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Conceptualisation of the Adaptation Policy Model of Poland Towards the European Union

Teresa Los-Nowak
Institute of Political Science
Wroclaw University

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute

April 1998

Table of Contents

  1. Theoretical Assumptions
  2. Political Integration of the Republic of Poland Towards the European Union: Model Analysis
  3. External and Internal Implications of the Preferred Options
  4. Integration Policy of the Republic of Poland in the Years 1989-90: Between Negative and Balanced Adaptation
  5. Integration Policy of the Republic of Poland with EU 1991-94 Negative Adaption
  6. Integration of Poland into the European Union 1994 - 98

1. Theoretical Assumptions

While undertaking the problem of conceptualising the adaptation policy model of Poland to the requirements of the European Union, we touch two of the most important aspects for the said matter, which are:

Accepting according to K. Waltz (1979) and J. N. Rosenau (1970) that a state operates rationally in its international interactions, which means that it selects the best option for itself from those available; it was also assumed that the internal and external policy of Poland, in the dynamically changing European and international environment after 1989, aimed at elaborating and realising such an adaptation model which while maximising the benefits would minimise the losses linked with the change of political regime and redefinition of its integration policy in Europe and (V. Rittberger 1995, J. G. Hagan 1994, p. 229). This could mean that the integration policy of Poland and simultaneously the general assumption of foreign policy of the state would form its resultant internal capacity and motivation to change of an unaccepted political regime (sovereign acts, intermediary between W and Z, and so on).

Mauritzen observes that the crux of the problem in seeking an adaptation model conceptually to change of the state’s political regime and readable international relations in the real dimension, lies in the system of values that it loses or gains as a result of changes of its changes (H. Moritzen, 1996, p. 8). The system of values that can also be defined as reasons of state, is readable in the case of Poland. They are the standard existential interests of a state such as sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also such interests as social prosperity, national and cultural identity, and others. For many states, such values also include the position in the international system, scope of influences or role played (J. Kukuka, 1986 2 ).

In optimising the adaptation model of a state to new geopolitical and geoeconomical reality, an important factor besides this is the time perspective realised in which are the material benefits resulting from change of the old political regime. In this latter case, a state often differentiates the components that together create this system of values, while acknowledging, e.g. the precedence of such values as independence, democratic political system as more important than a temporary deterioration of the economical and social condition of society. It may also in confrontation of the attitude of a large neighbouring power, alter their articulation. This assumption undoubtedly complicates the analytical model of adaptation since it assumes the possibility of existence of various adaptation models of political regime of a state in the given period of time. When viewed from outside, its internal and external policy often appears as not very readable or incohesive.

H. Mouritzen, quoted here, differentiates four adaptation models 3 :

Negative adaptation model - is, despite appearances, an example of dynamic behaviour of states both with respect to the internal environment as also to the external. Reminding as such is the active policy model of R. Rosenau, although in the proposed version, it seems to be worthier studied. Since it envisages a kind of active policy of a state forming its sovereign existence, its internal and external policy (adaptive cquiescence). To a lesser extent, it refers to the balanced adaptation model assuming balanced external influence on the process of internal changes. Both the models also served the author of this elaboration to analyse the adaptation policy of the Polish government towards integration into the European Union.

Lying at the source of choice of an adaptation model for Poland is undoubtedly the questioning of the communist political system along with - diversity of expectations of the West addressed to the Polish authorities from the first symptoms signalling the will to integrate with NATO and the European Union (H.Wiberg, 1996, p. 56). They were partly the same and partly different.

In the former case, accented was the necessity of reforming the political system of the state in such areas as free elections, democratic constitution with readable division of authority, respecting human rights and civil control over the army.

In the latter, system changes, apart from those already mentioned, also included in-depth reform of the state’s economy, ownership structure, employment, mechanisms of state intervention, social security, etc. These however are much more difficult to carry out or could be from the point of view of political play in the state, an element of bargaining, deliberations over the profits and losses not only of the society but also of the political elite. They also more frequently become the reference point for selecting the balancing strategy in preference to the negative one, requiring sacrifices from all participants of this process.

2. Political Integration of the Republic of Poland Towards the European Union: Model Analysis

While reconstructing the adaptation model of integration policy of Poland into the European Union, it is accepted with definite simplification that the changes in progress in the integration policy of Poland are the consequences of changes of the state’s political regime. Hence, the subject of analysis will be the policy (both internal and external) of the Polish government as an institution, whereas the programs or conceptions of integration of the individual governments of the Republic of Poland or its political leaders 4 . Although, without doubt, changes of “non-evolutionary” character in the political system of the Republic of Poland in the relations between the dominating groups, even if they did not affect the deconstruction process of internal and external policy of the state, they definitely changed its perception by the international environment. A classic example here is the accession into authority of representatives of the centre-left parties after the elections in 1994.

As has been signalled in the first part, accepted as the basis for analysing the adaptation model of integration policy is, according to H. Mouritzen and H. Wiberg, the negative and balanced adaptation model, as occurring either simultaneously or alternately in the widely understood adaptation policy of the Republic of Poland towards the European Union.

The former symbolises the solution, which in the final effect brings the state considerably more benefits than continuing with the old solutions. Since these are considered as “more negative” than the costs of changes. This particularly concerns the basic values for the state and the people. The latter is linked with balancing the changes in the restructurization process of the internal system of the state and its external policy and expectations both towards its own society as also the international environment. Resembling more the attitude of the “give and take” relationship (H. Mouritzen, 1996, p. 12).

Considering the above, the model of integration policy of the Republic of Poland towards the European Union, covering the adaptation process of system solutions (and consequently also the foreign policy - stressed by Teresa ?os-Nowak) adequate to the expectations of the European Union, can be presented in the following triad 5 :

Phase I - 1989-90 -the phase corresponding to the internal policy proper for the acquiescence adaptation model (negative, whereas in external policy - proper for the balanced model).

