Poland and the European Union

Poland and the European Union

Poland and the European Union

Poland and the European Union


This authoritative volume assesses how the recently democratised political system in Poland is adapting to the challenges posed by the country's desire to "rejoin Europe". Its excellent panel of highly respected Polish academics considers various issues not generally well-known to the English-speaking world, but of great importance in the light of Poland's impending entry into the European Union.


This is the first volume in the new series published by Routledge on ‘Europe and the nation-state’. As Lee Miles and I have briefly emphasized, the series has as its empirical focus the complex relationship between European integration and the nation-state principally, though not solely, in the context of the European Union (EU) and its member states as well as those applicant states that are currently on the threshold of membership.

Edited by Karl Cordell, the present collection of essays comprises a work of twelve chapters on Poland and the European Union (EU). It is tantamount to a ‘tour de force’ of Poland’s complicated and fascinating relations with the EU and with its immediate neighbours both within and without that organization. Karl Cordell has managed to bring together an impressive array of Polish scholars who have brought their considerable intellectual weight and authority to bear upon the many contemporary problems and challenges that confront the Polish nation-state in its drive to join one of the most successful political projects in European history.

The underlying theme of these twelve essays is about adjustment and adaptation. It is about how far the Polish state, society and economy have the capacity to adjust and adapt to the huge changes implicit in membership of the EU. Consequently the emphasis of the essays is differentiated but they include Poland’s history, geopolitical position, social and economic structures, political parties, party system and machinery of government, and ultimately how they interact with its basic political values, beliefs and attitudes towards Europe. Tradition collides with modernity. Contemporary public expectations are characterized by a conspicuous ambiguity that veers between the optimism of economic prosperity, political stability and military security and the scepticism of far-reaching structural change that could conceivably render Poland socially, economically and politically enfeebled.

Cordell makes it clear that Poland is a nation-state at yet another crossroads in its long constitutional and political evolution. Its current attempt to remove all traces of its troubled past and replace them with the promise of a much more peaceful, prosperous and secure future serves

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