Abstract (Summary)
The year of 1989 was a milestone in re-creation of the European continent and the relations between states of Western and Eastern Europe. After the collapse of Eastern Bloc, namely the end of the Cold War era, the relations were reshaped and there was a convergence of the Western and Eastern sides of the continent to common values, rules and political and economic structures.

As a result of these new developments in the continent, the fifth enlargement wave of the European Union occurred. This was a controversial issue for the entire Europe. According to many scholars and researchers, Poland?s political history and geography caused Poland to be perceived as a special case for the European Union.

Poland could be seen as the most difficult candidate for the European Union membership in terms of its population and size. Because of its so-called ?special position?, its membership was discussed in terms of whether being a stumbling block in the enlargement process.

The main motivations behind Poland?s goal of being a member of the Union were political and security-related. On the other hand, the challenges of membership were mostly concerning economic effects of membership on ?losers? of the process, and social issues.

Accession and integration process was a very difficult and complex period for all candidate countries. Poland created new institutions, bodies and charged many people for this process. The analysis of the organisational structure established in Poland for negotiations and the entire integration process shows that Poland created a well-functioning and efficient structure and was able to execute a stable integration process.

The negotiations were carried out in 31 chapters with each candidate country. While some negotiation chapters could be accepted as easy topics, some of them required a hard ?bargaining? in order to close the chapter. Five problematic chapters, free movement of persons, free movement of capital (particularly acquisition of real estate by foreigners), agriculture, environment, financial and budgetary provisions, could be accepted as the examples of tricky and hard negotiation chapters.

As a conclusion, it can be said that Poland achieved NATO and EU membership, which were its twin goals in 1990s. Although, Poland was perceived as one of the most controversial candidates in European Union?s most comprehensive and difficult enlargement movement, the ?big bang?, it could constitute well-functioning coordination mechanisms and conclude the negotiations on time with the other candidate countries. Poland did not become a stumbling block in the enlargement process and concluded its accession process successfully.

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Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:h general social sciences 1 99 key words poland the european union enlargement accession negotiations


Date of Publication:04/15/2004

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