Phase II - 1990-94 -the domination phase of the model, dominating in which are the solutions proper for the negative adaptation model.

Phase III - 1994-98 - the phase in which the negative solutions interweave with the balanced model.

It need not be added that in the case of phases I and III, we are concerned with another geopolitical and geostrategic reality of the European continent.

3. External and Internal Implications of the Preferred Options

Every change in international relations, and definitely one so important as took place in Europe at the turn of 1989, marked a new quality in their structure of international system and layout of the centres of authority, that is, break up of the bipolar cold war order. The first however and most important was the fall of the communist system and the chance of democratisation of states of the post-Soviet region.

Changing the field of international policy placed before the states of Central and East Europe, a challenge of basic significance for their military and economical security, their sovereignty, and generally speaking - for their reasons of state. The international environment, being an important stimulator of change which occurred in avalanches in Europe, was not however sufficient and only a premise (J. Z. Pietra?, 1986).

Becoming more important was the transformation of political regimes of the states of this region, the choice of proper options in internal and external policy, strategic and tactical preferences along with the form of their activity, that is generally speaking, selection of the adaptation model to suit the geopolitical reality.

The factor favouring this process was the concurrence of expectations of western democracies with the changes being performed in the political systems of Central and East European states. The interactions undergoing at these two levels formed a positive forecast both regarding durability of the democratisation process of international relations on the continent as also success in the process of transition from the authoritarian to the democratic system.

The new situation of Poland on the geostrategic and geoeconomical map of Europe was one of the most important consequences of break up of the Yaltan political order (T. ?o?-Nowak, 1994). As such, it also impaired the sense of endure in the existing and socially unaccepted political, economic and military relations such as the Warsaw Pact and Council for Mutual Economic Aid - CMEA (Polish abbr. - RWPG). The changes also bypassed such structures as NATO, EU, UC or WEU 6 .

The participants of this process - each in his own way - stood before the challenges, for which they were either not very prepared or did not evince the political will in this field (e.g. USSR). This exemplifies the enormous transformations that were undergoing in the Central and East European states.

Transformation understood as change, transition period from the undemocratic system to the democratic system, was being performed on two planes: in the spheres of institutional and social transformations.

The institutional plane covered the deep reforms of political and economic systems in Poland, including institutional and structural transformations. The social plane referred to transformations in the sphere of mentality of the society, its attitude towards the state and its significance. This process covered the redefinition of such categories as internal and external security of the state (economic and military). A new significance was being acquired by the concept of sovereignty of the state and the nation, its identity and identification, but also international integration and cooperation.

The hegemonic system in which Poland functioned for 50 years, limited its sphere of autonomy (G. J. Ikenberry, Ch. A. Kupchan, 1990) both in the international arena as also in internal state relations up to the limits not endangering the homogeneity of the “block”, whereas sovereignty carried a formal characteristic, as the consequence of its specific “political contract” between hegemony and the remaining states, more of an outward appearance than real dimension.

The year 1989 formed the turning point in the 70-year disparaging process of the socialist system in Poland, commencing at the same time the transformation of the country’s political system. Mentioned among the components of this process is the people’s agreement signed between “Solidarity” and the reformist group in PZPR (Polish abbr. for the communist party - Polish United Workers’ Party) headed by Gen. W. Jaruzelski on 5 April 1989, elections to the Sejm (Polish parliament) and the Senate on 4 June 1989, and appointing of the new government with the non-communist premier T. Mazowiecki. The people’s agreement - important for further dynamics of the transformation process - defined the principles of the political system, forming the basis of understanding of the forces concentrated around the “Round Table”. Elections to Sejm marked the disruption of the monopoly of the communist party and creation of the concept and programs of changes in the political system of the state, including also its foreign policy. The selection of T. Mazowiecki as the premier of the Polish Government authenticated this chance.

Commenced hence was the multilevel and multiplanar process of transformation, the crowning of which was the full democratisation of the state along with its shifting from the “periphery” of Europe to its centre (T. ?ooe - Nowak, 1994).

Getting to know the current and real system of power existing on the continent at the turn of 1989, the tendencies dominating in it together with the attitudes and expectations of other states (R. Ku[Ydieresis]niar, 1993), became in this situation an important prerequisite of the effectiveness of foreign and internal policy. Since identification itself with the system of western values as took place in a greater majority of the Polish people and its political elite did not have much significance in the process of reaching out to Europe of democratic values, respecting human rights, political pluralism, etc.

It actually had enormous value of the moral and political symbol but required shifting to concrete solutions of governance: political, economic and social, build upon patterns of proper democratic regimes. Identification precludes adaptation and the political system of the state of the III Republic required radical reforms and adaptation to the model of a state of law and democracy, even after accepting the Amendment of the Constitution in April 1989, or the so-called Small Constitution of 17 October 1992 (W. Kostecki, H. Wiberg, 1996, p. 182-183).

4. Integration Policy of the Republic of Poland in the Years 1989-90: Between Negative and Balanced Adaptation

After elections to Sejm and Senate of the Republic of Poland in September 1989, the relations and interactions of Polish economy with the international environment determined two basic objectivized determinants:

They also formed the basic reference point in the preferences by the Polish political elite of heterogeneous model of economic integration into Europe.

Limiting to these two objectivized determinants would however be a simplification of the problem. There existed still one more uncommonly important determinant which, during the conceptualisation process of the state’s foreign policy, played and important role, and is a subjective factor. Since foreign policy is a process in which, playing an important role, is perception of the national interest of the state, its basic components, mainly by the decision makers as also by the people, knowledge of the international environment, its expectations, mainly the development tendencies, etc. (J. Kuku?ka, 1993, J. Stefanowicz, 1992). In the case of Poland, this factor acted in a significant manner on the choice of integration strategy and also in undertaking action.

