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The Government Population Council (GPC) is an advisory body of President of the Council of Ministers on matters concerning demographic issues and population policy. In 1997 GPC took over the duties of the Government Population Commission that was established in 1974 and supervised by prof. Kazimierz Secomski.
The Government Population Council is responsible for:
- Submitting on annual basis reports on the demographic situation of Poland to the Council of Ministers
By 2006, those two above mentioned bodies produced altogether 30 reports on the demographic situation of Poland. The reports contain recommendations on the actions to be taken in the field of population policy of the State.
- Initiating legislative actions and providing opinions on legal acts concerning the population policy.
In this area, the most important activity of the GPC is the working out of the principles of a population policy programme in Poland. The activity was initiated by the Government Population Council. The decision on this issue stemmed from the provisions of the Declaration made at the First Congress of the Government Population Council. The participants of the Congress called for taking coordinated actions to stop adverse demographic trends. The Government Population Council set up a Task Force to prepare the principles of a population policy programme. The Task Force consisted of scientific workers from various scientific centres in Poland and representatives of the governmental bodies involved in the implementation of population policy. The following documents were worked out by the Task Force:
- Założenia polityki ludnościowej w Polsce (Foundations of the Polish Population Policy) – under the guidance of Bożena Balcerzak-Paradowska, Ph.D.,
- O polską politykę migracyjną (Towards the Polish Migration Policy) – under the guidance of prof. Antoni Rajkiewicz.
Within its statutory duties the Government Population Council prepared:
The position on updating the National Health Programme in which the Government Population Council expressed its opinion on the need to reactivate school medicine, to adopt health promotion and prophylaxis programme and to decrease the disparity in the access to health protection. The document was submitted to the Minister of Health.
The position of the Government Population Council on the project „Foundations of the Law on Family Benefits”.
The position of the Government Population Council on the project „Strategy for Social Policy for the years 2002 2005”.
Conclusions and recommendations for document ”Polish demographic situation. Report 2000-2001”.
Information on the Polish demographic situation was presented at the session of the Social Policy and Family Commission on 24 April 2002.
The position of the Government Population Council and Demographic Sciences Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences on „Foundations of the Forecast for the population of Poland in the years 2003 – 2030”, publication by Lech Bolesławski, of the CSO Social Statistics Division (the August 2003 version amended in September 2003).
- Initiating scientific research including submitting proposals on research topics and providing opinions on demographic issues and population policy.
The Government Population Council, as a part of its initiating, organising and cooperating activities co-organised the following conferences and symposia dedicated to the population policy issues:
The European Population Conference organised by the European Association for Population Studies, held on 26–30 August 2003 in Warsaw, with the participation of the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH), the Demographic Sciences Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Polish Demographic Association (PTD) and Statistics Poland.
The Nationwide Polish Summit for Children held on 23-24 May 2003 organised by the Ombudsman for the rights of children. The head of the GPC had an opening address at the Conference and participated in topical session No. 2 on Children in the transformation period – demographic challenges and social and economic assessment of the situation in the light of the provisions of the Polish constitution, the Convention for the rights of children and the obligations stemming from the Declaration of World Summit for Children and in the concluding session. The objective of the Conference was to assess main problems concerning protection of children in Poland taking into account the declarations, agreements and commitments taken at the World Summit for Children (New York, 7-10 May 2002).
Cooperation with international organisations dealing with the population policy – United Nations, the Council of Europe, OECD and other.
The most important area of cooperation of the GPC with the UN is its participation in the activities of the UN Population and Development Commission. Due to the efforts of GPC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland was elected as a member of the Commission for the years 2001-2004. In this capacity, the GPC, in cooperation with competent governmental bodies prepared relevant materials for the sessions of the Commission and suggested the most appropriate composition of the Polish delegation to the meetings of the Commission. Thus:
At the 35th session of the Commission (New York, 1-5 April 2002) the Polish delegation presented the position of the Polish government on the laws on procreation and procreative health, with special reference to the experience in fighting diseases relating to virus infection of human immunity system (HIV), according to the Polish legislation.
