Republic of Poland
Area: 312,683 sq. km. (120,725 sq. mi.); about
the size of New Mexico.
Cities (2004): Capital--Warsaw (pop.
1,690,821). Other cities--Lodz
(776,297), Krakow (757,957), Wroclaw (636,854),
Poznan (573,003), Gdansk (460,524).
Terrain: Flat plain, except mountains along
Climate: Temperate continental.
Nationality: Noun--Pole(s). Adjective--Polish.
Population (December 2004): 38.6 million.
Annual growth rate: Unchanging.
Ethnic groups: Polish 98%, German, Ukrainian,
Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Eastern Orthodox,
Uniate, Protestant, Judaism.
Health (2004): Infant mortality rate--7.4/1,000.
Life expectancy--males 70 yrs., females
Work force: 17.0 million. Industry and
trade and business--28.0%; government
Constitution: The constitution now in effect was
approved by a national referendum on May 25,
1997. The constitution codifies Poland's
democratic norms and establishes checks and
balances among the president, prime minister,
and parliament. It also enhances several key
elements of democracy, including judicial review
and the legislative process, while continuing to
guarantee the wide range of civil rights, such
as the right to free speech, press, and
assembly, which Poles have enjoyed since 1989.
Branches: Executive--head of state
(president), head of government (prime
National Assembly (lower house--Sejm, upper
house--Senat). Judicial--Supreme Court,
provincial and local courts, constitutional
Administrative subdivisions: 16 provinces (voivodships).
Political parties (in parliament): Law and
Justice (PiS), Civic Platform (PO), Self-Defense
(SO), Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), League of
Polish Families (LPR), and the Polish Peasant
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
GDP (2004): $244 billion.
Real GDP growth (2004): 5.4%.
Per capita GDP (2004): $6,381.
Rate of inflation (2004): 3.5%.
Natural resources: Coal, copper, sulfur, natural
gas, silver, lead, salt.
Agriculture: Products--grains, hogs,
dairy, potatoes, horticulture, sugarbeets,
Industry: Types--machine building, iron
and steel, mining, shipbuilding, automobiles,
furniture, textiles and apparel, chemicals, food
processing, glass, beverages.
Trade (2004): Exports--$80.9 billion:
furniture, cars, ships, coal, apparel.
Imports--$87.1 billion: crude oil,
passenger cars, pharmaceuticals, car parts,
Poland today is ethnically almost homogeneous
(98% Polish), in contrast with the World War II
period, when there were significant ethnic
minorities--4.5 million Ukrainians, 3 million
Jews, 1 million Belorussians, and 800,000
Germans. The majority of the Jews were murdered
during the German occupation in World War II,
and many others emigrated in the succeeding
Most Germans left Poland at the end of the
war, while many Ukrainians and Belorussians
lived in territories incorporated into the then-U.S.S.R.
Small Ukrainian, Belorussian, Slovakian, and
Lithuanian minorities reside along the borders,
and a German minority is concentrated near the
southwest city of Opole.
Poland's written history begins with the reign
of Mieszko I, who accepted Christianity for
himself and his kingdom in AD 966. The Polish
state reached its zenith under the Jagiellonian
dynasty in the years following the union with
Lithuania in 1386 and the subsequent defeat of
the Teutonic Knights at Grunwald in 1410. The
monarchy survived many upheavals but eventually
went into a decline, which ended with the final
partition of Poland by Prussia, Russia, and
Austria in 1795.
Independence for Poland was one of the 14
points enunciated by President Woodrow Wilson
during World War I. Many Polish Americans
enlisted in the military services to further
this aim, and the United States worked at the
postwar conference to ensure its implementation.
However, the Poles were largely responsible
for achieving their own independence in 1918.
Authoritarian rule predominated for most of the
period before World War II. On August 23, 1939,
Germany and the Soviet Union signed the
Ribbentrop-Molotov nonaggression pact, which
secretly provided for the dismemberment of
Poland into Nazi and Soviet-controlled zones. On
September 1, 1939, Hitler ordered his troops
into Poland. On September 17, Soviet troops
invaded and then occupied eastern Poland under
the terms of this agreement. After Germany
invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Poland
was completely occupied by German troops.
The Poles formed an underground resistance
movement and a government in exile, first in
Paris and later in London, which was recognized
by the Soviet Union. During World War II,
400,000 Poles fought under Soviet command, and
200,000 went into combat on Western fronts in
units loyal to the Polish government in exile.
In April 1943, the Soviet Union broke
relations with the Polish government in exile
after the German military announced that they
had discovered mass graves of murdered Polish
army officers at Katyn, in the U.S.S.R. (The
Soviets claimed that the Poles had insulted them
by requesting that the Red Cross investigate
these reports.) In July 1944, the Soviet Red
Army entered Poland and established a
communist-controlled "Polish Committee of
National Liberation" at Lublin.
Resistance against the Nazis in Warsaw,
including uprisings by Jews in the Warsaw ghetto
and by the Polish underground, was brutally
suppressed. As the Germans retreated in January
1945, they leveled the city.
During the war, about 6 million Poles were
killed, and 2.5 million were deported to Germany
for forced labor. More than 3 million Jews (all
but about 100,000 of the Jewish population) were
killed in death camps like those at Oswiecim
(Auschwitz), Treblinka, and Majdanek.
Following the Yalta Conference in February
1945, a Polish Provisional Government of
National Unity was formed in June 1945; the U.S.
recognized it the next month. Although the Yalta
agreement called for free elections, those held
in January 1947 were controlled by the Communist
Party. The communists then established a regime
entirely under their domination.
Communist Party Domination
In October 1956, after the 20th
("de-Stalinization") Soviet Party Congress in
Moscow and riots by workers in Poznan, there was
a shakeup in the communist regime. While
retaining most traditional communist economic
and social aims, the regime of First Secretary
Wladyslaw Gomulka liberalized Polish internal
In 1968, the trend reversed when student
demonstrations were suppressed and an
"anti-Zionist" campaign initially directed
against Gomulka supporters within the party
eventually led to the emigration of much of
Poland's remaining Jewish population. In
December 1970, disturbances and strikes in the
port cities of Gdansk, Gdynia, and Szczecin,
triggered by a price increase for essential
consumer goods, reflected deep dissatisfaction
with living and working conditions in the
country. Edward Gierek replaced Gomulka as First
Fueled by large infusions of Western credit,
Poland's economic growth rate was one of the
world's highest during the first half of the
1970s. But much of the borrowed capital was
misspent, and the centrally planned economy was
unable to use the new resources effectively. The
growing debt burden became insupportable in the
late 1970s, and economic growth had become
negative by 1979.
In October 1978, the Bishop of Krakow,
Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, became Pope John Paul
II, head of the Roman Catholic Church. Polish
Catholics rejoiced at the elevation of a Pole to
the papacy and greeted his June 1979 visit to
Poland with an outpouring of emotion.
In July 1980, with the Polish foreign debt at
more than $20 billion, the government made
another attempt to increase meat prices. A chain
reaction of strikes virtually paralyzed the
Baltic coast by the end of August and, for the
first time, closed most coalmines in Silesia.
Poland was entering into an extended crisis that
would change the course of its future
The Solidarity Movement
On August 31, 1980, workers at the Lenin
Shipyard in Gdansk, led by an electrician named
Lech Walesa, signed a 21-point agreement with
the government that ended their strike. Similar
agreements were signed at Szczecin and in
Silesia. The key provision of these agreements
was the guarantee of the workers' right to form
independent trade unions and the right to
strike. After the Gdansk agreement was signed, a
new national union movement--"Solidarity"--swept
The discontent underlying the strikes was
intensified by revelations of widespread
corruption and mismanagement within the Polish
state and party leadership. In September 1980,
Gierek was replaced by Stanislaw Kania as First
Alarmed by the rapid deterioration of the
PZPR's authority following the Gdansk agreement,
the Soviet Union proceeded with a massive
military buildup along Poland's border in
December 1980. In February 1981, Defense
Minister Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski assumed the
position of Prime Minister as well, and in
October 1981, he also was named party First
Secretary. At the first Solidarity national
congress in September-October 1981, Lech Walesa
was elected national chairman of the union.
On December 12-13, the regime declared
martial law, under which the army and special
riot police were used to crush the union.
Virtually all Solidarity leaders and many
affiliated intellectuals were arrested or
detained. The United States and other Western
countries responded to martial law by imposing
economic sanctions against the Polish regime and
against the Soviet Union. Unrest in Poland
continued for several years thereafter.
In a series of slow, uneven steps, the Polish
regime rescinded martial law. In December 1982,
martial law was suspended, and a small number of
political prisoners were released. Although
martial law formally ended in July 1983 and a
general amnesty was enacted, several hundred
political prisoners remained in jail.
In July 1984, another general amnesty was
declared, and 2 years later, the government had
released nearly all political prisoners. The
authorities continued, however, to harass
dissidents and Solidarity activists. Solidarity
remained proscribed and its publications banned.
Independent publications were censored.
Roundtable Talks and Elections
The government's inability to forestall Poland's
economic decline led to waves of strikes across
the country in April, May, and August 1988. In
an attempt to take control of the situation, the
government gave de facto recognition to
Solidarity, and Interior Minister Kiszczak began
talks with Lech Walesa on August 31. These talks
broke off in October, but a new series, the
"roundtable" talks, began in February 1989.
These talks produced an agreement in April for
partly open National Assembly elections. The
June election produced a Sejm (lower house), in
which one-third of the seats went to communists
and one-third went to the two parties which had
hitherto been their coalition partners. The
remaining one-third of the seats in the Sejm and
all those in the Senat were freely contested;
virtually all of these were won by candidates
supported by Solidarity.
The failure of the communists at the polls
produced a political crisis. The roundtable
agreement called for a communist president, and
on July 19, the National Assembly, with the
support of some Solidarity deputies, elected
General Jaruzelski to that office. Two attempts
by the communists to form governments failed,
On August 19, President Jaruzelski asked
journalist/Solidarity activist Tadeusz
Mazowiecki to form a government; on September
12, the Sejm voted approval of Prime Minister
Mazowiecki and his cabinet. For the first time
in more than 40 years, Poland had a government
led by non-communists.
In December 1989, the Sejm approved the
government's reform program to transform the
Polish economy rapidly from centrally planned to
free-market, amended the constitution to
eliminate references to the "leading role" of
the Communist Party, and renamed the country the
"Republic of Poland." The Polish United Workers'
(Communist) Party dissolved itself in January
1990, creating in its place a new party, Social
Democracy of the Republic of Poland. Most of the
property of the former Communist Party was
turned over to the state.
The May 1990 local elections were entirely
free. Candidates supported by Solidarity's
Citizens' Committees won most of the races they
contested, although voter turnout was only a
little over 40%. The cabinet was reshuffled in
July 1990; the national defense and interior
affairs ministers--holdovers from the previous
communist government--were among those replaced.
In October 1990, the constitution was amended
to curtail the term of President Jaruzelski. In
December, Lech Walesa became the first popularly
elected President of Poland.
The Republic of Poland
The Republic of Poland in the early 1990s
made great progress toward achieving a fully
democratic government and a market economy. In
November 1990, Lech Walesa was elected President
for a 5-year term. Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, at
Walesa's request, formed a government and served
as its Prime Minister until October 1991,
introducing world prices and greatly expanding
the scope of private enterprise.
Poland's first free parliamentary elections
were held in 1991. More than 100 parties
participated, representing a full spectrum of
political views. No single party received more
than 13% of the total vote. Since 1991, Poland
has conducted five general parliamentary
elections and four presidential elections--all
free and fair. Incumbent governments have
transferred power smoothly and constitutionally
in every instance to their successors. The
post-Solidarity center-right and post-Communist
center-left have each controlled the parliament
and the presidency since 1991. The current
President, Aleksander Kwasniewski, was first
elected in 1995 and re-elected in 2000.
Kwasniewski was a founder of the post-Communist
Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), though he
resigned from the party upon acceding to the
presidency. He will retire at the end of his
second and constitutionally mandated final term
on December 23, 2005. His successor, Law and
Justice (PiS) candidate Lech Kaczynski, was
elected October 23, defeating Civic Platform
(PO) candidate Donald Tusk.
Following September 25, 2005 parliamentary
elections, top vote-getter PiS (27%) began
coalition negotiations with electoral partner PO
(24%). After PiS presidential candidate
Kaczynski defeated PO candidate Tusk, coalition
talks between the two parties collapsed, and
President Kwasniewski swore in a minority PiS
government on October 24 led by Prime Minister
Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz. The Marcinkiewicz
government must survive a constitutionally
mandated confidence vote by December 14, 2005,
which PO has pledged to oppose.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
The current government structure consists of a
council of ministers led by a Prime Minister,
typically chosen from the majority coalition in
the bicameral legislature's lower house (Sejm).
The president, elected every five years for no
more than two terms, is the head of state and
commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The
judicial branch plays a minor role in
The parliament consists of the 460-member
Sejm and the 100-member Senat, or upper house.
The new constitution and the reformed
administrative division (as of 1999) required a
revision of the election ordinance (passed in
April 2001). The most important changes were
liquidation of a national list (all deputies are
elected by voters in electoral districts) and
introduction of a new method of calculating
seats (the modified St. Lague method replaced
the d'Hondt method, thus eliminating the premium
for the top parties). The law stipulated that
with the exception of guaranteed seats for small
ethnic parties, only parties receiving at least
5% of the total vote could enter parliament.
Parties represented in the newly elected Sejm
are Law and Justice (PiS), Civic Platform (PO),
Self-Defense (SO), Democratic Left Alliance
(SLD), the League of Polish Families (LPR), and
the Polish Peasant Party (PSL).
Principal Government Officials
Prime Minister--Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (PiS)
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Stefan Meller
Minister of Economy and Labor--Piotr Wozniak
Minister of Internal Affairs and
Administration--Ludwik Dorn (PiS)
Minister of Defense--Radek Sikorski (PiS)
Minister of Finance--Teresa Lubinska
Minister of Treasury--Andrzej Mikosz
Minister of Labor and Social Policy--Krzysztof
Minister of Justice--Zbigniew Ziobro (PiS)
Minister of Transport and Infrastructure--Jerzy
Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development--Krzysztof Jurgiel (PiS)
Minister of Education and Science--Michal
Minister of Culture and National
Heritage--Kazimierz Ujazdowski (PiS)
Minister of Regional Development--Grazyna
Minister of Health--Zbigniew Religa
Minister of Environment--Jan Szyszko (PiS)
Minister of Sports--Tomasz Lipiec
Coordinator for Special Services--Zbigniew
Ambassador to the United States--Janusz
Deputy Chief of Mission--Boguslaw Winid
Poland maintains an
in the United States at 2640 16th St. NW,
Washington, DC 20009 (tel.
202-234-3800/3801/3802); the consular annex is
at 2224 Wyoming Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
(tel. 202-234-3800). Poland has consulates in
Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles.
The Polish economy grew rapidly in the
mid-1990s, but slowed considerably in 2001 and
2002. Since then, growth in the gross domestic
product (GDP) recovered to 3.8% in 2003 and
accelerated to 5.4% in 2004; although final
figures are not yet available, GDP is expected
to increase another 4.5-5% in 2005. Faster
growth has failed to significantly reduce
unemployment, which stood at 18.7% in the middle
of 2005, the highest level in the EU. Tight
monetary policy and dramatic productivity growth
have helped temper inflation, which was roughly
at 3.5% in 2004. Likewise, Poland's current
account deficit, which grew rapidly in the late
1990s, fell to 1.5% of GDP in 2004. The budget
deficit remains a source of concern though the
accelerating economy helped to hold the deficit
at an estimated 4.6% of GDP in 2004.
Throughout the 1990s, the United States and
other Western countries supported the growth of
a free enterprise economy by reducing Poland's
foreign debt burden, providing economic aid, and
lowering trade barriers. Poland graduated from
USAID assistance in 2000 and paid the balance of
its U.S.-held Paris Club debt in 2005. Poland
officially joined the EU on May 1, 2004.
Agriculture employs 28.7% of the work force but
contributes only 3.4% to the gross domestic
product (GDP), reflecting relatively low
productivity. Unlike the industrial sector,
Poland's agricultural sector remained largely in
private hands during the decades of communist
rule. Most of the former state farms are now
leased to farmer tenants. Lack of credit is
hampering efforts to sell former state farmland.
Currently, Poland's 2 million private farms
occupy 90% of all farmland and account for
roughly the same percentage of total
agricultural production. These farms are
small--8 hectares (ha) on average--and often
fragmented. Farms with an area exceeding 15 ha
accounted for only 9% of the total number of
farms but cover 45% of total agricultural area.
Over half of all farming households in Poland
produce only for their own needs with little, if
any, commercial sales.
Poland is a net exporter of confectionery,
processed fruit and vegetables, meat, and dairy
products. Processors often rely on imports to
supplement domestic supplies of wheat, feed
grains, vegetable oil, and protein meals, which
are generally insufficient to meet domestic
demand. However, Poland is the leading producer
in Europe of potatoes and rye and is one of the
world's largest producers of sugarbeets. Poland
also is a significant producer of rapeseed,
grains, hogs, and cattle. Attempts to increase
domestic feed grain production are hampered by
the short growing season, poor soil, and the
small size of farms.
Pressure to restructure the agriculture
sector intensified as Poland prepared to accede
to the European Union, which is unwilling to
subsidize the vast number of subsistence farms
that do not produce for the market. The changes
in agriculture are likely to strain Poland's
social fabric, tearing at the heart of the
traditional, family-based small farm as the
younger generation drifts toward the cities.
Nonetheless, dramatically increasing
agricultural exports to the EU-15 (38% growth in
the past year) and payments to farmers from
Brussels following accession have enriched
Polish commercial farmers and dramatically
increase support for EU membership in Poland’s
Before World War II, Poland's industrial base
was concentrated in the coal, textile, chemical,
machinery, iron, and steel sectors. Today it
extends to fertilizers, petrochemicals, machine
tools, electrical machinery, electronics, and
Poland's industrial base suffered greatly
during World War II, and many resources were
directed toward reconstruction. The communist
economic system imposed in the late 1940s
created large and unwieldy economic structures
operated under a tight central command. In part
because of this systemic rigidity, the economy
performed poorly even in comparison with other
economies in central Europe.
In 1990, the Mazowiecki government began a
comprehensive reform program to replace the
centralized command economy with a
market-oriented system. While the results
overall have been impressive, many large
state-owned industrial enterprises, particularly
the railroad and the mining, steel, and defense
sectors, have remained resistant to the change
and downsizing required to survive in an open
Economic Reform Program and Direct Foreign
The economic reforms introduced in 1990 removed
price controls, eliminated most subsidies to
industry, opened markets to international
competition, and imposed strict budgetary and
monetary discipline. Poland was the first former
centrally planned economy in central Europe to
end its recession and return to growth in the
early 1990s. The private sector now accounts for
over two-thirds of GDP.
In early 2002, the government announced a new
set of economic reforms known as the Hausner
Plan, designed in many ways to complete the
process launched in 1990. The package
acknowledged the need to improve Poland's
investment climate, particularly the conditions
for small and medium-sized enterprises, and
better prepare the economy to compete as a
European Union (EU) member. The government also
aimed to improve Poland's public finances to
prepare for eventual adoption of the euro.
Though the government was able to enact only
portions of the Hausner Plan, those successes
coupled with successful monetary efforts to
strengthen the zloty, have put Poland within
reach of the National Bank’s goal of Euro
accession in 2008-2009.
As a result of Poland's growth and
investment-friendly climate, the country has
received over $85 billion in direct foreign
investment (DFI) since 1990, with roughly $7
billion in 2004 alone. According to a recently
publish report by Ernst and Young, Poland is
tied with Germany as the most attractive
destination for foreign investment in Europe.
The availability of cheap land and a large,
relatively skilled labor force are among Polish
strengths. However, the government continues to
play a strong role in the economy, as seen in
excessive red tape and the high level of
politicization in many business decisions.
Investors complain that state regulation is not
transparent or predictable, and the economy
suffers from a lack of competition in many
sectors, notably telecommunications.
With the collapse of the ruble-based COMECON
trading bloc in 1990, Poland scrambled to
reorient its trade. As early as 1996, 70% of its
trade was with EU-15 members, and neighboring
Germany today is Poland's dominant trading
partner. Most of Poland's imports are capital
goods needed for industrial retooling and for
manufacturing inputs, rather than imports for
consumption. Therefore, a deficit is expected
and should even be regarded as positive at this
point. Poland, a member of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) and European Union, applies
the EU’s common external tariff to goods from
other countries--including the U.S.
In the year since it joined the EU, Poland
has experienced an overall growth in exports of
30%. This growth was not confined to trade among
EU partners: while exports to EU countries rose
by 27%, exports to developing countries rose by
46%, and exports to Russia rose an unexpected
77%. Poland’s trade balance continued to
improve, with export growth significantly
outpacing import growth. Opportunities for trade
and investment continue to exist across
virtually all sectors. The American Chamber of
Commerce in Poland, founded in 1991 with seven
members, now has more than 300 members. Strong
economic growth potential, a large domestic
market, EU membership, and political stability
are the top reasons U.S. and other foreign
companies do business in Poland.
FOREIGN RELATIONS AND NATIONAL SECURITY
Poland became an associate member of the EU and
its defensive arm, the Western European Union,
in 1994. In the June 2003 national referendum,
the Polish people approved EU accession by an
overwhelming margin, and Poland gained full
membership in May 2004.