Bearing in mind the subjective factor, in which emotions, hopes and convictions in the rebirth and consolidation of democracy in Central Europe dominated in the whole society and dominating part of the political establishment. Poland identified itself with western democracy. Such slogans as “Poland again in Europe”, “Poland was always in it”, testified to the emotional identification with the world of democratic values and political solutions. They were however not the deciding factors in the process of economical and also political and military integration with the West. The deciding factor was to be the state’s policy, mainly internal, but also foreign, its capacity for radical transformation. This was awaited by the pragmatic West. Definitely, on both the sides these expectations were asymmetrical whereas the difficulties were revalued. The West did not appreciate the transformation difficulties, the states of Central Europe overestimated its readiness for unconditional opening up for them.

Setting aside at this place, the detailed solutions over the structural and functional characteristics of Europe after 1989, it is proper to note that its perception by the Polish political elite was not devoid of simplification and historical burdens. Apart from this, immediately after the disintegration of the communist system and unification of Germany, even the West did not have ready mechanisms essential for operation towards Central Europe /or renunciation/ or their eventual consequences. As working hypothesis, they were borne simultaneously with the changes undergoing in both the parts of the continent, now not divided but also not unified. Many of them were verified through current practice and events that occurred in avalanches consecutively after 1989.

After 1986, after accepting jae, EU actually reformed itself but the reforms mainly concerned the Union itself. Officially confirmed was only the fusion of not only ewwis, EEC and EUROATOM, but also the full integration process. The meeting of the 12 in Madrid in June 1989, Strasbourg in December of the same year and Dublin in April 1990, only laid down the directions of further vertical integration, aimed at transforming the EU into an Economic and Monetary Union. Dominating hence were the internal problems of the Union. The solution of the external problem that was East Europe and its eventual inclusion into EU got reduced to a declaration of readiness and will of welcoming the states of this region into the integrating structures of West Europe 8 .

In such reality, the still existing CMEA remained the only actual integration structure of democratic states along with the political systems and economic mechanisms of East Europe. These opinion were effectively supported by the yet communist authority of the political elite (Sejm - 75%). President W. Jaruzelski, in his parliamentary speech in January 1990 on the occasion of the visit of President W. Havel in Poland, clearly referred to the cooperation of both the states in the scope of reconstruction of multilateral mechanisms of cooperation within the framework of CMEA, although Czechoslovakia and to a lesser extent Hungary, held a different position in this matter from that of Poland (stenographic report from the sitting of Sejm on 25-26 January 1990, Sejm of 10th Term, Warsaw 1990, p. 78).

The basis of openness to change in CMEA was also confirmed by the Polish Government. In spite of the critical attitude towards CMEA, as was informed by the government’s press agent Ms. M. Niezabitowska, it did not deem it necessary to dissolve the Council immediately. Rather - as suggested by M. D?browski - it would be advisable to reconsider the application of the Government of Poland of October (?) 1989 “Converting CMEA into market economy and transferring international contacts at enterprise level” (press conference of 5 January 1990).

Such was also the position of the member states of CMEA still during the session of the Council in October 1989.

It is here symptomatic that along with the operations aimed at reforming CMEA, on 8 January 1990, the Parliamentary Commission of Foreign Affairs approved (with 1 opposing vote - of W. Cimoszewicz) the nomination of J. Kuzakowski as Ambassador of Poland to EU in Brussels, residing permanently in Brussels since 1946 9 , commencing dialogue with EU on the subject of a not precisely specified membership in its structures.

The starting of the year 1990 hence characterised dual operations which hindered conceptualisation of the adaptation model.

On the one hand we have the “shock” economic reforms of the premier L. Balcerowicz, giving material basis for making reliable the process of economic and social reforms that were awaited by EU, if Poland was to announce formal access and almost general identification of society with the democratic system of values (that is, the acquiescence option) 10 . However there is the lack of a democratic Constitution of the Republic of Poland since the April 1989 Amendment was still rather a constitution of a socialist state and the changes were rather of “cosmetic” nature.

On the other hand however, signals are sent by the Government of Poland informing about the possibility of remaining in CMEA. In his speech in Sejm in January 1990, the Premier T. Mazowiecki said, “While gradually building a unified Europe, we do not wish to demolish anything. We were directed by that principle in Sofia (....). CMEA, since that is what we are concerned with, is an agreement open to the world and fully linked to the global economy” (Expos of the Premier in Sejm, 18-20 January 1990). Also the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Mr. M. ?wi?cicki, while speaking at the 45 session of CMEA in Moscow in January 1990, indicated on the will of its members such a transformation of the organisation that it served all-European integration.

Already in April 1990, Minister K. Skubiszewski spoke rather of the tremendous difficulties that are linked with membership of Poland in CMEA, “since it is effect a relict of the past epoch” and indicated its reconstruction in such a way that it could “unreservedly favour reforms and facilitate inclusion of its member states into the global economy” (stenographic report from 28th sitting of Sejm during 26, 27, 28 April 1990, Sejm of 10th Term, Warsaw 1990, p. 16).

A slightly different solution to the problem of future membership of Poland into EU, and actually the road leading to the target, was envisaged by Minister W. Kaczmarek.As a “short-cut” and “intermediate step” towards initiation into the mechanisms of EU, he indicated membership of Poland into EFTA, as was earlier done by Portugal. It would enable easier transformation of the economy, market and trading to the requirements set by EU.

Irrespective however of the “spinning” in the declaration of the Government of Poland, in the autumn of 1990, he signals his distancing from the Warsaw Pact and CMEA, as structures that served “foreign domination in our part of Europe” and as such should vanish “next year” (appearance of Premier T. Mazowiecki at the Paris session of Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe [Polish abbr. - KBWE] in November 1990, stenographic report from 44th sitting of Sejm during 22-23 November, Sejm of 10th Term, Warsaw 1990, p. 4).

The paradox of the political situation of Central European states at the beginning of 1990 is as if imperceptible are the deep changes undergoing in their economic and political systems, in their distancing from the former hegemony, USSR definitely opposes their entry into other economic organisations of Europe, as even EFTA. This is testified by, e.g. the talks in Prague during the consecutive session of CMEA in March 1990, dominated by Russian diplomacy and the tasks set for the remaining members of the Council.

