Poland joined the EU 15 years ago

Poland joined the EU 15 years ago Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Poland became an EU member 15 years ago, on May 1, 2004, owing to the long-lasting effortds of many Polish governments that held power after 1989.

Poland joined the EU on May 1, 2004, together with nine other countries - Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia.

This was the largest enlargement in the history of the EU. Official accession negotiations were launched on March 31, 1998, and completed on December 13, 2002.

The accession treaty was signed by the then Polish PM, Leszek Miller, in Athens on April 16, 2003.

After over 77 percent of the Polish people supported Poland's EU membership in a national referendum on June 7 and 8, 2003, the accession treaty was ratified on July 23, 2003. On May 1, 2004, Poland officially became an EU member.