In the paper, we calculate Okun’s coefficients in the regions of Poland. We compare the coefficients estimated for each region separately with the calculations obtained from seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) models. The results reveal that the latter method gives better estimates, because shocks in output are highly correlated across regions. Then, we consider the question concerning the existence of macroeconomic “clubs” among Polish regions. Two such clubs are found: the northwest of Poland and the eastern border region. Finally, some conclusions concerning economic policy preventing unemployment are drawn.
The aim of the article is to describe the phenomenon of non-partisanship of local governments in large Polish cities. It is a report from a research conducted in Wroclaw, Gdynia and Katowice. The article contains a description of typical justifications of non-partisanship, an identification of differences between partisan and non-partisan city councillors and a description of quasi-partisan organizations functioning as political support for non-partisan mayors. The results of the research confirm the existence of a specific category of local activists consistently rejecting party politics and very often having no political ambitions concerning higher levels of government; this category is typical for quasi-partisan organizations. The research demonstrates that non-partisanship can be a means of institutionalization of a particular manner of understanding and making politics. One of the final conclusions is that the problems of partisanship and non-partisanship at the local level are derivatives of a vague relationship between public administration and politics at the local level.
Regions can get involved in international-relations activity defined as paradiplomacy. It is similar to state diplomacy as it is subject to its law and policy and uses similar tools such as diplomatic protocol, but is not pursued by professional diplomats. Regional paradiplomacy needs to be analysed as a source of new international relationships. Consequently, regions should be perceived as new actors in international relations. The article focuses on the paradiplomacy of Polish regions (voivodships, or województwa) and Croatian counties (Hrvatske županije). The case study discusses the cooperation between the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship and the Split-Dalmatia County.
The aim of the French territorial reform from December 2010 was to change the structure of the French local political and administrative system thanks to institutional solutions that would strengthen the biggest agglomerations and lead to their progressive metropolization. The announced changes were meant to adjust the model of territorial organization to the requirements of contemporary economy and to enhance national economic growth of the country in stagnation. The introduction in the law of metropolises as new local-government territorial units that took over the most important competences of municipalities and departments was meant as a “territorial revolution”. Unfortunately, it failed. Meanwhile, the regulations that would make it possible to create a rather loose form of interterritorial cooperation, a so-called Metropolitan Pole, that were inserted into the project at the last moment, gave results unexpected by the legislator. This situation shows the growing importance of flexible solutions regarding competences and territory, solutions that use multilevel governance as an effective tool for inter-territorial management in the situation of inertia of the classical territorial structure and obstacles to its reform.
Whose is the city? This question only superficially refers to the past when at least some cities were in fact law-making, autonomous communities of their citizens. Unlike in the past, the contemporary city is a random collection of individuals gathered in a space with no clear boundaries, who in their majority have a weak sense of identification with the place of their residence, whether longer or shorter. The residents of such a city are not citizens but merely users of space which has become a commodity. Taking Warsaw as an example, the paper shows the process of selling out the city space, which is driven by globalisation and metropolisation processes. The consequence of this is privatisation and fragmentation of space, leading to the evaporation of public space in the city.
The aim of the research was to evaluate disproportions in Polish local governments’ income and their connection with the level of economic development of voivodeships. The basis of this evaluation was an analysis including the income of governments at a voivodeship, district and commune levels in 16 voivodeships in the years 2002–2006. In the initial stage of the research, a hypothesis was made that in the voivodeships that are at a higher level of economic development the income of local governments is also higher. The changes in law introduced on l January 2004 caused an increase of local governments’ income. The income increased at the fastest pace in the most developed regions, thus contributing to the deepening of development disproportions between voivodeships in Poland. These differences were only partially decreased by subventions from the state budget.