It was after all, the turning point in its existence. Shortly thereafter, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary announced their exit from the Council. On 14-15 February 1991 during the meeting in Visegrad, it was decided that all three states would resign from the Warsaw Pact and that CMEA should be dissolved, as an obsolete structure, not befitting the new conditions and expectations (28 June 1990). The result of these talks was among others, Creation of the Visegrad Group and acceptance of the “Declaration on cooperation of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary in their aspiration towards European integration”.

The bilateral agreements entered into on economic and political cooperation with the states of Central Europe along with the Border Treaty and On Good Neighbourhood with Germany 11 created an important, additional element in the adaptation policy of Poland to the new European geopolitical and geoeconomical reality (W. Kostecki, H. Wiberg, 1996, p. 169).

The submission by Poland in December 1990 of the application for associate membership in EU caused European integration to become an important national “artwork” the realisation of which required total reconstruction of the state, its economy, financial mechanisms, social security and legal system (speech of Minister K. S, in Sejm on 14-15 February 1991, stenographic report from 51st sitting of Sejm during 14-15 February 1991, Sejm of ? Term, Warsaw 1991, p. 20). Full membership was spoken about as the ultimate goal, calculated at about 10 years.

To recapitulate, it can be assumed that the economic reforms and financial system of the state of Poland undertaken within the framework of the program of Balcerowicz, similarly to some of the political solutions, were fully to the expectations of the member states of EU (evidence to that was the acceptance of Poland into re on 16 November 1990/1). They were therefore solutions of negation character towards the characteristics of the preceding system and its economical and political solutions.

Also in the sphere of the attitude of society, the dominating element was acceptance of democratic values proper for mature democracies as also institutional and functional solutions guaranteeing their compliance (creation of the institution of advocate for citizens’ rights, Supreme Constitution and Administration Tribunal).

The element contrasting with this attitude of general public consent for the state’s reforms was the fear raised by the rightist and centre-rightist parties (KPN, UPR) about the danger to sovereignty and economic independence of the Republic of Poland, penetrated by foreign capital (Discussion in Sejm on 08 May 1992, (in stenographic report from 14th sitting of Sejm, Sejm of 1st Term, Warsaw 1992, p. 161 and others.)

This however does not change the fact that dominating among the attitudes in the internal state policy of integration into EU, was the acquiescence adaptation model. It resulted from the conviction that the new democratic model of the state symbolises and safeguards the most important values for Poland, of higher level than those being surrendered (H. Wiberg, p. 59/60).

With respect however to the international environment, the picture of which in those times was not very explicit, a compensatory attitude can be stated, an attempt to balance the still existing connections with old economic structures as also external dangers for the state, its territorial integrity. Existing up to December 1991 is USSR and the Warsaw Pact, absent up to May 1992 is the treaty with the Russian Federation, the first rather cool reactions to the suggestion of membership with EU (T. ?os - Nowak, 1994) 12 .

Undoubtedly, in the early phase of the transformation phase in Europe, the astonishment with the enormity of economic, legal or financial problems requiring solving was so great that the post-Soviet region states attempted in some way to brake the speed of disintegration of CMEA (a later the Warsaw Pact).

Also the majority of western politicians were not in a position to break away from the thinking patterns of the preceding period (M. Glenny, 1990, K. Becher, 1990). Hence the lack of decision in the policy of Central European states, unclear conceptions and seeking by western countries of problems that could slow down that process had a repercussion on the general model of integration policy of the Republic of Poland.

This type of attitude contrasted with the intensive preparations for realisation of the program “Europe 2000”, construction of a huge market inside EEC, creation, in accordance with the Report of J. Delors on the economic and monetary union and mutual security. The meeting at Maastricht in December 1991 was the crowning of this process but also further transformation problems within EU itself.

5. Integration Policy of the Republic of Poland with EU 1991-94 Negative Adaption

Closed definitely on 16 November 1991 was the phase of questions on the selection of model or direction of economic integration policy of Poland with Europe.

The Association Treaty of Poland with the European Community and their member states, also called the European System, while creating a legal framework for multilateral development in economical, political, social and cultural relations, formed the starting point for complete reforms of the economical and political system of the state. Its content assuming elimination from various spheres of life, the internal and external pathology proper for the socialist system, symbolised as it were the acceptance by the Government of Poland of realising the conception of integration policy with EU built on the formula of negative adaptation. Anyway, it was the only one acceptable by its members, demanding total adaptation of economy, law, finances, etc. To the standards of the Union.

Evidently, the status of associate member did not forejudge anything. From the side of the Twelve, it only expressed recognition of the changes performed, from the side of Poland, complete acceptance of the idea of membership. It did not however state precisely even the approximate date and terms of accepting Poland into the Union, as was for example done for Greece or Portugal. This concerned among others, detailed solutions connected for example with protection of the internal market of the Visegrad group states, introduction of free trade zone (particularly for agricultural items and fish), protection of intellectual assets, liberalisation in the job market and several others. This in practice meant - declared by J. Attala, President of the European Bank, that the Visegrad countries did not obtain even such benefits as were earlier given to former candidates to EU - Portugal and Greece.

Analysis of the text of this very framework and program agreement may give the idea that it is limited only to regulating the economic aspects of integration and explicitly states the expectations of EU without satisfying which membership is not realistic. In spite of giving the institution of association the institution legal character sui generis, translated into the practical language it would denote either aspiration to strict economic cooperation or also leading to the expectation for acquiring the status of EU member with full rights. Such is the real interpretation of the content of the Treaty in which in the introduction it is stated that “final target of Poland is membership of the Community, and Association, according to the Parties, will assist Poland in achieving this aim”. This fact - as is declared by D. Lasot - situates Poland nearer to “a legal never never land than a vision of reality” (D. Lasot 1997, p. 204).

