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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • POLISH DIPLOMACY ARCHIVE

  • 8 May 2014

    On 1 May 2004, Poland became a fully fledged member of the European Union. In connection with the 10th anniversary of this event, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to present a number of exhibits which illustrate Poland’s road to the EU.

    Poland’s road to the EU

     

    Officially, the People’s Republic of Poland accredited its representative to the European Community as far back as 1988, but only the regime change and the appointment of Jan Kułakowski as the next ambassador opened the way for the country’s integration with the European Union.

    The first step was the signing on 16 December 1991, of the Europe Agreement, which established an association between Poland and the European Communities and their member states.

    Less than a year and half later, in June 1993, at the Copenhagen summit, the heads of state and government of the EU member states confirmed that accession of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to the EU was a common goal, but subject to the fulfillment of the appropriate conditions (Copenhagen criteria). These laid down the following EU membership requirements:  stability of the democratic institutions, rule of law, respect for human rights, protection of ethnic minorities, working market economy, capability of competing on EU markets, ability to accept all the membership responsibilities and the adoption of acquis communautaire.

     

    The symbolic moment was the filing of formal applications for membership by Poland: one sent by fax on 5 April 1994 by Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak to the headquarters of the European Union Council and the same (but in Greek) submitted on 8 April 1994 in Athens by Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski to the Greek Presidency.

     

    Actual negotiations started on 3  April 1998 and their first phase consisted of the so-called screening, that is comparing Polish laws with those of the EU.

     

    The decisive moment of the negotiations was the summit of the European Council, which took place on 12-13 December 2002, in Copenhagen. It was there that the final decision on accepting Poland as a member of  the EU was made.

    The conclusion of the diplomatic efforts was the signing of the accession treaty in Athens on 16 April 2003 and its subsequent approval in a national referendum held on 7-8 June 2003. The treaty was then ratified by President Aleksander Kwasniewski on 23 July 2003.

    As a result, on 1 May 2004, Poland became a full member of the European Union.

     

    Photo Gallery Section

     

    In the Gallery we present a selection of photos related to the negotiation process, including photos of the Accession Treaty, a photograph taken on 1 May 2004, the Day of Welcome, organized by the Irish Presidency, as well as a photo of the signing ceremony of the Treaty, which established the Constitution for Europe.
     

    These materials include the letters of credence and diplomatic passports of the first three Polish representatives to the European Community: Stanislaw Matosek, Jan Kułakowski and Jan Truszczyński.
     

    We present official Polish applications for the membership: the application filed on 5 April 1994 by then Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak to the Council of the European Union in Brussels and the same submitted on 8 April 1994 in Athens by Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski to the Greek Presidency.

     

    We also present the first pages of the two treaties that were essential for the process of integration: the Europe Agreement drafted on 16 December 1991, which established an association between Poland and the European Communities and their member states as well as the Treaty of Accession, which was signed on 16 April 2003 in Athens.

    The Treaty of  Accession was approved by Poland in a referendum held on 7-8 June 2003  and then ratified by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski on 23 July of the same year. Following the success of the referendum, Poland received a number of  congratulatory letters from around the world. As an example, we have included an official letter sent by the President of Mexico and the response by the President of Poland.

     

    The materials were provided by the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Archives of the EU Council and EU’s service press photo.

     

     


     


     

