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Paweł Churski Institute of Socio-Economic Geography and Spatial Management, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland. e-mail: chur@amu.edu.pl http://www.churski.pl. CHANGES IN POLISH REGIONAL POLICY AFTER THE ACCESSION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION EUROPEAN DETERMINANTS – DOMESTIC CONSEQUENCES.

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Paweł ChurskiInstitute of Socio-Economic Geography and Spatial Management, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland. e-mail: chur@amu.edu.plhttp://www.churski.pl

CHANGES IN POLISH REGIONAL POLICY AFTER THE ACCESSION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION

EUROPEAN DETERMINANTS – DOMESTIC CONSEQUENCES

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The aim of my research is to assess changes that have occurred in Polish regional policy as a result of Poland’s joining the European Union in terms of their European and national determinants.

To achieve this aim, it is necessary to answer the following question:

To what extent do the financial perspective 2007-2013 and assumptions of the EU cohesion policy over that period offer a chance for dynamic changes to occur in Poland, one of the world’s biggest regional policy laboratories ?

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PLAN OF PRESENTATIONBecause of time limitation, let me concentrate on a synthetic presentation of two main topics connected with the problem under analysis:

  • PART I

European determinants of changes in Polish regional policy

  • PART II

Polish regional policy in the first years of the country’s EU membership:

    • 2004-2006
    • 2007-2013
european determinants of changes in polish regional policy
EUROPEAN DETERMINANTS OF CHANGES IN POLISH REGIONAL POLICY

The analysis of the European determinants of changes in Polish regional policy covers the last two programming periods of the EU cohesion policy:2000 - 2006 – defined by AGENDA 2000 and confirmed at the 1999 Berlin Summit, in witch Poland participated from the moment of accession, i.e. 1 May 2004, and 2007 – 2013 – defined by the Third Cohesion Report and confirmed at the 2005 London Summit, which is the first full period of Poland’s participation in the European Union’s cohesion policy.

A comparison is made of the two most crucial aspects:

  • The objectives and scope of EU cohesion policy and ways of their implementation,

and

  • The budget and funding.
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EUROPEAN DETERMINANTS OF CHANGES IN POLISH REGIONAL POLICYOBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF EU COHESION POLICY AND WAYS OF THEIR IMPLEMENTATION
european determinants of changes in polish regional policy budget of eu cohesion policy
EUROPEAN DETERMINANTS OF CHANGES IN POLISH REGIONAL POLICYBUDGET OF EU COHESION POLICY
european determinants of changes in polish regional policy conclusion for poland
EUROPEAN DETERMINANTS OF CHANGES IN POLISH REGIONAL POLICYCONCLUSION FOR POLAND

For Poland, the most important consequences of changes from the previous financial perspective to that of 2007-2013 include:

  • the need to adjust domestic inter- and intra- regional policy to the principles of EU cohesion policy
  • maintaining a substantial geographical and thematic concentration of EU support in problem areas, which cover the entire territory of Poland: all Polish regions meet the criteria of problem areas under Objective 1 in both periods 2004-2006 and 2007-2013; besides, extending support to cross-border areas under Objective 3 of the 2007-2013 perspective
  • a double increase in the amount of support for Objective 1 problem areas confirming the dominance of the idea of the wealthy, stable and solidary Europe championed by the less developed Member States
  • earmarking of expenditure connected with the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy
  • simplification of the organisation process, including dingle funding of operational programmes, introduction of the n+3 rule, greater flexibility in the eligibility of spending, etc.
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PART IIPolish regional policy in the first years of the country’s European Union membership: 2004-2006 2007-2013

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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2004-2006LEGAL AND ORGANISATIONAL FOUNDATIONS

Joining the European Union made Poland eligible for much more generous EU financial assistance for regional policy measures than in the pre-accession period. However, this entails the adoption of Structural Funds procedures and principles, including the programming principle, that were new in the Polish conditions.

As a new member, Poland drew up a strategic document, The NationalDevelopment Plan, 2004-2006, adopted by the government on 15 January 2003. It was prepared in accordance with the provisions of the EU Council Regulation No. 1260/1999.

The National Development Plan, 2004-2006was submitted to the European Commission for approval. As a result of the negotiations conducted, on 31 July 2003 an agreement was reached on the structure of the Community Support Framework.

