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Poland Table of Contents


Postcommunist Policy Adjustments

In early 1990 the Mazowiecki government planned to maintain Poland's high export volume to the Soviet Union for an indefinite period. The goal of this plan was to ensure a long-term position for Poland in that important market and to protect domestic industry from a further decline in production and increased unemployment. Subsequently, however, an export limit became necessary to avoid accumulating an excessive surplus of useless transferable rubles. In 1992, after the Soviet Union split into a number of independent states, the Polish government had no indication whether existing balances would ever be exchanged into convertible currencies, or under what conditions that might happen.

In December 1991, Poland reached agreement on associate membership in the European Community (EC). Having taken this intermediate step, the Polish government set the goal of full EC membership by the year 2000. Among the provisions of associate membership were gradual removal of EC tariffs and quotas on Polish food exports; immediate removal of EC tariffs on most industrial goods imported from Poland and full membership for Poland in the EC free trade area for industrial goods in 1999; EC financial aid to restructure the Polish economy; and agreements on labor transfer, rights of settlement, cultural cooperation, and other issues. The agreement, which required ratification by the Polish government, all twelve member nations of the EC, and the European Parliament, went into interim operation as those bodies considered its merits. Both houses of the Polish parliament ratified the agreement in July 1992.

Data as of October 1992