Procedure. According to recent findings, most of them will be led by deputies from the KO-Third Way-Left coalition, which is a bone of contention between the two sides of the political spectrum. Marek Suski (Law and Justice) was reappointed head of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Climate and State Assets, and Urszula Paslawska (PSL, Third Way) will chair the Committee on Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry. The Senate Committee on Climate and Environment will be headed by Stanislaw Gawlowski (KO).

The parliamentary and senate committees on the subject. climate and environment – scope of activities

The parliamentary committees most closely related to environmental affairs are: Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Forestry, Committee on Energy, Climate and State Assets, Committee on Maritime Affairs and Inland Navigation, and Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. In turn, the Senate committees with an impact on environmental issues are the Committee on Climate and Environment and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

Parliamentary and Senate committees – main areas of environmental activity

A picture of how the parliamentary and senate committees work in the field of environmental protection can be drawn from the activity reports of the previous term of the Sejm (2019-2023). These included. Activities to protect and shape the environment and its non-renewable resources, as well as activities in the field of geology, forestry and forest management. The committees also dealt with issues such as the negative impact of non-native species on native wildlife or large-scale degraded areas, and addressed issues related to the revitalization of the Oder River or the bail system. They also introduced amendments to hunting, geological and mining and water laws (Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Forestry).

In addition to issues such as crops, horticulture, fruit farming, rural development or animal husbandry and the social and living situation of the population, the committees working in the field of agriculture also considered issues more closely related to environmental protection, such as agricultural biogas plants and water retention in agricultural areas. Parliamentary committees play an important role in policy-making, including in the areas of climate protection and the environment.

Each of them has a more or less detailed delineation of its main areas of activity, but it is difficult to determine in advance exactly what each committee will do in the long term – they react on an ongoing basis to what is happening in the Sejm. It is also worth mentioning that the committees can cooperate with each other, which allows them to jointly consider and discuss issues that cross the boundaries of one subject area.


Photo source: Wikipedia/Chancellery of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, CC BY-SA 3.0

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