Creditworthiness, similar to the ability of generating profit and efficient disposal of financial resources, is one of the basic elements of local governments’ financial potential, since it enables gaining additional funds for investment purposes. However, the possibility of obtaining credit is limited not only by law regulations, but also by economic restraints, which determine creditworthiness. Each time, before deciding about incurring debts or about financial involvement, banks as well as local governments themselves should analyze thoroughly the current and future budgets in respect of credit facilities.
The article analyzes the problem of delays in the preparation of local spatial development plans in Polish communes. Data from the annual survey sent to local governments and carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Statistics Poland were used. On this basis, the categories of communes in which there is highly possible to identify occurring of planning works prolongation (referred to in the article as delays in drawing up plans), as well as its reasons, were identified. No territorial differentiation in this scope was found. The basic differentiation is related to the population of communes, i.e. the larger the commune in this respect, the greater the delays are. The interviews obtained from 16 communes (at 68 over 50,000 inhabitants, where the highest number of delays in preparing plans was identified) show that the main reasons for delays include problems related to public consultations and arrangements of draft plans, changing legal regulations, and staff shortages in commune offices. The article shows how these issues are related to the broader problems of the Polish spatial planning system. Further research directions were also proposed.
The article describes the perceived burden of transaction costs in externalising three local services in Poland – transport, care services and water and sewage services. The tool for interpreting the results of the empirical study is the concept of transaction costs concerning the difficulties of monitoring services. The article poses questions about which of the analysed monitoring costs are perceived by local government officials as more painful and how this perception differs between the organisational forms of public service provision. The study found that contracts with a public agent are perceived as more expensive than contracts with a private agent. Administrative agreements and purchases from other local governments are important tools for providing services in Poland; they are used to adjust the structure used to provide the service to the size of the market and the resources needed to provide a given service. The effective monitoring of these contracts is a crucial element in building the quality of governance in Poland.
The article presents the classification of municipalities in Poland, divided into urbanised and non-urbanised based on their spatial dimensions. The spatial distribution of urbanised municipalities and their basic characteristics are discussed. The classification was performed using the k-means clustering algorithm on the spatial data from Corine Land Cover databases. The comparison of the administrative and land-use driven classification of municipalities in Poland indicates that the widest differences occur between the functional areas of cities and along dynamically developing transport routes, when identification of urbanised areas in terms of land use is taken into consideration.
The paper focuses on the transformation of human capital in the Silesia province and the formation process of the creative class. In the first part are described some theoretical assumption of human capital and creative class, and the history and specifics of the most important social groups in Silesia. In the second part the authors cite the main results of their research conducted in 2010–2011. In interviews, entrepreneurs, experts and policy makers recognized the existence of regional professionals and active individuals who operated at the level of enterprises and local communities. This confirms the assumption of the enclave nature of the formation process of the creative class in Silesia.
Polish health spa are that category of communes whose development do not depend on the inhabitants? activities but on central solutions. The lack of comprehensive solutions that would control legal and financial basics of functioning and development of health spa causes the spa to be subject to one-sided economic development and one-sector employment. The spa must fulfil the tasks, unknown to other communes, connected with maintenance and development of infrastructure of health resorts and their neighbouring areas. The lack for finances to the development of health spa, many tax exemptions and tax relief often cause the communes to allocate their own inhabitants? means to the maintenance of health spa; means intended for the realization of their own statutory tasks. The lack of law about health resorts causes increase financial problems of this category of spa, rising unemployment and degradation of health resort infrastructure.
