Bilateral cooperation Embassy Consular information
POLAND - EUROPEAN UNION
IMPORTANT EU MESSAGES
POLAND JOINED THE EUROPEAN UNION ON THE 1ST OF MAY 2004.
- The EU comprises 27 states, including most of Eastern Europe and nearly all of Western Europe, with a population of 487 million and an economy that is slightly larger than that of the United States. The EU's population is greater than the combined population of North America (the United States, Canada and Mexico).
- The EU is the world's most successful innovation for advancing peace. Following two world wars that claimed over 75 million lives in a single generation, it was created to ensure that deadly conflict would never again engulf Europe. Since the creation of the EU half a century ago, Europe has enjoyed the longest period of peace in its history.
- The EU is much more than a trade organisation or a common market. It is commited to democracy, freedom, justice and human rights.
- EU Member States have stable governments which promote pluralistic political thought and support freedom of speech, religion, and free market economies.
- The EU is a unique institution in which Member States voluntarily cede some elements of national sovereignty in order to carry out common policies and governance.
- The EU is the world's fastest growing democratic body. With the addition of ten new Member States in May 2004, its land-mass grew by 25% and its population increased by 20%.
- The EU is the single largest economic body in the world. Its Member States account for almost a third of the entire global economy (31% of global GDP).
- The EU is Canada's second biggest trade partner, with trade flows in 2004-5 equal to $78 billion, nearly four times bigger than trade between Canada and China.
- After the US, the EU is the second largest investor in Canada (27% of foreign direct investment), while Canada is the fourth largest investor in the EU (investment flows of $197 billion in 2004-5). Canada's investment relationship with the EU is more than six times greater than China's.
- The EU imports more agricultural products from developing countries around the world than do the U.S., Canada and Japan combined.
- EU productivity per hour surpasses Canada and rivals the U.S., with ample room for growth based on Europe's significantly shorter average working week.
EU - Canada Working Together to Address Global Challenges
- The EU and its Member States are the world's largest aid donor, providing 54% of global development assistance, which amounts to C$ 48 billion per year. Since 1992, the EU has provided emergency assistance in the wake of natural disasters and conflicts in more than 100 countries around the world.
- The EU is the world's largest contributor of official aid to Africa, the area most afflicted by poverty and disease, with plans to increase its aid contributions to the continent over the next decade.
- The EU is acting to promote sustainable development and preserve the rights of future generations to a viable environment by implementing mandatory limits on greenhouse gases and working to ensure that future international trade agreements include environmental and labour standards.
- Together with the U.S., Russia and the United Nations, the EU developed the 2002 'roadmap' to advance the Middle East peace process. The EU is the largest trading, economic, scientific and research partner of Israel, and it is also the largest donor of development and humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. EU peacekeepers monitor the newly-established Gaza border crossing, an important development in the peace process.
- The EU has contributed to global peace and security by sending peacekeepers and providing other support in the Western Balkans, Georgia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur (Sudan) and Aceh (Indonesia). The EU often works side-by-side with Canada in these regions, co-ordinating our efforts to maximise our joint effectiveness.
- The EU and its Member States are helping to restore peace in Afghanistan by providing 80% of the troops in NATO's International Security Force, and paying half the costs of the Afghani presidential election.