European Union versus Poland (I)

Read the previous article analyzing the idea of Poland building alliance with the other East European countries Arguments pro and against Coalition with Eastern European Countries. Read also other articles from this series: The Place of Poland in Europe and in the World.

The expectations from joining European Union (EU) were very high a few years ago, especially since EU was seen as an alliance of rich Western European countries. Each new country joining the EU hoped to become the equal to the richest.

Finally Poland had a chance to become a member of EU. When the negotiations were started it was clear that being a part of the big union of countries bring not only advantages but also problems and responsibilities. Especially since Europe is still in crisis marked with a low economical growth and also high unemployment in many Western Europe countries.

Nevertheless, it seems that there is no any other alternative than joining the EU with all the luggage of benefits and possible problems. The opinion between Poles were very polarized. Since the beginning of the negotiations we had so called Euro-optimists, who enthusiastically suported EU. We have also so called Euro-skeptics for whom joining EU is the end of Poland in political, sociological and economical sense. Recently the new, not that extreme group is more visible, so called Euro-realists, who see the dangers but also the benefits of EU.

We will be probably joining EU not alone but in a group of countries with similar economical development and political heritage. It has its advantages and disadvantages. It will be easier to negotiate some conditions in a block of countries. There were fifteen member countries, ten countries are candidates. But the membership of so many new and poorer developed countries also changes the character of the EU. The help and encouragement given to each new country in the past - cannot be given to so many countries at once. Simply the conditions for us are not that good as for the countries who became the members earlier.

It is impossible in this short summary to point all the good and bad sides of EU. Let me try to summarize a couple of the most important advantages and disadvantages of being the EU member in the next two articles. Read about the benefits and disadvantages of European Union. Check the series of articles about Poland and other Eastern European countries versus EU .

written by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn, September 23, 2002 (article #59)

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