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In 2020 notable Polish professors and experts researching topics related to Poland’s accession to the European Union participated in a common project, which resulted in a book entitled Polska w Unii Europejskiej. Od stowarzyszenia do piętnastolecia członkostwa [Poland in the European Union. From Association to Fifteen Years of Membership], with an intention to honour Prof. E. Kawecka-Wyrzykowska. This book has undoubtedly left a mark and can be perceived as a direction for further research. Taking the aforementioned into account, the Department for European Integration and Legal Studies undertook a project, whose aim was to investigate the performance of Poland in the European Union in consecutive periods. Although it was clear to us that discussing every aspect of Poland’s membership in the EU is not possible, we made every effort to cover the topics which we considered the most important as of 2021. We hope that readers of Poland in the European Union. Report 2021 will find the content useful and interesting. Our intention is to continue with the series and to publish the report on a yearly basis.
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POLAND
IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
SGH PUBLISHING HOUSE
SGH WARSAW SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
www.wydawnictwo.sgh.waw.pl
EDITED BY ADAM A. AMBROZIAK
Report 2021
POLAND IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
Report 2021
In 2020 notable Polish professors and experts researching topics related to Polands
accession to the European Union participated in a common project, which resulted
in a book entitled Polska w Unii Europejskiej. Od stowarzyszenia do piętnastolecia
członkostwa [Poland in the European Union. From Association to Fifteen Years of
Membership], with an intention to honour Prof. E. Kawecka-Wyrzykowska. This book
has undoubtedly left a mark and can be perceived as a direction for further research.
Taking the aforementioned into account, the Department for European Integration and
Legal Studies undertook a project, whose aim was to investigate the performance of
Poland in the European Union in consecutive periods. Although it was clear to us that
discussing every aspect of Polands membership in the EU is not possible, we made
every effort to cover the topics which we considered the most important as of 2021. We
hope that readers of Poland in the European Union. Report 2021 will nd the content
useful and interesting. Our intention is to continue with the series and to publish the
report on a yearly basis.
POLAND
IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
Report 2021
POLAND
IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
Report 2021
EDITED BY ADAM A. AMBROZIAK
WARSAW 2021
Reviewers
Ewa Małuszyńska
Edward Molendowski
Translation
Magdalena Brodziak – chapter 7
Editor
Magdalena Brodziak
© Copyright by SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2021
All rights reserved. Any copying, reprinting or distribution of a part or the whole of this publication
without the prior permission of the publisher is forbidden.
First Edition
ISBN 978-83-8030-468-0
SGH Publishing House
162 Niepodległości Ave., 02-554 Warsaw, Poland
www.wydawnictwo.sgh.waw.pl
e-mail: wydawnictwo@sgh.waw.pl
Cover design
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Order 89/VIII/21
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction 7
Magdalena Suska
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 11
Introduction 11
1. Poland’s intra-EU vs. extra-EU trade ingoods 12
2. Dynamics of Poland’s intra-EU trade ingoods 16
3. Poland’s EU trading partners 21
4. Poland’s comparative advantage inintra-EU trade ingoods 24
5. Trade openness 31
Conclusions 33
AdamA.Ambroziak
Poland towards anew approach tostate aid policy after accession tothe
European Union 37
Introduction 37
1. State aid inthe EU: aMember State perspective 38
2. State aid value 42
3. State aid intensity 44
4. GBER and State aid structure 48
Conclusions 54
Michał Schwabe
Effect of COVID-19 crisis on labour migration: the Polish case 57
Introduction 57
1. Poland’s international labour migration during economic crises 59
2. Impact of COVID-19 crisis on temporary and seasonal migrations 61
3. Potential consequences of COVID-19 for internal migrations inPoland 64
Conclusions 67
Elżbieta Kawecka-Wyrzykowska
Changes inthe system of own resources of the EU budget after 2021:
implicationsfor Poland 73
Introduction 74
1. Types of new own resources, timetable of their implementation and their role
infinancing EU activities after 2021 75
2. Decisions on and proposals of new own resources 76
3. Financing of the New Generation EU Programme 85
4. Implications of changes infinancing the Multiannual Financial Framework
in2021–2027 for Poland 87
Conclusions 90
1
2
3
4
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Jerzy Menkes
Poland’s implementation of UE values 97
Introduction 98
1. Polish road toEuropean and transatlantic institutions 99
2. In what kind of institutions (the EU and NATO) is Poland –what kind of Poland
isininstitutions? 102
3. The end of gap years 106
Conclusions 109
Magdalena Suska
Financial dimension of Poland’s participation inthe European architecture
ofdefence –comparative analysis 113
Introduction 114
1. NATO’s defence budget 115
2. Structure of defence expenditure 123
3. NATO-EU 129
Conclusions 130
Łukasz Dawid Dąbrowski
Poland inthe European DefenceAgency 133
Introduction 134
1. Legal framework for establishment of the Agency 135
2. Structure of the Agency 136
3. Tasks of the Agency 138
4. Financing of the Agency’s activities 139
5. Participation of Polish entities and institutions inthe implementation
of the Agency’s programmes and projects 140
6. Cooperation of economic operators and scientific institutions 143
Conclusions 144
Annex 149
5
6
7
INTRODUCTION
Poland has been a Member of the European Union since May 1
st
, 2004. Many in-depth
analyses and research studies on Poland’s road to the EU have been published to date,
as well as works on economic and social consequences of the EU accession and mem-
bership. A year ago, we celebrated the seventieth jubilee of Professor Elżbieta Kawecka-
-Wyrzykowska, one of the outstanding researchers of Poland’s integration into the European
Union. Many other prominent researchers, who conducted studies on Poland’s association,
adjustment/harmonisation and finally the accession to the EU prepared their contributions
to the book dedicated to Prof. E. Kawecka-Wyrzykowska entitled Polska w Unii Europej-
skiej. Od stowarzyszenia do piętnastolecia członkostwa [Poland in the European Union. From
association to fifteen years of membership] published by the SGH Publishing House in 2020.
Having read the book as probably one of its first readers, I have realised how very
much limited is the body of comprehensive and systematic work on Poland’s membership
in the European Union. The book dedicated to Prof. E. Kawecka-Wyrzykowska is surely
an unsurpassed benchmark and a guideline for further research. Taking the aforemen-
tioned into account, we launched a project that would investigate into the performance
of Poland in the European Union. We know that discussing all aspects of Poland’s mem-
bership in the EU is next to impossible, however, we will make every effort to present out-
comes of our recent research in that field. Our intention is to continue publishing such
reports every year. Taking the book of 2020 dedicated to Prof. E. Kawecka-Wyrzykowska,
as a “zero report”, we are pleased to present the first monograph worked out by research-
ers of the Department of European Integration and Legal Studies Poland in the European
Union. Report 2021.
In the first edition of our report, selected phenomena and activities relating to Poland’s
position in the EU are analysed: those reflecting long-term trends and those that have
short-term or ad hoc character. Contributions elaborate on legal and economic issues. As
Poland’s integration with the EU started with trade liberalisation put in place based on
the Europe Agreement, our Report begins with a chapter on Trade in goods between Poland
and other EU Member States by Magdalena Suska which discusses the position of Poland
in intra-EU trade in goods. To assess it, changes in the dynamics of Polish exports and
intra-EU imports for the period 2004–2018 were analysed and compared to selected EU
8 Introduction
Member States. In addition, changes in Poland’s comparative advantages in the EU market
were examined. The study carried out in these areas showed that Poland’s specialisation
in intra-EU trade has not changed much since accession and continues to cover mostly
trade in agri-food and minimally processed products.
However, the analysis of Eurostat data on foreign trade in Chapter 1 requires some
additional comments.1 It is worth noting that country’s position and results of foreign
trade vary, depending on the method of trade (especially intra EU imports) presentation.
Data for imports based on the country of origin appear to be more reliable to evaluate
benefits of intra EU trade (balance of trade in goods included), while statistics based on
the country of consignment allow presenting the position/rank in international trade. The
differences in the value of imports and in the balance of Poland’s trade turnover within
intra-EU trade, according to both methodologies (country of origin and country of con-
signment) are presented in Table 1 in the Annex (at the end of the book).
The chapter on Poland towards a new approach to state aid policy in the EU by Adam
A. Ambroziak discusses the instrument that governments use to artificially improve the
competitiveness of national companies: state aid. The EU state aid policy assumes that
directions and scope of public interventions should be similar among the EU Member
States. At the same time, it is obvious, that this policy should take account of national
financial constraints, starting points and national/government preferences. Therefore, the
primary goal of the chapter is to evaluate Poland’s performance in the EU in terms of state
aid granted to entrepreneurs after the EU accession. To this end, two indices were newly
developed and introduced: Relative State Aid Intensity Index and State Aid Similarity
Index. The research allows formulating two observations: first, state aid in Poland has been
subordinated to the EU Multiannual Financial Programmes in terms of available/offered
financial resources, and second, the structure of state aid offered in Poland has not matched
the structure of public financial assistance observed in most other EU Member States.