The aim of the study is to examine the impact of the amendment to the Municipal Self-Government Act (hereinafter: MSGA; Journal of Laws 2018, item 994) on the implementation of participatory budgeting (PB) in 2019 and 2020 in Polish voivodship cities. Using the desk research method, 36 PB regulations and over 3.4 thousand projects were selected for implementation in 10 categories: 1) sports (investment and other), 2) leisure and recreation (investment and other), 3) construction or modernisation of sidewalks, 4) construction or modernisation of streets, 5) pedestrian walkways, 6) parking lots, 7) lighting, 8) city bicycles (bicycle infrastructure), 9) modernisation of buildings, and 10) other (e.g. educational, cultural, training). Detailed studies were carried on the influence of legislative changes on: 1) financial mechanisms; 2) principles and organisation of the budgeting process; 3) generic structure of projects; 4) participatory budgeting model. In order to verify the results obtained, changes in the PB regulations not resulting from the MSGA provisions were additionally analysed. It was shown that the amendment to the Act had a significant impact on the implementation of PB in all the analysed cities. The changes mainly concerned the financial and formal-organisational aspects of participatory budgeting process. The most crucial ones include: increase in the size of the overall subsidies (in 15 cities), modification of the distribution of the financial means (9), introduction of letters of support at the stage of project submission (7) and appeal procedure (9). Among the “non-statutory” activities, the abolition of age limits in the remaining 7 cities should be mentioned. These activities brought positive effects on the increase in turnout (15), the number of projects selected for implementation (12) and their average value (13). On the other hand, the changes in MSGA did not affect the generic structure of the projects (in both years, in 10 cities the category “leisure and recreation” prevailed, and 1149 projects from this category were selected for implementation). The final unification of the PB implementation model in Polish voivodship cities has been completed. Finally, three modes of PB implementation according to the new rules were indicated: financial, procedural and combined.
The aim of the work is presenting strong points and chances of creative industries in Wroclaw based on which the city could build its position in the country. The analysis was prepared based on statistical data, literature and information from representatives of Wroclaw’ cultural circles. Conclusions were aggregated in the last part of the article using the SWOT analysis. Some
of them are presented below:
• There are not big publishers in Wroclaw, which could be competitive with the most important ones in the country;
• The film industry in Wroclaw has been moving to the new phase of development after a long inertia;
• The music industry focuses on classical music;
• There is the same threat for radio and television: concentration of the most important television stations in Warsaw, and in the case of radio stations – in Warsaw and Kraków;
• The position of entities preserving national heritage has improved over the last years.
The paper is an attempt to analyze the reform of the local government electoral system introduced by the Act of January 11, 2018. The authors of the study describe the most important changes from the point of view of the citizens mentioned in the title of the act as well as of the institutions involved. Among the most important changes the authors list those related to passive voting right, seat allocation method and the structure of constituencies. Because of the lack of an appropriate time perspective, the authors limit themselves to legal and political analysis, pointing only to their possible consequences.
The article discusses the functions of the Committee of the Regions with respect to the legislative process and politics of the European Union, as well as to the politics of the Member States. The main assumption of the analysis, based on the deductive method, is that because of the current political situation in Europe, in addition to being a body giving opinions on the law, the Committee of the Regions should have a greater, fundamental role in shaping the future directions of development for the entire European Union. The discussion is set in the context of fiscal federalism theory and one of its elements assuming that a federal structure has a role in mitigating conflicts, as well as referring to the hybrid nature of the contemporary models of development. It is underpinned by the relevant literature, analyses commissioned by the European Commission, materials of the Committee of the Regions, findings of earlier studies, and the so-called impact reports of the Committee of the Regions published from 2014 to 2017.
The paper deals with the issue of filling seats without voting in elections to councils in municipalities with up to 20,000 inhabitants. In comparison to the local elections held in 2014, the number of such cases increased by 77% in the 2018 elections. It appears that the applicable election law, in particular Article 418 § 1 (the division of municipalities into single-seat constituencies), Article 434 § 1 and 2 (the election organisation rules applicable when the number of candidates equals the number of available seats), and Article 478 § 2 (the procedure for proposing candidates for the position of municipal leader or town mayor) of the Electoral Code, combined with the conditions determining local electoral competition, may facilitate the occurrence of the phenomenon of non-competitive elections that results, among other things, in low voter turnout.
Tourism is often treated as a solution for all development problems of every Polish local government. However, even the most popular tourism resorts do not always take the economic advantage of it. The economic impact of tourism is often lower that it could have been expected. The case study given in the article is Mikolajki – the most popular tourism resort in Mazury region, but very common as far as local government’s revenues are concerned. Why? This article gives at least a partial response for the question.
