The aim of the research was to identify and measure the level of economic freedom across the EU at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. Special attention was paid to the changes in (i.e. liberalization of) the Polish economy. The basis of the comparative analysis between the 25 EU countries (excluding Malta and Cyprus) was provided by data acquired from the annual economic freedom study conducted by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal in the years 1996–2008. The overall economic freedom index consisted of the average from marks for 10 different features – more detailed criteria. The average index acquired from all 10 features was the basis of a country’s mark for the level of liberalism (economic freedom) or statism. The proposed methodological approach, in which the two main currents of statism and liberalism are exposed, was especially useful in evaluating the processes occurring in the Polish economy. The results of the research show that, in the group of 15 countries of the “old” EU, 10 can be considered more liberal. This group includes, as the most liberal EU state of all, Ireland. The second group is formed of 5 countries apparently less liberal, i.e. Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Greece. Poland is found to be the most statist country anywhere in the EU, notwithstanding its status (along with the Czech Republic and Estonia) as one of the three leaders of liberalism in the first years of transformation. In this situation it is hard to identify the Polish economy with advanced or even excessive liberalism. It is – according to the present standards – a rather state-controlled economy, albeit with certain but scarce elements of liberalism. The research shows that the economic crisis which occurred from mid 2007 cannot be identified only with the liberal economy, even though the implemented methods of dealing with the crisis seem to point to such a source. Statist solutions prevail here, but some liberal methods appear as well. A solution to this dilemma can only be anticipated after several years have passed.
The purpose of this article is to define the phenomenon of regionalism from the sociological perspective. Regionalism as such appeared in Europe around the mid-nineteenth century, and since then has become an object of scientific research. The article proposes an integral definition of regionalism and describes its four dimensions: identity, institutions, ideology and practice. It also identifies the cultural, economic and political types of regionalism and outlines the process of shaping regionalism in the long-term perspective. The article describes the influence of the nation state on the evolution of regionalism and analyses the relationship between regionalism and processes of state decentralisation. It also describes mutual relations of the European Union and its policies with regionalism, which is being transformed due to globalisation.
In this paper I try to outline 3 theses: 1) In the experiences of the XX century the model of socially minded regional policy was the dominating phenomenon. 2) In the experiences of XXI century the model of globally minded regional policy will be the dominating phenomenon. 3) The transformation from the old to the new model is taking place in the great Sturm und Drang Periode of the years 1980–2020. The shift from the old to the new model of regional policy is firmly linked to the parallel transformation of the cohesion policies designed and implemented by the European Union. This is the shift from mechanically to organically minded cohesion policies.
The tourism sector plays an important role in regional economies. Its growth could become a driver of socio-economic development of different areas in Poland. The increasing number of visiting tourists has a positive impact on the labour market, and it stimulates entrepreneurship in other regions’ service sectors. Even though some Polish regions have great potential, there persist some substantial barriers to development of tourism: poor state of technical infrastructure, especially transport, significant dispersion of the sector, lack of tourism products, and poor promotion. As no separate policy dedicated to tourism is provided at the European Union level, the development of this sector can be financed from cohesion policy funds. The paper focuses on the use of EU funds for the development of tourism in the Warmia-Mazury region. The results of the analysis show a positive – albeit limited – impact of implemented projects on tourist attractiveness and on competitiveness of tourism sector firms. The effectiveness of the projects is limited due to low interest in cooperation in creating tourism products and to over-investment effects in some projects.
