Poland in Europe


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Poland in Europe

  • Poland in Europe

  • Polish way to EU

  • Consequences of membership in EU







  • EU accession: 1 May 2004

  • Area: 312,679 km2

  • Population (January 2010):  38,163,895*

  • *http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=table&language=en&pcode=tps00001&tableSelection=1&footnotes=yes&labeling=labels&plugin=1



Polish curency: złoty (PLN)

  • Polish curency: złoty (PLN)



Political system: parliamentary republic

  • Political system: parliamentary republic



Poland initiated the reform of its

  • Poland initiated the reform of its

  • political system and economy in 1989



In this new situation, a return to the West, as embodied in the form of the EU and NATO, became realistic. Already on 19th September 1989 Poland signed the agreement for trade and trade co-operation with the (then) European Community (EC).

  • In this new situation, a return to the West, as embodied in the form of the EU and NATO, became realistic. Already on 19th September 1989 Poland signed the agreement for trade and trade co-operation with the (then) European Community (EC).



That agreement was not only the basis for further relations but also a starting point for future negotiations on the subject of associating with EC.

  • That agreement was not only the basis for further relations but also a starting point for future negotiations on the subject of associating with EC.

  • Such an intention was expressed by Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki in his speech in the European Parliament in February 1990.



Slightly later in June 1991 Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Krzysztof Skubiszewski declared in his expose in Polish Parliament that Poland was determined to become a member of the European Community.

  • Slightly later in June 1991 Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Krzysztof Skubiszewski declared in his expose in Polish Parliament that Poland was determined to become a member of the European Community.



On 19th May 1990 Poland officially applied for a beginning of negotiations for an agreement of associating, and the negotiations began in December 1990.

  • On 19th May 1990 Poland officially applied for a beginning of negotiations for an agreement of associating, and the negotiations began in December 1990.

  • After eleven months on 16th December 1991 the Polish government signed the Europe Agreement which established an associate relationship between the EC and Poland.



The Europe Agreement set out the legal grounds for the pursuit and implementation of

  • The Europe Agreement set out the legal grounds for the pursuit and implementation of

    • economic,
    • political,
    • scientific,
    • cultural union.
  • The agreements signed with the EC, which at this time was preparing for its transformation into the European Union (EU), initiated Poland's process of European integration.



The Europe Agreement came into force on 1st February 1994.

  • The Europe Agreement came into force on 1st February 1994.

  • Despite the fact that the EC very early on signed a range of association and customs agreements with Poland, the Agreement was in practice treated as a completely new entity.



It included resolutions on political dialogue, obligations related to the narrowing of the gap between the association states and EC legislative models, as well as guidelines governing co-operation in the area of culture.

  • It included resolutions on political dialogue, obligations related to the narrowing of the gap between the association states and EC legislative models, as well as guidelines governing co-operation in the area of culture.



The EC gave its consent to the Agreement foreword containing an additional point: „Poland's ultimate aim is membership of the Community”.

  • The EC gave its consent to the Agreement foreword containing an additional point: „Poland's ultimate aim is membership of the Community”.

  • In this way the Polish partner established that the aim of the Agreement was the creation of frameworks for Poland's gradual integration into the Community.



Polish partner established that the aim of the Agreement was the creation of frameworks for Poland's gradual integration into the Community.

  • Polish partner established that the aim of the Agreement was the creation of frameworks for Poland's gradual integration into the Community.



The most important from Poland's point of view was that as a result of diplomatic interventions by the states of the Visegrád Group, the European Council decided at its Copenhagen summit in June 1993 that: "the associate member states from Central and Eastern Europe, if they so wish, will become members of the EU. In order to achieve this, however, they must fulfill the appropriate conditions."

  • The most important from Poland's point of view was that as a result of diplomatic interventions by the states of the Visegrád Group, the European Council decided at its Copenhagen summit in June 1993 that: "the associate member states from Central and Eastern Europe, if they so wish, will become members of the EU. In order to achieve this, however, they must fulfill the appropriate conditions."

  • These became known as the Copenhagen criteria, or simply, membership criteria.