The article presents the factors influencing the choice of local transport delivery modes in Poland. It is the first quantitative study conducted on a representative sample of municipalities since the 1990s, and it concerns three service delivery modes: contracting-out, cooperation, and corporatization. Most local governments do not invest their own resources to deliver local transport, but rather act as a private market supply regulator and contract the service out to private enterprises. Some of them act based on functional connections within metropolitan areas, joining forces with other local governments. More affluent and densely populated cities opt for corporatization, which gives them greater political control over the delivery process. The presented results are useful for decision-makers who have to select the mode of local transport service provision, as they characterize the municipalities which, in 2017, chose one of the three analyzed modes.
The aim of the article is to present the local government in Georgia. Among post-Soviet, non-EU states, Georgia may be praised for the greatest progress in reforming local and regional authorities. It does not mean, however, that the decentralisation process is over. It has been blocked mainly by the lack of own incomes of local governments and limitations of a political nature. In order to assess the state of development of local government in Georgia, the author has made a review of legislation and an analysis of press releases, statistical data and reports of experts. He also used a case study of the former mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava.
The Act of 11 January 2018 amending certain acts in order to increase participation of citizens in the process of selecting, functioning and controlling certain public bodies (Journal of Laws 2018, item 130) obliged all local government units to establish a citizens’ resolution initiative and to regulate the basic procedures related to the preparation and submission of applications by a resolution of their law-making body. The article analyses the implementation activities undertaken in cities with county rights. It indicates that before the entry into force of the Act, 55 cities out of 66 had already implemented such an arrangement, and, in their case, the Act helped unify the procedures. The article also points out that some cities did not implement these regulations before the beginning of the 8th term of office of local governments, and in several cases there were problems with the implementation, which prevented citizens from exercising their resolution initiative. The article presents the legal status as of 31 December 2019.
Financial self-sufficiency of the local government units, which means an ability to design their own financial policy in accordance with the applicable law, is one of the preconditions for sustainable local development. Metropolises – the largest towns with county (poviat) rights – because of their high demographic and economic potential are characterised by a high average level of financial self-sufficiency. Various processes and phenomena, including the economic crisis and the phenomenon of suburbanisation, affect the level of financial self-sufficiency of the largest cities. The main aim of the article is to assess the level of financial self-sufficiency of the metropolises in Poland in 2007-2015. The study was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, the analysis was based on the development of the basic indicators of financial self-sufficiency of the metropolises, while in the second stage of the research, a summary assessment of the financial self-sufficiency of the metropolises was conducted using the TOPSIS method. The empirical basis of the study was provided by the data from the Central Statistical Office database (Local Data Bank).
Uptade from 2.03.2021: Parts of this article were subsequently used in the following publication: Swianiewicz, P., & Chelstowska, K. (2015). Neighbourhood Council as a Path of Political Career Development in Poland. Polish Sociological Review, (190), 223.
On the basis of data from six Polish cities, the authors discuss the role of sub-municipal (neighbourhood, city district) councils as paths to political career in big Polish cities. The analysis of social composition of neighbourhood councils is based on Putnam’s law of increasing disproportionality, while various theoretical concepts inform the division of the selection process into three stages: self-selection, pre-selection (top-down selection), and bottom-up selection. Neighbourhood councils are considered as incubators and respirators of political career.