The next field of the study is dedicated to the Effect of COVID-19 crisis on migration:
the Polish case by Michał Schwabe. It has been proven that during economic downturns
many potential migrants tend to postpone their decisions, which often leads to decreases
in migration flows. The consequences of COVID-19 for labour migration seem to differ
from any other crisis of economic origin. This difference stems from the different nature
and consequences of COVID-19 crisis. International mobility has been significantly
reduced since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is expected that the con-
sequences of the crisis for Poland’s internal as well as international migration flows will
be borne in the long run. This standstill in human mobility caused by the pandemic has
been unprecedented and was not the case during any of the previous crises.
1 Author expresses special gratitude for support in this respect to Łukasz Ambroziak, PhD.
Introduction 9
An important topic of Poland’s position in the EU has been budgetary aspects, stud-
ied in the chapter on Changes in the ways of financing the EU budget after 2021: implica-
tions for Poland by Elżbieta Kawecka-Wyrzykowska. Since 2021 several changes in the EU
financing system have taken place. They result mainly from the adoption of a new multi-
annual budget for the years 2021–2027 and related modification of resources financ-
ing this budget, as well as from the agreement of EU Members on the New Generation
EU (NGEU) instrument aimed at combating the effects of the recession, following the
COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the paper is to assess possible consequences of these
developments for the amount and structure of Polish contributions to the EU budget
in 2021–2027. The chapter on the NGEU addresses how this huge recovery programme
will be financed and how these new ways of financing will impact Poland’s contributions
to the EU budget. The general conclusion is that since 2021 the net cost of financing the
EU budget by Poland has increased slightly as a result of the extension of the list of own
resources of the EU budget (with a plastic levy). NGEU implications for financing the EU
budget by Poland and other EU Members will appear mostly after 2027 when the repay-
ment starts and more money is needed.
The legal analysis starts with the chapter on Poland’s implementation of EU values by
Jerzy Menkes. The subject of the study is internal threats to the functioning/existence
of the EU and NATO. These threats are a consequence of the undermining of “common
values”, which are the axiological foundation of the institutionalized cooperation of the
western hemisphere. The study focuses on the case of Poland; a “new” member of the EU
and NATO. The result of combining the case study with a comparative analysis is a sharper
basis for evaluation. By becoming a member of the EU (and NATO), Poland acknowledged
and accepted the treaties and the acquis – it, therefore, accepted the legal conditions of
membership. However, the dispute over “values” has been reopened and is vital.
One of the most important elements of NATO cooperation is the defence spending
of its member states. The chapter, The financial dimension of Poland’s participation in the
European defence architecture – a comparative analysis, by Magdalena Suska, discusses
Poland’s defence expenditure in comparison with other EU and NATO member states.
A detailed analysis of the main categories of expenditures was made, e.g., on defence
equipment, personnel, infrastructure. In addition, factors affecting the different imple-
mentation of the defence budget in individual member states were discussed. As dem-
onstrated by the research, by looking at “collective defence” activities, we may conclude
that Poland is a reliable and loyal ally to NATO.
The last chapter by Łukasz Dawid Dąbrowski focuses on Poland in the European Defence
Agency. The European Defence Agency was established in order to achieve coherence of
the EU activities in both the Common Security and Defence Policy and the Common For-
eign and Security Policy. The analysis carried out for this chapter allows us to conclude
10 Introduction
that Poland’s involvement in the works of the European Defence Agency leads to the har-
monisation of standards observed by the Polish Armed Forces with those of EU-NATO
through, e.g. the transformation, technical modernisation and already accomplished struc-
tural investment in the army, which favour its professionalisation. Moreover, Poland, as
a European Union Member State, has gained the possibility to directly impact the shape
of policies in this field and their implementation.
Adam A. Ambroziak (editor)
Magdalena Suska
SGH Warsa w School of Econom ics
Depar tment of Europ ean Integratio n and Legal Studies
msuska@sgh.waw.pl
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8646-9082
TRADE INGOODS BETWEEN POLAND
ANDOTHER EU MEMBER STATES
Abstract
The aim of the study is to show the role of Poland in the intra-EU trade in goods. The study
analyses the dynamics of Polish intra-EU exports and imports since its accession to the EU and
compared to the trade dynamics of other EU countries. Also, main trading partners have been
identified. Additionally, Poland’s comparative advantage in intra-EU trade in particular groups
of commodities has been assessed by means of calculation of the RSCA and Lafay index. The
dependence of the Polish economy on trade in goods with the EU has been assessed by calculating
Poland’s trade openness rate and comparing it with other EU Member States. Research methods
applied in the study include the comparative analysis of available data and the analysis involving
selected statistical tools. A number of indicators referring to international trade are also calculat-
ed. The study is mainly based on data on the EU trade publicly available in the Eurostat database.
Keywords: Poland, intra-EU trade in goods, comparative advantage, trade openness
JEL Classification: F15; F16; F18
Introduction
The process of Poland’s integration into Western institutions was initiated by liberali-
sation and gradual removal of trade barriers. One of the aspects of the European integra-
tion is the focus on the introduction of the following freedoms in the individual countries:
free trade of goods and services and free migration of people and capital. Poland’s acces-
sion to the EU also began with the liberalisation of trade.
The Europe Agreement1 between Poland and the EU, the basic pre-accession legal
instrument, removed border obstacles to trade in industrial goods (mostly tariffs). It also
1 Poland concluded the Association Agreement – the so-called Europe Agreement with the European Commu-
nities on 16 December 1991. Its commercial part entered into force on 1 March 1992. Its aim was to establish
12 Magdalena Suska
provided for several legal adjustments to the EU rules of the internal market. Upon acces-
sion to the EU in 2004, Poland implemented all four freedoms of the internal market – free
movement of goods, services, capital and people. Free trade included not only industrial
goods, but also trade in agricultural goods. Consequently, Poland was impelled to remove
not only all border barriers to trade, but also many indirect barriers, including technical
and sanitary obstacles, conformed to harmonisation of indirect taxation, and implement-
ed the European law regarding competition and public procurement.
The Europe Agreement and then the membership in the EU have exerted a substan-
tial impact on all sectors of Polish economy and the society (amongst other they have
changed public policy, the business environment of companies and the position of con-
sumers). The integration process opened a new market without internal borders – much
vaster than Poland – to Polish exporters of goods. Simultaneously, the Polish market has
been completely opened to the EU suppliers.
The main aim of the study is to show the role of Poland’s intra-EU trade in goods
since its accession to the EU.2 In the study, Poland’s trade performance against other EU
Member States has been compared, Poland’s main trading partners analysed as well as the
main products traded in which trade Poland has the comparative advantage were iden-
tified. Also, the openness of the Polish economy to trade and its dependence on foreign
trade exchange have been assessed. The determined aim of the study has been realised
with the application of the comparative analysis of available data and the analysis involv-
ing the variety of statistical methods. The thesis of study is that Poland is an increasing-
ly important element of the intra-EU trade in goods, constantly improving its position.
The study presents changes occurring during the 2004–2019 period and more detailed
(additional) information for the situation prevailing in 2019.
1. Poland’s intra-EU vs. extra-EU trade ingoods
The benefits acquired from the European economic integration have been consider-
able for all EU Member States. The Customs Union and the EU Internal Market created
the largest trade block in the world economy. Membership in the EU has also provided
substantial benefits to the Polish economy – Poland has conferred an advantage from
a free trade area between Poland and the EU within 10 years. Eventually, the free trade area was established
from 1 January 2002, but only regarding industrial goods. In relation to agricultural goods, the liberalisa-
tion of trade was very limited then. Several studies have been made, already after the conclusion of this
agreement, analysing the scope of trade changes driven by Poland’s integration with the EU, e.g., Kawecka-
-Wyrzykowska [1997, 2014]; Maliszewska et.al [1998]; Orłowski [2000].
2 Throughout the whole chapter, the presented data and the calculated indicators refer to trade in goods.
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 13
trade expansion with the EU Member States. Since Poland’s accession, both intra-EU trade
and extra-EU trade have been continuously growing.3 In 2004–2019, intra-EU exports
increased by 74% and intra-EU imports – by 67%, whereas extra-EU exports grew by 75.5%
and extra-EU imports – by 76%. Obviously, it is worth emphasizing that the development
of international trade started much earlier – already at the beginning of the 1990 s, along
with the commencement of the transition period from the centrally planned toward the
market economy. It was later fuelled by the “integration anchor”, including the Europe
Agreement, related to the further EU accession. Nevertheless, this is the intra-EU trade
that is particularly significant for Poland. Throughout the whole period of Poland’s mem
-
bership in the EU, the volume of Polish exports and imports to the EU Member States has
continued to exceed the trade exchange with other countries (Figure 1; Table 1).
