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Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics - National Research Institute Warsaw
Acceptance date: 2010-03-21
Publication date: 2010-03-21
Zagadnienia Ekonomiki Rolnej / Problems of Agricultural Economics 2010;322 (Suplement)(1):45–55
The attempt to conduct an in-depth analysis of macroeconomic social and economic effects of Poland’s membership in the EU after nearly 5 years is a risky task. Since it is a relatively short time, it is difficult to assure methodologically correct separation of permanent effects and the phenomena resulting from the economic cycles or random events. The macroeconomic and microeconomic results of Poland's adjustments to the legal and institutional solutions of the “old” EU were not fully materialised yet. The course of economic processes in Poland was influenced by geopolitical threats, significant changes in raw material prices, especially crude oil price, as well as instability of financial markets. These phenomena would have affected Polish economy irrespective of our membership in the EU, however. Mutual full opening of markets was not a hindrance to the development of the Polish food economy; instead, it became a strong impulse for its growth. The following phenomena serve as evidence for such an assumption: • Within the 5 years of our membership in the EU the export of agri-food products increased from EUR 4.0 billion to EUR 11.3 billion (2.8 times), whereas the import increased from EUR 3.6 billion to EUR 9.8 billion (also 2.8 times), and the surplus increased 3.3 times from EUR 0.4 billion to EUR 1.5 billion. • The trade with other EU states grew even faster. Food deliveries from Poland to the EU-25 States in 2003-2005 increased by 248%, whereas import to Poland increased by 212%. • The EU membership gave a new, very strong impulse to the export of Polish agri-food products to EU-10/12 countries. The increase in trade dynamics with these countries and the improvement of results were especially visible in recent years, whereas the trade with EU-15 noted a decrease in dynamics and lower results. • The positive balance of foreign trade in agri-food products has improved: - in total from EUR 0.4 billion in 2003 to EUR 1.5 billion in 2008, - with EU-25 States from EUR 0.4 billion to EUR 2.3 billion in 2008, - with EU-15 States from EUR 0.2 billion to EUR 0.8 billion in 2008 (but in 2006-2007 it was EUR 1.5 billion) - with EU-12 States from EUR 0.2 billion to EUR 1.5 billion in 2008. Therefore, the accession to the EC structures did not cause flooding of the Polish market with EU-imported food, a threat which often appeared in pre-accession forecasts. Foreign trade in this period became an important factor of the development of the food industry and agriculture situation, since - with a relatively stable domestic demand - it absorbed the vital part of increase in domestic production. The share of the export in the production sold in 2008 reached 22%, as compared to 16.5% in 2004 and 10.5% in 2000.