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Poland in the Process of European Economic Integration

Prof. dr hab. Jarosław Kundera

Jarosław Kundera

Professor of the University of Wroclaw, Jean Monnet Chair, member of workinggroup on the Agenda 2000, expert of Directorate General for Economicand Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) European Commission, coordinator of Tempus program on European Studies. Curriculum Development, coordinator of post-diploma French study – Public policy in Europe (DESS), member of Committee of National Research (KBN) in Warsaw, coordinator of Tempus program Euro-Regio-Center, Director of theInstitute of Economics of the University of Wroclaw, adviser for Structural Funds in two operational programs: Trans frontier cooperation between Poland and the Czech Republic and Regional Operational program for Lower Silesian Voievodship (education infrastructure), chief of group of researchers under the J. Monnetprogram: The Political Economy of the EMU, and the program: Initiative and Constrain in the Mapping of Evolving European Borders.

ISBN: 978-83-7627-079-1
Nr katalogowy: 1106
Wydanie: 1
Data wydania: 2013/02
Seria: Monografie
Oprawa: miekka
Format: 165 x 235
Ilość stron: 328
Cena katalogowa: 59,00 zł

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Participation of Poland in various stages of European integration is the recurrent theme of this book. European integration process has had an important influence on Polish economy. It involved all its sectors, changed public policy, the environment of many firms, and the position of consumers. It enabled Polish exporters of goods and services to be apart of a market much larger than of Poland. On the other hand, integration process opened the Polish market to foreign competition and new foreign investments. It gave Poles the opportunity to take jobs nearly all around Europe on non-discriminatory conditions. It brought about new institutional and business regulations. Since Poland has entered the European Single Market, the next logical steps were to assume the principles of the EU’s economic policy.

The integration processes between Poland and the EU have started from free trade. The free trade in industrial goods with the EU partners was the entrance to the European Single Market. After accession to the EU Poland introduced all four freedoms’ acquis communautaire. Free trade included not only industrial products, but also trade in agricultural products. Moreover, Poland also enlarges the liberalization process to free circulation of services, capital and people. It was obliged to abolish not only the last direct barriers to trade and migration off actors of production, but also many so-called indirect barriers, like technical standards, administration rules, harmonization of taxes, and public procurement law. In 2004 Poland joined also the Economic and Monetary Union and the EU’s common policies contained several sectors of Polish economy (competition policy, agricultural policy, regional policy). Although Poland has yet not participated in the third phase of the EMU, from the legal point of view monetary integration is also part of Polish integration process. Now Poland is undergoing the process of fulfilling the convergence criteria, an event which has further consequences for Polish economy.

The main goal of this publication is to discern and compare the essential economic effects of Poland participation in European integration process. Attempts are made to evaluate the past, actual and future process of integration in economic terms. Poland has been taking part in a free trade area since 1992 and is a member of EU since 2004 – that is a relatively long period of integration to be a subject of scientific analysis. The best and typical method of assessment of the economics of integration processes is the comparison of costs and benefits. The book analyses and compares the economic effects of the most important parts of European integration processes: free trade, four freedoms of the single market, economic union and monetary integration. The book assumes that integration process has its own logic and next steps of integration may have its sources in benefits of the former stages. The sectorial analyses of Poland integration in the EU have been accomplished in many publications. However, there isa lack of analysis of economic effects of all essential parts “ensemble” of participation of Poland in the European economic integration and prospects for future integration.

The book has theoretical as well as empirical character. Using the benefit and costs method of analyzing serves to assess objectively a particular integration initiative in past, actual and future. Its large field of investigation embraces all the important elements of integration process in order to shed some light upon the logic and mechanism of complicated economics of the EU. The analys is done mainly with medium term perspectives, but it may also give clue about the benefits and costs and long-term impact of EU membership upon the Polish economy. Each integration process is characterized by economic benefits and costs of adjustment. Sometimes these benefits and costsmay be unevenly distributed among the partner countries. The benefits and cost may be also unevenly distributed among particular economic sectors. Moreover, different integration initiative may bring different economic effects between partners and their regions. To avoid the uneven distribution of costs and benefits, the liberalization process should be supplemented by some corrective mechanism. In the EU the function of the corrective mechanism is provided by the two structural policies: the Regional policy and the Common Agricultural Policy. The other EU’s economic policies are also characterized by economic costs and benefits of early adjustment and further functioning. For example, the analysis of potential costs and benefits of Poland from EMU is connected also with single market: on the one hand, single market may be heading Poland to constitute an optimal currency area, which would decrease the costs of the EMU, on the other hand, the single currency may enlarge benefits from single market as trade and investments flows would increase. This publication estimates potential benefits and costs of the EMU from the point of view of economics of international integration, but doesn’t speak about the necessity to join euroarea. The fact that this book was written during a time of crisis ineuro area creates additional difficulties and of course it is impossible to avoid its consequences upon the future evolution of European integration.

This book is a product of author’s long-term research on the mechanism of the European integration that he has conducted at the Institute of Economics of the University of Wrocław on the basis of material gathered in its Research and Documentation Centre of the EU. It may contribute to better understanding of the complicated problems of European integration and the economic effects of Polish participation in this process.

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