Poland Country Report
The PiS-led right-wing/conservative government controls the majority of seats in the Sejm and enjoys strong public support, making an early election in 2018 unlikely. This is despite strained relations with the EU over the government's alleged efforts to undermine judicial independence. A high level of red tape, overburdened courts, and uncertainty related to the ongoing judicial reform will present the biggest obstacles and risks to doing business in Poland. Fiscal policy is likely to remain loose, with growth supported by private consumption and a revival of fixed investment. The PiS favours keeping the mining and energy industry under state control. "Strategic industries" – telecom, arms – are likely to face more state intervention. Nationalisation is however unlikely.Injury risks will probably stem from racially motivated attacks and/or during far-right/nationalist rallies.
Despite an overall positive attitude towards FDI, the PiS-led government argues that Poland needs a more selective attraction policy. Therefore, investment incentives are likely to be directed towards high-tech companies that may create stable and well-paid employment. Improving the infrastructure will remain a key challenge, mainly in light of the country’s still untapped investment potential. The government is also planning to enhance the role of trade unions, although the risk of strikes is likely to increase slightly amid PiS planned institutional reforms. The crackdown on corruption that mainly affects courts, public tenders, land restitution, and licensing procedures will also stay firmly on the PiS agenda.
Poland co-operates closely with the US and has in recent years increased its international profile, which makes it a probable target for the Islamic militants. The overall threat is likely to remain moderate in the one-year outlook. In the case of an attack, the most probable targets would include US and UK embassies in Warsaw, shopping malls, and public places frequented by tourists, especially in large cities. A different danger comes from the existence of Polish right-wing extremists, although most of their activity takes place on the internet.
The risk of inter-state military conflicts with Poland's neighbours is elevated. Poland generally maintains positive bilateral relations, although tensions have flared up on several occasions between Poland and Russia. The latest issues included Poland's participation in a NATO missile defence system and its support for plans to host short-range missile interceptors that target short- and medium-range missiles as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, with Poland being a strong supporter of tougher sanctions against Russia. These disputes are likely to remain at a political/diplomatic level, with military conflict unlikely. Risk of civil war in Poland is also very low.
The protest and riot risks will stem primarily from the far-right groups and football hooligans who tend to participate in large, but otherwise peaceful, rallies that mark national anniversaries. Nationalist demonstrations and marches leading to minor injury and collateral property damage are likely to be concentrated in urban centres, particularly Warsaw and Wroclaw. The 2011–14 Independence Day marches in Warsaw all ended in riots. In 2017, 60,000 people participated, some of them carrying racist banners and throwing red-smoke bombs. In addition, animal rights and environmental activism, posing risk of property damage and/or business disruptions, is rising.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
The poor state of some roads, in combination with the often-risky driving habits of locals and an abundance of tractor-trailers, often leads to serious road accidents; 3026 people died from such incidents in 2016. Drivers are urged to remain vigilant; it may be preferable to travel by train in winter months due to hazardous road conditions caused by ice and snow.
Visitors are also advised to take only officially-sanctioned taxis with a company name and/or telephone number printed on the light bar. Public transportation is generally reliable and safe. Individuals must have a valid ticket before boarding a bus or a train.
Polish winters (December to February) are very cold (-5°C to -15°C) and snowy. Springs are mild and sunny with nighttime frost until mid-May. Summers are mild any rainy and thunderstorms are common in July. Autumn (September to October) is dry and sunny.
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