1. With the end of World War II, Polish economy, as all the other European countries, needed not just reform, but complete reconstruction. It was one of the main hurdles that Poland had to overcome with time on its way to European integration. Passionate desire of Poles to restore economic potential of the state, whose territory has long been the subject of Nazi occupation and the scene of fighting, faced essential ideological obstacles both inland, and in European and international environment.
Despite the need for integration of Poland with European countries, which was supported by other Polish politicians, including General Wladyslaw Sikorski and historian Józef Retinger (even while in exile, they often acted with such initiatives), legal regulation of economic relations in the country was exchanged for political expediency. In 1946 the Senate of Poland was eliminated as a public institution, nationalized industry, the western border of the state was heavily guarded. But the economic reforms were stalled.
These internal developments in Poland, as a result, affected the Polish foreign policy, and therefore the freedom of choice and establishing international relations. This limited the ability of the state to participate in European unification process (Ewing).
Among the positive steps of postwar life, which then Poland succeeded to take in international cooperation, it is necessary to note its membership in the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund. In fact, Poland is legally the founding member of the UN. Instead, because of certain differences of international legal character, recognition on the legitimacy of the government is not involved in the San Francisco Conference in 1945 to prepare the statutory documents of the UN.
Another hurdle of the way to integration in the EU was Iron Curtain doctrine that existed in the postwar period and roughly separated Eastern from Western states. As a result, there was the process of socialist states isolation from integration processes on the continent, and therefore Poland.
2. The positive changes that took place in Poland involve the growth of GDP per capita, compared with the European average of EU countries, from 43% in 2003 to 51% in 2011. Productivity has increased from 31 to 42 zlotys per hour (“Poland country profile”). Increased profitability of agriculture, improved funding of the agricultural sector, in 2011 the average income of workers of the agricultural sector of the country increased by 90% compared with 2000 (“Poland poses latest problem for EU”). Since joining the EU, by 2011 Poland received from the EU budget 20 billion Euros more than the paid membership fees. The funds allocated for the implementation of investment projects in building, repairing highways, local roads and railways.
Increased energy security of Poland. The country has an opportunity to accumulate the necessary energy reserves (according to the EU), receive European aid in ensuring the energy needs of the country integrate into the electricity grid and gas transportation EU.
About improvement of the image of Poland shows its ability to influence political, economic and security processes taking place in the EU and Europe as a whole. Significant Polish representation in the European Parliament allows Warsaw to lobby their position at the parliamentary level of EU (Castle). In this context, rather indicative was the Polish-Swedish initiative "Eastern Partnership", which allows Poland to promote the process of European integration of the countries of the former USSR and promote its interests in the east.
In the second half of 2011, Poland headed the European Union. The main efforts of the Polish side concentrated on promoting the development of SMEs, strengthening the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, activation of further EU enlargement, increasing defense capabilities of associations, ensuring European energy security.
3. The negative effects of Poland's membership in the EU involve quoting of admission to the European market of certain types of Polish goods, enforcement of decisions on bankruptcy and the sale of Polish shipyards in Gdynia and Szczecin due to their non-competitiveness. Poland suffered negative effects from the global financial crisis. However, the country has retained positive dynamics of economic growth (at 1.5% in 2011), which exceeds the figures in most EU countries in this period. This situation became possible through prudent financial and economic policy in previous years, considerable government support for small and medium business, stability of the financial system, close economic ties with Germany - one of the most stable countries in the EU.
Becoming a full member of the EU, Poland has become a major recipient of financial assistance, the government paid each year to the EU budget funds amounted to 1% of GDP, and received each year - the amount of which corresponded to 1.8% of GDP (Bernstein). The country has received from the EU budget 4.5 billion Euros, corresponding to revenues that Poland has on tourism.
Poland’s joining the EU ensured export growth; reducing the trade deficit; increasing FDI inflows from EU countries and large financial investment in the economy of the EU budget; improvements in key sectors of the economy, including the most problematic - agriculture and construction; increasing the number of migrant workers from Poland to the EU and the inflow from them of additional revenues. It provided improvements in macroeconomic indicators of Poland; improve the living standards of citizens, which is reflected in the increase in real incomes and a substantial reduction of unemployment.
Bernstein, Richard. “After Reaching Outward, Poland Looks Back to Its Roots.” The New York Times, 25 Jul. 2006. Web. 17 Jul. 2015.
Castle, Stephen. “As Nationalism Surges in Europe, Poland Begins Bloc Presidency.” The New York Times, 1 Jul. 2011. Web. 17 Jul. 2015.
Ewing, Jack. “Poland Skirts Euro Zone Woes, for Now.” The New York Times, 14 Dec. 2011. Web. 17 Jul. 2015.
“Poland country profile – Overview.” BBC News. BBC Europe, 26 May 2015. Web. 17 Jul. 2015.
“Poland poses latest problem for EU.” BBC News. BBC Europe, 1 Jul. 2008. Web. 17 Jul. 2015.