The new model of Polish regional policy was defined by the National Development Plan Act of 20 April 2004 which, however, was passed by the Polish Parliament only after the majority of strategic and programming documents for the period 2004-2006 had been worked arranged with the European Commission.

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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2004-2006OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE

The strategic objective of National Development Plan was to develop competitveness of Polish economy based on knowledge and enterpreneurship, and capable of harmonious growth to ensure an increase in employment and improvement of social, economic and space cohesion between Poland and the EU on the regional and national levels. It was assumed that the strategic objective would be implemented through its subcomponents, which were defined as follows (cf. Narodowy Plan…, 2003):

  • creating grounds for obtaining a sustainable, high level of GDP,
  • increasing the level of employment and education,
  • incorporating Poland into the European network of transportation and information infrastructure,
  • intensifying the process of increasing the participation of high value-added sectors in the economy,
  • developing the technology of information society,
  • providing support for the participation of allregions and social groups in Poland in development and modernisation processes.
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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2004-2006BUDGET

The budget of the Community Support Framework in Poland in the years 2004-2006 taking into acount all sources of financing amounts to over EUR19.0 billion.

Within the above stated amount Community resources form EURO12.8 billion which makes up for 76.6% of the involved public resources and 67.4% of the total budget.

The other sources of financing include:

  • national resources, i.e. national budget and local governments budgets,
  • private financial means,
  • the support for Community Initiatives INTERREG and EQUAL,
  • the support of the Cohesion Fund.
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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2004-2006IMPLEMENTATION INSTRUMENTS

The National Development Plan/Community Support Framework 2004-2006 was implemented with help of six Operational Programmes and their executive documents called Supplements. The structure of allocation of the Community resources to those OPs reflected the priorities adopted and EU-preferred measures implemented as part of intra-regional policy, which was evident in the marked dominance of the Integrated Operational Programme of Regional Development:

  • Integrated Operational Programme of Regional Development (IOPRD)
  • EUR 2.97 billion from Structural Funds resources, i.e. 35.9% of total support
  • Sectoral Operational Programme: Human Resources Development (SOP-HRD)
  • EUR 1.47 billion from Structural Funds, i.e. 17.8%
  • Sectoral Operational Programme: Increase in the Competitveness of Enterprises (SOP-ICE)
  • EUR 1.25 billion from Structural Funds, i.e. 15.1%
  • Sectoral Operational Programme: Restructuring and Modernisation of Food Sector and Agriculture (SOP-RURAL)
  • EUR 1.19 billion from Structural Funds, i.e. 14.4%
  • Sectoral Operational Programme: Transport (SOP-TRANSPORT)
  • EUR 1.16 billion from Structural Funds, i.e. 14.1%
  • Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (SOP-FISH)
  • EUR 0.2 billion from Structural Funds, i.e. 2.5%
  • Operational Programme: Technical Assistance (OP-TA)
  • EUR 0.03 billion from Structural Funds, i.e. 0.2%
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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2004-2006IMPLEMENTATION INSTRUMENT

Priorities, directions and sources of funding of Poland’s a regional policy in the years 2004-2006 were listed in the Integrated Operational Programme of Regional Development (IOPRD).

In that the centrally controlled IOPRD replaced Regional Operational Programmes managed at the voivodeship level, which were given up because of the fears of the European Commission and Polish Government.

The total IOPRD 2004-2006 budget was established at EUR 4.23 billion, with the Structural Funds contributing 70.1%, or EUR 2.97 billion.

It was decided that support would concentrate on three principal priorites:

PRIORITY I: Expansion and modernisation of infrastructure serving to entrance the competitiveness of region

EUR 2.97 billion (59.4%)

PRIORYTY II: Strengthening the development of human resources in region

EUR 0.61 billion (14.8%)

PRIORYTY III: Local development

EUR 1.05 billion (24.5%)

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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2004-2006IMPLEMENTATION INSTRUMENTS

The regional division of the proportion of the IOPRD 2004-2006 budget contributed by the Structural Funds rested on the same criteria as those employed in the pre-accession period when apportioning state budgetary means among regions under Voivodeship Contracts. These were:

