What a difference a year makes. At this time in 2015, Poland enjoyed more influence in Europe than at any point in its history. After reforming and growing its economy in the years following its admission to the EU, Poland—the union’s sixth most populous member with its eighth-largest economy—earned a seat at Europe’s head table from which it had long been excluded by partition, war and great-power struggle. Then in 2014, in a highly symbolic gesture, the union’s leaders elevated Poland’s prime minister, Donald Tusk, to the presidency of the European Council. Now an island of political and economic stability, Poland’s voice and opinion became sought after in a way they had never been before.
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