The Polish Institute of International Affairs is an analytical institution established by an act of Parliament in 1996 to carry out research and provide expertise in international affairs. PISM disseminates information on contemporary international issues and maintains contacts with academic and political centres in Poland and abroad. The Institute runs courses for public servants, maintains a library (open to the public; 165,000 books and journals), organises conferences, and publishes books, periodicals and documents on Polish foreign policy and international matters.
The funding for PISM comes from the budget. The director is appointed by the prime minister for a term of five years, following consultation with the minister of foreign affairs. The minister supervises the Institute and appoints its advisory council, which includes a representative of the President of the Republic of Poland, academics and officials.