In 1989–91, the Soviet Union experienced a political reformation, known as Perestroika, and allowed its satellite, the People’s Republic of Poland, to engage in a democratic transition, leading to the creation of the Third Polish Republic. By 1995, as a result of the Balcerowicz Plan (implemented in the early 1990s) Poland had recovered from its economic and social post-Communist slump and was a booming economy. It banned censorship, permitted freedom of speech and in 1991 joined the Visegrad Group (V4), which was a political and cultural alliance with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. It joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1991, along with its V4 allies, and became a member of the EU in 2004. It experienced some political instability in 2000–01 when the Solidarity coalition, which had governed since independence, collapsed, creating economic and political turmoil. In 2001 Leszek Miller, leader of the pro-EU, pro-NATO Democratic Left Alliance, became President.
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