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    Reform Proposal to Address Empty Seats in Polish Parliament

    Unfortunately, many important parliamentary sessions in Poland often witness a sparsely populated chamber. This recurring phenomenon has drawn criticism and calls for reform, spearheaded by Marek Sawicki of the Polish People’s Party (PSL), who suggests a change in the Sejm’s operational schedule.

    The issue of empty seats was highlighted during a recent discussion on national defense, led by the Head of the National Security Bureau, Jacek Siewiera, where the attendance was notably low. In response, Sawicki proposed returning to a three-week work cycle: one week for sessions, one for fieldwork, and one for committee work. He believes this would ensure a fuller chamber during key debates.

    Sawicki’s proposal has garnered support across the political spectrum. Adrian Zandberg of the Left Party (Lewica) considers it a sensible approach, noting that current regulations are outdated and often lead to empty seats during critical discussions. He argues for modernization of the Sejm’s operations to better reflect contemporary needs.

    PiS representative Krzysztof Szczucki acknowledges that MPs are often engaged in various activities such as parliamentary teams and international groups, even when absent from the plenary. He agrees that Sawicki’s idea is worth discussing, and would likely be acceptable, though he reserves full judgment pending further debate within his party.

    Newcomer Jacek Karnowski (KO) and Tomasz Zimoch from Poland 2050 also see merit in the proposal, although they stress these are personal opinions rather than official party stances. Conversely, Witold Tumanowicz of Confederation supports separating committee work from parliamentary sessions but is skeptical about extending the session interval from two to three weeks, fearing it would reduce the Sejm’s meeting frequency.

    This proposed regulatory change reflects a broader conversation about modernizing Poland’s legislative process, aiming to increase engagement and ensure that critical national issues receive the attention they deserve in a fully attended parliamentary setting.

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