It is however a definite simplification of his concept and premise. The intention of the parties signing for over a year the negotiated European Treaty, was not to limit the integration process only to the economical but also to the political sphere. Whereas there is no mention in it about cooperation in the field of security.

The Association Treaty in fact substituted the Agreement of 19 November 1989 signed between Poland and EEC regarding trade and also economic and trade cooperation, as also the protocol of 16 October 1991 entered into between Poland and EWWS. Negotiating its text from the Polish side Minister J. Saryusz - Wolski, Plenipotentiary of the Government of Poland for Integration into EU, while characterising its main assumptions, stated that it is a program of adaptation operations, absolutely indispensable so that the status of a peripheral state as was Poland before 1989, lost not only the political but also the economical measure. Without fulfilling them, integration into EU would be impossible whereas the price of such a state of affairs would be the isolation of Poland.

Whereas the sense of adaptation operations denoted neutralisation of the geoeconomical factor in the external dimension (Poland - Germany; Poland - Russia; Poland - eastern neighbours such as Ukraine, Lithuania, Byelorus) and in internal politics - acceptance of negative adaptation (acquiescence model), through rejection of half-way measures (Saryusz - Wolski in Sejm).

The isolation of Poland in time perspective would be an unimaginably greater hazard for the system of political, economical and civilisation values with which Poland identified itself after the Velvet Revolution. Hence the speed of adaptation operations and therefore all the social and economical disadvantages for the state and the people would determine the time horizon of future membership in EU.

The evident matter however was that the adaptation operations as were dictated by the standards of EU must be related with the ”ultima pize” that membership of the Union would be. This also meant certain concessions towards Poland by EU, negotiated in specific areas of economy and in explicitly defined terms (H. Wiberg, 1996, p. 57). For such, one can acknowledge for example, the Copenhagen Summit of June 1993, for two reasons:

Firstly, acceptance in it of the general concept of membership of Poland and the states of Central Europe in EU.

Secondly, the general criteria set for countries in their aspiration for full membership, was agreed. This mainly concerned respecting human rights and national minorities, legal governments, adapting the national legislature to that of the Community, functioning of market economy, capable of satisfying the requirements of competition in the framework of EU. Occurring besides this, was the opening of duty-free quotas for Poland thanks to which we could commence duty-free export of about 70% of industrial goods. On its side, Poland lifted the customs duty on industrial goods forming 27% of the whole import from the Community.

They were indispensable due to enormous operations that were linked with adapting the legal and economic system of the Republic of Poland with the standards of EU. D. Pasok has compared them to “Herculean tasks” (D. Pasok, 1997, p. 204) as difficult as indispensable. Since the Treaty imposed on the associate countries the obligations to the level already existing in the Community acquis communaitire.

They were also indispensable due to public mood towards the differing attitudes among the governing elite regarding the “price” which is the future and not completely certain membership in EU.

CBOS public opinion polls concerning the attitude of the Polish people towards the various aspects of economic integration indicated an attitude in which negative behaviour dominated, that is “consent for loss of certain values, to avoid further losses” (H. Mouritzen, 1996, p. 12), evidently with full respect to basic values such as sovereignty or territorial integrity. For example, in 1994, to the question on voting for membership in EU, 76% responses were positive; 6% - negative and 17% undecided. Whereas this percentage changed slightly in the favour of acceptance of membership in EU in 1996. And hence, 80% - for; 7% - against and 12% undecided). However, in questions regarding benefits or losses, that membership in EU could give Poland and units in the period 1994-95, a clear drop occurred of those convinced that membership in EU will bring more benefits than losses for both the state and units. In 1994, those convinced of benefits for Poland were 50% whereas in 1995 - 35%. Similarly with respect to the situation of work establishments - 32% and 27% and a statistical citizen - 32% and 22% (BSE.Information, No. 408, August 1996, p. 12).

From this moment, the initiativeness and activity in the process and policy of integration of Poland in EU is transferred into the hands of the Polish Government and the relevant sectors of economy, finance, insurance, etc. A significantly important role was also played by the negotiating institutions, their competence, knowledge of the problems of the Community but also widening of the field of cooperation with other economical and political organisations of the western world 13 . Becoming a test was the discussion over the Association Treaty and consent for its ratification by the parliament of Poland. Its coronation was the application for ratification of the Association Treaty, giving it the level of an Act and acceptance of the Act in the matter of appointing an Extraordinary Commission for European Treaty (Discussion at 14th sitting of Sejm on 8 May 1992, with the participation of President L. Wa??sa and at 19th sitting of Sejm on 3 July 1992; stenographic report from 14th sitting of Sejm on 6, 7, 8, 9 May 1992, Sejm of 1st Term, Warsaw, 1992, p. 149 and others; stenographic report from 19th sitting of Sejm on 1, 2, 3, 4 July 1992, Sejm of 1st Term, Warsaw 9 in particular the appearance of J. Turczy?ski of ZChN and J. ?opusza?ski).

The task of the Commission (initially appointed as a temporary body) was to watch over whether and how much the Polish authorities are engaged in realising the Adaptation Program. In the opinion of L. Wal?sa, e.g. the governments so far had not dynamized the economy sufficiently so that the state could in reality think about membership in the Union. Privatisation still formed an open problem, the national budget and finances of the state required immediate legal regulations, agriculture formed the field with lowest investment and Poland continued to lie in the zone of “highest risk states” of economy and investment (appearance of President L. Wa??sa in Sejm on 8 May 1992, above quotation from Report of 14th sitting of Sejm, p. 149-151).

