will the economic slowdown be reflected at the polls?

2023-10-13 09:28:27

Europe is at the center of October 15 polls in Poland : on the one hand the parliamentary elections, on the other hand a tactical referendum, organized the same day by the ultraconservative PiS government and relating to four a priori unpopular questions which it hopes will be rejected; which would strengthen him in the parliamentary elections. Among these questions is that of the acceptance or not of the European system in favor of welcoming migrants.

Poland’s integration into the European economy today constitutes an important issue for this country (see graphs 1 and 2), which could influence the outcome of the polls: 83% of its exports are destined there and 68% of its imports come from there (respectively 28 and 24% with the only German partner). Begun with the entry into force of the association agreement signed in 1992, this integration deepened after Poland’s accession to the European Union (EU) in 2004.

The degree of openness of the Polish economy, measured by the average of its exports and imports as a percentage of GDP, stood at 20% in the early 1990s; it is now close to 60% (graph 3), exceeding the European average (49%). Its main surpluses are concentrated in transport services, furniture, legal and accounting services and motor vehicle parts. Its insertion into European networks is closely linked to its division of labor with Germany in the vehicle, electrical equipment and electronics sectors.

Since integration into Europe, the income of Poles has increased significantly: the country’s real GDP per capita in purchasing power parities amounted to less than 40% of the European average in 2004; it now reaches 80% of it.

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But times are tough for the Polish economy too. The current difficulties of the “German engine” seem to be affecting it head on. Will the economic slowdown be reflected at the polls? Answer this Sunday.

To delve deeper into the question of the international integration of the Polish economy, see the interactive pages CEPII Profiles.

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