  • Demographic criterion, based on the assumption that Poland as a whole met the criterion of problem area under Objective 1 of Union regional policy. Hence, 80% of EU support for IOPRD was distributed in proportion to the population number of voivodeships (NUTS 2).
  • Socio-economic development criterion, given the wide regional differences in per head GDP figures in voivodeships, 10% of EU support for IOPRD was divided in proportion to the population of voivodeships in which the mean per head GDP in the years 1997-1999 was lower than 80% of the national average. These were the voivodeships (NUTS 2) of: Lublin, Podkarpacie, Podlasie, Świętokrzyska Land, and Warmia-Mazuria.
  • Unemployment criterion, given the very high unemployment rates, especially when registered by poviat, 10% of EU support for IOPRD was allocated to poviats (NUTS 4) in which mean unemployment rates in the years 1999-2001 exceeded 150% of the national average. The number of poviat meeting this criterion was 72.
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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2004-2006EFFECTS OF SUPPORT

The proposed allocation of means from the Structural Funds was an indicative one because the ability to absorb them depended on the beneficiaries, who had to satisfy a lot of conditions.

The data on IOPRD implementation show the activity of Polish beneficiaries to have exceeded the financial possibilities of the programme several times. By the end of February 2008:

  • the total value of applications submitted reached 269.3% of the means allocated in the programme.
  • the value of contracts signed with the beneficiaries amounted to ZLS 11.417 billion, or 103.2% of the allocation available. If this level persists, the govermment has decided to cover the surplus from the state budget.
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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2007-2013LEGAL AND ORGANISATIONAL FOUNDATIONS

The programming period 2007-2013 is the first „full” financial perspective of the European Union in which Poland participates as a Member State. What adds importance to this period is the fact that Poland is the biggest beneficiary of European cohesion policy.

The basis for the preparation of national strategic documents for the new programming period was provided by decisions and changes made in the EU forum. Hence the work on the National Development Plan, 2007-2013 that started in February 2004 was completed in November 2006 with the adoption of:

  • National Development Strategy 2007-2015 (NDS 2007-2015) – a master document defining the objectives and priorities of Poland’s development policy, and
  • National Cohesion Strategy/National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013 (NCS/NSRF 2007-2013) – a national strategic document describing the implementation of EU cohesion policy in Poland.

The preparation of the new system of national absorption of EU cohesion policy in Poland made it necessary to introduce a new Principles of Development Policy Act of 6 December 2006, which, however, like the preceding act, was passed by the Parliament only after majority of strategic and programming documents for the period 2007-2013 had been arranged with the European Commission.

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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2007-2013OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE

The implementation of EU cohesion policy in Poland rests on NCS/NSRF 2007-2013. This is a national document prepared in accordance with the assumption of NDS 2007-2015, National Reform Programme 2005-2008, and the legislative package of the European Communities. The priorities include (National Cohesion Strategy…, 2006):

  • improving the quality and operation of the institution of partnership and expansion of mechanisms of partnership;
  • improving the quality of human capital and enhancing social cohesion;
  • building and modernising technical and social infrastructure crucial for an increase in Poland’s competitiveness;
  • improving the competitiveness and innovativeness of enterprises, especially those of the high value-added manufacturing sector and the service sector;
  • boosting the competitiveness of Polish regions and counteracting their social economic and spatial marginalisation; and
  • levelling out of growth chances and supporting structural changes in rural areas.
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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2007-2013BUDGET

The total NCS/NSRF 2007-2013 budget will amount to about EUR 85.5 billion, with mean spending of EUR 12.2. billion per year, i.e. at twice the level of 2004-2006.

The contribution of Community resources will amount to EUR 67.3 billion, or 85% of public resources and 78.6% of the total budget; this means an increase by more than 10 percentage points from the previous financial perspective.

Measures taken under NCS/NSRF 2007-2013 will largely be those financed by Objective 1 of EU cohesion policy – CONVERGENCE (98.8% of Union support).

Measures taken under Objective 3 – EUROPEAN TERRITORIAL CO-OPERATION – are supplementary in nature owing to their limited budget (EUR 557.7 million)from EU means.

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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2007-2013IMPLEMENTATION INSTRUMENTS

Measures taken under the CONVERGENCE Objective 1 of the NCS/NSRF 2007-2013 cohesion policy will rest on five Operational Programmes (OPs) and 16 Regional Operational Programmes (ROPs).

