Poland must protect its entrepreneurs from France’s protectionist efforts: opinion

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Although Poland has benefited from the net income from EU funds, these funds are negligible to the long-term development of the Polish economy, with Poland’s trade in services serving as the real reason why belonging to the European market is a net benefit to Poland.

Half a decade ago, Poland and other Eastern European countries learned how to sell their services. Now, maintaining our ability to sell services on the European single market is more important than receiving EU transfers.

In response to the success of countries like Poland, France has been trying to limit the free movement of services in Europe for the last half decade.

Due to the enormous impact trade in services has for Poland, keeping the free movement of services in the EU and stopping French discrimination on their market towards our entrepreneurs is more important to our development than the transfers.

Since 2004, net transfers from the EU amounted to between 0.5 percent to 3 percent of the Polish GDP yearly (2.2 percent in 2018) and made up between 2 and 16 percent annually (12.1 percent in 2018) of the Polish state budget.

Although EU funds remain important, trade in services have been twice as high a net EU transfers in terms of GDP contributions.

Europhiles and PiS opponents like to point out that Poland was built on EU funds, using pictures and billboards to remind us about it throughout Poland.

However, there is no proof that EU transfers lead to economic development. Some analysts point to EU funds helping while others show minimal or non-existent positive effects. Some even show a negative impact of those transfers.