Poland And The Eu. Essay

2236 words - 9 pages

Republic of Poland (Rzeczpospolita Polska) was the first country in Central and Eastern Europe to break out of communist rule, which lead to the creation of the president as head of state and a second chamber of parliament, the senate.Although at present Poland is a sovereign and democratic country whose institutions operate under the rule of law, there are still signs of the old systems in place, hence the possibility for it to have a totalitarian state that is hostile to collectivism and in which some degree of individualism - particularly in the economic sphere - is encouraged. (Hill C, 2003)Poland is one of the largest countries in Central Europe; its shape is roughly square, measuring 400 - 440 miles across (http://www.kprm.gov.pl). The climate is temperate, characterised by relatively cold winters and warm summers, ideal for the large scale of agricultural farming undertaken in the country.Before its acceptance into the European Union (EU), Poland will have to overcome some of the problems that currently exist in its agricultural sector, which employs over 19% of the workforce. (Kapoor M & Johnstone C, The Business 13 / 14 October) At present Poland is a country of peasant farmers that are handicapped by structural problems and inefficient small farms, as well as no-hope heavy industry and high unemployment.Farmland occupies 18.5 million hectares; almost 60 % of land in Poland and 91.2 % of farmland is in private hands. (See Figure 1, pg 7) This is a relatively high share of land compared with other candidate Countries, (countries that are presently in negotiations to join the EU) and current EU member states.Figure 2: Land use in 2001.Figure 3: % of workforce employed in farming.Poland will have the second highest employment in agriculture in the EU-27 (the total of counties in the EU) and will contribute to 17.2% of the agricultural labour force in the EU-27. (http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture) With a population of 38.6 million it is the largest of the 12 candidate countries. In an EU-27 it would represent the 5th biggest country by population after Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain. (http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture) The country has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about ECU 200 billion (expressed in purchasing power parity) (http://www.ukie.gov.pl) and its principle trading partners in 2002 for exports were Germany, France and Italy. The current currency is the zloty (zl) and USD $1 = ~ 4.1 zl and 1 Euro = ~ 4.0 zl.With the private sector accounting for about 70 percent of all economic activity, Poland's post communist transition has won plaudits from the EU. A recent EU report on the country's progress towards accession concluded that Poland is "a functioning market economy." (http://Europe.cnn) However the EU does have concerns that the country's farm sector employs about one fifth of the labour force - a ratio only matched by Greece within the EU. (http://Europe.cnn)A major political quid pro quo of the...

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