At the 36th session of the Commission (New York, 31 March – 4 April 2003) the Polish delegation presented the position of Polish government on the population, education and development in Poland in the form of a comprehensive report.
At the 37th session of the Commission (New York, 22-26 March 2004) the Polish delegation presented the position of Polish government on: Ten years after Cairo. National Report Poland. The position included information on the demographic situation of Poland, procreative health issues, common access to education (including education of women), issues concerning gender equality and the status of women in Poland, population policy issues against the objectives set at the International Conference on Population and Development - the ICPD Programme of Action, Cairo, l994.
At the 38th session of the Commission (New York, 4-8 April 2005) the Polish delegation presented the position of Polish government on the development of the Polish population in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
At the 39th session of the Commission (New York, 4-7 March 2006) the Polish delegation presented brief information of Polish government on the migration situation in Poland.
An important element of the GPC’s cooperation with the UN is the preparation of answers to the subsequent UN surveys concerning the population, which are approved by the Council of Ministers of Poland. The answer to the 8th UN survey was provided in 1998. In 2004 the GPC prepared the answer of the Polish government to the 9th UN survey concerning the population and development that was addressed to the governments of the countries (the version accepted by the Council of Ministers) and sent it to the Head of the UN Population Office on 16 March 2004.
Another important form of the GPC’s cooperation with the UN is its collaboration with the UNFPA. In 1997 and 1999 the research project Population policy and strategy of its implementation was conducted. It covered two topics:
Promotion of physical, mental and social health in the education system and through the education system – prepared at the Methodological Centre For Psychological and Educational Assistance at the Ministry of Education,
Promotion of the mother and child health with particular reference to family planning – conducted at the Institute of Mother and Child. The Government Population Council coordinated the whole project, which was completed in 1999.
The GPC and UNFPA collaboration was manifested also in the implementation of the programme Training for school and paediatric nurses in procreative health, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS prophylaxis. The programme was carried out in 2000 and 2002 in eastern and central regions of Poland and it was extended to May 2004.
Poland was elected as a member of the European Population Committee for the years 2001-2004. The representatives of the GPC represent Poland in the European Population Committee and the European Population Network of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. In the years 2002-2003, according to the rules adopted by the Council of Europe, a GPC member representing Poland participated in the work of the European Population Committee as a permanent member.
The 10th session of European Population Committee (CAHP) held on 1-2 December 2005 was the last session of that Committee. The participants of the session were informed that as a result of decisions taken at the Third Summit of the Council of Europe held in Warsaw, the General Secretary of the Council of Europe suspended the activity of the European Population Committee as of the end 2005.
Cooperation with the Demographic Sciences Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Polish Demographic Association, Statistics Poland, higher education institutions and scientific associations in developing research and promoting demographic knowledge.
On the initiative of the Government Population Council the First Demographic Congress took place in Poland from September 2001 to November 2002 under the honorary auspices of President of Poland with the honorary Committee consisting of the state authorities (Presidents of both chambers of the Polish Parliament (the Sejm and the Senate) and the Prime Minister of the Polish Republic) as well as the Primate of Poland.
The Congress was convened to create conditions for promoting the continuity of generations and integrity of the society. At present in Poland there are a number of new developments including demographic ones that will certainly influence the future of the nation. The major objectives of the Congress were the following:
to determine the state and perspectives of the demographic development of Poland,
to determine the character, methods and means of population policy in Poland at the threshold of the new century and the accession of Poland to the European Union,
to assess the achievements of the Polish demography and to specify the needs of its further development, research and didactical methods.
The programme of the Congress was fully accomplished. The results of the discussion and the sessions and accompanying events is a comprehensive set of documents.
