Central European Initiative
The Central European Initiative is a forum of regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, counting 18 member states. It was formed in Budapest in 1989; the CEI headquarters have been in Trieste since 1996. The Central European Initiative or CEI, is the largest and oldest forum of regional cooperation in Central and South Eastern Europe, it now counts 18 member states, many of whom are not part of Central Europe: Albania, Belarus and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. The origin of the Central European Initiative lies in the creation of the Quadragonale in Budapest on 11 November 1989 whose founding members were Italy, Austria and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; the Initiative aimed at overcoming the division in blocks by re-establishing cooperation links, among countries of different political orientations and economic structures. At the first Summit in Venice in 1990, Czechoslovakia was admitted and the Initiative was renamed Pentagonale.
In 1991, with the admission of Poland it became the Hexagonale. The organisation was renamed Central European Initiative in 1992. On the same occasion, Macedonia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia were admitted as member states; the Czech Republic and Slovakia were admitted to the CEI in 1993 following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. In 1996 Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine joined the CEI as full-fledged members; the current membership derives from the adhesion of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 2000 and of Montenegro in 2006. The CEI aims at achieving cohesion in areas of mutual interest and at assisting its non-EU member countries in consolidating their economic and social development. In this regard, the CEI Plan of Action defines the organisation’s priorities within the established areas of cooperation. Once predominantly oriented towards policy dialogue, the CEI has progressively added economic growth and human development as pillars of cooperation with a focus on capacity building, sharing experience and know-how transfer.
A number of CEI activities and projects are strategically developed within EU programmes as well as with other international and regional organisations. The CEI cooperates with other organisations such as the RCC, BSEC, the OSCE etc. Areas of Cooperation: Towards a Knowledge-based Society: Research and Innovation. Towards a Sustainable economy and development: Transport and Accessibility. Towards an Inclusive Society: Intercultural Cooperation; the CEI operates through various structures: – Annual Meeting of the Heads of Government. – Annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs. – Regular meetings of the CEI Committee of National Coordinators. The CNC, composed of representatives of Foreign Ministries of all Member States, is the body responsible for the management of CEI cooperation and the implementation of CEI programmes and projects. Meetings at ministerial as well as expert level are convened upon the initiative of the annually rotating CEI Presidency. Working bodies such as the Networks of Focal Points, designated in specific sectors by the governments of its 18 Member States, operate in each CEI area of activity.
The CEI - Executive Secretariat, is the only permanent CEI body and was established in Trieste in 1996. It provides administrative and conceptual support to the decision-making and operational structures of the CEI; the Secretariat for CEI Projects, established in 1991 at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, maintains offices both in Trieste and London and carries out investment and project-related activities. Participation in EU programmes started in 2004, with the aim to foster territorial cooperation among CEI countries – with particular attention to the involvement of non-EU CEI Member States in EU funded projects - and to expand existing experience in CEI’s priority areas. Financial support for the functioning of the Secretariat is provided by Italy. Another important element of the CEI is the cooperation promoted among the Parliaments of the CEI Member States or what is known as the CEI Parliamentary Dimension. Relations are maintained among the Chambers of Commerce of the Region.
