On 1 May 2004 Poland became a member of the key principal organisation of countries of the old continent - the European Union. As the largest of the group of Eastern and Central European countries, it plays an important role in European Union institutional forums. Over time however, Poland's position has become stronger, as revealed in subsequent summits of the European Council, where we endeavoured to organise a large coalition of the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. This role was particularly evident in arranging common positions in areas such as preparation of the budget, creation of a common energy policy, an energy and climate package, and above all in dealing with the challenges regarding relations with the EU's Eastern neighbours.
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