The Copenhagen criteria laid down the following EU membership requirements:

  • The Copenhagen criteria laid down the following EU membership requirements:



Another important stage on Poland's way to EU took place at the Luxembourg summit in 1997, when the EU accepted the Commission's opinion to invite several Central and Eastern European states (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia and Cyprus) to start talks on their accession to the EU.

  • Another important stage on Poland's way to EU took place at the Luxembourg summit in 1997, when the EU accepted the Commission's opinion to invite several Central and Eastern European states (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia and Cyprus) to start talks on their accession to the EU.

  • In 1999 EU made another decision on the introduction of the access negotiations with four next candidate countries: Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Malta.





The negotiation process started on 31st March 1998, when the first sitting of the International Accession Conference took place. After the meeting, screening sessions began to determine the extent to which Polish law was in accordance with community law, followed by the two parties developing position papers for each negotiating position.

  • The negotiation process started on 31st March 1998, when the first sitting of the International Accession Conference took place. After the meeting, screening sessions began to determine the extent to which Polish law was in accordance with community law, followed by the two parties developing position papers for each negotiating position.



The opening of negotiations in given areas signified that the European Council has granted the European Commission the relevant mandate to conduct talks with the candidate states.

  • The opening of negotiations in given areas signified that the European Council has granted the European Commission the relevant mandate to conduct talks with the candidate states.

  • After the final agreement negotiations were temporarily closed.

  • In the final phase of all the negotiations their results took the form of entries in the accession treaty.



Poland (with other candidate countries) finished the accession negotiations in December 2002. Than the Accession Treaty was signed in Athens on 16th April 2003.

  • Poland (with other candidate countries) finished the accession negotiations in December 2002. Than the Accession Treaty was signed in Athens on 16th April 2003.

  • After the ratification of that Treaty, Poland and other 9 countries became the members of EU on 1st May 2004!!!



Poland is considered to have one of the healthiest economies of the post-communist countries and is currently one of the fastest growing countries within the EU.

  • Poland is considered to have one of the healthiest economies of the post-communist countries and is currently one of the fastest growing countries within the EU.



Since the fall of the communist government, Poland has steadfastly pursued a policy of liberalising the economy and today stands out as a successful example of the transition from a centraly planned economy to a primarily capitalistic market economy.

  • Since the fall of the communist government, Poland has steadfastly pursued a policy of liberalising the economy and today stands out as a successful example of the transition from a centraly planned economy to a primarily capitalistic market economy.



Poland is the only member of the EU to have avoided a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) during the late 2000s recession.

  • Poland is the only member of the EU to have avoided a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) during the late 2000s recession.

  • In 2009 Poland has had the greatest gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the EU. As of November 2009 the Polish economy has not entered the global recession of the late 2000s nor has it even contracted.*

  • *http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a7k1g_PkuROs#



The privatisation of small and medium state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms have allowed the development of an aggressive private sector. As a consequence, consumer rights organisations have also appeared.

  • The privatisation of small and medium state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms have allowed the development of an aggressive private sector. As a consequence, consumer rights organisations have also appeared.



Restructuring and privatisation of "sensitive sectors" such as coal, steel, rail transport and energy has been continuing since 1990.

  • Restructuring and privatisation of "sensitive sectors" such as coal, steel, rail transport and energy has been continuing since 1990.

  • The biggest privatisations have been the sale of the national telecoms firm Telekomunikacja Polska to France Télécom in 2000, and an issue of 30% of the shares in Poland's largest bank, PKO Bank Polski, on the Polish stockmarket in 2004.



Poland has a large number of private farms in its agricultural sector, with the potential to become a leading producer of food in the EU.

  • Poland has a large number of private farms in its agricultural sector, with the potential to become a leading producer of food in the EU.

  • Structural reforms in health care, education, the pension system, and state administration have resulted in larger-than-expected fiscal pressures.

  • Warsaw leads Central Europe in foreign investment. GDP growth had been strong and steady from 1993 to 2000 with only a short slowdown from 2001 to 2002.



