Policy Challenges Shaping Poland's Future
Poland's state and society are products of domestic as well as international conditions. A different challenge facing lawmakers is to construct more effective and transparent institutions. This chapter examines the functioning of key political institutions like the presidency and the parliament, but others in need of reform include public and local administration, the educational system, and the judiciary. Many nations in Europe are concerned with losing their national identity as the European Union pushes forward with a plan for greater political and cultural integration. In turn, joining NATO brought new responsibilities as well as security advantages to former communist countries such as Poland. Finally, Poland is confronting the challenge of building a secular state for a Catholic nation. Catholicism has defined the Polish nation for over a thousand years, including long periods in which no Polish state existed.