1. Geography

flaga-polski-150pxmapa polski wojewodztwa-01
Official name
Poland, Republic of Poland, RP
Area
Total: 312 679 km²
Water: 3,07%
Population
38,496 million
Official language
Polish
Capital
Warsaw
Administrative division
Poland is divided into 16 voivodships, 380 powiats, and 2478 gminas.Voivodships:
Greater Poland (Wielkopolska), Lesser Poland (Małopolska), Łódź,(Łódzkie), Kuyavian-Pomeranian (Kujawsko-pomorskie), Lower Silesian (Dolnośląskie), Lublin (Lubelskie), Lubusz (Lubuskie), Masovian (Mazowieckie), Opole (Opolskie),, Podlaskie (Podlaskie), Pomeranian (Pomorskie) Silesian (Śląskie), Subcarpathian(Podkarpackie), Świętokrzyskie,(Świętokrzyskie), Warmian-Masurian (Warmińsko-mazurskie), West Pomeranian (Zachodniopomorskie).
Location
Poland is situated in Central Europe, between the Baltic Sea in the north and the Carpathians and between the Oder river in the south and the Bug river in the east.
Climate
The moderate climate, ranging from maritime and continental climate.
In summer, average temperatures are between 18 and 30 °C.
In winter, average temperatures are around 3 °C in the north.
Time zone
Central European Time
CET (UTC+1)
CET (UTC+2)
Neighbours
Poland is bordered to the west by Germany, to the south by the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to the south-east by Ukraine, to the north by Russia, and to the north-east by Lithuania.
Mountains
*Rysy in the High Tatras: 2499 m (n.p.m.)
*Babia Góra in the Beskids: 1725 m (n.p.m.)
*Śnieżka in the Sudety mountains: 1602 m (n.p.m.)
Main/ major rivers
*Vistula (1047km)
*Oder (854 km, In Poland 74 km)
*Warta (808 km)
*Bug (722 km, In Poland 587 km)
Largest lakes
*Lake Śniardwy (113,8 km²)
*Lake Mamry (104,4 km²)
*Lake Łebsko (71,4 km²)
*Lake Dąbie (56,06 km²)
Mineral resources/wealth
Hard coal, lignite, sulphur, rock salt, copper ore, silver, zinc and lead, limestone, sandstones, marls, glazier, ceramic clay, natural gas, shale gas, crude oil/petroleum
Major cities
*Warsaw (1 715 517)
*Krakow (758 334)
*Łódź (718 960)
*Wrocław (631 188)
*Poznań (550 742)
*Gdańsk ( 460 427)
*Lublin (347 678)
Demography
Population: 38 483 957
Urban population – 23 244 524
Rural population – 15 239 433
Working age population: over 17 million
Main religion
Roman Catholic
GDP
Total: $517,54 billion
Per capita: $10753
Currency
Złoty (PLN)
1 Euro = 4,20 zł
Emergency telephone numbers
Ambulance: 999
Fire brigade: 998
Police: 997
Municipal Police: 986
European emergency number: 112

2. The political situation

Constitution
Constitution of the Republic of Poland
The political system
Parliamentary Republic with a parliamentary–cabinet system, based on a three way division on of power.
President
Andrzej Duda
Prime Minister
Beata Szydło
The Legislature
Bicameral Parliament (Sejm – 460 Members of Parliament and Senate – 100 Senators)
The Executive
President RP and The Council of Ministers
The judicial branch
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Poland ,  the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Poland,  the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland, the State Tribunal of the Republic of Poland
Foreign Policy
Membership in International Organisations
*UN (United Nations)
*EU (European Union)
*NATO
*Schengen Agreement
*WTO (World Trade Organization)
*OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)
*EEA (European Economic Area)
*IEA (International Energy Agency)
*Council of Europe

3. Infrastructure

Road transport:

 

Expressways: 1335, 55 km

Motorways: 1494,45 km

Distances between cities:
*Warsaw – Poznań: 310 km
*Warsaw – Krakow: 300 km
*Warsaw – Wrocław: 344 km
*Warsaw – Gdańsk: 284 km

 

Rail transport: PKP
Poland has the densest rail network in Europe (19 000 km) and it is also passing by significant international transit rail lines, covered by international agreements AGC and AGTC. Still, it is one of the most popular/common/core mode of transport in Poland.