Europe has no language which would be its symbol of identity, which would emotionally integrate its citizens. According to the official stance of the European Union the linguistic symbol of its identity is its multilingualism, which is confirmed by the fact that it has 23 official languages. The official multilingualism causes some problems connected with translation and interpretation. (For simultaneous translation from all 23 to all other 23 official languages theoretically as many as 506 interpreters are needed). There are techniques reducing this number, but at the expense of time and quality of interpretation). For pragmatic reasons EU institutions increasingly use English alone in their internal activity and in their contacts with member states and other institutions, thus de facto promoting English as the contact language of the EU. English, however, is not a specifically European lingua franca. The role of English as lingua franca in Europe is growing, but as English is the global lingua franca and the spread of English is a sign of globalisation, English cannot at the same time unite Europe and separate it from the rest of the world. Even more so that there is political opposition to the growing role of English in Europe. Therefore the link between language and identity in Europe consists not in possessing a single language (or languages) as its symbol of identity and centre of loyalty and as an instrument of internal communication and external separation. It consists in the fact that the use of English and other contact languages and the mechanism of interpretation and translation in the EU enable circulation of information and ideas which eventually may contribute to the creation (strengthening?) of the sense of European identity.
The article is devoted to a critical discussion of several widely accepted principles of regional development and regional policies. It is argued that the in the current development paradigm it is impossible to achieve regional convergence, which should lead to a deep change in understanding the very assumptions of the Cohesion policy of the EU. It is indicated that external impulses do not lead to an accelerated growth in lagging regions, which is especially true in the case of infrastructural projects, especially those which are related to incidental events, like expositions or sport championships. One of the most broadly used model for an ex ante evaluation – the HERMIN model – is also discussed.
The article discusses the results of empirical research conducted in ca 50 municipalities located in four Polish regions. The authors conduct desk research of official documents, questionnaires and in-depth interviews with local government staff and politicians, and present differences and similarities in opinions on various Operational Programmes. The article discusses all stages of applying for EU grants: from selection of an Operational Porgramme to the final decision of the Managing Authority on the list of selected projects. It refers to issues arising from formal procedures, the passionate character of the competition for funds in individual Operating Programmes, as well as informal mechanisms of influence on the outcome of the selection processes. Unlike earlier research, the article discusses the changes in the Programmes implemented within the 2004-2006 and 2007-2013 perspectives.
The article focuses on objective predictors of voting behaviour in the EU referendum and confronts them with the actual outcomes of the referendum. Major dependent variable is support for EU entry on a county (powiat) level. The aggregate data for counties show territorial distribution of support. The differences between counties are analyzed in terms of employment in agriculture, historic regions, and unemployment. Analysis reveals an absolute dominance of employment in agriculture in explaining territorial differences in EU support. Nevertheless, historic regions preserve their significance, and, to a lesser degree, unemployment rate.
The paper attempts to evaluate the impact that the projects co-financed by European funds within the Cohesion Policy in the programming period 2004?2006 had on the competitiveness of large Polish cities. In the first part of the paper, we define competitiveness of cities and regions and operationalize it with indicators used in further analysis. Our evaluation is based on different quantitative methods of measuring correlations between competitiveness of cities and Cohesion Policy expenditures, which enables us to triangulate the results. The outcome is a set of hypothetical cause-effects relationships between public intervention and competitive position of cities. For their verification we employ qualitative case studies (See Report EUROREG 2010 and the articles by Marek Kozak and Andrzej Miszczuk in this issue).
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.
One of the elements of the implementation of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is completion of the flagship projects. The article presents the results of a study carried out with the participation of the coordinators of the flagship project partners in the Baltic Sea region. The study of the flagship projects was aimed at analysing the implementation of the EUSBSR through these projects and at complementing the quantitative results. As a result of the research, specific results and recommendations for actors affecting the operation of the EUSBSR are presented in the conclusions.
Regional and local authorities today face a twofold challenge of delivering locally responsive policies in accordance with EU development goals. For this reason they need to align their development strategies with European guidelines. This paper determines the drivers and hindering factors behind the effective involvement of local and regional authorities in drafting and implementing EU policies with territorial impact. It evaluates several examples of multi-level governance operating in the institutional context of the EU and identifies its most important weaknesses such as lack of regional administrative capacities; insufficient Europeanization of subnational elites
and inadequate communication between EU, national and regional levels.