As of 1 January 2013, Ambassador Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri has taken up his duties as Secretary General. CEI Presidencies – 1989 Hungary – 1990 Italy – 1991 SFR Yugoslavia – 1992 Austria – 1993 Hungary – 1994 Italy – 1995 Poland – 1996 Austria – 1997 Bosnia and Herzegovina – 1998 Croatia – 1999 Czech Republic – 2000 Hungary – 2001 Italy – 2002 Macedonia – 2003 Poland – 2004 Slovenia – 2005 Slovakia – 2006 Albania – 2007 Bulgaria – 2008 Moldova – 2009 Romania – 2010 Montenegro – 2011 Serbia – 2012 Ukraine – 2013 Hungary – 2014 Austria – 2015 Macedonia – 2016 Bosnia and Herzegovina – 2017 Belarus – 2018 Croatia – 2019 Italy Founding members: Austria Hungary Italy SFR Yugoslavia Joined later: Czechoslovakia Poland Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina → Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia Slovenia Macedonia → North Macedonia Czech Republic Slovakia Albania Belarus Bulgaria Moldova Romania Ukraine FR Yugoslavia Serbia Montenegro Central Europe Southeastern Europe Southeast European Cooperation Process Central Europ
National Parks of Poland
There are 23 national parks in Poland. These were run by the Polish Board of National Parks, but in 2004 responsibility for them was transferred to the Ministry of the Environment. Most national parks are divided into and protected zones. Additionally, they are surrounded by a protective buffer zone called otulina. In Poland, as amended by the Nature Conservation Act, 2004, a national park "covers an area of outstanding environmental, social and educational value, with an area of not less than 1000 ha, which protects the whole of the nature and qualities of the landscape. A national park is created to preserve biodiversity, resources and elements of inanimate nature and landscape values, to restore the proper state of natural resources and components and to reconstruct distorted natural habitats, habitats of animals and habitats of fungi." The area of a national park is divided into different zones using separate methods of conservation. There are strict protection zones, as well as landscape-related ones.
The areas bordering national parks have been designated as buffer zones. The buffer zone can include protective areas of game animals. National parks are available to visit, but only in designated areas, along specific trails and paths. National Parks of Poland are funded from the central budget, they are managed as an advisory body to the council of the park. On April 30, 2004 parks were supervised by the National Board of National Parks. From 1 May 2004, the duties were taken over by the Ministry of the Environment - Department of Forestry, Nature Conservation and Landscape and since January 19, 2007 by the Independent Department for Natura 2000 Areas and National Parks. After the establishment of GDOŚ and RDOŚ on October 15, 2008, the supervision of the parks is exercised by the Conservation Department of the Ministry of the Environment; the Polish national parks have carried out numerous research programs and they play an important role in the ecological education of the society. The national parks can be visited.
Many of them offer educational centres and natural history museums. Museum of Nature and Forest Białowieża National Park, Palace Park, Białowieża Educational Centre of Babia Góra National Park, Zawoja Museum of Natural History Bieszczady National Park, Ustrzyki Dolne Museum of Natural History Kampinos National Park, Kampinos Science Museum at Karkonosze National Park, Jelenia Góra Museum im. prof. Władysława Szafera, Ojców Centre for Education and Museum at Polesie National Park, Załucze Stare Centre for Education and Museum at Roztocze National Park, Zwierzyniec Museum of Nature and Forest at Słowiński National Park, Smołdzino Museum of Natural History at Świętokrzyski National Park, Święty Krzyż Natural History Museum of Tatra National Park, Zakopane Natural History Museum of Wielkopolska National Park, Jeziory Wigler Museum, Stary Folwark Natural History Museum of Wolin National Park, Misdroy Field Station DNP "Bogdanka", Drawno Karkonosze Environmental Education Center, Szklarska Poręba List of Biosphere Reserves in Poland List of Landscape Parks of Poland Ordinances issued by the Polish Council of Ministers, establishing individual national parks.
Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 30 października 1954 r. W sprawie utworzenia Babiogórskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1955 nr 4 poz. 25 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 8 sierpnia 1997 r. W sprawie Babiogórskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1997 nr 99 poz. 608 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 21 listopada 1947 r. O utworzeniu Białowieskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1947 nr 74 poz. 469 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 16 lipca 1996 r. W sprawie Białowieskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1996 nr 93 poz. 424 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 9 września 1993 r. W sprawie utworzenia Biebrzańskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1993 nr 86 poz. 399 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 4 sierpnia 1973 r. W sprawie utworzenia Bieszczadzkiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1973 nr 31 poz. 179 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 14 maja 1996 r. W sprawie utworzenia Parku Narodowego "Bory Tucholskie", Dz. U. 1996 nr 64 poz. 305 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 10 kwietnia 1990 r. W sprawie utworzenia Drawieńskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz.
