Poland Struggles to Live Up to Ambitious Goals in EU, Post-Soviet Sphere

Poland Struggles to Live Up to Ambitious Goals in EU, Post-Soviet Sphere

When it joined the European Union in May 2004, Poland was experiencing troubled times. Although its GDP growth was satisfying—5.4 percent in 2004, compared to 3.9 percent last year—its unemployment rate had hit 20 percent. Instead of perceiving EU membership as a chance to boost living standards, many Poles thought membership would widen the gap between Poland and the West. Thousands left the country seeking jobs abroad, mainly in Germany, Britain and Ireland. Populist parties exploited these fears. Ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections in 2005, they based their campaigns on euroskepticism and protection of national interests. Lech Kaczynski, the […]

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