Figure 1. Poland’s exports and imports within and outside EU28 and total (million USD)
0
50 000
100 000
150 000
200 000
250 000
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Total export Extra-EU export Intra-EU export
Total import Extra-EU import Intra-EU import
Source: Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Since Poland’s accession to the EU, Poland’s intra-EU exports and intra-EU imports
shares in the country’s total trade have been significant (they account for nearly 2/3 of
the total trade exchange). In 2004 Poland’s intra-EU exports accounted for 80.6 of the
total exports and in 2019 – 79.9%, whereas extra-EU exports accounted for 19.4% of the
total exports in 2004 and in 2019 – 20.1%. Figure 2 demonstrates that these shares were
not constant over time. In 2013, intra-EU28 exports fell by a few percentage points and
3 All the data on international trade refer to trade in goods. They correspond to the Eurostat SITC (Standard
International Trade Classication) classication.
14 Magdalena Suska
– accordingly – extra-EU28 exports increased. It was a short-run change, not affecting
much the long-run average. Similarly, Poland’s intra-EU imports accounted for 75.4% of
the total imports in 2004 and 69% in 2019, whereas extra-EU imports accounted for 24.6%
of the total imports in 2004 and 31% in 2019 (Figure 3).
Figure 2. Poland’s extra- and intra-EU28 exports in2004–2019 (%)
19
29
39
49
59
69
79
89
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Intra EU28 exports Extra EU28 exports
Source: Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Figure 3. Poland’s extra- and intra-EU28 imports in2004–2019 (%)
24
29
34
39
44
49
54
59
64
69
74
79
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Intra EU28 imports Extra EU28 imports
Source: Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 15
The increase of imports from the non-EU members resulted, among others, from an
increase of oil and gas imports from outside the EU. For example, it can be mentioned the
imports of gas from Qatar and the USA. Moreover, along with the economic development
Poland has increased its oil demand, which has been satisfied by imports from other than
the EU countries.
Some experts [Bielska, 2007; Urban, 2008] expressed concerns that, after the acces-
sion to the EU, the growth of imports from the EU Member States would exceed Polish
exports mainly due to trade liberalisation and more aggressive market selling strategies
implemented by multinational corporations at home market. However, the forecast on
a temporary deterioration of Polish trade balance did not prove in practice – since 2009,
the trade balance has been showing surplus with the EU countries. Over the period of
10 years (2009–2019), this surplus of the intra-EU trade has significantly increased from
EUR 343.6 million to EUR 26.8 billion, whereas trade with other countries (extra-EU) has
been constantly showing deficit (which increased by 167% in 2009–2019). The positive
trade balance with the EU countries showed that the Polish economy was able to with-
stand the competition forces of the Single Market. In the last analysed year, i.e., 2019, as
a result of faster growth of exports than imports the total trade balance was positive (EUR
1.2 billion) not because the extra-EU trade deficit decreased (it even increased), but due
to a substantial growth in the positive intra-EU trade balance (Table 1).
Table 1. Poland’s foreign trade turnover intotal and with EU Member States in2004–2019
(billion EUR)
Specifica-
tion
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Total
exports 60.3 71.9 88.2 102.3 115.9 97.9 120.5 135.6 144.3 154.3 165.7 179.5 184.2 207.4 223.2 238.2
Extra-EU
exports 11.7 15.1 18.3 21.3 25.4 1 9.7 24.9 29.5 34.3 38.6 37.4 37.1 37.4 41.5 43.4 47.8
Intra-EU
exports 48.7 56.7 69.9 81.0 90.5 78.2 95.6 106.0 110.0 115.8 128.3 142.4 146.8 165.9 159.5 190.4
Total
imports 72.1 81.7 101.1 120.9 142.0 107.2 134.3 151.3 154.9 156.3 168.4 177.2 180.3 206.8 227.8 237.0
Extra-EU
imports 17. 7 20.1 27.2 32.2 39.9 29.3 39.2 45.4 50.0 48.5 51.1 51.9 49.7 58.5 68.3 73.4
Intra-EU
imports 54.4 61.6 73.9 88.7 102.1 77.9 95.1 105.9 104.9 107.8 117.3 125.3 130.5 148.3 159.5 163.6
Total
trade
balance −11.8 −9.8 −12.9 −18.7 −26.1 −9.3 −13.8 −15.7 −10.7 −2.0 −2.7 2.4 3.9 0.6 −4.6 1.2
Extra-EU
trade
balance −6.1 −5.0 −8.9 −11.0 −14.5 −9.6 −14.3 −15.8 −15.7 9.9 −13.7 −14.8 −12.4 −17.0 −25.0 −25.6
Intra-EU
trade
balance −5.7 −4.8 −4.0 7.7 −11.6 0.3 0.4 0.1 5.0 7.9 11.0 17.1 16.3 17.5 20.4 26.8
Source: Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
16 Magdalena Suska
Simultaneously, it is important to remember that by the end of the 1980s of the 20th
century Polish economy was a part of the economy of the East block separated from the
West by an “iron curtain”, and additionally Poland was in a process of economic col-
lapse for many years. In 1989, the systemic transformation started and at the beginning
of the 1990s, Poland recorded a deep recession. However, compared to the other new
EU Member States, the transformation recession in Poland lasted for a short period and
Poland started to achieve positive economic growth relatively early. The systemic trans-
formation and the development of the relations with Western European countries both
were one of the most important factors responsible for an increase of the significance
of the intra-EU trade.
2. Dynamics of Poland’s intra-EU trade ingoods
In 2005 Poland’s exports of goods to the EU Member States increased by 16.6% from
EUR 48.7 billion (in 2004) to EUR 55.7 billion (in 2005). In the following years, Poland’s
intra-EU28 exports amounted to EUR 40 billion (an increase of 23.3%) in 2006, EUR 81 bil-
lion (an increase of 15.8%) in 2007 and EUR 905 billion (an increase of 11.8%) in 2008. In
2009, during the time of crisis, it decreased by 13.6%. In comparison to other EU coun-
tries from Western Europe, it was not a substantial decrease, e.g., in Finland it decreased
by 31.6%, in Sweden – by 26.9%, in Italy – by 22.7%. Actually, it was the smallest decrease
when compared to other new EU Member States (except for Romania). During 2010,
Poland’s intra-EU exports increased by 22.2%, but in the coming years it was losing its
previous dynamics. In 2017, Poland’s exports to the EU Member States gained again its
dynamics – an increase of 13.0% – compared to the previous year. In 2019, the volume
of exported goods to EU Member States increased by 5.9% to EUR 19 billion (Table 2). In
Poland, the growth of intra-EU28 exports during the 2004–2019 period was enormous
– it rose by 291%. In terms of this indicator, Poland ranked 2nd, after Bulgaria. In gener-
al, the highest growth of intra-EU28 exports over the 2004–2019 period was noticed by
new EU member states (with Bulgaria, Poland and Latvia occupying the first three posi-
tions) whereas the growth of exports recorded by Western European countries was lower.
Poland’s imports from the EU Member States have also been growing since its acces-
sion to the EU, although more slowly than exports – in 2005, imports increased by 13.3%
from EUR 54.4 billion (in 2004) to EUR 61.6 billion (in 2005). In the following year, it
reached the level of EUR 73.9 billion, in 2007 – EUR 88.7 billion (which was an increase
of 20% per annum both in 2006 and 2007) and in 2008 – EUR 102.1 billion (an increase
of 15.1%). During the crisis period in 2009, the volume of goods imported to Poland from
the EU Member States decreased by 23.8% in comparison to the previous year.