U. 1990 nr 26 poz. 151 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 8 sierpnia 1980 r. W sprawie utworzenia Gorczańskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1980 nr 18 poz. 66 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 16 września 1993 r. W sprawie utworzenia Parku Narodowego Gór Stołowych, Dz. U. 1993 nr 88 poz. 407 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 16 stycznia 1959 r. W sprawie utworzenia Kampinoskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1959 nr 17 poz. 91 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 16 stycznia 1959 r. W sprawie utworzenia Karkonoskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1959 nr 17 poz. 90 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 24 listopada 1994 r. W sprawie utworzenia Magurskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1994 nr 126 poz. 618 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 1 lipca 1996 r. W sprawie utworzenia Narwiańskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1996 nr 77 poz. 368 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 14 stycznia 1956 r. W sprawie utworzenia Ojcowskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1956 nr 4 poz. 22 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 30 października 1954 r.
W sprawie utworzenia Pienińskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1955 nr 4 poz. 24 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 10 kwietnia 1990 r. W sprawie utworzenia Poleskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1990 nr 27 poz. 155 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministrów z dnia 10 maja 1974 r. W sprawie utworzenia Roztoczańskiego Parku Narodowego, Dz. U. 1974 nr 21 poz. 120 Rozporządzenie Rady Ministr
Protected areas of Poland
Protected areas of Poland include the following categories, as defined by the Act on Protection of Nature of 16 April 2004, by the Polish Parliament: There are 23 national parks in Poland. These were run by the Polish Board of National Parks, but in 2004 responsibility for them was transferred to the Ministry of the Environment. Most national parks are divided into and protected zones. Additionally, they are surrounded by a protective buffer zone called otulina. According to the Act on Protection of Nature of 2004, a Landscape Park is defined as "an area protected because of its natural, historical and scenic values, for the purpose of conserving and popularizing those values in conditions of balanced development." As at 9 May 2009 there are 122 designated Landscape Parks throughout Poland, covering a total area of 26,100 square kilometres. Nature reserves cover a total area of 1,644,634 hectares, representing 0.53% of the territory of Poland. As of 2011, Poland has 1469 nature reserves; the Nature reserves in Poland are divided into categories: fauna, forest, peat-bog, water, inanimate nature and halophyte.
Another division is into the strict nature reserves. Protected landscape areas belong to some of the least restrictive zones of protection, with focus on qualified tourism and outdoor recreation. There were 419 protected landscape areas in Poland as of December 31, 2008 covering an area of 7,058,000 hectares, or over 23% of the country. About 500 Natura 2000 sites, ecological network of protected areas in the territory of the European Union including: 72 Special Protection Areas locations to safeguard the habitats of migratory birds and certain threatened birds. Site of Community Importance locations that contribute to the maintenance or restoration at a favorable conservation status of a natural habitat type. Special Area of Conservation Geological "documentary sites" Over 6,000 "ecological sites" "Nature and landscape complexes" About 33,000 natural monuments Poland has the following internationally designated sites: UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are environment-protected scientific-research institutions of international status that are created with the intent for conservation in a natural state the most typical natural complexes of biosphere, conducting background ecological monitoring, studying of the surrounding natural environment, its changes under the activity of anthropogenic factors.
Biosphere Preserves are created on the base of nature preserves or national parks including to their composition territories and objects of other categories of nature-preserving fund and other lands as well as including in the established order the World Network of Biosphere Reserves in the UNESCO framework "Man and the Biosphere Programme". There are 9 Biosphere Reserves in Poland. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place, listed by UNESCO as sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. There are fourteen World Heritage Sites in Poland; the first two sites were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978. Three of the sites, Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Białowieża Forest, Wooden Tserkvas of Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine and Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski are shared with neighboring countries. Poland has six sites on the Tentative List; the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, i.e. to stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural and recreational value.
