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Poland - Can Regional Policy Meet the Challenge of Regional Problems?

Poland - Can Regional Policy Meet the Challenge of Regional Problems? In the first rush of postcommunist transformation there was little governmental enthusiasm in Poland for anything as ‘activist’ as regional policy. But in 1999, after almost 10 years of neglect, regional policy received a fresh impetus with reforms to decentralize state administration. With over two years’ experience of the new system it is becoming possible to identify some of the major issues and challenges facing Polish regional policy as the political elite makes final preparations for EU entry. With that accession in mind we draw, in this paper, on a largely Polish discussion of regional problems and policy to tease out and comment on some of the pressing regional development issues for the period ahead. After reviewing some of the traditional fault lines in Polish economic space we trace the evolution of regional policy leading to the decentralizing reforms of 1999. Early experience of the new system suggests that policy developments, particularly those connected with capacity to shape and implement regional policy, lag behind institutional changes. The gap between policy and institutions underpins the danger that weaker regions - especially, in Poland’s case, in the east of the country - may not be able to reap EU membership advantages to the same extent as stronger and better prepared regions. The fear that EU entry will exacerbate regional differences should not be too readily dismissed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Urban and Regional Studies SAGE

Poland - Can Regional Policy Meet the Challenge of Regional Problems?

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References (51)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0969-7764
eISSN
1461-7145
DOI
10.1177/096977640200900305
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the first rush of postcommunist transformation there was little governmental enthusiasm in Poland for anything as ‘activist’ as regional policy. But in 1999, after almost 10 years of neglect, regional policy received a fresh impetus with reforms to decentralize state administration. With over two years’ experience of the new system it is becoming possible to identify some of the major issues and challenges facing Polish regional policy as the political elite makes final preparations for EU entry. With that accession in mind we draw, in this paper, on a largely Polish discussion of regional problems and policy to tease out and comment on some of the pressing regional development issues for the period ahead. After reviewing some of the traditional fault lines in Polish economic space we trace the evolution of regional policy leading to the decentralizing reforms of 1999. Early experience of the new system suggests that policy developments, particularly those connected with capacity to shape and implement regional policy, lag behind institutional changes. The gap between policy and institutions underpins the danger that weaker regions - especially, in Poland’s case, in the east of the country - may not be able to reap EU membership advantages to the same extent as stronger and better prepared regions. The fear that EU entry will exacerbate regional differences should not be too readily dismissed.

Journal

European Urban and Regional StudiesSAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2002

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