For me, the thing that Poland should be praised for is the way that the government very quickly pursued EEC/EC/EU membership
Correct. No matter what political option was at power, the EU membership was consistently pursued which created the aura of political stability and predictability, which in turn helped to draw foreign investments.
Your figures and your understanding are completely incorrect
Well, the figures for both pre-accession funds and Polish GDP are correct; perhaps my interpretation of them was indeed inaccurate, but I would still oppose the view that Poland wouldn't have been able to be economically successful without the help of the West. Perhaps the success wouldn't have been so impressive, but we would still make it all right.
All things considered, I think that Poland did exceptionally well in the circumstances, and being an economically stable country with good perspectives for the future growth (despite the corona crisis) should continue to tighten and strenghten her ties with the EU. If only our government forbade budget deficit and was more reluctant towards things like loans, credit lines, government bonds etc., I would be even more optimistic.
My guess is you were at primary school when this was happening.
In the year 2000, I was already at the start of my studies at the Uni in Gdańsk :)