Since the convention became effective in Poland on 22 March 1978, the designation of Wetland of International Importance has been applied to thirteen locations in the country, which combine to form an area of 145,075 ha
The złoty, the masculine form of the Polish adjective'golden', is the currency of Poland. The modern złoty is subdivided into 100 groszy; the recognised English form of the word is zloty. The currency sign, zł, is composed of the Polish lower-case letters z and ł; as a result of inflation in the early 1990s, the currency underwent redenomination. Thus, on 1 January 1995, 10,000 old złotych became one new złoty. Since the currency has been stable, with an exchange rate fluctuating between 3 and 4 złoty for a United States dollar; the predecessors of the złoty were the kopa. The grzywna was a currency, equivalent to 210 g of silver, in the 11th century, it was in use until sometime in the 14th century. At the same time, first as a complement to the grzywna, as the main currency, came the grosz and the kopa. Poland made the grosz as an imitation of the Prague groschen. A grzywna was worth 48 groszy; the złoty is a traditional Polish currency unit dating back to the late Middle Ages. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the name was used for all kinds of foreign gold coins used in Poland, most notably Venetian and Hungarian ducats.
One złoty at the beginning of their introduction cost 12–14 groszy. In 1496 the Sejm approved the creation of a national currency, the złoty, its value was set at 30 groszy, a coin minted since 1347 and modelled on the Prague groschen, a ducat, whose value was 1 1⁄2 złoty; the 1:30 proportion stayed, but the grosz became cheaper and cheaper, because the proportion of silver in the coin alloy diminished over time. In the beginning of the 16th century, 1 złoty was worth 32 groszy; the name złoty was used for a number of different coins, including the 30-groszy coin called the polski złoty, the czerwony złoty and the złoty reński, which were in circulation at the time. However, the value of the Polish złoty dropped over time relative to these foreign coins, it became a silver coin, with the foreign ducats circulating at 5 złotych; the matters were complicated by the intricate system of coins, with denominations as low as 1⁄3 groszy and as high as 12,960 groszy fit into one coin. There were no usual decimal denominations we use today: the system used 4, 6, 8, 9 and 18 groszy, which are now most uncommon.
Moreover, there was no central mint, apart from Warsaw mint, there were the Gdańsk, Elbląg and Kurland separate mints which did not produce the same denomination coins with the same materials. For example, the szeląg had 1.3g of copper while minted in either Kraków or Warsaw, but the local Gdańsk and Elbląg mints made it using only 0.63g of copper. This facilitated forgeries and wreaked havoc in the Polish monetary system Following the monetary reform carried out by King Stanisław II Augustus which aimed to simplify the system, the złoty became Poland's official currency and the exchange rate of 1 złoty to 30 copper groszy was confirmed; the king established the system, based on the Cologne mark. Each mark was divided into 10 Conventionsthaler of the Holy Roman Empire, 1 thaler was worth 8 złotych; the system was in place until 1787. Two devaluations of the currency occurred in the years before the final partition of Poland. After the third partition of Poland, the name złoty existed only in Russian lands.
Prussia had introduced the mark instead. On 8 June 1794 the decision of the Polish Supreme Council offered to make the new banknotes as well as the coins. 13 August 1794 was the date. At the day there was more than 6.65 million złotych given out by the rebels. There were banknotes with the denomination of 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 złotych, as well as 5 and 10 groszy, 1 and 4 złoty coins However, it did not last for long: on 8 November, Warsaw was held by Russia. Russians declared them invalid. Russian coins and banknotes replaced the Kościuszko banknotes, but the division on złote and grosze stayed; this can be explained by the fact the Polish monetary system in the deep crisis, was better than the Russian stable one, as Poland used the silver standard for coins. That is why Mikhail Speransky offered to come to silver monometalism in his work План финансов in Russia, he argued that: "... at the same time... forbid any other account in Livonia and Poland, this is the only way to unify the financial system of these provinces in the Russian system, as well they will stop, at least, the damage that pulls back our finances for so long."