The economy had growth of 3.7% annually in 2003, a rise from 1.4% annually in 2002. In 2004, gross domestic product (GDP) growth equaled 5.4%, in 2005 3.3% and in 2006 6.2%.*

  • The economy had growth of 3.7% annually in 2003, a rise from 1.4% annually in 2002. In 2004, gross domestic product (GDP) growth equaled 5.4%, in 2005 3.3% and in 2006 6.2%.*

  • In the last quarter of 2009 gross domestic product (GDP) growth equaled 1,2% and Poland was the only one EU country which achieved positive values of GDP.

  • *http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/2-25062009-BP/EN/2-25062009-BP-EN.PDF



Although the Polish economy is currently undergoing economic development, there are many challenges ahead. The most notable task on the horizon is the preparation of the economy (through continuing deep structural reforms) to allow Poland to meet the strict economic criteria for entry into the Eurozone.

  • Although the Polish economy is currently undergoing economic development, there are many challenges ahead. The most notable task on the horizon is the preparation of the economy (through continuing deep structural reforms) to allow Poland to meet the strict economic criteria for entry into the Eurozone.



According to the minister of finances Jacek Rostowski, Poland is likely to adopt the euro in 2013 or 2014.

  • According to the minister of finances Jacek Rostowski, Poland is likely to adopt the euro in 2013 or 2014.



Average salaries in the enterprise sector in April 2008 were 3137 PLN (925 euro or 1434 US dollars) and growing sharply. Salaries vary between the regions: the median wage in the capital city Warsaw was 4600 PLN (1100 euro or 1900 US dollars) while in Białystok it was only 2400 PLN (600 euro or 900 US dollars).*

  • Average salaries in the enterprise sector in April 2008 were 3137 PLN (925 euro or 1434 US dollars) and growing sharply. Salaries vary between the regions: the median wage in the capital city Warsaw was 4600 PLN (1100 euro or 1900 US dollars) while in Białystok it was only 2400 PLN (600 euro or 900 US dollars).*

  • * http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/6/32/20213254.pdf



Since joining the EU, many workers have left to work in other EU countries (particularly Ireland and the UK) because of high unemployment, which was the second-highest in the EU (14.2% in May 2006).

  • Since joining the EU, many workers have left to work in other EU countries (particularly Ireland and the UK) because of high unemployment, which was the second-highest in the EU (14.2% in May 2006).

  • However, with the rapid growth of the salaries, booming economy, strong value of Polish currency, and quickly decreasing unemployment (6.7% in August 2008) exodus of Polish workers seems to be over.

  • In 2008 people who came back outnumbered those leaving the country.**

  • **http://web.archive.org/web/20080726044258/http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/PGP_PRD_CAT_PREREL/PGE_CAT_PREREL_YEAR_2007/PGE_CAT_PREREL_YEAR_2007_MONTH_10/3-31102007-EN-CP.PDF



Commodities produced in Poland include: electronics, cars (including the luxurious Leopard car), buses (Autosan, Jelcz SA, Solaris, Solbus), helicopters (PZL Świdnik), transport equipment, locomotives, planes (PZL Mielec), ships, military engineering (tanks), medicines (Polpharma, Polfa), food, clothes, glass, pottery, chemical products and others.

  • Commodities produced in Poland include: electronics, cars (including the luxurious Leopard car), buses (Autosan, Jelcz SA, Solaris, Solbus), helicopters (PZL Świdnik), transport equipment, locomotives, planes (PZL Mielec), ships, military engineering (tanks), medicines (Polpharma, Polfa), food, clothes, glass, pottery, chemical products and others.



Poland is a part of the global tourism market with constantly increasing number of visitors, particularly after joining the EU.*

  • Poland is a part of the global tourism market with constantly increasing number of visitors, particularly after joining the EU.*

  • Tourism in Poland contributes to the country's overall economy. The most popular cities are Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Lublin, Toruń, including the historic site of the Auschwitz concentration camp near Oświęcim.

  • Popular destinations include northeast Poland's Mazury lake district and Białowieża Forest. Poland's main tourist offers are sightseeing within cities and out-of-town historical monuments, business trips, qualified tourism, agrotourism, and mountain hiking, among others. Poland is the 17th most (in the world) visited country by foreign tourists in 2008.**

  • * http://www.euromonitor.com/Travel_And_Tourism_in_Poland

  • ** http://www.tourismroi.com/Content_Attachments/27670/File_633513750035785076.pdf










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