It is a tough time to take over the rotating presidency of the EU.
And, despite the protests, Poland sees its first six-month stint as a chance to market itself as a modern EU success story with strong economic growth since joining the block in 2004.
More than 80 percent of Poles think being in the EU is a good thing.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk is hoping his stint in Europe’s driving seat will impress voters even more and help propel his Civic Platform party to victory in elections in October.
As the largest new member state and the only economy in the 27-nation bloc to have avoided recession during the global financial crisis, Poland feels it has a special role to play.
The feeling in Warsaw is that Europe must focus more on generating economic growth and jobs while keeping the door open to new members.