In Eastern Europe in general, & in Poland in particular, the transformation process has been strongly antistatist, due to experiences under previous communist regimes & recent ideological trends. However, a state is an obstacle for the process of transformation. Because of the huge public sector inherited from communism & because of the inadequacy of the civil society, the state has many important roles to play in the process of transition. Needed is a state strong in a democratic sense, ie, a state characterized by a formal democracy, & by a deep social consensus, respect for the rule of law, & efficient & apolitical civil service. Modified AA