Poland: The Resilient Nation


Poland’s long history has been defined by adversity, but on the brink of this new crisis, the country is the strongest it’s ever been. It can take assurance from its past that Poland will come through this and emerge stronger.

Over the centuries, Poland has proven to be a resilient nation. In fact, it is hard to think of a country which is more resilient. It has shown this time and time again, and in living memory. It’s a resilience which is bred into the nation’s DNA, including in the younger generations – who have added a global perspective to their armoury.

Between the 18th century to the 20th century, Poland as a nation state was wiped off the map of Europe for 123 years. The country survived Nazi occupation and over 40 years of communism in the 20th century, before successfully transitioning into a democracy and a market economy. Poland was one of only two OECD countries – and the only EU member – to come out of the Global Financial Crisis without going into recession. It is the only country in the last decade to be upgraded to Developed Market status by FTSE Russell. From economic meltdown at the start of the ‘90s to officially joining the 25 most advanced economies in the world all in the space of a generation – this is an impressive and unparalleled feat. 

Anyone who knows Poland, knows all this very well. But it’s worth reminding ourselves – and the world – of this formidable history in these uncertain times.

Richard Stephens is editor of Poland Today, which he founded in 2012. He also organises, runs and moderates conferences on a variety of topics in Poland and abroad. He was previously editor of Eurobuild CEE magazine and founded the Eurobuild Awards Gala event. Richard has a degree in Theology & Religious Studies from Bristol University in England.

Thanks in large part to this innate resilience – aided by a strong work ethic and a renowned ‘can-do’ adaptability – the country has recorded nearly 30 years of continuous economic growth. It is this solid business and economic platform that gives Poland the foundation from which to fight back against the economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which will be considerable. Experts have predicted serious economic consequences for a number of industries and the economy as a whole. But by looking at the broader picture and the precedent set by Poland in the past, we believe in Poland and its economic future, and we are confident that it will, indeed, come out stronger. 

In the meantime, the government, the various authorities and the business community in Poland have been quick to respond to the crisis. The government has initiated extensive quarantine measures to slow and hopefully contain the spread, while institutions have come up with innovative solutions to maintain continuity, such as schools carrying out lessons via e-learning services and museums offering virtual exhibitions. Despite almost every industry being impacted, the business community is rallying together to help combat the crisis by offering donations to health care providers to purchase medical equipment and protective gear.  

It is imperative that we reinforce our lines of communication with our international business partners, clients and the wider world. Solid and considered information is vital in times of uncertainty. Perception is, to a large extent, reality. And when we get through this, Poland will need to announce to the world that it’s re-open for business. Poland Today is well-placed to carry this message, and this is what we’ll do as part of our comprehensive support for the Polish-international business community.

In the days and weeks ahead Poland Today will liaise with business experts and decision-makers to provide valuable information and analysis about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its effects on Poland’s business and economy.

Please share with us your insights, reports and information related to the current situation, by writing to PTeditorial[at]poland-today.pl. This will then be collated and presented by our Managing Editor, Will Burke, who is in charge of Poland Today’s editorial team. We are committed to the best interests of the Polish-international business community, and this commitment will guide our actions in the days, weeks and months ahead.

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Written by: Richard Stephens