    Meeting between Ambassador Stanisław Matosek, Polish representative to the European Community, and Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission, Brussels, 5 June 1989 (©European Union).
    Meeting between Ambassador Stanisław Matosek, Polish representative to the European Community, and Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission, Brussels, 5 June 1989 (©European Union).
    Letters of Credence (translated from French) of Jan Kułakowski, 26 February 1990 (AMFA).
    Letters of Credence (translated from French) of Jan Kułakowski, 26 February 1990 (AMFA).
    Presentation of the letters of credence by Jan Kułakowski to Jacques Delors, Brussels, 5 June 1990 (©European Union).
    Presentation of the letters of credence by Jan Kułakowski to Jacques Delors, Brussels, 5 June 1990 (©European Union).
    Diplomatic passport of Jan Kułakowski, Ambassador of Poland to the European Community, page 1, 16 March 1993 (AMFA).
    Diplomatic passport of Jan Kułakowski, Ambassador of Poland to the European Community, page 1, 16 March 1993 (AMFA).
    Diplomatic passport of Jan Kułakowski, Ambassador of Poland to the European Community, pages 2-3, 16 March 1993 (AMFA).
    Diplomatic passport of Jan Kułakowski, Ambassador of Poland to the European Community, pages 2-3, 16 March 1993 (AMFA).
    Ceremony of signing the Europe Agreement. Deputy Prime Minister Leszek Balcerowicz sitting first on the left, Brussels, 16 December 1991 (©European Union).
    Ceremony of signing the Europe Agreement. Deputy Prime Minister Leszek Balcerowicz sitting first on the left, Brussels, 16 December 1991 (©European Union).
    The Europe Agreement (front page), which established association between Poland and the European Communities and their member states, 16 December 1991 (AMFA).
    The Europe Agreement (front page), which established association between Poland and the European Communities and their member states, 16 December 1991 (AMFA).
    Signature of the Deputy Prime Minister Leszek Balcerowicz under the Europe Agreement, 16 December 1991 (AMFA).
    Signature of the Deputy Prime Minister Leszek Balcerowicz under the Europe Agreement, 16 December 1991 (AMFA).
    The Europe Agreement, page 1, 16 December 1991 (AMFA).
    The Europe Agreement, page 1, 16 December 1991 (AMFA).
    Letter of Jerzy Koźmiński, Secretary of State in the MFA, to Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, concerning the Polish application for membership, Warsaw, 5 April 1994 (Chancellery of the Prime Minister).
    Letter of Jerzy Koźmiński, Secretary of State in the MFA, to Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, concerning the Polish application for membership, Warsaw, 5 April 1994 (Chancellery of the Prime Minister).
    Application for Polish membership in the EU (in English), 5 April 1994 (Chancellery of the Prime Minister).
    Application for Polish membership in the EU (in English), 5 April 1994 (Chancellery of the Prime Minister).
    Application for Polish membership in the EU (in Polish), 5 April 1994 (Chancellery of the Prime Minister).
    Application for Polish membership in the EU (in Polish), 5 April 1994 (Chancellery of the Prime Minister).
    Visit of Polish Foreign Minister Władysław Bartoszewski to the European Commission; in the photo talking to Hans van den Broek (EC member, responsible for the relations with Central and Eastern Europe), Brussels, 18 July 1995 (©European Union).
    Visit of Polish Foreign Minister Władysław Bartoszewski to the European Commission; in the photo talking to Hans van den Broek (EC member, responsible for the relations with Central and Eastern Europe), Brussels, 18 July 1995 (©European Union).
    Diplomatic passport of Jan Truszczyński, Ambassador of Poland to the European Community, page 1, 30 September 1996 (AMFA).
    Diplomatic passport of Jan Truszczyński, Ambassador of Poland to the European Community, page 1, 30 September 1996 (AMFA).
    Diplomatic passport of Jan Truszczyński, Ambassador of Poland to the European Community, page 2-3, 30 September 1996 (AMFA).
    Diplomatic passport of Jan Truszczyński, Ambassador of Poland to the European Community, page 2-3, 30 September 1996 (AMFA).
    Meeting of Foreign Minister Bronisław Geremek and Hans van den Broek (European Commission member), Brussels, 27 November 1997 (©European Union).
    Meeting of Foreign Minister Bronisław Geremek and Hans van den Broek (European Commission member), Brussels, 27 November 1997 (©European Union).
    Conference of European Ministers and representatives of the countries applying for EU membership, Luxemburg, 6 October 1998  (©European Union).
    Conference of European Ministers and representatives of the countries applying for EU membership, Luxemburg, 6 October 1998 (©European Union).
    Meeting of President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Bruno Dethomas, head of the EC Delegation in Poland; in between: President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, Brussels, 28 November 2000 (©European Union).