For more information about Poland railway connections, please click here.

 

Air transport:

There are 13 airports in the main polish cities:

*Warszawa: Okęcie
*Warszawa: Modlin
*Kraków: Balice
*Lublin: Świdnik
*Rzeszów: Jasionka
*Wrocław: Starachowice
*Łódź: Lublinek
*Zielona Góra: Babimost
*Szczecin: Goleniów
*Gdańsk: Rębiechowo
*Bydgoszcz: Szwederowo
*Katowice: Pyrzowice
*Poznań: Ławica

4. Economy

Excerpt from European Commission’s “Country Report Poland 2015“:

 

Poland weathered the economic crisis and its aftermath very well. Real GDP has increased cumulatively by 19% since 2008, which is unparalleled in the EU. In 2014, economic activity recovered from a temporary slowdown in the two previous years, as domestic demand picked up again, replacing external trade as the main growth driver. Private consumption is expected to remain strong in the near term, supported by solid employment and real wage growth. The ongoing recovery of credit growth, coupled with declining financing costs and increasing profit margins, is expected to provide additional support for private investment, which however, remains to be hindered by deficiencies in business environment. Public investment is also projected to gather steam in 2015 with the rollout of new EU-financed projects. In 2014, the unemployment rate fell substantially, while the employment rate improved on the back of strong employment growth and weak demographics. Like in the rest of Europe, inflationary pressures subsided. In 2014 inflation receded and is set to pick up modestly in 2015.

 

This Country Report assesses Poland’s economy against the background of the Commission’s Annual Growth Survey which recommends three main pillars for the EU’s economic and social policy in 2015: investment, structural reforms, and fiscal responsibility. In line with the Investment Plan for Europe, it also explores ways to maximise the impact of public resources and unlock private investment. (…)

 

GDP Growth is expected to be robust in the near term. Private consumption is expected to remain strong, supported by solid real wage and employment growth. The ongoing recovery of credit growth coupled with declining financing costs is expected to provide additional support to private investment expenditure. Profit margins in the corporate sector are set to increase as prices of commodities and imported intermediate goods fall faster than prices of final goods. This increase in margins is expected to support corporate investment spending and, possibly, wage growth. In addition, public investment is projected to gather steam in 2015 with the rollout of new EU financed projects. (…)

 

After several years of moderate increases, unemployment fell substantially from 10.3% in 2013 to 9.1% in 2014. The improvement resulted from strong employment growth on the back of a robust rise of private investment. The situation of the young in the labour market is, however, precarious. The youth unemployment rate and the share of fixed-term contracts among the young are very high. The low overall participation rate remains a major challenge, despite continuous progress in recent years. The reform of the general early retirement scheme in 2009 and gradual increase in the retirement age are stimulating growth of activity rates, though from a low level. In particular, participation of young people, older workers and women remains low. The share of population exposed to the risk of poverty or social exclusion is still above the EU average, but has dropped considerably from 30.5% in 2008 to 25.8% in 2013. (…)

 

To see the full European Commission’s report, please click here.

5. Tourism

Accommodation
Hotel buildings: 3 485
Private rooms: 1 823
Rural tourism: 800
Holiday camp: 1047
Tourist attractions
Cities: Gdansk, Krakow, Malbork, Warsaw and Wroclaw
Regions: Pomeranian, Mazury, Tatra Mountains and Bieszczady Mountains
The most visited voivodeship
Lesser Poland (17,5%), Lower Silesian (15%), Pomerania (12%), West Pomeranian (11%) and Masovian (9%)
Tourist trails
pedestrian, mountain, cycle and canoeing
Months of summer holidays
June, July, August
Months of winter holidays
December, January, February

Images

Video