Poland is located in Central Europe, has an area of about 312,000 km2, a population of over 38 million, and is the sixth biggest Member State in the European Union. Following a lengthy period of communist rule, Poland became a parliamentary democracy in 1989, with a market economy, and observing the principle of the rule of law. Poland has been a member of the Council of Europe since 1991; of the NATO since 1997, and of the EU since May, 2004.
Poland’s capital city is Warsaw; population of more than 1.6 million. The country level of urbanisation is modest, and the urban population amounts to 61%. Poland is, ethnically and religiously, a unitary country: 96% of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics and while the rest are ethnic minorities, such as Germans, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Czechs, and Slovaks.
The Polish economy is fast growing, with an average GDP growth rate of more than 4.0% in the last decade (and 6.5% in 2007). The unemployment rate decreased from a high level of over 20.0% in 2003 to 10.5% in 2008. Since Poland’s accession to the European Union, more than one million people, most of them young, have migrated to work in other Member States, particularly in UK.
KeywordsSmall Town Violent Victimisation Juvenile Delinquency Violent Offence Hard Drug
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