An Economic and Monetary Union is the next stage of European integration. The membership in the euro zone should result in strengthening the safety and stability of the national economy. Therefore, the new member countries ought to aspire to accession, meeting in advance the Maastricht convergence criteria. The paper presents the assessment of the nominal convergence of new EU members (general government deficit and general public debt related to GDP, annual average inflation rates, long-term interest rates) in 2004–2009.
The paper analyzes statistical relationships between the inflow of EU financial resources to Polish territorial units (voivodeships, NUTS3 and poviats) and the pace of their economic growth. Correlation analysis reveals that the less developed units which enjoyed relatively more massive inflows per capita grew more slowly than the better developed ones – the correlation coefficients are negative (for the voivodeships) or close to zero (for NUTS3 and poviats). This suggests that until now, the EU funds have led to a stronger demand effect than the supply effect in the Polish economy. It may therefore be claimed that in the next programming period 2014–2020, more funds received from the EU should be devoted to the support of economic development than to the improvement of living conditions.
This article investigates the theoretical background (definition, function, types) as well as practice of evaluation activities in the European Union. The analysis has been led on three levels. The first one is the evaluation use by national administration for the purposes of national public programmes. Second level is the use of evaluation within the EU Institutions (namely European Commission). The last one, is the evaluation of European interventions at the country level. Accent has been put on this last level (the most developed one) that is the practice of structural funds. Author also concludes that despite the evaluation boom in Europe (that has taken place due to the requirements of EU regional policy), the real evaluation utilization and impact on the EU management are poorly recognized. There is a significant gap between number and scale of performed evaluations and the scientific attempts to recognize the real effects and the real utility of evaluation in improving the management of EU programmes and policies.
The paper presents the evaluation of Cohesion Policy impacts on diffusion of development processes from cities to their regional hinterlands. We evaluated two things: a) the indicators illustrating metropolitan and regional concentration of population, enterprises, employers, and local governments revenues, and b) the impact of EU funds on the development of municipalities located in the surroundings of large cities (based on local governments survey results). For the first type of analysis, we delimitated the regional surroundings into two zones: metropolitan area and regional hinterlands (the former was only applicable in case of capital cities of voivodships). The outcome of the analysis in this dimension indicates a lack of any significant impact of Cohesion Policy on agglomeration processes in the analyzed spatial scales. However, the studies in the second dimension allow us to identify the thematic categories of public intervention that have the largest relative impact on spread effects from developing large cities to their regional surroundings.
The aim of this paper is twofold: to demonstrate development challenges of large Polish cities and to assess the extent to which Cohesion Policy in the 2004?2006 programming addresses these issues. The analysis covers different aspects of EU intervention: sums assigned for particular categories, types of beneficiaries as well as types of large cities. The results allow us to formulate the following observations. The thematic structure of the intervention only partially addresses challenges related to contemporary informational economy, which is due to the cities’ relatively low support for innovativeness and their metropolitan functions. In the analyzed period, the bulk of EU Cohesion Policy funds was devoted to the development of basic technical infrastructure (transport and water management), which was the result of huge underdevelopment in these fields in former years. However, EU intervention had some successes: thematic fields were well adapted to types of cities. Furthermore, most funding was allocated to the largest cities because of the strong involvement of their authorities in EU funds projects, while in smaller cities a significant share of the funds was given to large industrial plants.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the effectiveness of raising and spending EU funds by the local government in Lublin in the first period of the Polish accession (2004–2006). The criteria of effectiveness we use are: increase of city competitiveness (attractiveness) and creating conditions for diffusion of development processes into the region. Compared to other Polish cities, Lublin had trouble raising EU funds. Besides, there was no innovative strategic vision of their spending. As a result, EU Cohesion Policy improved Lublin’s competitiveness and contributed to the development of the relations between the city and its region only to a small extent.
