The Impact of Poland's EU Accession on its Economy

Center for Social and Economic Research CASE Report No. 335

31 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2007

See all articles by Ewa Balcerowicz

Ewa Balcerowicz

CASE - Center for Social and Economic Research

Date Written: 2007


The paper briefly discusses the main economic developments in Poland since its accession to the EU in May 2004 and sees how they relate to the regulatory environment and policies which the EU imposes on the member states. The paper starts with a brief description of principles, legislation and policies adopted in the EU, which influence the decisions made by the government, as well as entrepreneurs, investors, companies and workers. Next it discusses outcomes that were anticipated to occur as a result of the 2004 accession. Economic developments in Poland in two years of EU membership are presented in the last section. It starts with the macroeconomic performance, including economic growth and nominal convergence. The effects of Poland's participation in the single market on Polish trade (goods and services flows), capital flows (foreign direct investments - FDI), and labor flows (and specifically migration to the EU-15) are also discussed. The size and destination of EU funds committed to Poland are presented. The final paragraph confronts the factual results of the economic processes, highlighting the public's perception of Poland's accession and their assessment of the outcomes both for their country and for themselves as individuals.

Even though the paper concerns the recent period of 2004-2006 there are frequent references to developments that took place in Poland in the pre-accession period. This is because the country's integration into the EU economy was a gradual and lengthy process which had formally been initiated in December 16, 1991 when Poland and the EU signed the Europe Agreement.

Keywords: European Union, Poland, macroeconomic performance, labor migrations, FDI

Suggested Citation

Balcerowicz, Ewa, The Impact of Poland's EU Accession on its Economy (2007). Center for Social and Economic Research CASE Report No. 335, Available at SSRN: or

Ewa Balcerowicz (Contact Author)

CASE - Center for Social and Economic Research ( email )

Al. Jana Pawła II 61/212
Warsaw, 01-031

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