• Liaison Between the West and the East

    POLAND

    Liaison Between the West and the East

STRONG PRO-WESTERN COURSE OF POLAND

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine and Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) and Lithuania to the north. The total area of Poland is 120,726 square miles, making it the 71st largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe.

Poland´s history as a state begins near the middle of the 10th century. Poles belong to the most patriotic and rebellious nations in Europe. Because of the central location between two powers, Russia and Germany, Poles often had to fight against these countries to defend their independence. Poland changed the course of history in 1989 by becoming the first Eastern Europe country to break free from communism. Since then, economic and social changes have been enormous. Despite the vast destruction the country experienced in World War II, Poland, fortunately, managed to preserve much of its cultural wealth.

It has been recognized for hundreds of years, since beginnings of geopolitical strategy, that Poland is the heart of Europe and in that sense, whichever power controls Poland has influence over the whole of Europe. Being located between East and West, and Poland knows from historical experience that they cannot stay in a grey zone - they must be connected with the West. After the collapse of communism, Polish society overwhelmingly supported pro-Western policy and consequently followed such pro-Western policy and linked their security with membership in NATO. Poland is strengthening its army and trying to invest more than other Western countries. Poland is one of the strongest pro-European countries in the Union, while still maintaining its national identity.

WARSAW – THE CAPITAL OF COLORS

The country’s capital is one of the top tourist attractions in Europe. Most of the city guests are captivated by its magical atmosphere and the splendid architecture. Its widely varied architecture reflects the city's long, turbulent history, from Gothic churches and neoclassical palaces to Soviet-era blocks and modern skyscrapers. The city's Old Town was restored after heavy damage during WWII. Its heart is Market Square, with pastel buildings and open-air cafes. The Monument of the Warsaw Mermaid at its center is the city’s symbol.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND OUTLOOK

Poland with a population of about 38 million is the sixth largest economy in the European Union and among the fastest rising economic states in the world. Private farms in its agricultural sector create the potential to become a leading producer of food in the European Union.

Poland is also benefiting from a surge in workers from Ukraine. It’s estimated that as many as 1 million Ukrainians are working in Poland at any one time, who come for higher wages and more opportunities, especially since the recession that hit after the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia. Ukrainian workers have helped address Poland’s demographic issues—an aging population and low fertility rate—in addition to counterbalancing the emigration of millions of Poles after the nation joined the EU in 2004.

The biggest money-makers abroad include smoked and fresh fish, fine chocolate, and dairy products, meats and specialty breads. Fine dairy, chocolate and coffee products are polish pride. The Mokate company is a Polish family-owned business producing mainly coffee but also tea and chocolate drinks. It was founded in 1990, and currently they export products to 70 countries around the world.

Another strong brand known world-wide is Inglot. This brand is one of the largest manufacturers of cosmetics in the world. It was founded in 1983 in Przemysl by Wojciech Inglot and currently has more than 530 stores (also sold at Macy’s) in over 70 countries on six continents.

According to Forbes 2016, Poland is on track to become a major European tech start-up hub. Significant IoT startups include Krakow-based Estimote and Kontakt.io, trailblazers of beacon technology. Moreover, the new Google Campus in its capital Warsaw set to provide a catalyst for innovation throughout the CEE. Finally, according to the Global Peace Index for 2014, Poland is one of the safest countries in the world to live in.

FAMOUS POLES

Many of the famous Poles are mistakenly thought to be of other nationality: Roman Polański, the movie director, is Polish. Frederic Chopin, created music in Paris, but was born and grew up in Poland.

Maria Skłodowska-Curie married a French scientist and worked in France and Nicolaus Copernicus, the guy who first discovered that the sun doesn’t go around the Earth, but the other way round was Polish too.

DID YOU KNOW, THAT?

Poland is the Euroepan most religious country? About 86% of Poles feel religious which make Poland stand out against the rest of Europe.

KRAKOW - THE MOST VISITED POLAND METROPOLIS

KRAKOW - THE MOST VISITED POLAND METROPOLIS

Historic houses and palaces, mediaeval cathedrals, the Renaissance castle, squares with Baroque churches, Art Nouveau theatre shops, stalls with local specialties, restaurants, pleasant cafes and chocolates. In Krakow, the most visited city of Poland, you feel like you are in Vienna or Florence. The historic center, together with Wawel Castle, was registered in 1978 on the prestigious list of UNESCO protected monuments.

Not far away, the modest provincial town of Oswiecim better known under its German name “Auschwitz” was a witness to an enormous evil caused by mankind. During World War II in the largest Nazi extermination camp around 1.5 million people perished. A gruesome exhibition in the former camp makes the visitors rethink the basic ideas of humanity and dignity.

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