Structural funds – instruments of cohesion policy – are aimed to support local and regional development and to speed up regional convergence. For the last few years they have been the main source that enable realization of different activities and investments on local level in Poland. In the light of systematic extension of financial resources provided within structural funds effective absorption of those funds becomes a matter of great importance. Experience of previous implementation period gives some clues on the perspective of use of structural funds provided for Polish regions in 2007–2013 period. The results of previous research showed that effective absorption of pre-accession and structural funds depends on many both material and untouchable factors but the most important for effective absorption is adequate institutional system with procedures of programming, financial management, monitoring, evaluation etc. This paper presents the results of research conducted in 2008. The authors focused on three main areas: experience of 2004–06 period of implementation – identification of successes and barriers of structural funds implementation system, practical use of these experiences to improve institutional system for 2007–13 period and finally priorities of 16 Regional Operational Programmes realized in Polish voivodeships.
Article assesses the administrative capacity of the regional institutions in Poland for implementation of the Integrated Regional Development Operational Programme 2004-2006. Organizational works has been delayed, mainly because of slowing down of the negotiation between Poland and European Commission, lack of required legislative framework and postponement of decisions on central government level. Author presents recommendations for improvement of pace and quality of administrative works in Polish regions. The main conclusion is also importance for general rebuilding of administrative regional framework for future implementation of European funds after 2006. The basic directions for this reform are recommended.
The quality of the delivery system along with theoretical underpinnings, development strategy and country`s institutional system has decisive influence on EU regional policy implementation. Analysis of the management system of the Integrated Regional Development Programme shows that there is more weak than strong points. Main weaknesses can be described as: not transparent, politically sensitive project selection and time consuming procedures, unclear allocation of responsibility, high costs imposed on beneficiaries, low managerial skills, and, finally, conflicting solutions with existing legal distribution of powers between regional government and regional representative of the central government. Implementation effects of 2004-2005 confirm that delivery mechanism fails to meet expectations.
The quality of the delivery system – along with theoretical underpinnings, development strategy and the country’s institutional system – has a decisive influence on EU regional policy implementation. An analysis of the management system of the Integrated Regional Development Programme (IROP) shows that there are definitely more weak than strong points. The main weaknesses include: strong centralisation and ‘red tape’, far exceeding the usual practices in the EU; not transparent, politically sensitive project selection and time-consuming procedures; unclear allocation of responsibility, high costs imposed on beneficiaries, low managerial skills, and, finally, conflicting solutions with existing legal distribution of powers between regional government and regional representative of the central government. Implementation effects of 2004–2005 confirm that the delivery mechanism fails to meet expectations.
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 article discusses the differences in the mayors’ political strength in European countries and the implications of their role in horizontal power relationships for the operation of the local government scene. First, it shows how the role of the mayor is measured, taking into account various institutional settings such as the election system, the scope of competences vis-?-vis the legislative body and possibilities of recall before the end of the term of office. Second, it demonstrates how such dissimilar contexts of the mayor’s political strength impact on several selected aspects of their activity, including the propensity to be formally affiliated with a political party, perception of the mayor’s autonomy in their day-to-day management of the municipality and the possibilities to keep the mandate for several terms in a row.
The paper gives an appraisal of Polish cities in the context of processes and problems observed in cities of highly developed European countries. These last cities, in particular those situated in the hard core of EU, enter a new development stadium. Interconnected by networks of multifarious links, they create an integrated urbanised space of the highest ability to compete in the global economy but lose at the same time the character of relatively closed and spatially distinguished socio-economic systems. The paper, pointing at the processes that lead to this phenomenon, stresses that they are already visible in Poland but not advanced. Poland is a country of a delayed urbanisation and cities the economic base of which is not competitive in Europe. These cities possess a not bad human but rather weak social capital and the urban space is of a low quality. The paper outlines the main challenges Polish cities are facing in the era of European integration and presents also the most frequently discussed visions of XXI century European city described through development goals and strategies.