Summing up the results of the surveys presented during the sessions of the Congress, it should be emphasized that they are very useful for various fields of social policy, including demographic policy. The presentation of nationwide and regional conditions and results of the demographic processes as well as their implications for economic and social development will contribute to the development of improved methods and instruments promoting social integration and to the prevention of social pathologies and exclusion of various social groups. The conclusions about the situation of the Polish family, children and teenagers, and the elderly people are especially important. Conclusions and recommendations on the problems and perspectives of social integration of the disabled were also relevant. The Congress constituted an open forum for a wide exchange of experience on the actions already taken and recommended of self-governments at the level of voivodship, district and local commune administration and non-governmental organisations.
The secretary’s office of the GPC carries out day-to-day activities of the Government Population Council, which in particular consist in:
day-to-day management of the GPC’s activities (official letters, organisation of meetings, preparation of minutes, administrative issues),
liaison with institutions and national and foreign organisations (among others the United Nations, the Council of Europe),
preparation of annual reports on the demographic situation of Poland for the Council of Ministers,
preparation of professional opinions on the projects of legal acts concerning demographic issues and submitting them to the Government Population Council for discussion,
preparation of projects of official positions and opinions of the GPC for the government of Poland on demographic issues in order to forward them to national and foreign organisations and institutions requiring them.
Reports on the activities of the Government Population Council are submitted every year to the President of the Council of Minister. They are published in the subsequent issues of the GPC bulletins reactivated in 2001.
The composition of the current Government Population Council is specified in regulation No. 85 of the President of the Council of Ministers issued on 29 May 2006. Its members are scientific workers appointed by the President of the Council of Minister.
Prof. dr hab. Józefina Hrynkiewicz – Chairperson
Prof. dr hab. Janusz Witkowski – Deputy-chairperson
Dr Alina Potrykowska - Secretary-General
Dr hab. Bożenna Balcerzak-Paradowska – The Institute of Labour and Social Affairs
Ks. dr hab. Janusz Balicki, prof. UKSW – The Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University
Prof. dr hab. Bogdan Chazan – Director Holy Family Hospital Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital in Warsaw
Prof. dr hab. Lucyna Frąckiewicz – The Academy of Economics in Katowice
Dr hab. Irena E. Kotowska, prof. SGH – The Warsaw School of Economics
Prof. dr hab. Jerzy T. Kowaleski – The University of Łódź
Prof. dr hab. Adam Kurzynowski – The Warsaw School of Economics
Prof. dr hab. med. Janusz Szymborski – The Institute of Mother and Child
Prof. dr hab. Antoni Rajkiewicz – The Warsaw University
Prof. dr hab. Robert Rauziński – The Silesian Institute
Prof. dr hab.Andrzej Rączaszek– The Academy of Economics in Katowice
Prof. dr hab.Iwona Roeske - Słomka– The Academy of Economics In Poznań
Prof. dr hab. Izydor Sobczak - The Higher Humanistic School in Gdańsk, The University of Gdańsk
Prof. dr hab. med. Janusz Szymborski – Polish of Ombudsman for Children
Prof. dr hab. Eugeniusz Z. Zdrojewski - The Higher Economic School in Warsaw
Representatives appointed by the Ministers and Central Institutions:
- the representative of the office President of the Council of Ministers,
- the representative of the Demographic Sciences Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences,
- the representative of the Polish Demographic Association,
- the representative extra government organizations,
- the representative of the Convent of Marshals,
- the representative of the Institute of the Cardiology,
- the representative Institute of Mother and Child,
- the representative the Centre of the Oncology - the Institute to them Mary Skłodowskiej-Curie in Warsaw,
- the representative National Food and Nutrition Institute.
- Minister of National Education,
- Minister of Scientific Research and Information Technology,
- Minister of Foreign Affairs,
- Minister of of Family, Labour and Social Policy,
- Minister of Sport,
- Minister of Interior and Administration,
- Minister of Foreign Affairs,
- Minister of Health,
- Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People,
- President of Statistics Poland,
- President of the Office for Repatriation and Aliens
The secretariat services for the Government Population Council are provided by the Statistics Poland as specified in regulation No. 165 of the President of the Council of Ministers issued on 7 November 2006.