Fifteen years of Poland’s membership in the EU
On 1 May 2004, Poland, together with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta, joined the EU. The 2004 enlargement was the largest in the Union’s history.
In the first step, on 16 December 1991, Poland signed the Europe Agreement on 16 December 1991 establishing an association between Poland and the European Communities and their Member States. A symbolic moment came on 8 April 1994 in Athens with the submission of a formal application for membership in the European Union by the Government of the Republic of Poland. Official accession negotiations with the EU began four years later – in the accession referendum, which took place on 7-8 June 2003, 77.45 percent of Poles voted in favour of EU membership.
Poland is the most populous and largest country in terms of territory to have joined the EU since 2004. Poland’s is the sixth largest EU economy according to the GDP value and one of the fastest growing. Poland is an active and important member of the Union, engaged in key debates on its future, migration, climate and economic policy. Poland’s EU membership strengthens the country’s international standing and brings many economic, political and social benefits.
“Poland’s accession to the European Union crowned the efforts of all governments that were formed after Solidarity’s victory in 1989. […] EU membership has become a foundation for the modernization of our state, economy, and foreign policy”, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jacek Czaputowicz said in his foreign policy address to the Sejm of the Republic of Poland on 14th March 2019.