Poland entered the 21st century as a member of NATO and a candidate for the early accession into the European Union. The country has been firmly committed to democracy and a market economy after the implementation of economic, political, administrative, and social reforms following the collapse of communist control in 1989. The pace of changes during the 1990s moved the country from stagnation to a period of steady economic growth. The country is posed to continue its growth. Although the unemployment rate will, at least in the short run, remain relatively high, the government's macroeconomic policies are intended to assure long-term economic growth. The primary objective will remain the need to manage the supply of money to the economy so as to balance the need for growth with the need to assure stable prices.
In the coming years the most important economic issues facing Poland will likely include efforts to lower unemployment, while keeping inflation at bay. Furthermore, issues in regional differences in economic activity will come to the forefront. Although labor mobility in Poland is low because of prevailing attitudes, those who want to move to an area where the demand for labor is high face the problem of finding affordable housing.
Political stability has been achieved as governments alternate between right and left orientation, but within constitutionally defined boundaries. Although not all reforms have been popular, all of them have been necessary to assure the sustainable growth in decades to come. The transfer of many responsibilities from the central to local government strengthens the participatory democracy, allowing the people to voice their opinions and influence policies.
Within the next few years, a young, well-educated labor force will enter the labor market. Because the quality of human capital is increasingly important in today's economy, future graduates are expected to be productive and competitive contributors to further economic growth.