Majority of Poles appreciate economic benefits of EU membership - report

Over 80 percent of the Polish public appreciate the economic benefits of EU membership while 82 percent see its results in an improved situation on the labour market, according to a report by the Polish Economic Institute (PIE).

May 1, 2022, marked Poland's 18th anniversary of EU accession. During this time, the country's GDP per capita has grown in real terms by 85 percent and as a result of EU membership the average annual economic growth has been higher by 1.04 percentage points, foreign direct investment inflows have been up by 4.07 percent, the value of exports by 3.2 percent, and the benefits of EU membership are felt by the vast majority of Poles, PIE wrote in its report 'The European Union Generation.'

According to the report, 80.1 percent of adult Poles perceive the positive effects of EU membership and 79.0 percent said membership had improved their standard of living while 82.2 percent associate EU accession with an improved labour market.

Meanwhile, 60 percent of people aged 18-29 consider themselves Europeans and almost 28 percent of young Poles said they would emigrate in Poland left the EU.

The report's author, PIE analyst Krzysztof Kutwa, stressed that people born between 1995 and 2012 (the so-called Generation Z) view the world differently than previous generations. "It can be seen clearly in the approach to such issues as the quality of the environment, the emphasis on good mental health and attitude towards social inequality, which are priorities for representatives of Gen Z," he said.

Two thirds of Generation Z believe that wealth and income are unequally distributed in society and the majority believe that legislation and direct government intervention could mitigate the difference significantly.

In terms of European integration, a little Euroscepticism is visible in younger Poles, with 31.5 percent of Generation Z favouring greater unification of member states compared to 37.6 percent of older generations, Kutwa pointed out.