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Regional Policy - Economic Development - European Integration




Combining "globalisation" and "new economy" results in a situation where any economic activity tends to happen in space and not in place. Its organisational form is more likely to be made up of a network composed of numerous entities, multiple centres and many dimensions rather than a single company aimed at the traditional scale economy. Thus "new economy" becomes complicated and dynamic to the extent that makes the centralised and top-to-bottom management more and more inapplicable. This is the case because globalisation brings about a kind of relativity of the spatial dimension of economic activities. Domestic scale loses its dominant position both in economy and politics and, at the same time, dominance is not becoming a feature of other scales - local, regional, international or supranational. The intensification of economic activity on a grand scale results in a situation where it is counterbalanced only by the mobilisation of activities in lesser scales - local and regional. Modern regionalism by rejecting autarkic isolationism stands both for the adaptation to globalisation and the resistance to it.


The model of regional policy aimed at levelling and centralisation is flawed and it is not only because, as is borne out by examples of other countries - especially Italy, it is counter-effective but also because of particular conditions that exist in Poland and which only enhance such counter-effectiveness. In my opinion these conditions include:

-       the system of interest representation formed during the course of history and the particular model of social segmentation formed in the period of system's transformation;

-       overall weakness of public administration.


Without the correct definition of regional development's goals and principles, which would be in accordance with a pro-competitive approach and the subsidiarity principle, structural funds will be managed and distributed centrally and discretionally. This will lead to the re-centralisation of the state and will undermine the tenets of the state's territorial reform introduced in 1999.   

One of the primary dilemmas of Polish regional policy is the fact that during the average core period, it will be financed solely by Union funds (pre-accession and structural ones). At the same time the model of regional policy (especially the institutional structure of pursuing this policy), which is being formed during the period of gaining access to the funds, must effectively reflect internal needs and goals. Otherwise the regional policy will not be helpful in solving the country's structural problems and the leveraging of external funds (EU funds) will not be effective.