    Meeting of President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Bruno Dethomas, head of the EC Delegation in Poland; in between: President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, Brussels, 28 November 2000 (©European Union).
    Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Secretary of the Committee for European Integration and Head of the Polish Negotiation Team in 1997–2001, at the Nice Summit in December 2000, (AMFA).
    Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Secretary of the Committee for European Integration and Head of the Polish Negotiation Team in 1997–2001, at the Nice Summit in December 2000, (AMFA).
    Andrzej Ananicz, Deputy Head of the Polish Negotiation Team in 1998–2001, Secretary of State in the MFA (AMFA).
    Andrzej Ananicz, Deputy Head of the Polish Negotiation Team in 1998–2001, Secretary of State in the MFA (AMFA).
    Former Headquarters of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union, 282-284 Avenue de Tervuren, Brussels, 2014 (AMFA).
    Former Headquarters of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union, 282-284 Avenue de Tervuren, Brussels, 2014 (AMFA).
    Visit of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Grzegorz Kołodko, to the European Commission. In the photo: together with Danuta Hubner (Secretary of State in the MFA) and Gunter Verheungen (European Commissioner for Enlargement), Brussels, 15 October 2002 (©European Union).
    Visit of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Grzegorz Kołodko, to the European Commission. In the photo: together with Danuta Hubner (Secretary of State in the MFA) and Gunter Verheungen (European Commissioner for Enlargement), Brussels, 15 October 2002 (©European Union).
    Meeting of the European Council in Copenhagen, where the accession negotiations were finalized, Copenhagen, 13 December 2002 (©European Union).
    Meeting of the European Council in Copenhagen, where the accession negotiations were finalized, Copenhagen, 13 December 2002 (©European Union).
    The Accession Treaty (front page) signed at the Extraordinary Summit of the European Union in Athens, Acropolis, 16 April 2003 (©European Union).
    The Accession Treaty (front page) signed at the Extraordinary Summit of the European Union in Athens, Acropolis, 16 April 2003 (©European Union).
    The Accession Treaty with a spirit seal of the Permanent Representation to the EU, signed by Polish representatives, 16 April 2003 (©European Union).
    The Accession Treaty with a spirit seal of the Permanent Representation to the EU, signed by Polish representatives, 16 April 2003 (©European Union).
    President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski delivers a speech during the ceremony of signing the Accession Treaty, Athens, 16 April 2003 (©European Union).
    President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski delivers a speech during the ceremony of signing the Accession Treaty, Athens, 16 April 2003 (©European Union).
    The congratulatory letter sent by President of Mexico Vincente Fox Quesada to President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski following the approval of the Treaty of Accession in a referendum, 16 July 2003.
    The congratulatory letter sent by President of Mexico Vincente Fox Quesada to President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski following the approval of the Treaty of Accession in a referendum, 16 July 2003.
    Response by President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski to the President of Mexico, 18 August 2003 (AMFA).
    Response by President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski to the President of Mexico, 18 August 2003 (AMFA).
    Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (Foreign Minister), Ana Palacio Vellelersundi (Foreign Minister of Spain), Danuta Hubner (Minister of European Affairs), an unknown person, and Leszek Miller (Prime Minister), Brussels, 13 December 2003 (©European Union).
    Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (Foreign Minister), Ana Palacio Vellelersundi (Foreign Minister of Spain), Danuta Hubner (Minister of European Affairs), an unknown person, and Leszek Miller (Prime Minister), Brussels, 13 December 2003 (©European Union).
    Visit of 10 Commissairs designated as of 1 May 2004, Brussels, 16 March 2004 (©European Union).
    Visit of 10 Commissairs designated as of 1 May 2004, Brussels, 16 March 2004 (©European Union).
    The Official Ceremony of Enlargement took place in the captal of Ireland, which then hosted the Presidency, on 1 May 2004 (©European Union).
    The Official Ceremony of Enlargement took place in the captal of Ireland, which then hosted the Presidency, on 1 May 2004 (©European Union).
    Polish representatives sign the Constitution for Europe, Rome, Capitol, 29 October 2003 (©European Union).
    Polish representatives sign the Constitution for Europe, Rome, Capitol, 29 October 2003 (©European Union).
    Headquarters of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union, Rue Stevin 139, Brussels, 2014 (AMFA).
    Headquarters of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union, Rue Stevin 139, Brussels, 2014 (AMFA).

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