Poland, an EU member since 2004, is the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which helped bring down Soviet-style communism in the late 1980s. It was also the site of some of the 20th century's greatest tragedies.
Home to 38.5 million people, Poland sits in the near heart of Europe, bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and the Russian enclave Kaliningrad. The prime location and large amount of land (more than 300,000 square kilometers) Poland enjoys have enticed more than one of the country's neighbors to attempt to take it over. Poland survived the 1939-45 Nazi occupation, however, and endured over four decades of Soviet dominance to emerge as one of the EU's shining stars in Central Europe.
The Council of Europe's constitutional watchdog - the Venice Commission - has admonished Poland once more for failing to unblock the work of the Constitutional Tribunal. Warsaw has one month to get its house in order.
The makers of a new movie shot in Poland and Ukraine are hoping that by tackling a taboo from the Second World War, the two nations will come to terms with the past. More than 100,000 Poles died at the hands of Ukrainian guerrillas and villagers, in what used to be pre-war Poland’s easternmost fringes between 1943 and 45. Julian Berner reports from Warsaw.