It’s been 15 years since Poland joined the EU. There have been enormous changes since then but just how much is attributed to EU money? Below is a breakdown of the EU effect in Poland…
In 2004, Poland’s GDP growth was 5.1 percent. And now? In 2018 it also amounted to 5.1 percent. Does it mean that we have stood still? Poland’s economy slowed down slightly when joining the EU, but then it shot up. Over the past 15 years, Poland’s GDP growth has always been faster than the EU average, never falling to negative values, even in the worst global crisis.
Over 15 years, Poland has received 110 billion euros – and we are talking about the net result, after deducting the contributions that we contributed to the EU budget. In terms of today’s zloty, we are talking about a total of about 473 billion PLN. To put that into context, the revenues of the Polish budget planned for 2019 are almost 388 billion PLN.
How much has Poland paid out to the EU? For 15 years Poland received 163 billion euros from the European Union, and paid 53 billion.
15 years is a long time, so many people may not remember the rather dark times when the unemployment rate reached almost 20 percent. Now unemployment hovers around 6 percent. In 2004, every fifth Pole did not have a job. A lot has changed also on the roads . 15 years ago, we had about 550 km of highways. Today, we have almost 2,000 km of motorways (of which about 300 km is under construction) and more than 5,800 km of expressways (many are in progress, about 2100 km are ready). The latter in 2004, we had little more than … 200 km.
Most kilometers of new roads were built in 2012, when the program for the Euro 2012 European football championship started. First of all, the focus was on the high-speed routes: section of the A2 motorway from Łódź to Warsaw. In total, in 2012, over 600 km of new roads were given to drivers.
Many people do not pay attention to other investments also. New bus routes, tram routes, streets, bike paths, etc. have been created in many cities. Almost 500 new wastewater treatment plants have been built in Poland. In agriculture – since 2004, Poland has received 55 billion euros of which 33.6 billion are direct payments that went straight to the farmers. That’s almost 144.5 billion PLN!
15 years ago, Poland imported more food than it sent abroad. Now, these proportions have reversed, and some industries have grown into European or global powerhouses!
At present, Poland exports 29 billion euros of food annually and in 2004 it was only 5.4 billion. An enormous amount of Polish chickens are exported – and breeders release about 3 million tons per year. No other country in Europe is producing more than 2 million tons. 16% of the world’s chicken comes from Poland! For chickens, it is not good news, but breeders are rubbing their hands.
You can make your own decision whether or not it was worth Poland to join the EU. We think the numbers though, speak for themselves!
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