The złoty remained in circulation after the Partitions of Poland and the Duchy of Warsaw issued coins denominated in grosz, złoty and talar, worth 6 złoty. Talar banknotes were issued. In 1813, while Zamość was under siege, Zam
Constitution of Poland
The current Constitution of Poland was founded on 2 April 1997. Formally known as the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, it replaced the temporary amendments put into place in 1992 designed to reverse the effects of the communist dictatorship, it was adopted by the National Assembly of Poland on 2 April 1997, approved by a national referendum on 25 May 1997, came into effect on 17 October 1997. Poland has had numerous previous constitutional acts during its history; the most significant is the May Constitution founded on 3 May 1791. The five years after 1992 were spent in dialogue about the new character of Poland; the nation had changed since 1952 when the Constitution of the Polish People's Republic was instituted. A new consensus was needed on; the attitude toward the past was articulated in the preamble, in which the citizens of Poland established a Republic "Recalling the best traditions of the First and the Second Republic, Obliged to bequeath to future generations all, valuable from our over one thousand years' heritage...
Mindful of the bitter experiences of the times when fundamental freedoms and human rights were violated in our Homeland...". Many articles were written explicitly to rectify the wrongs of previous governments. In response to communist-era collective farming, Article 23 established the family farm as the basis of the agricultural economy. Article 74 requires public officials to pursue ecologically sound public policy. Articles 39 and 40 prohibit the practices of forced medical experimentation, forbidding torture and corporal punishment, while Articles 50 and 59 acknowledge the inviolability of the home, the right to form trade unions, to strike; those involved in drafting the document were not interested in creating a de facto Catholic Poland. That said, nods were given in the direction of the church, to the effect of protecting common morality. For example, in Article 18, marriage is granted the protection of the state, in Article 53, freedom of religion, religious education, religious upbringing are protected.
The preamble emphasizes freedom of religion or disbelief: "We, the Polish Nation - all citizens of the Republic, Both those who believe in God as the source of truth, justice and beauty, As well as those not sharing such faith but respecting those universal values as arising from other sources...". Article 25 provides further protection, that public officials "shall be impartial in matters of personal conviction, whether religious or philosophical, or in relation to outlooks on life, shall ensure their freedom of expression within public life." Other aspects include the affirmation of the political equality of man and woman in Article 32, the affirmation of freedom of ethnic minorities to advance and develop their culture, in Article 35. Having regard for the existence and future of our Homeland,Which recovered, in 1989, the possibility of a sovereign and democratic determination of its fate, We, the Polish Nation - all citizens of the Republic, Both those who believe in God as the source of truth, justice and beauty, As well as those not sharing such faith but respecting those universal values as arising from other sources, Equal in rights and obligations towards the common good - Poland, Beholden to our ancestors for their labors, their struggle for independence achieved at great sacrifice, for our culture rooted in the Christian heritage of the Nation and in universal human values, Recalling the best traditions of the First and the Second Republic, Obliged to bequeath to future generations all, valuable from our over one thousand years' heritage, Bound in community with our compatriots dispersed throughout the world, Aware of the need for cooperation with all countries for the good of the Human Family, Mindful of the bitter experiences of the times when fundamental freedoms and human rights were violated in our Homeland, Desiring to guarantee the rights of the citizens for all time, to ensure diligence and efficiency in the work of public bodies, Recognizing our responsibility before God or our own consciences, Hereby establish this Constitution of the Republic of Poland as the basic law for the State, based on respect for freedom and justice, cooperation between the public powers, social dialogue as well as on the principle of subsidiarity in the strengthening the powers of citizens and their communities.
We call upon all those who will apply this Constitution for the good of the Third Republic to do so paying respect to the inherent dignity of the person, his or her right to freedom, the obligation of solidarity with others, respect for these principles as the unshakeable foundation of the Republic of Poland. The first major privilege was granted in Košice by Louis Andegavin on September 17, 1374. In order to guarantee the Polish throne for his daughter Jadwiga, he agreed to abolish all but one tax the szlachta was required to pay; the Koszyce Privilege forbade the king to grant official posts and major Polish castles to foreign knights, obliged him to pay indemnities to nobles injured or taken captive during a war outside Polish borders. The privileges granted by Ladislaus II at Brześć Kujawski and Kraków introduced or confirmed the rule known as Neminem captivabimus nisi iure victum which prevented a noble from being arrested unless found guilty. On May 2, 1447 the same king issued the Wilno Privilege which gave the Lithuanian boyars the same rights as those possessed by
History of Poland (1918–1939)
The history of interwar Poland comprises the period from the re-recreation of the independent Polish state in 1918, until the joint Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 at the onset of World War II. The two decades of Poland's sovereignty between the world wars are known as the Interbellum. Poland re-emerged in November 1918 after more than a century of partitions by Austria-Hungary, the German, the Russian Empires, its independence was confirmed by the victorious powers through the Treaty of Versailles of June 1919, most of the territory won in a series of border wars fought from 1918 to 1921. Poland's frontiers were settled in 1922 and internationally recognized in 1923; the Polish political scene was democratic, but was chaotic until Józef Piłsudski seized power in May 1926 and democracy ended. The policy of agrarianism led to the redistribution of lands to peasants and the country achieved significant economic growth between 1921 and 1939. A third of the population consisted of minorities—Ukrainians, Jews and Germans—who were either hostile towards the existence of the Polish state because of the lack of privileges or discriminated against in the case of Ukrainians and Belarusians who faced Polonization.