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 17
Table 2. Dynamics of the growth of intra-EU28 exports y/y (%)
Country 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2019 index
(2004 = 100)
Bulgaria 13.3 29.3 13.8 10.8 −17.1 24.6 32.8 −3.6 9.1 3.1 7.9 7.3 10.9 9.1 2.8 395.7
Poland 16.6 23.3 15.8 11.8 −13.6 22.2 10.9 3.7 5.3 10.8 11.0 3.1 13.0 8.4 5.9 391.4
Latvia 27. 4 11.9 23.7 7. 6 −21.0 29.5 28.7 12.1 3.6 5.6 0.9 0.9 7. 0 9.8 3.3 378.6
Romania 10.4 15.8 16.9 11.6 −9.2 25.1 19.1 −1.8 8.8 8.2 7. 9 7.0 10.2 9.5 1.6 369.2
Slovakia 15.4 29.7 2 7.9 11.5 −16.4 21.8 15.2 8.2 1.4 2.3 5.8 2.8 6.0 7. 4 0.3 349.0
Lithuania 24.0 15.0 13.0 19.6 −21.8 25.8 29.5 12.6 −2.2 −1.9 5.2 −2.3 12.3 7. 9 4.8 346.2
Czechia 11.1 20.6 17.6 11.1 −19.1 22.7 15.3 1.8 −0.3 9.3 9.4 3.7 10.0 6.8 3.3 306.0
Slovenia 18.5 19.4 19.1 4.3 −18.8 18.8 12.7 −2.5 2.1 6.3 7.3 2.5 14.9 10.8 3.4 292.7
Cyprus 67. 9 −13.4 −2.2 5.5 −21.6 16.1 26.7 7.6 7. 2 40.5 5.8 −0.5 −14.7 12.5 15.0 279.7
Estonia 26.5 4.5 11.4 5.2 −24.0 33.0 32.7 3.9 5.5 0.1 −0.4 1.1 5.1 6.1 3.6 265.2
Croatia 5.3 18.6 2.3 7.6 −22.2 19.6 5.5 −2.3 5.3 12.2 16.2 6.4 11.1 10.0 3.9 244.5
Hungary 10.5 16.1 15.8 5.1 −18.9 18.3 10.6 −0.1 1.0 5.7 8.4 3.8 9.2 5.4 4.8 239.8
Greece 6.1 20.1 8.2 4.4 −20.7 13.9 8.4 −3.1 5.1 2.0 7.0 2.2 8.2 14.1 7.3 212.1
Netherlands 13.6 12.1 7.4 9.2 −19.3 21.0 10.3 4.6 −1.0 0.4 1.4 0.7 10.7 5.2 1.8 202.5
Portugal 8.5 11.4 6.0 −2.1 −17.4 1 7. 6 13.4 0.7 3.6 2.3 6.0 4.2 8.5 8.0 4.4 199.2
Spain 2.6 8.1 8.0 1.8 −14.6 15.8 11.3 −0.4 2.9 3.5 6.3 5.7 7. 2 3.9 1.9 181.6
Germany 6.2 11.9 11.1 −0.2 −19.6 13.9 10.0 −1.7 −0.2 4.8 6.8 1.9 6.3 3.8 −0.1 163.7
Austria 3.2 8.5 10.5 2.8 −21.0 16.2 9.4 −0.1 1.7 1.5 2.9 0.6 9.1 5.4 1.1 158.5
Belgium 8.5 8.2 7.2 3.1 −18.5 11.6 9.5 −1.2 1.9 1.2 2.4 1.0 6.2 5.1 0.3 152.4
Italy 4.4 10.6 9.3 −2.1 −22.7 14.8 8.9 −0.5 −1.0 4.3 3.3 3.3 7.2 5.1 2.9 151.8
Malta 0.5 15.0 −3.9 −14.0 −14.1 35.8 16.3 −0.3 −3.8 −11.2 −2.3 12.9 16.9 5.3 −0.5 149.1
Sweden 6.2 13.9 6.4 −0.6 −26.9 24.7 10.2 1.4 −4.7 −0.5 1.9 0.8 7.5 4.6 −0.8 141.6
Ireland 6.1 −2.5 2.7 −4.6 −5.3 0.5 4.0 2.8 −8.0 0.4 17. 6 0.6 4.9 12.5 2.6 135.4
Finland 4.1 17.8 6.0 −1.7 −31.6 13.7 11.2 −3.8 1.4 3.6 0.9 −3.5 16.9 5.7 1.9 134.5
Denmark 10.5 8.3 0.7 5.2 −18.0 4.8 10.0 1.1 0.1 0.5 −1.3 0.6 5.5 1.6 2.2 132.6
France −1.4 9.4 3.4 0.0 −18.8 10.7 8.5 −0.2 −0.5 1.4 2.1 0.2 3.5 4.5 2.0 123.6
UK 8.2 26.5 −17.1 −4.4 −21.4 18.1 10.3 1.3 −4.2 2.7 1.2 −4.7 6.1 4.1 0.3 118.3
Luxembourg 16.8 18.9 −10.3 5.2 −13.6 −11.9 2.1 −3.7 −3.0 5.7 9.4 −9.2 −0.2 −0.6 5.6 104.6
Yellow and green cells indicate positive values, whereas orange and red cells represent negative values.
Source: own elaboration based on Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
18 Magdalena Suska
In many other new EU Member States, such as, e.g., Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithu-
ania and Romania there was recorded a greater decrease in the intra-EU imports. In 2010,
Poland’s intra-EU imports increased by 22.2%. Nevertheless, in the following years Poland’s
intra-EU imports were losing their dynamics comparing to the first years after the acces-
sion. In 2019, the volume of goods imported from the EU Member States increased by
2.6% from EUR 159.5 billion to EUR 163.6 billion. In terms of the growth of intra-EU28
imports over the 2004–2019 period, Poland ranked 6
th
(imports rose by 201% between 2004
and 2019) (Table 3). Like intra-EU28 exports, also in the case of the growth of intra-EU28
imports the top ranks were recorded by the CEE countries whereas the Western European
members states exhibited lower dynamics of intra-EU28 imports.
In 2019, the value of exports within the EU ranged from EUR 777.6 billion for Ger-
many to EUR 1.4 billion for Cyprus. However, in terms of the share in GDP, the ranking of
countries is different. In 2019, the highest intra-EU28 exports-to-GDP ratio was record-
ed by the CEE countries (Slovakia – 72.3%, Czechia – 66.7%, Hungary – 61.9%, and Slo-
venia – 61.0%) (Table 4). Although Germany was the country with the highest volume
of exports to the EU Member States, its exports decreased by 0.1% in 2019 in compari-
son to the previous year. Similarly, the UK exports has also significantly lost its dynam-
ics (from 6.1% in 2017 and 4.1% in 2018 to 0.3% in 2019), which may be caused by Brexit.
Interestingly, this was Cyprus that was characterised by the biggest dynamics of export
growth in 2019 – it increased by 15% compared to the previous year. Poland occupied
the third place in terms of the growth dynamics of the intra-EU exports, just after Cyprus
and Greece, whereas with regard to the growth dynamics of the intra-EU imports – the
12th place among all EU Member States and is overtaken by such new EU Member States
as: Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
As far as intra-EU imports is concerned, Germany also occupies the first place with
the value of imports equalled to EUR 735.7 billion (2019). Malta belongs to the EU coun-
tries that imported the least in 2019 – its intra-EU imports amounted to EUR 4.6 billion;
however, simultaneously it is also a country with the biggest dynamics of import growth
– 12.4% (2019) (Table 2 and 3). Like in the case of exports, also the CEE countries are lead-
ers in terms of the ratio of intra-EU28 imports to GDP in 2019 (Slovakia – 69.2%, Czechia
– 54.4%, and Hungary – 54.3%) (Table 4).
In 2019, there were ten EU Member States whose exports and imports of goods to part-
ners in the EU were over EUR 100 billion. Poland placed itself within these economies,
in 2019, occupying the eighth place just after great economies, like e.g., Germany, France
and the UK (Figure 4).