From March 1992, and hence before The Association Treaty was ratified by Poland and the parliaments of the member states of EU (February 1994) coming into force were the so-called Transient Agreements (for a period of 10 years). Their purpose was to dynamize the economy, release initiatives and their realisation. Besides this, on the strength of the Resolution of Sejm dated 4 July 1992, accepted was the government Adaptation Program entitled “Program of operations adapting the economy of Poland and legal system to the requirements of the European Treaty”. It contained a set of operations indispensable and strictly binding with coming into force of the Association Treaty, raising the capacity of Poland a faster closing of the economical and political transformation phase. Apart from the Adaptation Program, an important instrument facilitating negotiations on the subject of full membership was published in Poland - “White Paper”, referring directly to the relations of Poland with EU in the short and long-term perspective.

Ratification of the Association Treaty by the 12 states (Poland performed it on 4 July 1992) establishing Association between Poland and the EU and its member states 14 , enabled the Polish Government to prepare an application regarding acceptance of Poland in EU as its member with full rights. On 29 March 1994, the Cabinet authorised the Premier to submit an application for membership of EU.

On 7 April 1994, while presenting to Sejm the accession application, the Minister for Foreign Affairs A. Olechowski said “Lying at the base of this decision was the conviction about the necessity of rapid advance in political and economical cooperation with West Europe (....) We acknowledge that the efficiency of reform will depend to a significant extent on their correlation with the integration process in EU” (Govt. Information on the application of Poland regarding membership in EU. Stenographic report from 17th sitting of Sejm on 7 and 8 April 1994. Sejm of 2nd Term, Warsaw 1994, p. 7). Finally on 13 April, the Premier W. Pawlak sent the ambassadors of EU member states the letter officially informing about Poland submitting the application for full membership of EU.

The submitted application can be perceived as two-dimensional. On the one hand it is so to say a symbolic closing of the second stage of integration policy of Poland, commenced in which were the essential adaptation operations resulting from the European Treaty and moving to the final phase. On the other hand however, it is the formal confirmation of the will of the government and Poland for full membership in EU. In both the cases we are concerned with the adaptation model, the essence of which was successively eliminating the solutions of proper planned economy.

6. Integration of Poland into the European Union 1994 - 98

During the summit at Luxembourg 29 - 30 October 1994, the application of Poland was initialled and it was decided that in Spring 1998, negotiations will commence regarding membership of Poland (along with Hungary, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia and Cyprus) in EU.

Coming into force of the Association Treaty on 4 April 94 and the decision of the summit in Luxembourg, opened the next stage of integration policy of Poland. Dominating in it will be the mechanisms based on the formula of fully accepting the terms of the Roman Treaty regarding membership and also scrupulous realisation of the Adaptation Program although the compensation policy will also find its voice in the negotiations with EU on the subject of the speed of integration, differentiating the economic sectors and the scale of essential and possible legal adaptations 15 . An important role was to be played by the “Strategy for Poland” accepted in June 1994, containing the economical, social and political reforms of Poland.

This was undoubtedly the most difficult phase for many reasons. The most important include the perseverance of the people in acceptance of the economic reforms program, burdening the budgets, reducing state intervention, work place, capacity to cope with competition in trade with EU countries and so on.

The factor destabilising the adaptation process was undoubtedly the difference in perceiving that what the Union is for Poland and what it carries for national sovereignty and identity by the political parties 16 . Also causing disquiet was the accession to power in December 1994 of the leftist coalition - SLD and PSL. As also in the case of discussion on the eventual membership in NATO and with respect to EU, since questions arose about the capacity of leftist governments (Pawlak, Oleksy and Cimoszewicz) to continue the European policy of Poland or attempts at its redefinition, particularly after the victory A. Kwa?niewski in the presidential elections in December 1995.

In the integration policy of Poland during 1994-98, an important role was also to be played by the external factor, the coordinated relationship of EU member states to the idea of membership of Poland in this organisation. Distancing with respect to Poland’s aspirations of integration and offering “half-way measures” as the Association Treaty or PfP with exclusion of membership in the Union on the principle “accept our offer or abandon completely”, awakened frustrations of society and the politically critical among the ruling elite, and in effect could provoke seeking other solutions.

The waiting time for the “prize”, to draw the attention of H. Wiberg about the effectiveness of the acquiescence adaptation model, began to play a very important role in this concrete case (H. Wiberg, 1996, p. 57).

And ultimately the problem was the European Union itself which, in January 1995, accepted 3 new members (Austria, Finland and Sweden), simultaneously entering into the integration stage most important for it.

These facts caused appearance of a compensatory attitude to commence in the so far generally accented adaptation policy of the Government of Poland to EU standards. The Minister for Foreign Affairs in the government of W. Cimosiewicz, W. Bartoszewski stated: “This meant a clear shift in discussions of membership of Poland in EU from the level of ‘benefits that Poland was to gain’ to ‘level of benefits common for all the members of this organisation’”. (Stenographic report from 50th sitting of Sejm on 24, 25, 26 May 1995. Sejm of 2nd Term, Warsaw 1995, p. 11-14).

The most important event however was the second in succession Report from realisation of the program of adaptation operations of Polish economy and legal system to the requirements of the European Treaty along with the time schedule of adaptation operations of Polish economy and legal system to the requirements of UE for the years 1995-96, submitted by J. Saryusz - Wolski, Plenipotentiary of the Government for European Integration and Foreign Assistance. The Report was submitted to Sejm for discussion on 1 March 1996. (Appearance of the government’s Plenipotentiary ... J. Saryusz-Wolski in Sejm on 1 March 1996. Stenographic report from 74th sitting of Sejm on 28, 29 February and 1 March 1996, Sejm of 2nd Term, Warsaw 1996, p. 226 and others).

Its content and also the main premise showed above any doubt that in essence the fate of integration of Poland into EU lies in the adaptation capacity of acquiescence type in all areas of economy, law, social life, etc.

“It is a rare case of realising the aims of foreign policy on home ground. It embraces arduous and not always effective a prima vista work over adaptation changes of national economy, its legal system, public institutions and mentality to the standards of EU, where the time between bearing expenditures and attaining effect is very long - amounting to 2, 3 years, sometimes5(....).

