The article marks an attempt at the assessment of changes that have taken place in the rural areas of Poland over five years of its membership of the European Union. The changes attributable to Poland's presence in the European Union can be included in the series of changes that occurred in the country's rural areas in the late 1970s and the early 1980s as well as those brought about by systemic transformation launched in 1989. A look at the Polish countryside from such perspective permits to see it as a dynamic space and to divide the occurring changes into three categories: the category of changes remaining within the scope of the earlier started processes, the category of changes correcting this processes, and the category of changes inaugurating new process. The article consists of two parts. In the first part the authoress describes the influence of EU membership on the long-term transformation processes started in the past: a slow-down in the pace of deruralisation of the countryside and dualisation of agriculture, a faster pace of disagrarisation and re-stratification of the rural community. In the article's second part the authoress deals with the spheres where new phenomena surface - chiefly, the sphere of social awareness (optimism, ambivalent Europeanisation) and the sphere of regulations that create the basis for a new civic character of the rural community.