Joining the Club: The Bread Basket of New Europe

Article excerpt

Occupying a strategic location in the heart of central Europe, Poland is a developing state whose progress calls for close observation. The most populous country in Central Europe and the sixth most populous in the European Union, Poland has been the exemplar for transitioning from communism to competitive democracy and a market economy. In the 1980s, Poland's Solidarity movement challenged the state's communist regime. The country became democratic, restructured its economy around a competitive market ethic in the 1990s, joined NATO in 1999, and officially acceded to the European Union in 2004. Although EU accession has certified Poland's inclusion in the development of an integrated Europe, integration has yet to fully take root. In order to achieve this integration, Poland must now accomplish three key goals: adopt all EU policies and programs into its own government, take an active part in decision making regarding further EU expansion, and develop a strategy for a new economic perspective.

The first step towards significant integration into the European Union requires full adoption of EU law into Polish legislation and increased focus on the free flow of persons, agriculture, and fishery. The reformative stage of the Common Agricultural Policy requires legislative changes to Polish dairy and sugar markets, a task that Poland has emphasized must be financed by the European Union rather than by individual state coffers. Poland, commonly known as "the bread basket of Europe," will also have to employ a European model of agriculture, which includes the use of organic farming and the agricultural development of rural areas. Poland's focus will be set on the modernization of food processing plants as well as the implementation of sanitary and veterinary inspections and control. The full execution of inspections and control also applies to the fishing industry, with fleet management and maritime resource control systems receiving specific attention. In order to begin this transformation, Poland has not only made legislative adjustments, but it has also been intensively training its civil servants for the new national and local administrative duty requirements. Effective cooperation between the Polish government and the national parliament regarding Poland's role and responsibilities within the European Union is clearly the country's next major hurdle.

What is crucial after this point is Poland's stance on the issues regarding the expansion of the European Union. …


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