From here it is concluded that for membership in the European Union, work must first be done in the country and only then negotiate it with the European Union”. (ibidem, p. 227).

About how very complicated the process is, is testified even by the fact that the quoted Report contains analysis of the state of adaptation works for 1994. The next two important years 1994-96 in which the adaptation processes reached ever deeper, covering ever wider areas of national economy, finances, capital turnover and liberalisation of payment (....authors on realisation).

The matter that could very negatively burden the chances of obtaining membership in EU was not only economical and financial or economical restructurization of the state but also political. Since the unwritten condition of this status is the legal capacity of a state to undertake and execute the obligations resulting from the Treaties of EU and Maastricht, that is aquis communautaire.

Translating this into the language of the adaptation model means simply the adaptive acquiescence model in the political sphere.

The essence of the problem lay in the fact that in accordance with the Small Constitution, in force in Poland was the so-called international legal dualism, exposing the classical conception of sovereignty. The legal order of the Community however required unconditional removal of this system and its adaptation to the monistic model. This was indispensable for unified application of the Treaties and their derivative norms and also common operation of Poland and member states of EU (A. Wasilkowski, 1996, J. A. Wojciechowski, 1997). The Constitution of 2 April 1997 solved this problem by firstly declaring the will “to comply with international law binding it” (art. 91) and secondly, in art. 90, to acknowledge in specific situations, the jurisdiction in force in EU. Whereas, the Polish public was not prepared to accept such a decision. Visible in this is the paradox of the year 1990, when the sovereignty regained after years was to be to a certain extent handed over to another authority - the EU Cabinet (in 1994, 49% of society was against it and 19% did not have a proper opinion). This state deepened a year later and amounted to 58% and 15% respectively (BSE. No. 1-408, August 1996, p. 10).

Due to disputes and non-clarity regarding the status and competence of the Government’s Plenipotentiary for European Integration and Foreign Assistance (also limited in the scope of competence outside towards EU as executive towards the individual ministries inside the country), postulates began to appear (mainly from UD) to create a permanent body, Cabinet Committee for Economic Integration (1996/97).

There is a certain paradox of this aspect of the adaptive process that the most difficult turned out to be “to adapt oneself” or “start from oneself”, that is from the main government institutions and their specialised agents. The discussion around the mandate of the Government’s Plenipotentiary ... confirms these statements only too precisely, causing certain perplexity not only in EU itself (....) but also with the Polish society. Not only did the press inquire till recently, “Who is going to lead Poland into EU?” (in: “Wprost” of 11 January 1998). The dispute was for all politicians, often with open curtains.

Theoretically, the European Integration Committee prepares negotiations and works out the negotiation mandate, whereas the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts the negotiations. In practice however, a dispute arose between the head of the Integration Committee and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also the Office of European Integration Committee 17 .

The crowning of this situation was a dispute on the competence and legal reinforcement for conducting negotiations with EU, between the Minister for Foreign Affairs B. Geremek and the leader of the European Integration Committee R. Czarniecki.

The next stage of the adaptive procedure was for Poland to obtain the document acknowledging that the Polish side is well prepared to commence negotiations, so-called avis 18 .

Its acquirement in 1997 enabled Robin Cook to provide in March 1997 an official invitation to the Polish side for accession negotiations. On its side, Poland intensified the adaptation works. On 10 December 1997, during a sitting of the European Integration Committee, the project of Poland’s position was discussed, towards realisation of the Association Treaty, informing about the state of preparation of the document “National Program of Accepting Acquiescence, about the state of works of the International Team for Preparing Negotiations on membership of Poland in EU. Also discussed was the controversial questions in relations between Poland and the Union mainly regarding the steel sector, automotive industry, principles of import from Poland of hard liquor, agricultural items, etc. The subject of the talks was also the document of the European Commission “Partnership for Membership” and “National Preparatory Program for Membership”, prepared by the Polish side. Included in them are the aspects of the program of the Polish Government, binding national programs and adaptation time schedules, comments and recommendations contained in the opinion of the European Commission. The European Integration Committee obligated the Office of the European Integration Committee to elaborate comments to the document of the European Commission, in collaboration with the relevant ministries and central offices 19 (Gazeta Wyborcza of 29 January 1998).

This means that the next stage of integration policy of the Polish Government of the preaccession negotiations phase is completed. The basic aspect in this matter was the decision at the summit of EU member states in Luxembourg during 12-13 December 1997. The decisions undertaken there denote the official opening of the process of extending EU for Poland (but also for Czech republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Cyprus and Estonia). This means that in accordance with art. 0 of the Treaty on EU opening, so-called International Conference between the authorities of the candidate states and the authorities of the 15. The next however will be negotiations with the individual member states. This process is to start on 30 March 1998 in Brussels with the session of the ministers of foreign affairs of the Union and the 11 candidate countries.

The accession negotiations stage will start most probably in spring this year and only with the participation of 6 countries acknowledged as best prepared for the integration process. The National Program of Accepting Acquiescence prepared by the Polish Government together with the European Integration Committee, apart from its meritoric dimension is also characteristic with respect to the attempt made by the Author to conceptualise the adaptation model of integration policy of the Republic of Poland to EU requirements dominating in which is the acquiescencet ype of adaptation. It can however not be lacking in the aspects balancing the benefits and the inconveniences for both the sides of this process. As was noted by G. Avery - chief negotiator from the side of EU during talks over membership of Austria in EU - during these talks “the negotiators must explain to them selves that this is not setting up cooperation on the basis of ‘you and we’ but ‘we together in the future’” (Rzeczpospolita of 29 December 1997).

The key to success will be the economy, internal affairs of Poland and also diplomacy. At this stage, it will be one of the most important links in the process of reaching towards membership. The choice - after the extending negotiations - of the Ambassador J. Ku 20 akowski as negotiator from the Polish side with the European Commission, is a decision which was accepted in Poland with satisfaction, and also in EU. In this choice there is also something very symptomatic. He was after all the first ambassador of Poland at the European Commission appointed to this post on 8 January 1990 initiating the process of integration, whereas presently it is the result of negotiations, for conformity of the stands of the government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), European Integration Committee and other institutions included in the adaptation structures.