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 19
Table 3. Dynamics of the growth of intra-EU28 imports y/y (%)
Country 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2019 index
(2004 = 100)
Romania 18.5 25.8 41.6 8.9 −28.5 19.3 17.6 0.6 4.2 5.3 10.1 6.9 10.2 8.0 4.1 371.2
Lithuania 17.5 30.3 25.7 0.0 −36.3 28.8 29.6 10.7 10.2 7.4 1.3 2.2 14.6 5.8 3.5 348.3
Slovakia 14.6 24.3 22.4 11.2 −18.6 21.9 15.8 5.0 3.0 2.6 10.2 4.6 6.8 8.8 3.5 342.7
Bulgaria 18.1 20.6 35.8 11.1 −28.9 11.2 23.3 7.4 3.1 4.5 5.2 2.5 11.2 5.6 3.1 316.4
Latvia 21.9 33.6 23.1 −4.3 −36.0 26.4 35.3 15.4 2.7 1.2 −3.3 −0.3 12.6 5.7 5.3 304.3
Poland 13.3 20.0 20.0 15.1 −23.8 22.2 11.3 −1.0 2.8 8.8 6.9 4.2 13.6 7.5 2.6 300.8
Czechia 10.9 19.4 15.6 7.5 −20.8 21.7 13.9 1.7 0.6 7.8 9.5 3.4 10.7 6.2 1.7 269.7
Estonia 27. 0 2 7.0 12.8 −3.3 −32.8 26.6 29.6 14.3 4.2 −1.3 −5.1 3.4 8.4 3.8 1.2 254.8
Hungary 12.1 17.1 10.8 4.4 −24.3 17.7 13.4 2.0 3.2 9.8 7. 0 3.7 9.9 5.4 3.9 236.8
Malta 5.7 7.0 6.9 6.3 −12.6 11.3 24.6 18.6 −16.9 −2.1 12.9 −11.2 2.4 25.1 12.4 217.0
Croatia 7.1 13.2 6.2 9.4 −28.5 −4.5 10.5 0.7 9.4 1 7.9 10.4 5.5 12.2 8.6 8.2 212.0
Slovenia 11.6 15.9 14.1 5.1 −24.4 14.9 11.8 −2.5 −2.0 0.3 6.5 4.0 13.2 8.7 3.3 203.2
Germany 6.6 14.3 8.1 3.1 −16.4 17.3 13.7 −0.2 0.7 3.4 4.5 1.7 7. 9 5.9 1.8 194.5
Netherlands 5.8 11.8 9.3 7.6 −18.0 16.4 9.8 4.2 −1.0 −1.1 4.1 0.3 10.2 6.8 2.9 188.1
Ireland 12.3 8.5 7. 3 −6.8 −26.2 6.7 10.8 1.4 5.6 11.1 10.8 4.8 12.7 7. 7 1.6 181.1
Portugal 17. 0 8.8 5.8 4.6 −15.9 10.9 −2.5 −7. 7 1.9 7. 5 4.6 3.5 11.2 7.7 6.6 179.0
Cyprus 14.4 7.8 14.5 13.3 −17.3 11.8 −5.2 −9.0 −14.7 15.7 3.8 16.3 5.6 6.6 2.4 175.2
Sweden 8.4 12.0 12.2 −0.3 −26.3 29.0 15.1 0.7 −3.4 0.9 4.0 3.7 7. 7 3.7 −1.7 170.3
Finland 13.1 12.2 8.1 1.4 −26.6 17.3 11.8 0.4 3.5 1.7 1.0 1.0 11.5 4.3 0.6 168.9
Austria 3.1 5.8 8.3 3.7 −18.4 16.2 13.8 −0.1 −0.5 −0.5 2.6 3.0 8.1 5.8 1.1 159.8
Denmark 11.1 14.0 5.9 2.3 −21.8 5.0 10.6 3.7 2.5 1.2 2.9 2.8 4.0 6.1 1.0 158.0
France 3.8 9.1 7. 1 3.8 −15.5 12.4 10.5 1.0 −1.0 −0.2 2.3 0.9 6.3 2.8 1.3 150.7
Luxembourg 7.5 15.8 −1.2 8.3 −20.6 15.7 12.6 −3.4 −3.0 1.4 −5.6 0.8 10.1 6.6 2.0 149.1
Belgium 10.4 8.3 5.9 4.6 −19.3 14.0 11.3 1.7 −2.2 −1.8 −4.2 2.8 6.9 6.4 −1.4 146.3
UK 10.2 17. 4 −8.9 −8.2 −19.7 18.4 7.9 9.4 −0.1 6.9 10.0 −4.1 1.7 2.0 2.2 145.0
Italy 3.5 10.4 6.1 −3.1 −18.0 17.8 7.1 −6.6 −1.3 1.9 6.6 2.7 8.2 3.8 0.5 141.1
Spain 5.6 8.6 10.7 −5.3 −22.7 11.1 5.8 7.6 −0.5 9.3 10.3 1.8 7. 0 4.4 0.1 137.8
Greece −0.5 10.8 13.9 1.5 −17.3 −9.5 −8.3 −9.4 −2.7 5.0 −0.9 4.6 8.4 8.7 4.6 103.4
Yellow and green cells indicate positive values, whereas orange and red cells represent negative values.
Source: own elaboration based on Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
20 Magdalena Suska
Figure 4. EU28 top 10 economies interms of intra-EU exports and imports of goods in2019
(million EUR)
0
100 000
200 000
300 000
400 000
500 000
600 000
700 000
800 000
Germany
Netherlands
France
Belgium
Italy
Spain
UK
Poland
Czechia
Austria
Germany
France
UK
Netherlands
Italy
Belgium
Spain
Poland
Austria
Czechia
Exports Imports
Source: own elaboration based on Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Table 4. The shares of intra-EU28 exports and intra-EU28 imports inGDP in2019
Country Exports-to-GDP ratio Imports-to-GDP ratio Exports-to-GDP ratio
(rank) Imports-to-GDP ratio
(rank)
Austria 28.4 32.4 12 12
Belgium 60.9 51.5 5 4
Bulgaria 32.4 34.4 10 10
Croatia 19.2 37.0 18 9
Cyprus 6.5 24.2 28 18
Czechia 66.7 54.4 2 2
Denmark 18.6 19. 6 19 21
Estonia 36.2 44.7 7 7
Finland 16.1 19.6 21 22
France 12.2 16.4 24 24
Germany 22.5 21.3 14 19
Greece 10.4 16.2 26 25
Hungary 61.9 54.3 3 3
Ireland 20.2 16.6 16 23
Italy 15.1 14.1 23 27
Latvia 31.0 43.3 11 8
Lithuania 35.7 45.2 8 6
Luxembourg 19.5 28.9 17 16
Malta 11.0 34.2 25 11
Netherlands 57. 4 31.7 6 13
Poland 35.7 30.7 9 14
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 21
Country Exports-to-GDP ratio Imports-to-GDP ratio Exports-to-GDP ratio
(rank) Imports-to-GDP ratio
(rank)
Portugal 21.5 28.6 15 17
Romania 23.7 28.9 13 15
Slovakia 72.3 69.2 1 1
Slovenia 61.0 51.4 4 5
Spain 16.0 15.6 22 26
Sweden 17.5 21.0 20 20
United Kingdom 7.7 12.2 27 28
Source: own elaboration based on Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
3. Poland’s EU trading partners
Among the main ten Polish export partners, eight were the EU Member States in 2019,
with Germany occupying the first place on the list.4 When it comes to Poland’s EU-intra
trade, Germany also occupies the first place – about 35% of Polish total exports and 39%
of Polish total imports (Figure 6 and 8). Germany has always been Poland’s main trading
partner in the whole time period analysed; however, its share in the Polish total exports
has decreased over the last 15 years. There has been recorded a decrease in the Polish
exports to Germany by 2.5 p.p. in the time period 2004–2019 (Figure 5). After the acces-
sion to the EU, also Italy, France and the UK were Poland’s important trading partners
– in 2004 Poland’s exports to Italy and France accounted for nearly 8%, respectively, and
to the UK – nearly 7% (Figure 6). However, Poland has increased its exports to its two
Southern neighbours – Czechia (in 2004–2019 there was recorded a growth by 2.3 p.p.)
and Slovakia (growth by 1.1 p.p. in 2004–2019), despite the fact that the trade volume
to these countries is relatively small (Figure 5). It may result from the fact that after the
EU enlargement, there was trade diversion towards Poland’s Southern neighbours. Due
to the liberalisation of trade and abolishment of trade barriers as well as relatively law
transactional costs connected with the geographical distance (good transport connec-
tions) Poland intensified its exports to its Southern neighbours. There should be also
emphasised the significance of the UK in Poland’s intra-EU exports (in 2004–2019 there
was recorded a growth of exports by 0.8 p.p.).
In terms of Poland’s intra-EU import, after Poland’s accession to the UE, on the list
just after Germany were also Italy and France (Poland’s imports from Italy accounted for
10% of the total intra-EU imports and from France – 9%). However, in 2010 Italy was over-
taken by the Netherlands and, since then, it has been occupying the second place after
4 These are Germany, Czechia, the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary, Russia and the USA.
22 Magdalena Suska
Germany with the share of 8% of the total intra-EU imports. Then on the list there were
Italy (7%), as well as France and Czechia (5%, respectively) (Figure 8). In 2004–2019, there
was recorded a growth of the Polish imports from Germany (a growth of 2 p.p.) (Figure 7).
Figure 5. Top 10 Poland’s EU trading partners and their share inPolish intra-EU exports
DE
CZUK
FR
IT NL
SE HU SK
ES
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
–3 –2 –1 0 1 2
3
Share in Polish intra-EU exportsin 2019 (%)
Change between 2004 and 2019 (p.p.)
CZ – Czechia, DE – Germany, ES – Spain, FR – France, HU – Hungary, IT – Italy, NL – Netherlands, SE – Sweden,
SK – Slovakia, UK – United Kingdom.
Source: own calculations based on Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Figure 6. Poland’s 2019 top 10 EU trading partners inexports (%)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
Germany
Czechia
UK
France
Italy
Netherlands
Sweden
Hungary
Slovakia
Spain
Other countries
2004 2019
Source: own elaboration based on Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 23
Figure 7. The top 10 Poland’s EU trading partners and their share inPolish intra-EU imports
DE
NL
IT
FR CZ
BE
UK
ES SK
SE
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
–3 –2 –1 0 1 2
BE – Belgium, CZ – Czechia, DE – Germany, ES – Spain, FR – France, IT – Italy, NL – Netherlands, SE – Sweden, SK – Slovakia,
UK – United Kingdom.
Source: own calculations based on Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Figure 8. Poland’s 2019 top 10 EU trading partners inimports (%)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
Germany
Netherlands
Italy
France
Czechia
Belgium
UK
Spain
Slovakia
Sweden
Other countries
2004 2019
Source: own calculation based on Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Due to the fact that imports are directly proportional to income, together with a growth
of the GDP in Poland, the demand for highly processed goods (e.g., vehicles, electronic
devices, household appliances) produced by the German economy is increasing. Similar-
ly, in 2004–2019 there has been recorded a growth of the Polish imports from Slovakia
(by 1.2 p.p.) and Czechia (by 0.8 p.p.). It results from the general increase of the trade
24 Magdalena Suska
exchange with the Poland’s Southern neighbours. Simultaneously, there has been record-
ed a decrease of other EU countries in Poland’s intra-EU imports, e.g., the share of France
fell by as much as almost 3 p.p., Italy – a decrease of 2.6 p.p. in 2004–2019 (Figure 7).
