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How do Poles perceive the European Union?


Magda G  
26 Dec 2006 /  #1
Over two and a half years have already passed since Poland joined the European Union and the opinions on its effects on improvement of everyday Polish life are kind of divided.

Firstly, young people who have just graduated and closed the painful stage of passing the exams and entered the highway of a grown-up life have been enthusiastic about it from the very beginning. It opened the forbidden door to the places like Great Britain and other western European countries, where previously we only had the chance to be construction workers, waitresses, etc. Now, at the British port in Cardiff, we do not longer have to be afraid that the customs officer will ask us how much money we have in the pocket and what are the particular reasons of our trip. We have the EU membership and everyone one knows what is the only reason of traveling there, i.e. money and a promise of a better and more dignified life. Some of these dreams come true. The other more common stories concerning mainly unskilled physical workers with no knowledge of English end more dramatically. Some people coming to Great Britain, which previously appeared to be a promised land for them, never found the employment agencies offering them work for the amount of money which was almost unaffordable for them and which they will never get back. They gave up everything they had to realize their dreams and the reality surprises them negatively, the moment they find themselves abroad. The sad fact about this kind of companies is that their owners are very often Poles.

Secondly, there was and there is going to be a group of strong EU-skeptics in Poland which consists mainly of the old people, the retired and the farmers. Each of them has their own reasons for being hostile to changes that the EU might bring. The elder and the retired have conservative opinions and fear unification and loss of national heritage. Moreover, they are too afraid of anything new to be able to understand what kinds of benefits may be offered by the EU. The last but not least important fact is that they fear the exchange of the currency because in their opinion it will lead to much higher prices of everything. Furthermore, they have an opinion that the foreigners, in particular Germans will buy out land in Poland really cheaply and settle down there and sell it to their compatriots for millions of Euros.

The last of these groups, mainly farmers fear the restrictions and obligations imposed on them, which are necessary to export all kind of food. They had to adapt to new circumstances and change their routines. For some of them it was unimaginable at the beginning. However, the EU incentives in the form of grants, aids and support programs encouraged them to favor the EU more and more. What they complain the most about is the paper work necessary to obtain financial aid, i.e. numerous applications that you have to go through line by line and notice each detail, otherwise you may loose your chance to be supported immediately and you have to wait another year.

I was a bit of skeptical about the benefits of the EU myself when I heard about “oscypek” case. One of the most Polish mountain-specific types of cheese which could be a delight for many culinary connoisseurs in Europe was banned from export firstly due to unhygienic methods of production. I thought that this is a huge exaggeration. If it was produced in the sterile conditions, it will loose its unique taste.

However, I had the chance to visit Brussels as a journalist and all the institutions of the European Union. Now, I think that despite the complex roles and provisions according to which they operate, they guarantee the fact that Europe can be not divided but united by both its differences and similarities. This is only the beginning, I hope that Poles will be more willing to learn from the other Member States’ experiences and enjoy full package of benefits resulting from the EU membership.

Magda
hello 22 | 891  
28 Dec 2006 /  #2
The EU is ruled by Germany and their banks so they will always benefit most from this organization. Poland will be just "a member" - now and in X years...
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
29 Dec 2006 /  #3
The last but not least important fact is that they fear the exchange of the currency because in their opinion it will lead to much higher prices of everything.

Why should older Polish people fear a change of currency ? They are the ones who understand most of all. We had a change of currency in Poland about 15 years ago. Or, did you forget.

due to unhygienic methods of production.

I've lost count of the amount of times that I've found human hair and other bits and pieces in Polish food. Quality Control, where foodstuffs are concerned, is a nightmare.
lef 11 | 478  
29 Dec 2006 /  #4
Why should older Polish people fear a change of currency

Wroclaw.. I think she means the value of the zlote. A lot of old people hid there money under the bed and found it was worthless, you know those days when a 5000zl note was a lot of money, then it was worth peanuts.

I've always found polish food pretty clean.
What you have to understand with the EU, poland has to abide by the EU parliament, how this pans out we will know better as time goes by. One thing for certain is that Poland will not be the biggest winner in all this. Thats why you get a lot of people who have vested interest talk a lot of crap and trying to give EU a good spin.
Frank 23 | 1,183  
29 Dec 2006 /  #5
Over two and a half years have already passed since Poland joined the European Union and the opinions on its effects on improvement of everyday Polish life are kind of divided.

Yes, it took 20 years for a real impact to be made in Ireland......it will take a little time, plus EE circumstances are different!

Germans will buy out land in Poland really cheaply and settle down there and sell it to their compatriots for millions of Euros.

There are laws in place to prevent foreigners buying land....for a period anyways...

cheese which could be a delight for many culinary connoisseurs in Europe was banned from export firstly due to unhygienic methods of production

This should have been foreseen, the high cost food producers in the west, always demand the highest standards, which usually cost a lot of money to implement in low cost countries.

The EU is ruled by Germany and their banks so they will always benefit most from this organization. Poland will be just "a member" - now and in X years...

True to a degree...but surpise, surprise...its a democracy of sorts......make your pacts with a group of countries and your case will be heard and indeed be in your favour...you have to learn to play the game guys!!

One thing for certain is that Poland will not be the biggest winner in all this

So do you also read palms, tea cups etc......?.....no one knows, but sure as hell its a better situation to be in, than just being a chattel of the old Soviet bloc....!

Carpe diem !!!!!!!!!!!!
lef 11 | 478  
30 Dec 2006 /  #6
So do you also read palms, tea cups etc......?.....

lol:) :) I don't, but it seems many who respond to this forum do. (do you?)

Lets view this space in a couple years time and see who was on the mark.
Frank 23 | 1,183  
30 Dec 2006 /  #7
You are saying your predictions are right...I am not making any........so it doesn't matter to me....if I am on the mark or not...

Its you who has all the face to loose...!!!!....scary....lol

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