Prioritisation of Work - Preparing the Poland's Accession to the European Union(1)

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Abstract

The article touches upon the prioritisation of the works aiming at the Polish accession to the EU. Specifically, it addresses the National Programme of Preparation for Membership, being a core progress chart and schedule for the pre-accession period and resulting in the thorough cooperation with the different ministries. Together with various other main technical instruments as the programmes and strategies within various fields of interest, the author describes the present situation underlining the necessity of the step-like approach vis-a vis EU integration, upon the agreed programmes.

The launch of the membership negotiations in 1998, a current step of the continuously strengthened and enhanced relations between Poland on the one side and the European Communities/European Union on the other, marks significant progress in a common understanding of Europe as the family of nations, cultures, ideas and societies. This decision provides not only for the historical change in the understanding of our continent as a politically and economically more stable and unified organism (from an external perspective), but also for the real revolution, as seen from the legal and institutional point of view, in different negotiating countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), including Cyprus, Malta and also Turkey.

It is crucial to understand the whole process not only from the political point of view, taking under consideration various declarations and speeches of the EU officials and its Member States' decision-makers, but additionately by looking at it from the side of the future members of this unique club - the applicant countries. How do they perceive the whole process, what is substantial for them, how to cope with certain problems, what fields of the vast acquis communautaire seem to pose problems during their adoption?

One can state several similar questions, but in this very essay, the author puts a stress on the rarely touched issue of the prioritisation of the membership preparations with the example of Poland's experience. Within this topic, we can observe the crossing point of the political and technical sphere of the integration, with numerous influences imposing new priorities and modifying the existing ones. This text will not strictly deal with the institutional aspect of the European integration works in Poland but mostly with the changing face of the basic documents on which the whole process has been built. Priorities are seen here within the strategic programmes, basic official documents binding for the governmental side while performing its statutory and mandatory obligations. This modern approach provides for the notion of dynamic and ever-changing relations between the applicant and the European Union.

Voluntary Adjustment Programmes

It can be clearly stated that the process of the European integration was instigated in Poland soon after the collapse of the communist regime. And even before that moment, we have officially established diplomatic relations between Poland and the European Economic Community (EEC) in September 1988. Shortly after that, Poland began negotiations with the EEC on a trade and economic co-operation agreement (signed eventually in Warsaw on 19 September 1989). With this non-preferential treaty allowing the gradual lift of quota restrictions imposed by the Community on Poland much earlier, our Western partners have managed to gain the chief trading role in Poland's economic relations since 1990. With the first free elections conducted in post-war Poland in 1989, the G7 Summit conclusions of July 1989, the introduction of the PHARE (2) programme and the establishment of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), further evolution of the EC-Poland relations might have been thoroughly initiated. Nevertheless, it is crucial to underline that next to Poland, there were also Czechoslovakia (at the time) and Hungary taking part in this historical political and economic transformation. …