4. Poland’s comparative advantage inintra-EU trade ingoods
To determine the significance of goods in exports of a particular country, the Bal-
assa’s [1965] Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) index is often applied [Deardoff,
1985; Langhammer, 2004; Ambroziak, 2018], which measures the country’s exports of
a commodity in relations to their total exports and to the corresponding export perfor-
mance of a set of exporters to the same market. Due to the fact that the RCA index is non-
symmetric, the Revealed Symmetric Comparative Advantage (RSCA) index [Dalum et al.,
1998; Laursen, 2015] has been applied in the study to measure the comparative advantage
of particular commodity groups exported to other EU Member States. The RSCA ranges
from −1 to +1 and avoids the problem of zero values. It enables to identify the country
as a holder of a comparative advantage (index above zero) or comparative disadvantage
(index below zero). The formula of the RSCA index applied in the study is as following:
RSCA =RCAj
i1
( )
/RCAj
i+1
( )
where:
RCAj
i=
xj
i
xj
i
/xj
EU
xj
EU
and
xj
i value of exports of goods j of a country i (to the EU Internal Market);
xj
E
U
value of exports of goods j within a reference group.
The RSCA of Poland in relation to other EU countries was calculated for the period
2004–2019 by using the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) which clas-
sifies goods into 10 groups:
§0 – food,
§1 – beverages and tobacco,
§2 – crude materials, except fuels,
§3 – mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials,
§4 – animal and vegetable oils and fats,
§5 – chemical and related products,
§6 – manufactured goods classified mainly by material,
§7 – machinery and transport equipment,
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 25
§8 – miscellaneous manufactured articles,
§9 – special transactions and commodities not classified according to kind.
The results of the calculations conducted for the trade volume of Poland with EU Mem-
ber States (RSCA indexes for particular EU Member States) were collected in the Table 5.
Table 5. Comparative advantage intrade ingoods* inPoland and other EU Member States
in2019 –RSCA
Country
Food and live
animals
Beverages and
tobacco
Crude materials,
inedible, except
fuels
Mineral fuels,
lubricants and
related materials
Animal and
vegetable oils, fats
and waxes
Chemicals and
related products,
n.e.s.
Manufactured
goods classified
chiefly by material
Machinery
and transport
equipment
Miscellaneous
manufactured
articles
Commodities and
transactions not
classified elsewhere
in the SITC
Poland 0.103 0.253 −0.137 −0.414 −0.468 −0.300 0.125 −0.004 0.183 −0.818
Austria −0.150 0.087 0.066 −0.340 −0.319 −0.114 0.200 0.028 −0.051 −0.052
Belgium 0.047 0.012 −0.048 0.136 −0.187 0.274 −0.009 −0.196 −0.066 −0.166
Bulgaria 0.147 −0.081 0.422 −0.098 0.408 −0.228 0.181 −0.166 0.135 −0.004
Croatia 0.052 0.203 0.469 0.045 0.191 −0.120 0.132 −0.182 0.135 −0.424
Cyprus 0.403 −0.293 0.031 0.337 −0.260 −0.025 −0.918 0.058 −0.501 0.429
Czechia −0.452 −0.194 −0.133 −0.486 −0.277 −0.437 0.007 0.216 −0.015 −0.338
Denmark 0.348 0.052 0.123 0.039 0.231 −0.019 −0.162 −0.152 0.101 0.272
Estonia −0.059 0.023 0.547 0.281 0.097 −0.419 0.098 −0.135 0.155 0.204
Finland −0.532 −0.553 0.450 0.383 −0.854 −0.268 0.360 −0.080 −0.442 −0.078
France 0.066 0.266 −0.008 −0.235 −0.137 0.079 −0.082 −0.008 0.001 0.034
Germany −0.178 −0.228 −0.177 −0.252 −0.228 −0.009 −0.008 0.085 −0.020 0.191
Greece 0.375 0.267 -0.070 0.491 0.619 0.002 0.102 -0.542 -0.040 0.261
Hungary −0.143 −0.405 −0.188 −0.365 0.146 −0.179 −0.168 0.212 −0.186 −0.459
Ireland 0.158 −0.124 −0.204 −0.746 −0.650 0.577 −0.684 −0.531 −0.128 0.050
Italy −0.050 0.194 −0.355 −0.317 −0.111 −0.030 0.168 −0.060 0.116 0.232
Latvia 0.208 0.177 0.708 −0.016 −0.239 −0.287 0.205 −0.260 −0.097 −0.454
Lithuania 0.273 0.430 0.359 0.344 −0.045 0.003 −0.069 −0.358 0.160 −0.943
Luxembourg −0.079 0.125 −0.154 −0.965 −0.908 −0.181 0.379 −0.018 −0.204 0.278
Malta −0.824 −0.652 −0.921 0.533 −1.000 0.149 −0.480 −0.076 0.211 0.422
Netherlands 0.148 −0.200 0.244 0.359 0.304 0.024 −0.205 −0.084 −0.030 −0.332
Portugal −0.070 0.349 0.181 −0.140 0.306 −0.297 0.160 −0.066 0.206 −0.336
Romania −0.298 0.182 0.015 −0.461 −0.094 −0.601 0.046 0.149 0.165 −0.448
Slovakia −0.427 −0.771 −0.173 −0.298 −0.720 −0.564 0.075 0.233 −0.127 −0.508
Slovenia −0.291 −0.624 0.049 0.006 −0.419 −0.110 0.134 0.075 −0.074 −0.801
Spain 0.294 0.039 −0.088 −0.003 0.529 −0.140 0.022 −0.048 −0.066 0.173
Sweden −0.065 −0.426 0.433 0.173 −0.389 −0.198 0.140 0.002 −0.206 0.168
UK −0.147 0.157 −0.278 0.398 −0.210 0.005 −0.173 −0.027 0.053 0.092
* The commodity groups were selected according to the SITC classication of Eurostat.
Green cells indicate positive values, whereas yellow-orange-red cells represent negative values.
Source: own calculations based on Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
26 Magdalena Suska
Table 6. Poland’s comparative advantage intrade ingoods* in2004–2019 –RSCA
Commodity group 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Food and live animals 0.006 0.090 0.105 0.094 0.077 0.040 0.045 0.054 0.095 0.106 0.096 0.103 0.098 0.106 0.117 0.103
Beverages and tobacco −0.607 −0.453 −0.300 −0.207 −0.139 0.026 0.043 0.043 0.075 0.071 0.152 0.168 0.104 0.220 0.244 0.253
Crude materials, inedible,
except fuels 0.005 −0.059 −0.065 −0.080 −0.096 −0.146 −0.136 −0.157 −0.152 −0.107 −0.116 −0.113 −0.142 −0.148 −0.121 −0.137
Mineral fuels, lubricants and
related materials 0.174 0.019 −0.112 −0.145 −0.238 −0.291 −0.207 −0.206 −0.251 −0.266 −0.274 −0.241 −0.270 −0.340 −0.367 −0.414
Animal and vegetable oils,
fats and waxes −0.735 −0.443 −0.266 −0.177 −0.322 −0.321 −0.302 −0.385 −0.353 −0.198 −0.136 −0.166 −0.205 −0.494 −0.547 −0.468
Chemicals and related
products, n.e.s. −0.461 −0.446 −0.396 −0.401 −0.363 −0.422 −0.360 −0.314 −0.317 −0.300 −0.301 −0.313 −0.292 −0.271 −0.308 −0.300
Manufactured goods
classified chiefly by material 0.170 0.155 0.145 0.129 0.122 0.116 0.125 0.144 0.173 0.165 0.150 0.134 0.129 0.120 0.121 0.125
Machinery and transport
equipment −0.011 0.001 0.014 0.034 0.058 0.104 0.078 0.051 0.035 0.027 0.023 0.001 −0.011 −0.017 −0.010 −0.004
Miscellaneous manufactured
articles 0.160 0.147 0.125 0.109 0.115 0.071 0.086 0.100 0.104 0.105 0.123 0.152 0.171 0.186 0.193 0.183
Commodities and
transactions not classified
elsewhere in the SITC −0.979 −0.952 −0.940 −0.938 −0.947 −0.962 −0.955 −0.810 −0.487 −0.715 −0.865 −0.819 −0.779 −0.883 −0.848 −0.818
* The commodity groups were selected according to the SITC classication of Eurostat
Green cells indicate positive values, whereas yellow-orange-red cells represent negative values.
Source: own calculations based on data from Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 27
The results of the calculations of the RSCA in the intra-EU exports indicate that Poland
has the comparative advantage in trade in commodity groups, such as: beverages and
tobacco (RSCA amounted to 0.253), miscellaneous manufactured articles (0.183), manu-
factured goods classified chiefly by material (0.125), and food and live animals (0.103). To
compare it with the comparative advantage of Poland’s main trading partners – Germany
has the comparative advantage in trade in machinery and transport equipment (0.085),
whereas Czechia, Poland’s second important trading partner, in manufactured goods
(0.007) and also, like Germany, in machinery and transport equipment (0.216). Poland’s
third main trading partner in terms of exports, the UK, has the comparative advantage
in beverages and tobacco (0.157), mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (0.398)
as well as chemical and related products (0.005).
With regard to trade in agricultural-food products, the commodity group for which
Poland has a relatively high RSCA index, other leading EU countries are Cyprus (has the
greatest comparative advantage in this commodity group – RSCA equals 0.403), Greece,
Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Ireland, the Netherlands and Bulgaria. As far as trade in bev-
erages and tobacco is concerned Poland, competes with Lithuania (it has the greatest
comparative advantage – 0.430), Portugal, Greece and France. In the case of trade in man-
ufactured goods Poland competes with the EU Member States, such as: Luxembourg (it
has the highest value of RSCA – 0.379), Finland, Latvia, Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal,
Sweden, Slovenia and Croatia (Table 5).
Nevertheless, the calculations confirm that Poland’s specialisation has slightly
changed since the accession to the EU. In the post-accession period, Poland gained the
comparative advantage in trade in beverages and tobacco (RSCA grew from −0.607 in 2004
to 0.253 in 2019) and strengthened its comparative advantage in trade in food and live
animals (RSCA increased from 0.006 to 0.103). Although in 2004–2019 the RSCA index
took the values indicating to the existence of Poland’s comparative advantage in trade
in manufactured goods, in 2019 it was clearly worse. Hence, it may seem that over the
years Poland has been losing this advantage. Poland has no comparative advantage (or
has comparative disadvantage) in trade in crude materials, mineral fuels, lubricants and
related materials, chemicals and related products as well as machinery and transport
equipment (Table 6).
In addition to the RSCA, another measure of the competitive position is the indica-
tor of the export-import relation – the Lafay index [Lafay, 1992] – the index that reveals
comparative advantage (disadvantage) of a particular industry taking into consideration
not only exports but also imports. The Lafay index by taking into account imports allows
controlling intra-industry trade and re-export flows; in this sense it is superior to the
traditional Revealed Comparative Advantage index [Zaghini, 2003]. It is defined as a com-
parison, expressed in thousands of GDP, of the industry’s balance of trade to a theoretical
28 Magdalena Suska
balance corresponding to the absence of specialisation [ITC, 2021]. The index takes val-
ues between − and +; if it takes a value more than zero, the country has a comparative
advantage to other competitors in exporting a selected industry’s product.
The formula of the Lafay index applied in the study is as following [ITC, 2021]:
LFId,i=1000
Xd+Md
Xd,iMd,i
( )
XdMd
( )
Xd,i+Md,i
( )
Xd+Md
where:
d the country under the study,
i specific industry,
n number of industries,
X – exports,
M – imports.
Table 7. Comparative advantage intrade ingoods* of Poland with other EU Member States
in2019 –the Lafay index
Country
Food and live
animals
Beverages and
tobacco
Crude materials,
inedible, except
fuels
Mineral fuels,
lubricants and
related materials
Animal and
vegetable oils, fats
and waxes
Chemicals and
related products,
n.e.s.
Manufactured goods
classified chiefly by
material
Machinery and
transport equipment
Miscellaneous
manufactured
articles
Commodities and
transactions not
classified elsewhere
in the sitc
Poland 11.616 6.653 −1.910 1.927 −1.302 38.443 2.341 −3.708 24.229 −1.402
Austria −3.884 4.156 −3.647 −11.577 −0.540 1.471 22.250 8.067 −18.593 2.296
Belgium 5.779 0.048 −4.664 −27.360 −1.534 11.112 16.499 −17.967 16.719 1.369
Bulgaria 10.307 −5.751 1.555 1.655 3.314 −36.510 29.605 −36.346 36.009 −3.839
Croatia −11.886 1.679 26.195 −11.389 1.153 −10.100 5.955 −15.308 12.546 1.154
Cyprus 21.668 −8.776 7.218 −15.857 −0.185 12.839 −33.524 45.045 −30.668 2.240
Czechia −11.663 −0.367 2.074 −9.178 0.130 −34.945 −16.545 71.747 −0.776 −0.478
Denmark 33.776 −0.789 1.648 15.634 0.767 6.278 −18.734 −53.467 11.018 3.870
Estonia −7.554 −3.108 29.995 10.617 1.515 −31.453 6.501 −41.616 30.982 4.121
Finland −22.671 −3.539 14.724 31.931 −2.531 −16.369 89.304 −53.473 −31.893 −5.482
France 4.596 4.844 3.106 −5.073 −0.069 15.937 −10.461 −6.245 −8.686 2.052
Germany −8.424 −1.302 −7.936 −15.348 −0.367 −2.233 −1.563 31.484 4.923 0.766
Greece 14.647 2.003 0.776 55.227 6.298 −40.625 28.485 −62.824 −10.580 6.593
Hungary 3.322 −0.525 −0.327 −10.343 1.577 −13.388 −25.444 51.241 −4.337 −1.777
Ireland 3.622 −2.537 3.883 −26.570 −1.296 212.583 −23.934 −154.655 0.935 −12.031
Italy −9.857 2.632 −11.890 0.225 −2.207 −24.886 28.350 −6.588 20.593 3.628
Latvia 5.875 −24.170 59.546 −10.158 −0.437 −20.694 41.297 −43.012 −9.773 1.526
Lithuania 19.693 2.804 11.833 39.844 0.056 −9.032 −9.440 −89.730 34.068 −0.096
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 29
Country
Food and live
animals
Beverages and
tobacco
Crude materials,
inedible, except
fuels
Mineral fuels,
lubricants and
related materials
Animal and
vegetable oils, fats
and waxes
Chemicals and
related products,
n.e.s.
Manufactured goods
classified chiefly by
material
Machinery and
transport equipment
Miscellaneous
manufactured
articles
Commodities and
transactions not
classified elsewhere
in the sitc
Luxembourg −7.658 −9.621 −24.194 −52.853 −0.369 −6.124 77.949 24.170 −7.221 5.920
Malta −34.778 −6.603 −1.209 −14.969 −0.621 54.960 −4.180 −47.033 46.707 7.725
Netherlands 6.120 −2.909 4.819 4.706 0.257 2.326 −12.273 0.568 −3.640 0.025
Portugal −20.529 7.669 6.086 3.855 −0.691 −30.674 25.657 −25.836 32.720 1.743
Romania −22.016 4.732 2.794 −1.090 0.602 −54.077 −15.706 54.793 30.433 −0.465
Slovakia −11.292 −3.794 0.805 −0.604 −0.675 −23.962 2.686 47.205 −9.841 −0.529
Slovenia −11.577 −3.325 −7.564 −17.291 −0.272 −10.349 0.126 46.706 3.700 −0.154
Spain 35.567 −1.238 −2.741 12.218 4.963 −27.586 10.062 −27.354 −7.174 3.282
Sweden 0.037 −3.986 19.834 9.608 −1.728 −9.769 24.091 −28.602 −14.863 5.378
UK −20.241 −0.611 −3.396 47.795 −0.347 −1.122 −8.706 −20.635 5.568 1.695
* The commodity groups were selected according to the SITC classication of Eurostat.
Yellow and green cells indicate positive values, whereas orange and red cells represent negative values.
Source: own calculations based on data from Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
The results of the calculations of the Lafay index, similar to the RSCA index, indicate
that in the period researched Poland has the comparative advantage in trade in food and
live animals, beverages and tobacco (since 2006) as well as two commodity groups repre-
senting manufactured goods. Additionally, it indicates Poland’s specialisation (relatively
small) in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (the commodity group which was
not showed by the RSCA index). The Lafay index shows that agricultural-food products
rank 2nd in terms of the comparative advantage for Poland. In this area, the leaders are
Spain, Denmark, Cyprus, Lithuania and Greece. Interestingly, when it comes to beverages
and tobacco, Poland lags only Portugal. Poland’s comparative advantage in trade in man-
ufactured goods classified chiefly by material is relatively small compared to many other
EU countries – e.g., Finland, Luxembourg, Latvia, Bulgaria (Table 7).
Researching the Lafay index in 2004–2019 there can be stated that Poland is slightly
losing the comparative advantage in trade in food and live animals (the index fell from
13.7 to 11.6) and significantly gaining in beverages and tobacco (the index grew from
−0.9 to 6.7), which may be influenced by the development of the juice industry. Addition-
ally, Poland is significantly losing the comparative advantage in trade in mineral fuels,
lubricants and related goods – in 2004 the index amounted to 17.9 and in 2019 – only
1.9. Poland has definitely the comparative disadvantage in trade in chemicals and relat-
ed products (Table 8).