There were treaties that protected them but the government in Warsaw was not interested in their enforcement. The independence of Poland had been promoted to the Allies in Paris by Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Paderewski. U. S. President Woodrow Wilson made the independence of Poland a war goal in his Fourteen Points, this goal was endorsed by the Allies in spring 1918; as part of the Armistice terms imposed on Germany, all German forces had to stand down in Poland and other occupied areas. So as the war ended, the Germans sent Piłsudski under arrest, back to Warsaw. On November 11, 1918, he took control from the puppet government. Ignacy Daszyński headed a short-lived Polish government in Lublin from November 6 but Piłsudski had overwhelming prestige at this point. Daszyński and the other Polish leaders acknowledged him as head of the army and in effect head of what became the Republic of Poland. Germany, now defeated, withdrew its forces. Jędrzej Moraczewski became Dmowsky headed the largest party.
From its inception the Republic fought a series of wars to secure its boundaries. The nation was poor. Industrialization came slowly, was promoted in the mid-1930s with the development of the Central Industrial District. Most Polish leaders of that period wanted to create a larger Polish state. At the same time, the exact boundaries of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were not desired, though mentioned as an opening gambit by Roman Dmowski. Much of this land had been controlled by the Russian Empire since the Partitions of Poland and its inhabitants were struggling to create their own states; the Polish leadership did not aim to restore the nation to its 17th-century boundaries. Opinions varied among Polish politicians as to how much of the territory a new, Polish-led state should contain and what form it should take. Józef Piłsudski advocated a democratic, Polish-led federation of independent states — while Roman Dmowski leader of the Endecja movement represented by the National Democratic Party, set his mind on a more compact Poland composed of ethnic Polish or'polonizable' territories.
To the southwest and Czechoslovakia contested boundary disputes. More ominously, an embittered Germany begrudged any territorial loss to its new eastern neighbour; the December 27, 1918 Great Poland Uprising liberated Greater Poland. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles settled the German-Polish borders in the Baltic region; the port city of Danzig, with a majority German population and Polish minority was declared a free city independent of Germany, became a bone of contention for decades. Allied arbitration divided the ethnically mixed and coveted industrial and mining district of Silesia between Germany and Poland, with Poland receiving the smaller in size, but more industrialized eastern section in 1922, after series of three Silesian Uprisings; the German-Polish borders were so complicated that only close collaboration between the two countries could let the situation persist. The unification of the former Prussian provinces lasted for many years; until 1923, these provinces were ruled by a separate administration.
Military conflict proved the determinant of Poland's frontiers in the east, a theater rendered chaotic by the repercussions of the Russian revolutions and civil war. Piłsudski envisioned creating a federation with the rest of Ukraine and Lithuania, thus forming a Central and East European federation called "Międzymorze". Lenin, leader of the new communist government of Russia, saw Poland as the bridge over which communism would pass into the labor class of a disorganized postwar Germany, and the issue was further complicated as some of the disputed regions had assumed various economic and political identities since the partition in the late 18th century while some did not have an ethnically Polish majority in the first place they were still viewed by Poles as their historic regions, since they envisioned Poland as a multiethnic
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge