Poland, which is formally known as the Republic of Poland, is located in the central part of the continental Europe. The country covers an area of 120,726 square miles in Central Europe making it the 9th largest country in Europe. Poland’s population was over 38.5 million as of June 30, 2017, making the country the sixth most populous in the European Union. The largest city in the nation is Warsaw, which serves as its capital. Poland is a member of the United Nations, European Union, NATO and the Schengen Area. The state has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 14 are cultural heritage sites.
The continent of Europe occupies the northern half of the Earth’s hemisphere and largely on the eastern half hemisphere. The continent has a total area of 3,930,000 square miles covering about 2% of the Earth’s surface. As of 2016, Europe’s population was about 741 million, approximately 11% of the world’s total population. The continent borders the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans on the western and northern sides, while on the southern side there is the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and the Mediterranean Seas. Europe falls under the temperate climate zones, with the Gulf Stream influencing its climate making it warmer than other regions of the same latitude. There are 50 countries in Europe with the largest and most populous being the Russian Federation, covering 39% of the continent. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, Europe played a crucial role in global affairs with most of its powers controlling the Americas, Oceania, and most of Africa and Asia.
Central Europe comprises the central region of Europe, and the name comes from a collective historical, social, and cultural identity. The area consists of 10 European countries of which two are sometimes placed in Southeastern Europe. The two states are Croatia and Slovenia. Poland is part of the Central European countries. Central Europe sometimes includes Italy and Ukraine. As per 2012 data, Central Europe had an area of 400,145 square miles. The region is the most populous in Europe with a population of about 165 million people. The Human Development Index lists countries in Central Europe as highly developed.
Poland in the European Union
Poland made an application to join the European Union (EU) on April 8, 1994, in Athens. The state joined the European Union as a member on May 1, 2004, after signing the Treaty of Accession 2003 on April 16, 2003. From June 7 to June 8, 2003 saw a national referendum carried becoming the final process of Poland's adoption into the union. Of the 58.85% of eligible voters who turned up for the process, 77.45% of them supported the move to be in the European Union while 22.55% were against the move. As of July 2016, the EU had disbursed €17.436 billion to Poland while the country had only contributed €3.526 billion to the Union.
Recent Relationship with Europe
Poland could be stripped of its right to vote in the European Union following a rule-of-law assessment on the amendments of the constitutional court and public media law in the country. The evaluation began on January 13, 2016. The European Commission launched the second stage of violation of Poland’s state of the rule of law in September 2017.