The expectations from joining European Union (EU) were very high a few years ago, especially since EU was seen as an alliance of rich Western European countries. Each new country joining the EU hoped to become the equal to the richest.
Finally Poland had a chance to become a member of EU. When the negotiations were started it was clear that being a part of the big union of countries bring not only advantages but also problems and responsibilities. Especially since Europe is still in crisis marked with a low economical growth and also high unemployment in many Western Europe countries.
Nevertheless, it seems that there is no any other alternative than joining the EU with all the luggage of benefits and possible problems. The opinion between Poles were very polarized. Since the beginning of the negotiations we had so called Euro-optimists, who enthusiastically suported EU. We have also so called Euro-skeptics for whom joining EU is the end of Poland in political, sociological and economical sense. Recently the new, not that extreme group is more visible, so called Euro-realists, who see the dangers but also the benefits of EU.
We will be probably joining EU not alone but in a group of countries with similar economical development and political heritage. It has its advantages and disadvantages. It will be easier to negotiate some conditions in a block of countries. There were fifteen member countries, ten countries are candidates. But the membership of so many new and poorer developed countries also changes the character of the EU. The help and encouragement given to each new country in the past - cannot be given to so many countries at once. Simply the conditions for us are not that good as for the countries who became the members earlier.