30 Magdalena Suska
Table 8. Poland’s comparative advantage intrade ingoods* in2004–2019 –the Lafay index
Commodity group 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Food and live
animals 13.711 16.392 16.302 14.977 12.081 9.198 7.929 7.864 10.182 12.069 11.661 13.226 12.064 12.641 13.666 11.616
Beverages and
tobacco −0.881 −0.675 0.481 1.061 1.704 4.088 3.527 3.602 4.148 4.247 5.348 5.224 4.076 6.289 6.706 6.653
Crude materials,
inedible, except
fuels 2.708 0.965 2.078 2.199 0.982 −1.870 −0.268 −1.625 −2.358 −1.167 −1.596 −1.981 −3.127 −2.610 −2.486 −1.910
Mineral fuels,
lubricants and
related materials 17.863 14.319 9.332 3.048 3.085 −0.281 7.518 9.534 13.455 12.038 9.091 7.469 4.114 2.889 3.647 1.927
Animal and
vegetable oils, fats
and waxes −1.916 −1.299 −0.997 −0.448 −1.003 0.747 −0.741 −1.526 −1.441 −0.839 −0.716 −0.613 −0.842 −1.577 −1.432 −1.302
Chemicals and
related products,
n.e.s. −54.599 −55.337 −50.156 −45.506 −43.322 −51.636 −49.624 −46.116 −45.601 −44.815 −43.606 −40.634 −42.140 −40.130 −39.926 −38.443
Manufactured
goods classified
chiefly by material −3.746 −7.544 −8.086 −4.965 −0.009 −6.850 −5.681 −0.245 2.840 1.009 −0.214 −0.575 −1.479 −1.094 −0.229 2.341
Machinery
and transport
equipment −11.505 0.733 3.879 7.059 6.374 33.386 25.133 14.163 1.705 −0.155 3.253 −1.588 0.814 −1.656 −3.513 −3.708
Miscellaneous
manufactured
articles 38.394 32.363 27.995 23.709 21.371 16.521 13.651 16.364 18.242 20.182 18.472 20.306 26.387 27.010 25.168 24.229
Commodities
and transactions
not classified
elsewhere in the
sitc
−0.028 0.083 −0.829 −1.135 −1.262 −1.810 −1.444 −2.016 −1.172 −2.569 −1.693 −0.834 0.132 −1.762 −1.601 −1.402
* The commodity groups were selected according to the SITC classication of Eurostat.
Green cells indicate highly positive values whereas red cells represent highly negative values.
Source: own calculations based on data from Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 31
5. Trade openness
An important indicator of countries’ competitiveness, the index of trade openness (ITO)
can present a supplement to the revealed comparative advantage indicator. The index is cal-
culated as the ratio of the country’s total trade, the sum of exports and imports, to the GDP,
and it measures the country’s openness or its integration in the global economy. Its large-
ness indicates the overall trade of a certain country, the degree of dependence of domestic
producers on foreign markets, as well as the degree of dependence of domestic demand for
the foreign supply of goods. In 2019, Poland occupied the 11th place among all EU coun-
tries in terms of the openness rate for the trade in goods. Nevertheless, the openness rate
has been constantly growing since the accession to the EU (in 2004–2019 it increased by
28%), which means that trade has had a larger influence on Polish domestic activities. In
the analysed period, trade openness increased in almost all EU Member States, except for
Romania, Ireland, Malta, Portugal and Luxembourg whose openness rate decreased by as
much as almost 50%. The UK is the country which has the lowest trade openness (which is
by about 130 p.p. lower than the openness rate of Slovakia, which has the highest rate of
all EU countries). Analysing the values of the openness rate, it can be noticed a certain ten-
dency that in countries, where there is already a high level of trade openness, this index has
also increased over the last 15 years (except for Belgium). The most significant growth was
recorded in the new EU Member States from the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), e.g., Slo-
venia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland – by over 20 p.p., and such
a growth was recorded only in one Western European country – the Netherlands (Figure 9).
Analysing the whole group of the EU countries, it can be seen that the openness rate
is usually greater in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, including Poland,
than in the old EU Member States. It can be caused by a few factors. Firstly, the CEE coun-
tries are usually smaller states (in terms of the surface area, population and the GDP)
than many Western European countries. The openness rate tends to be greater in small
countries whose economies are more dependent on international trade. Secondly, the
CEE countries tend to be highly dependent on imports of energy resources. For example,
Poland has relatively few oil and gas resources and is highly dependent on their imports.
Nevertheless, in the last years, Poland has been continuing the diversification of imports
of energy resources. The examples are the construction of Świnoujście gas terminal, which
can accommodate big gas carrier ships with gas from all the countries of the world (e.g.,
the USA or Qatar). Another example of the diversification is the planned construction of
the Baltic Pipe – the project under which the gas pipeline will be built between Poland,
Denmark and Norway to facilitate the imports of Norwegian gas by Poland. However, even
the above-mentioned diversification will not reduce the imports of energy resources.
32 Magdalena Suska
Figure 9. Trade openness of Poland and other EU Member States
SK
SIBE
CZ
HU NL
LT
EE BG LV
PL
AT
HR
DE
RO
IE
MT PT
SE
DK
LU FI ES
IT
CY GR
FR UK
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
–60 –40 –20 0 20 40 60
80
Trade openness in 2019
(exports + imports / GDP)
Change between 2004 and 2019 (p.p.)
AT – Austria, BE – Belgium, BG – Bulgaria, CY – Cyprus, CZ – Czechia, DE – Germany, DK – Denmark, EE – Estonia, ES – Spain,
FI – Finland, FR – France, GR – Greece, HR – Croatia, HU – Hungary, IE – Ireland, IT – Italy, LT – Lithuania, LU – Luxem-
bourg, LV – Latvia, MT – Malta, NL – Netherlands, PL – Poland, PT – Portugal, RO – Romania, SE – Sweden, SI – Slovenia,
SK – Slovakia, UK – United Kingdom.
Source: own calculations based on data from Eurostat (database EU trade since 1988 by SITC, DS-018995).
Similar tendencies are observed in other CEE countries. Thirdly, the next reason of
relatively high openness rates of the CEE countries is their relatively large involvement
in international supply chains and the exports of parts, components, etc. (as percent of
the GDP) – in the CEE countries there are many enterprises that are owned by their for-
eign partners (due to, among others, mass privatization in the 1990 s). For example, the
study by Ambroziak [2018] shows that Germany led to greater integration of the EU new
members (excluding the Baltic states) in the global value chains. Moreover, the cited
study shows that Germany played a greater role as a supplier of inputs to the CEE exports
(backward linkages) than as an exporter of value added originating from the CEE (forward
linkages).
5
As the result, the CEE countries (because of their cheaper costs of production)
are used as producers and suppliers of manufactured goods for foreign markets (in these
countries the value of the RSCA index in exports of manufactured goods is usually great-
er than zero). For example, car factories in Slovakia and Poland belong to the companies
whose headquarters are located abroad, and their output goes primarily to foreign markets.
5 Another study in this area that analyses shares and positions in global value chains of the new EU Member
States during the 1995–2009 period was conducted by Folfas [2016].
Trade ingoods between Poland andother EU Member States 33
Conclusions
Poland has a significant share in the intra-EU trade and what is more, this share is
increasing; hence, Poland is an important trading partner for the EU Member States. Simul-
taneously, the trade exchange with the EU is also important for Poland (in 2019, the share
of intra-EU28 exports in GDP equalled 35.7%, whereas that of intra-EU28 imports stood
at 30.7%). It is worth nothing that since the beginning of the economic crisis period, i.e.
since 2009, Poland’s trade exchange with the EU has decreased. A downward trend was
recorded by 2013 in terms of exports and by 2012 for imports. Afterwards, Poland’s intra-
EU trade was on the growth path, although recently it has started to fall again. Especially,
in the Polish imports, there has been recorded an increase in the share of a few trading
partners – Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland’s Southern neighbours – Slo-
vakia and Czechia, and a decrease of many other EU countries, sometimes even quite sub-
stantial, e.g., in the case of France and Italy. It may be concluded that Poland is increasing
its dependence on specific trading partners, and any trading problems with these partners
may have negative consequences for the Polish economy. As far as the intra-EU exports
are concerned, Poland focuses on the trade with the neighbouring countries (although
the trade volume with Germany has fallen in comparison with the period after the acces-
sion to the EU) and the significance of its Southern neighbours – Czechia and Slovakia
in Poland’s trade exchange has increased.
As the analysis of the RSCA index showed, Poland specialises in intra-EU trade in bev-
erages and tobacco – the commodity group that has been one of the most important com-
modity groups in Poland’s foreign trade, and since 2009 the significance of this group
has been systematically increasing. However, the Lafay index indicated that Poland has
the greatest comparative advantage in trade in agricultural-food products, in general,
although the value of the index has been decreasing over the last 15 years. Nevertheless,
both indexes revealed that the significance of trade in beverages and tobacco in Poland’s
intra-EU trade is constantly growing. Poland also specializes in trade in manufactured
products (although th