Polish lawmaker Marcin Swiecicki will replace Lithuanian economist Algirdas Semeta as the head of the Ukrainian Business Ombudsman Council, the country’s watchdog that monitors state activity in relation to business. Swiecicki will begin work after Semeta’s contract expires in October.
“At yesterday’s meeting, the council approved the candidacy of the future Business Ombudsman Marcin Swiecicki,” Semeta said at a quarterly report press conference on July 31.
Swiecicki served as the minister for foreign economic relations in the first post-communist government of modern Poland in 1989-1991. He went on to serve as a mayor of Warsaw in 1994-1999 and is now a lawmaker in the Polish parliament with the liberal-conservative Civic Platform party.
Swiecicki also led the group of Polish experts that advised Ukraine on its decentralization reform in 2014. He was appointed to that position by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski at the request of Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.
The Business Ombudsman Council has been the advisory body of the Cabinet of Ministers since 2014. Since then, the watchdog has received 5,863 complaints from firms operating in Ukraine, 226 of which are still being investigated.
Government agencies fulfill up to 90 percent of the Council’s case-by-case recommendations. The financial impact of these operations amounts to Hr 17 billion ($667 million) since the Council started its work, its latest report says.
The Council has an annual budget of 1.5 million euros, funded through a donor account of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The donors are Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.