WARSAW, Poland, June 2 (UPI) -- Poland, anticipating a visit Tuesday from U.S. President Barack Obama and long regarded as a pro-American bastion, is feeling considerably more European these days.
While examples of anti-Americanism remain rare, Poland's 2004 entry into the European Union has Poles less centered on Washington and more on the country's place in Europe.
"The national focus shifted from international politics and security to economics," Johns Hopkins University foreign policy expert Michael Mandelbaum told The New York Times. "The generation that came to maturity after the end of Communism wouldn't have the same feelings as their parents."
Poland, with its proximity to Russia and Ukraine, remains a strong U.S. ally and a crucial part of the European security scheme. However, the nation's growing focuses on unity and economics have cooled its relationship with the U.S. Its European Union membership gave Poles freedom to travel around Europe and adopt European standards, leading to improvements, like better roads and opportunities for consumer spending, previously unavailable in Poland.
"Now, all the weekly papers are pro-European and the focus of our attention has shifted from Washington to Brussels and Berlin," said Michal Sutowski, 29, of the left-leaning movement Krytyka Polityczna. "You look at TV news now, and it is all about Europe."