SUCCESS WITHOUT A FUTURE STRATEGY. AN ATTEMPTED APPRAISAL OF POLAND'S FIVE YEARS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION (Sukces bez strategii na przyszlosc. Próba oceny pieciu lat obecnosci Polski w Unii Europejskiej)
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The author attempts to appraise the five years of Poland's membership in the European Union by concentrating on the political and institutional issues which formed the basis for decision-making in economic matters. The author's point of departure is the analysis of pre-accession forecasts which helped choose the criteria for appraising Poland's accession. In addition, the author shows in what manner the choice of presence strategy in the European Union affected the adoption of specific tactics. During the pre-accession stage, potential scenarios of Poland's presence in the EU were considered and postulates for the formulation of a vision for Poland's membership beyond 2004 were raised. Poland's accession brought the general consensus on the Polish political stage with regard to EU policy to an end because various political camps created their own vision of this policy. The steps taken by the Polish authorities were concentrated on making good use of opportunities, on limiting the costs of EU accession, and on adapting more effectively to functioning as an EU member. EU membership gave Poland new instruments with which to shape its energy and security policy. However, its policy toward the East was conducted on an essentially bilateral plane. In March 2008, Poland joined the Schengen system, something that placed on it the obligation to continue improving the protection of the EU's outer boundaries. The Polish economy reached the level of economic transformation necessary to function effectively as a member of the single market. The dominant criterion of appraisal for Poland's use of structural fund instruments was statistical assessment, while experiences in the absorption of EU structural funds pointed to the existence of many difficulties.
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