Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Poland is a unitary state composed of municipalities (gminy), counties (powiaty) and regions (voivodship-województwo).

Data: 2016
Local level: 2,479 municipalities (gminy)
The municipal council (rada gminy) is composed of councillors elected by direct universal suffrage for a four-year term. In addition to its legislative powers, the council votes the municipal budget and determines local taxes. The council is sub-divided into commissions responsible for the preparation and execution of decisions taken by the municipal council.  Members of the commissions are elected by and from among the municipal councillors.

The mayor (wójt in rural municipalities, burmistrz in urban ones and prezydent miasta in cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants) is the local authority’s executive body.  He/she is elected by direct universal suffrage for a four-year term and officially represents the municipality.

The head of the municipal administration (sekretarz gminy) is appointed by the mayor. He/she can act on the mayor’s behalf, particularly when it comes to the organisation of the city hall’s work and to the management of human resources.


. Public transport
. Social services
. Housing
. Environment
. Culture
. Pre-school and primary education


In Poland, 66 urban municipalities have a special status whereby they are responsible for competences usually exercised by counties. The capital city of Warsaw, which is divided into 18 districts, also has this special status and thus exercises the competences of both a municipality and a county.
Intermediate level: 380 counties (powiaty), which include the 66 municipalities with special status
The county council (rada powiatu) is composed of members elected by direct universal suffrage for a four-year term. This deliberative assembly appoints members of the executive committee as well as the head of the county.

The executive board (zarząd powiatu) is composed of the head of the county and his/her deputies elected by and from within the county council for a period of four years. This body is in charge of implementing council decisions.

The head of the county (starosta) is elected for a four-year term by the county council. He/she officially represents the county and is assisted by his/her deputies.


. Road building and maintenance
. Secondary education
. Civil protection
. Environment
. Employment
. Health
Regional level: 16 regions (voivodship-województwo)
The regional council (sejmik wojewodztwa) is composed of members elected by direct universal suffrage for a four-year term. This deliberative assembly elects the marshal.

The regional executive board (zarzad województwa) is composed of members and the marshal, elected by the regional council for a period of four years. The board implements decisions made by the regional council.

The marshal (marszalek) is elected by the regional council for a period of four years.  He/she officially represents the region vis-à-vis the national and international levels.

The governor (wojewoda) represents the prime minister as well as the national Polish government at the regional level.  He/she is appointed by the country’s prime minister upon proposal by the minister responsible for public administration. The governor is responsible for the implementation of national government policy in the region.


. Economic development
. Higher education
. Environment
. Employment
. Social policy
. Regional road management

CEMR in Poland

Association of Polish Cities
Executive Director: Andrzej PORAWSKI
Zwiazek Miast Polskich
Ul.Robocza 42, 61-517 Poznan
Tel.: +48 61 633 50 50
Fax: +48 61 633 50 60
Association of Polish Counties
Director of the Office: Rudolf BORUSIEWICZ
Związek Powiatów Polskich
Plac Defilad 1, 00-901 Warszawa
Skrytka pocztowa 7
Tel.: +48 22 656 63 34
Fax: +48 22 656 63 33
E-mail: ;
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