Integrated forms of planning and managing local development are seen today as essential for implementing a successful development policy. This is emphasized by the high priority of these forms in EU local development approaches. In his analysis, the author contrasts the Polish and the German planning system in order to evaluate the compatibility of the Polish spatial planning system with the requirements of integrated local development planning and management. The analysis concerns the areas defined as having key importance for integrated form of local development, i.e. the organization of planning and participation processes, the role given to planning documents in spatial management, and the availability of operational planning tools. The identified major differences between the two systems lead to the assumption that the Polish planning system hardly sustains integrated forms of planning and managing local development, as it is solely oriented towards regulating spatial development schemes.
European regional support has grown in parallel with European integration. The funds targeted at achieving greater economic and social cohesion and reducing disparities within the EU have more than doubled in relative terms since the end of the 1980. making development policies the second most important policy area in the EU. The majority of the development funds have been earmarked for Objective 1 regions, i.e. regions where GDP per capita is below the 75% of the EU average. However, the European development policies have come under increasing criticism based on two facts: the lack of upward mobility of assisted regions and the absence of regional convergence. This paper assesses, using cross-sectional and panel data analyses, the failure so far of European development policies to fulfil their objective of delivering greater economic and social cohesion by examining how European Structural Fund support is allocated among different development axes in Objective 1 regions. We find that, despite the concentration of development funds on infrastructure and, in less extent on business support, the returns to commitments of these axes are not significant. Support to agriculture has short term positive effects on growth, but these wane quickly, and only investment in education and human capital which only represents about one-eight of the total commitments has medium-term positive and significant returns.
According to its development strategy and currently defined physical planning policy Warsaw should become the European metropolis, with a good quality of life, high culture, a durable physical order and public areas of high standard. These are the goals of the municipal authorities, but a short walk through the downtown shows that they are far from being reached. The obvious way for Warsaw to meet the ambitions of its authorities is through physical planning – transparent, with a high level of a public participation. That is – completely different from how it is now, what can be confirmed by some spectacular examples. If bad governance will be continued, Warsaw may soon become closer to the cities of the Third World, than to the European metropolis.
The privatization of the Center of Contemporary Art (CCA) area in Torun allows us to observe relatively new processes in Polish urban reality. The case shows how private-public partnership and place marketing are constructed and how partners combine spheres of culture and commerce to realize the investment. Private investor, using the cultural arguments, tries to create a shopping mall in the recreation area located next to the historical center of the city. The aim of the paper is to analyze the dynamics of the process of privatization and strategies used to privatize the public space in an attractive district of Torun.
The article discusses the results of empirical research on the competitiveness of municipalities covered by the Natura 2000 network. Authors conducted a correlation analysis of the share of the Natura 2000 sites in the general area of a municipality and the indicators characterizing dimensions of competitiveness and development. Questionnaire surveys were conducted among local governments in Poland. On this basis conclusions on the socio-economic situation of municipalities with a large share of Natura 2000 areas and the impact of this form of conservation for local development were formulated. The article is also an attempt to answer the question whether Natura 2000 actually delivers sustainable development, or simply forces environmental protection without taking into account social and economic needs of local communities.
In the last decades, especially in Europe, a process of the rebirth of national and regional identities of small ethnic groups has been taking place, leading in many cases to a change of language situation and to attempts to stop and even to revert processes of linguistic assimilation. The article presents individual cases of ethnic/regional movements having “language issue” in their programmes, and makes an attempt of a typology of regions and countries according to their language situation and policy. The language question also appears at the European Union level. The EU institutions try to combine the ideological principle of multilingualism (equality of all official languages of the EU members) with pragmatism implying minimizing the number of working languages. At the “civil” level the EU supports the model of multilingualism of the inhabitants as a means to facilitate functioning of the common labour, commodity, service and capital market while maintaining cultural identities of its member states. In individual countries the language policy is competence of national authorities; there are no common binding rules on the territory of the whole EU. As a result, there are differences among countries in their attitudes towards languages of ethnic minorities.