Taking into consideration the fact that the planned intervention is regional not only in the ROPs, but also in the Operional Programmes, including the entire OP Development of Eastern Poland, it can concluded that in the financial perspective 2007-2013 intra-regional policy conducted by suitably empowered voivodeships comes to the fore in Poland.

The structure of resource allocation by programme looks as follows:

  • OP Infrastructure and Environment (OP-I&E)
  • EUR 27.8 billion from Community resources, i.e. 41.3% of total support
  • Regional Operational Programmes (ROPs)
  • EUR 15.9 billion from Community resources, i.e. 23.8%
  • OP Human Capital (OP-HP)
  • EUR 9.7 billion from Community resources, i.e. 14.4%
  • OP Innovate Economy (OP-IEc)
  • EUR 8.3 billion from Community resources, i.e. 12.3%
  • OP Development of Eastern Poland (OP-DEP)
  • EUR 2.3 billion from Community resources, i.e. 3.4%
  • OP Technical Assistance (OP-TA)
  • EUR 0,5 billion, from Community resources, i.e. 0.8%
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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2007-2013IMPLEMENTATION INSTRUMENTS

Measures taken under THE EUROPEAN TERRITORIAL CO-OPERATION OBJECTIVE 3 of the NCS/NSRF 2007-2013 cohesion policy will rest on two Territorial Co-operation Programmes.

The structure of resource allocation by programme looks as follows:

  • Cross-border co-operation programme:
  • EUR 438.5 million from Community resources, i.e. 78.6% of the total allocation
  • 1. Poland-Germany (West-Pomeranian – Meklenburgia) – EUR 50 million
  • 2. Poland-Germany (Lubuska Land - Branderburg) – EUR 50 million
  • 3. Poland-German (Lubuska Land and Lower Silesia – Saxony) – EUR 70.1 million
  • 4. Poland-Czech Republic – EUR 115.8 million
  • 5. Poland-Slovakia – EUR 85.9 million
  • 6. Poland-Lithuania – EUR 41.7 million
  • 7. Southern Baltic – EUR 25 million
  • Transnational co-opertion programme:
  • EUR 119.2 million from Community resources, i.e. 21.4% of the total allocation
  • 1. Baltic Sea Region – EUR 47.7 million
  • 2. East-Central Region – EUR 71.5 million
  • Additionally, support is foreseen for ventures under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. The anticipated amount of EUR 173.3 million will assist Poland in the participation in two programmes: Poland-Belarus-Ukraine and Poland-Kaliningrad Province of the Russian Federation.
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POLISH REGIONAL POLICY 2007-2013IMPLEMENTATION INSTRUMENTS

The chief support of regional policy measures taken in Poland in the years 2007-2013 will come through the implementation of Regional Operational Programmes, which have replaced the IPORD in the new financial perspective.

This decision is an important step towards decentralisation of intra-regional policy and transferring greater powers, including resources, to the level of self-governing regions.

The distribution of Community resources made by the government under the Regional Operational Programmes rested on the same criteria as those employed in the IOPRD 2004-2006.

summing up
SUMMING UP

The presented changes in Polish regional policy after the country’s accession to the European Union clearly show that solutions adopted for domestic use conform to the principles and directives in the European Union in this respect.

One can even claim that Poland regional policy has been subordinated to EU inter-regional policy. This process, however, is in the interest of Poland, since the means that the country has a chance of obtaining from the EU budget over the year 2007-2013 correspond to three-fourths of the Marshall Plan know from the recent history of Europe.

Moreover, the adoption of organisational solutions and thematically oriented assistance makes Polish regional policy more efficient and allows its support to be extended to include not only the traditionally dominant remediation of infrastructural deficiencies, but also modern factors of development, like human capital, social capital, innovativeness, etc.

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Paweł ChurskiInstitute of Socio-Economic Geography and Spatial Management, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland. e-mail: chur@amu.edu.plhttp://www.churski.pl

CHANGES IN POLISH REGIONAL POLICY AFTER THE ACCESSION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION

EUROPEAN DETERMINANTS – DOMESTIC CONSEQUENCES

Thank you for your attention !