Key conclusions on the 9th anniversary of Poland’s EU membership


Poland joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. What has changed since the accession? Thanks to the European Union Funds, we have, among many other things, new roads, investments in gminas all over the country, direct payments to farmers and support for entrepreneurs.

For 9 years, the cohesion policy has contributed to Poland almost PLN 342. This is more than an annual budget of the country! These funds have been invested in almost 172 thousand projects.

We are leaders in obtaining the European Funds. Until now, we have used PLN 243.4 billion from the money allocated for 2007-2013, which accounts for 86% of funds assigned for that period.

New EU Budget

During the February summit in Brussels, we managed to work out a compromise on a new European budget for 2014-2020. Poland is set to receive the total of PLN 441 billion, including:

  • PLN 303.6 billion for cohesion policy,
  • PLN 118.8 billion for Common Agricultural Policy.

The Schengen Area

On 21 December 2007, Poland joined the Schengen Area. The Schengen Convention allows the free movement of European citizens across national borders of member states without the need for visas or passport checks.

Poland’s EU Presidency

From 1 July to 31 December 2011, Poland held the presidency in the European Union Council. During that time, we were actively involved in managing the imperative affairs of the Community. Our presidency fell on a difficult time of crisis in the euro zone. During the Polish presidency, the treaty concerning the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union was concluded.

EU Funds in Figures

Until now, the largest funds have found their way to the following projects:

Transport – EUR 25.4 billion

  • built/modernised over 15.5 thousand kilometres of roads
  • built/modernised over 2.1 thousand kilometres of railway lines

Investing in human capital – EUR 21.1 billion

  • various kinds of support have been granted to almost 8.6 million individuals
  • over 150 thousand new firms have been established
  • education for 62.5 thousand students in new, ordered fields of studies has been financed
  • classes for over 133 thousand children at nursery schools have been arranged or financed; over 83 % of these nurseries continued their activity after the subsidy coming from the European Social Fund had terminated.

Environmental Protection – EUR 10.7 billion

  • built/modernised app. 34 thousand kilometres of sewage networks
  • built/modernised over 11 thousand kilometres of water supply networks
  • built/modernised over 650 wastewater treatment facilities

Entrepreneurship, Innovations, Research & Development – EUR 11.2 billion

  • direct support has been granted to over 42.5 thousand firms
  • over 1.7 thousand laboratories have been set up or modernised

Information Society – EUR 3.02 billion

  • over 35 thousand kilometres of broadband has been set up
  • over 500 thousand households have received or will receive partially funded access to Internet

Social and Economic Impact of Poland’s Membership of the European Union (1 May 2004 – 1 May 2013) [download]


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