Date of applying for Association

16 December 1991

Association Agreement coming into force

4 April 1994

Application for full membership

8 April 1994

Acquiring avis


Commencement of negotiations

Spring 1998

identification = political sphere negative adaptation = economic sphere negative adaptation negative adaptation = political sphere negative adaptation + compensatory adaptation elements = economic sphere negative adaptation  

It s clearly seen in the chart presented that in certain areas or time periods we can talk about decided domination of the adaptation model built upon the formula of adaptive acquiescence, which had a particularly drastic expression during the governments of T. Mazowiecki and the Reform Premier L. Balcerowicz, or more convergent with the expectations of the people and less to those of EU member states, as happened during the centrist-left governments of Pawlak or J. Oleksy or W. Cimoszewicz. It is the balancing model of a decidedly political hue (braking of reforms for social support “losses in some values in order to make gains in others”, H. Wiberg, 1996, p. 58).

The changes of which mention is made, can also be the consequence of balancing the reactions flowing from various geopolitical directions. Their significance comes down most often to the choice of such a formula of foreign policy which balances between satisfying the expectations of the western countries and, for example, Russia, if we should consider the problem of membership, e.g. of Poland in NATO. This is not however a “balanced model” in the understanding mentioned earlier, but rather a kind of acquiescence to the reaction to change in adaptation policy of a state flowing from both sides. Mainly for the reason of avoiding confrontation or provocation. In the analysed model of adaptation policy of Poland towards EU, it has not been taken into consideration because Russia basically does not contradictions between its interests and membership of Poland in EU.



Note 1: By political regime we mean the change of political system of a state. Back.

Note 2: J. Rosenau speaks about four adaptation models: passive, active, conservative and aggressive. Back.

Note 3: Undoubtedly, such an analysis has immense study value since it enables understanding and knowing all the mechanisms of changes in foreign policy of a state not however only those which are the consequence of revolutionary transformations and realignment. To be included undoubtedly in the others are the changing governments (their internal value) and political conceptions that can give effect of fractionality whereas the ultimate shape of foreign policy is the effect of various kinds of games of the political elite. An important link is also the unit, also in foreign policy. In general, certain reconstruction of changes being done under the influence of change of political regime only then it is effective if taken into consideration are also such parameters as changes in priorities of government(s) or their character.

More information (j.a. Rosati, J.D. Hagan and M.W. Sampson 1994 144, p. 141 and others) Back.

Note 4: Otherwise W. Kostecki and H. Wiberg (1996, p. 181 and others) Back.

Note 5: JAE, NATO session in ....... Back.

Note 6: For the example of Polish trade with EU, it was based on bilateral agreements with individual member states and the ordinance of EU No. 1765/82 and 3420/83, which regulated the scale of import of goods from socialist countries. The limitations towards Poland and Hungary in this field were annulled by the ordinance of EU No. 3381/89 . Back.

Note 7: Document from the summit of 12 in Madrid and Dublin. Back.

Note 8: On 16 December 1991 Poland submitted the application for Association in EU. Back.

Note 9: Data for 1989/90 on the subject of durability of changes from OBOP, COBOS Back.

Note 10: Border Treaty was signed on 14 November 1990. Treaty on Good Neighbourhood - 17 June 1991. Back.

Note 11: During the visit of L. Wa??sa in Brussels in March 1991, the General Secretary of the European Commission J. Delors expressed the opinion that the hurried friendship to EEC could bring more losses and disappointments than benefits. Back.

Note 12: On 30 December 1993, Poland along with other former communist countries obtained Special Status of Permanent Observer in EU and NATO. Back.

Note 13: Bypassing the detailed analysis of the Association Treaty, it is worth noting its institutionalisation. This means that created were specialised institutions of the Associate states of extensive supervisory, legislative and to a slight extent jursidictive competence (Association Council), representative body (Meeting) and Association Committee, of assistance character.

The Association Council consists of representatives of the Polish Government, the Cabinet and EU Commission. The Meeting is formed by the Presidents of Poland, of EU and the Commission. It is a body for political dialogue. Also appointed was the Parliamentary Committee, consisting of representatives of the Polish and EU Parliaments. It is a typical forum for exchange of views and meetings devoted to the problems of economic integration. Back.

Note 14: Such as, e.g. Concessions from EU ? Back.

Note 15: See - discussion in Sejm in April 1994, 1995, 1996. Back.

Note 16: From December 1994 to March 1998, there were 4. Back.

Note 17: Office of the Committee conducts negotiations with the European Commission, that is, also negotiations on the subject of membership of Poland in EU. Back.

Note 18: They mainly concern acquirement from the side of member states of EU assurances that during the inquiry process towards Poland, a flexible accession formula will be used, making lenient the formal and legal criteria specified in art. 237 of the Roman Treaty and art. 0 of the Treaty of Maastricht. This would surely mean that for objectivisation of the criteria of the Treaty of Maastricht, applied will be the so-called Iberian Formula. It covers the adaptation period after formal acceptance in EU along with solutions proposed in the so-called Memorandum of the Visegrad Group of September 1992. Back.

Note 19: All the candidate states will be covered by the assistance and technical support program of the European Commission within the framework of Partnership for Membership. The assistance will be performed within the framework of PHARE funds and from the year 2000, also special pre-accession funds. Back.

Note 20: Symptomatic in this context is the document presented by Minister Kropiwnicki. Head of the Government Centre of Strategic Studies (AWS) in which mention is made with considerable scepticism on the effect of integration of Poland into EU indicating the risk of transforming Poland into a backup facility for raw materials and cheap labour for EU countries, the dangers for agriculture, balance of payments, brain-drain, etc. Back.