Changes since 1989 have redrawn the map of
central Europe, and Poland has had to forge
relationships with seven new neighbors. Poland
has actively pursued good relations, signing
friendship treaties replacing links severed by
the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. The Poles have
forged special relationships with Lithuania and
particularly Ukraine in an effort to firmly
anchor these states to the West.
Poland became a full member of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in March
1999 as part of the first wave of enlargement
outlined at the July 1997 NATO Summit in Madrid.
Poland's top national security goal is to
further integrate with NATO and other west
European defense, economic, and political
institutions while modernizing and reorganizing
its military. Polish military doctrine reflects
the same defense posture as its Alliance
Poland maintains a sizable armed force
currently numbering about 140,572 troops divided
among an army of 87,877, an air and defense
force of 31,147, and a navy of 21,548. Poland
relies on military conscription for the majority
of its personnel strength. All males (with some
exceptions) are subject to a 12-month term of
military service. The Polish military continues
to restructure and to modernize its equipment.
The Polish Defense Ministry General Staff and
the Land Forces staff have recently reorganized
the latter into a NATO-compatible J/G-1 through
J/G-6 structure. Although budget constraints
remain a drag on modernization, Poland has been
able to move forward with U.S. assistance on
acquiring 48 F-16 multi-role fighters, C-130
cargo planes, HMMWVs, and other items key to the
Poland continues to be a regional leader in
support and participation in the NATO
Partnership for Peace Program and has actively
engaged most of its neighbors and other regional
actors to build stable foundations for future
European security arrangements. Poland continues
its long record of strong support for UN
Peacekeeping Operations by maintaining a unit in
Southern Lebanon, a battalion in NATO's Kosovo
Force (KFOR), and by providing and actually
deploying the KFOR strategic reserve to Kosovo.
Polish military forces have served in both
Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and
Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Poland assumed command of a multinational
division of stabilization forces in Iraq
(MDN-CS) on September 3, 2003. Poland and its
MND-CS partners have worked effectively since
then to stabilize south central Iraq while
working to train Iraqi forces to take over
MND-CS responsibilities and operate
The United States established diplomatic
relations with the newly formed Polish Republic
in April 1919. After Gomulka came to power in
1956, relations with the United States began to
improve. However, during the 1960s, reversion to
a policy of full and unquestioning support for
Soviet foreign policy objectives and
anti-Semitic feelings in Poland caused those
relations to stagnate. U.S.-Polish relations
improved significantly after Gierek succeeded
Gomulka and expressed his interest in improving
relations with the United States. A consular
agreement was signed in 1972.
In 1974 Gierek was the first Polish leader to
visit the United States. This action, among
others, demonstrated that both sides wished to
facilitate better relations.
The birth of Solidarity in 1980 raised the
hope that progress would be made in Poland's
external relations as well as in its domestic
development. During this time, the United States
provided $765 million in agricultural
assistance. Human rights and individual freedom
issues, however, were not improved upon, and the
U.S. revoked Poland's most-favored-nation (MFN)
status in response to the Polish Government's
decision to ban Solidarity. MFN status was
reinstated in 1987, and diplomatic relations
The United States and Poland have enjoyed
warm bilateral relations since 1989. Every
post-1989 Polish government has been a strong
supporter of continued American military and
economic presence in Europe. As well as
supporting the Global War on Terror, Operation
Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and coalition
efforts in Iraq, Poland cooperates closely with
American diplomacy on such issues as
democratization, nuclear proliferation, human
rights, regional cooperation in central and
eastern Europe, and UN reform.
Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Deputy Chief of Mission--Ken Hillas
Press and Cultural Affairs Counselor--Edward J.
Political Counselor--Mary Curtin
Economic Counselor--Richard Rorvig
Consul General--Lisa Piascik
Management Counselor--Sara Drew
Agricultural Counselor--Ed Porter
Defense Attaché--Henry Nowak
Principal Officer, Krakow--Ken Fairfax
Counselor for Commercial Affairs--David McNeill,
The street address and international mailing
address of the
Embassy in Poland is Aleje Ujazdowskie
29/31, 00540 Warsaw, Poland; tel:
48-22-504-2000; fax 48-22-504-2688. The
Consulate General in Krakow is at Ulica
Stolarska 9, 31-043 Krakow, Poland; tel:
48-12-424-5200; fax: 48-12-424-5100; and a
Consular Agency in Poznan is at Ulica
Paderewskiego 8, 61-708 Poznan, Poland; tel:
48-61-851-8516; fax: 48-61-851-8966.