Directions of Changes Taking Place in the Polish Secret Service After 1989
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Professor at the Institute of Political Science, University of Warsaw
Publication date: 2019-12-27
Studia Politologiczne 2014;31
Secret services inherited from the former system were not in any way adjusted to the conditions of a free, open society or to the created standards of a democratic state of law. The new authorities of the democratic country faced the problem of building their own secret services subordinated to the rules of a sovereign state. It was necessary to choose the way to create them as well as establish their organizational shape, competences and tasks. The idea of a revolution in the services was given up and the intermediate variant was chosen. It was radical in its content but gentle in form. The model shaped in 1990 was based on dividing secret services into civil and military ones. The former were subordinated to the Minister of the Interior, then to the Prime Minister, whereas the latter – to the Minister of National Defense. The Office for State Protection (UOP) was the service performing the tasks of civil intelligence and counterintelligence. With time, it was granted the competences from the field of combating organized crime aimed at the economic basis of the state. UOP was the leading service in the system of institutions of the state’s security. The Military Information Services (WSI) were the old internal services of the armed forces modified only in a slight degree. In the second stage of the reform of 2002, UOP was divided into two separate agencies. Internal Security Agency took over the majority of competences and tasks of UOP. The Foreign Intelligence Agency is responsible for foreign intelligence. Liquidation of WSI realized in 2006 in a rapid manner introduced chaos and disorganization in military services, which till today feel the consequences of the operation performed then. According to the declarations of the government, new reforms await secret services in 2013.
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