In Poland, twenty years after profitable entry into the EU, the connection with Europe has modified | EUROtoday

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DDecades have handed because the nice enlargement of the European Union (EU), on 1er May 2004, which included the accession of ten international locations, together with eight Central European states. Seen from Poland, whose residents had, in a referendum organized a 12 months earlier, voted 77.5% in favor of this accession, it’s troublesome to see these years as something apart from an immense success. The nation was in a position to absolutely exploit the chances provided to it by the European undertaking, perceived, from the outset, by the Poles as a fantastic – and simply – return to the Western household after the “betrayal of Yalta”, the 1945 convention which had resulted within the division of Europe in two and disadvantaged Poland of its sovereignty.

The result’s spectacular. Since 2004, Poland's GDP per capita has elevated from 49% to 82% of the EU common. Its GDP, in absolute worth, grew by 170%, the minimal wage was multiplied by 5, to succeed in the equal of 950 euros, and the common wage multiplied by three, to 1,450 euros. The nation acquired in web worth, deducting its contribution to the European finances, 170 billion euros inside the framework of the cohesion coverage and the frequent agricultural coverage. Poland was additionally in a position to entice practically 45% of the 590 billion euros of overseas funding in direction of the eight international locations within the area.

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Enlargement has thus been beneficial in both directions. The states of Western Europe have fully benefited from the benefits of an enlarged common market and its opportunities. Germany's exports to the Visegrad Group countries (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) are now higher than those to China.

“Civilizational leap”

Poland now appears to be on the finish of its “twenty glorious years”, a interval of growth similar to that skilled by France within the thirty years after the conflict. It is the sixth largest economic system within the EU, regardless of not belonging to the euro zone. According to a report from the Polish Economic Institute, which imagined, on the event of this twentieth anniversary, a growth situation the place Central Europe wouldn’t have entered the EU, the nation's GDP is 40% larger due to this membership. Of the eight states analyzed, solely Lithuania had a greater rating, with 60%.

However, regardless of this indeniable success, described in Poland as a “civilizational leap”, the environment in Warsaw shouldn’t be festive. The euphoria and tears of pleasure of a whole technology, whose photographs left their mark on individuals's minds, on 1er May 2004 at midnight, are nothing greater than a reminiscence. After the legislative elections of October 15, 2023, marked by the return to energy of Donald Tusk, former president of the European Council, the nation is within the course of of constructing a brand new “democratic revolution”, which places an finish to eight years of energy of a nationalist and authoritarian proper embodied by the Law and Justice get together (PiS). However, this era left deep traces in Polish society.

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