Poland was one of ten countries to join the EU on May 1 2004, and since then it has accessed a total of 60 billion euros in EU funding.

The conservative daily Rzeczpospolita takes positive stock:

Among other things we’ve modernised our infrastructure. This sum also includes the billions received by farmers, which have helped Poland’s agriculture make enormous advances that the national budget could never have financed. In exchange we’ve adapted our laws to EU standards, a move that would have made sense even if we weren’t an EU member.

For example the strict environmental guidelines have forced us to implement often painful reforms, including accelerating the reduction of CO2 emissions. Certainly, one can always argue back and forth about the extent to which such reforms must take place. Nevertheless it makes perfect sense to replace the dirty coal industry with modern solutions.