Poland Positioning Itself Well in the EU

As one of the new kids on the block, Poland is hoping to get in with the popular kids. Poland was one of the biggest of the 8 post-Communist countries that joined the EU in 2004. Now, they have their sights on being an influential policy-maker alongside heavyweights like France, Germany and the UK.

EU Presidency

They are hoping that their upcoming EU presidency will do the trick and place them in with the EU elite. They have been working hard to groom their image, as Poland’s current leader, Donald Tusk, has stopped playing the defensive card. He has improved relations with Germany and has been less confrontational with Russia.

Poland has an uphill battle, as they try to wipe away past prejudices from Western countries. IN 2003, French leader Jacques Chirac told Poland to “shut up” about the Iraq invasion. In 2007, Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski told Germany that it needed to give Poland more EU votes because of what happened in World War II.

Poland’s New Image

Explaining Poland’s new and improved image, Bartek Nowak from the Warsaw-based think-tank the Centre for International Relations said, “Poland’s presidency adds great value to the results of a longer process. Its size is now being backed up by appropriate skills – coalition building and a more pragmatic international policy – and the right policy choices when it comes to the global financial crisis.”

Agnieszka Lada, from Poland’s Institute of Public Affairs, believes that Poland will play its role well. As she said, “Poland wants to show itself a serious member state, mature enough to be at the helm of the European Union.”

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