Policy Article

Poland’s Trade with Europe: Already Integrated into the EU?

In J. Mizala (ed.), Poland in the European Union. The Preliminary Balance of Membership. Radom 2006: 268-280

The paper focuses on the changes in Polish trade patterns which have occurred in the course of transition and integration into the European Union since the early nineties until EU full membership in May 2004. The statistical analysis and a gravity model of Polish trade relations show that the country has been successfully integrated into the EU Common Market although the degree of integration with the other EU members varies substantially, notably for Polish exports. Germany is the by far dominant partner among the EU-15 countries; furthermore, close trade relations exist with the Visegrad partners. Moreover, a significant share of trade with the CIS remained thereby indicating that Poland still acts as a gateway towards the markets of the Russian Federation and of other CIS members. The commodity structure of Polish trade flows also mirrors the country’s successful integration into the international division of labour. Apparently, the role of Polish enterprises is not confined to that of a mere workbench of labour-intensive standardized products. Instead, the analysis reveals that the technology content of Polish trade has increased significantly, indicating the participation of Polish enterprises in advanced production networks.