The article focuses on the discussion over attempts to re-interpret causes and effects of the state of permanent socio-economic under-development of peripheral regions in Europe invoking Italian Mezzogiorno as a case. Mezzogiorno widely held to be a monolith paradigm of unsuccessful modernization, is being cognitively deconstructed in the face of a two-way running stream of analyses and enunciations. Ideologically imbued political discourse originating in the separatist North reinforces and emphasizes an image of South as a lawless consumer of the Italian state’s resources produced in the North. As a response arises an equally ideologically motivated discourse of academic and cultural elites of the South, whose aims to produce a new, positive image of the South as a space alternative to northern egoism and materialism, a space bridging Europe and the rest of non-Atlantic world. In this context, a discourse of social sciences ever stronger marks its presence; considering conditions of socio-economic development of peripheral regions it forfeits a unidimensional neoliberal approach and instead turns to multidimensional analyses of institutional environment as a primary source of socio-economic dynamics. The debate surrounding Italian Mezzogiorno may constitute at the same time a useful vantage point for a debate over the Polish model of development, especially with regard to peripheral and backward regions in Poland.
The article attempts to assess the development policy of the self-government authorities of Pomorskie region. Since the third level of territorial self-government has been established upon the state reform of territorial administration, one may ask how the intra-regional policy develops in Poland. The self-government of the region has been bound by the law to draw up a document specifying the trends of the region development a strategy of the region. The strategy provisions constitute a good point of reference for the assessment of the undertakings within the development policy taken on by the regional authorities. The assessment of the development policy in the years 1999-2004 corresponds to the first term of office and a half of the term of office of the regional authorities elected during an election. The article covers many aspects and concentrates on the description of the selected undertakings with the aim to create a regional innovation system, to support medium and small business, to create regional capital market, to develop farming and operation of the special economic zones. The author makes an attempt to show that the regional self-government, giving as an example the Pomorskie region self-government, tries to create its own development policy in compliance with the strategy in the circumstances of stiff standards imposed by the central authorities.
A low level of social activity in all dimensions is a characteristic feature of Poland. However, some enclaves of social activity do exist: there are fields of social life in which Poles are more active and devote more spare time to them; we can also distinguish active social groups. The article is an attempt to analyze social activity of Lodz citizens in the following dimensions: the participation in community activities and the participation in non-governmental organizations. The authors try to indicate the level of social activity of Lodz residents and the correlates of the analyzed dimensions of civic activity. Sex, age, profession and income are analyzed as independent variables.
A high ranking position of Lower Silesia among Polish voivodeships based on its competitiveness, attractiveness for investors and accessibility as well as on its innovative potential is a good starting point for achieving the goals of the Renewed Lisbon Strategy as well as for making it a Region of Knowledge. Innovativeness and attractiveness for investors however are a dynamic status which a region has to compete for in an incessant rivalry with the best ones involving institutional and social partners. The Structural Funds – aptly streamed to and implemented – are only some efficient tools and not a goal itself. An apt profiting by the strong position of Wroclaw agglomeration as well as by experience of Wroclaw Technical University being a local leader of innovation, combined with wider than up till now learning from the experience of Lower Silesia’s partner regions and building an attractive offer for investors in high tech and services will make it possible to achieve final goals indicated in strategies.
After 10 years of discussions about the need to empower the metropolitan areas in Poland, finally a metropolitan union law for the Śląskie Voivodeship [Silesian region] has been adopted. Defining two million people as a population level required for the creation of the metropolitan union confirmed that the legislator’s intention was to establish the first metropolitan union in Poland specifically in the Silesian conurbation due to its unique territorial structure. The establishment of the Upper Silesian and Zagłębie Metropolis [Górnośląsko-Zagłębiowska Metropolia] should be seen as an important social experiment and significant innovation in the Polish local – government system. The large territorial delimitation of the metropolitan union with 41 local units is a courageous step that proves a high level of mobilisation and strong involvement of Silesian local decision makers. The specific decision-making procedure based on double majority voting should entourage dialogue between the large and small member cities of the metropolitan union. The generally formulated competences of the metropolitan union allow considerable freedom to the authorities in prioritising tasks and projects. The author’s analyses the institutional architecture of the first Polish metropolitan union, which is a hybrid organisation combining an inter-municipal association and a local government unit, from the perspective of turning the Upper Silesian metropolitan area into an efficient system of metropolitan governance.