Regional Policy in Poland on the Eve of EU Membership : Regional Empowerment or Central Control?

Ferry, Martin (2004) Regional Policy in Poland on the Eve of EU Membership : Regional Empowerment or Central Control? [Report]

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    Abstract

    This paper assesses institutional and programming structures involved in regional economic policy in Poland which have recently been reformed against a background of regionalising and centralising impulses. The analysis draws on the results of a yearlong study of the changing role of the region in the processes of regional economic restructuring in Poland and the Czech Republic. In addition to an extensive policy and literature review, interviews were conducted with relevant organisations and actors at the national and regional levels during 2003. The paper first outlines the regional policy context within Poland, highlighting the most prominent issues and how these informed the reform debate. It argues that recent reforms have strengthened the role of the regional level in the economic development process. However, centralist tendencies are apparent in Polandís public finance system and in the chosen method of administering Structural Funds. As a result, the role of the region as a coordinator of ëtop downí and ëbottom upí development initiatives remains limited.