WARSAW , Poland, May 2 (UPI) -- Celebrations throughout Poland marked its 10th anniversary as a member of the European Union, with comments appreciative of the nation’s fast-growing economy and protections.
Speaking on Polish Radio after an outdoor event in Warsaw Thursday, President Bronislaw Komorowski, with his predecessors Lech Walesa and Alaksander Kwasniewski in attendance, said, “We are the lucky generation, as we managed to achieve something that our fathers and grandfathers could only dream of. We are in NATO, we are free, we are an EU member, we spend a lot of money on modernization of Poland. We have an increasingly more important role to play in EU. Our position is strong.”
The European Union welcomed 10 countries, with 74 million people, on May 1, 2004, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Malta, Cyprus and Slovenia. Poland, the largest on the list, has seen the most exceptional gains in its economy since joining.
Since 2004 Poland has received an investment inflow of 1.1 billion Euros ($1.52 billion) and over a trillion euros in the forms of subsidies, trade and investment ($1.39 trillion), the newspaper Puls Biznesu said, and a government report noted the country’s unemployment rate would have been higher, and its average wage lower, had it not joined the EU.