Economic data suggests that membership in the European Union has been good for Poland. With much of Europe still struggling to recover from the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, Poland stands out as an unlikely island of economic success, a place where companies and individuals plan for growth rather than decline.
In 2009, when the gross domestic product of the European Union contracted by 4.5 percent, Poland was the only country in the union to see its economy grow, by 1.6 percent. The EU economy as a whole remains smaller than it was at the beginning of 2009 and isn’t expected to recover its losses until 2015. In that same period, Poland is projected to enjoy a cumulative growth of more than 16 percent.
One of the strengths of EU membership has been access to EU funding for projects and this summer, the Polish Government has published a 476 page book with 142 examples of how places in Poland have been developed using the European Union Structural Funds. The book is called On the Trail of the EU Funds and it is available for download here.
The booklet reads like a guidebook and you will not have to read many pages before you feel an urge to visit some of the amazing places that have been restored and developed as domestic and international tourism magnets. The places includes venues, historical buildings, festivals and experience-based tourism offerings, etcetera.