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Search for phrase: "samorząd terytorialny"
Igor Ksenicz

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.

Robert Gawłowski, Adam J. Jarosz

For many years, public participation has been a very popular subject of research and of interest for practitioners. Little attention has been devoted, however, to the issues of formal and organizational tools of managing this process. The paper contains the results of research aimed at creating the concept of participation infrastructure and at measuring its application in 17 Polish cities. For these purposes, the authors develop their own method of examining the practical use of participation tools. Typologies of participation tools are created and cities are classified according to their advancement, basing on the results of the research. The most popular and most willingly used tools are indicated, together with the levels of their implementation.

Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska
The paper describes the effects of the policy of Polish cities concerning climate change. The study uses a questionnaire carried out in all Polish municipalities, and four case studies. The analysis is based on the concept of local knowledge orders. In Polish local government policy, instead of talking of climate change, the officials prefer referring to efficiency in obtaining external funds, savings, or actions meant to raise the quality of life. The term climate change policy is rarely used.
Paweł Swianiewicz
For some time local governments and urban politics have been undergoing significant changes related to the change of the traditional welfare state model. These changes have concerned economic, political and management dimensions. While describing these processes numerous authors refer to the notion of New Public Management. This article discusses three theories which have been created to help in interpretation of on-going processes. New Political Culture theory by T.N. Clark stresses value and economic changes and underlines their implications for changes in styles of local politics. Local governance theory developed mostly by Peter John concentrates on shape of local government institutions. Another T.N. Clark’s theory of the “city as an entertainment machine” focuses on evolving mechanisms of local economic development and their impact on policies adopted by urban governments. The paper formulates questions and initial hypothesis about applicability of these concepts to Polish environment.
Marcin Będzieszak
The aim of this article is to identify the role of fees and user charges in the budgets of large cities (cities with county status) and policies of these entities in this regard. To achieve this goal, the article reviews the research on the importance of fees and user charges in local government finance, and analyses the role of fees and user charges in large cities finances in Poland from 2006 to 2012. The study confirms the global trend observable in different countries, i.e. the increasing importance of revenues from fees and user charges to local government budgets. Secondly, the relative size of revenues from fees and user charges in large cities in Poland are evening out. Thirdly, there are two key areas in terms of service charges: public transport and housing management.
Tomasz Skica, Agnieszka Bem
The article presents the role of territorial units in enterprise stimulation, discusses the factors that encourage local authorities to promote entrepreneurship or discourage them from using supporting instruments. The authors assess the current activity of local governments in the domain and they suggest potential changes in local policy regarding entrepreneurship stimulation. The article points out areas where improvement is possible despite the obstacles due to the existing legal framework
Paweł Swianiewicz, Anna Kurniewicz
The concept of the political cycle was originally formulated with regard to decisions taken at the central level, but it may be also applied to the local level. Most of the previous empirical studies have focused on expenditure (how its size and structure change depending on the electoral cycle). The applicability of the concept to local tax policy has also been studied, although more rarely. In Polish studies of local public finance, the concept of political cycle has so far been rarely used. In this article, the authors check whether the theoretical frame of the political cycle is suitable for interpreting decisions relating to tariffs on local public services. It is empirically tested on tariffs on water and sewage, rents in municipal housing, tickets for local public transport and parking charges. The second research question concerns factors influencing the likelihood of the political cycle in different services. In this respect, the article puts forward four specific hypotheses. The authors have to face a methodological problem: the distinction between the influence of the electoral cycle and of other factors, such as inflation, or the change in the financial situation of local governments, and economic growth rate. The applied quantitative methods refer to panel logistic regression and linear regression models in which the impact of the electoral year is controlled by other variables.
Dominik Sieklucki

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.

Leszek Porębski
The impact of ICT use is an important aspect of studies concerning the transformation of contemporary democracy. The paper presents results of the research project on the development of e-government in Polish self-government institutions, carried out between 2005 and 2012. Websites of all Polish territorial counties as well as all the communes in two voivodships were analyzed within the project. Results of the research indicate that the sophistication of the ICT use grows at both levels of self–government. At the same time significant regional differences in the development of e–government can be observed. Thus, the mode ICT is used by self-government institutions is the additional dimension of digital divide at local level.
Marcin Wiśniewski, Natalia Łukaszewska
The local government plays a huge role in supporting local development. In this paper, the authors present the results of conducted research concerning the impact of selected aspects of financial policy of the local government units on their development on the example of cities affiliated with the Union of Polish Metropolises. Therefore, firstly, they construct a synthetic indicator of local development and use it to assess the relative development of the analyzed cities. Then, they measure the relationship between the level of the cities’ relative development in the years 2007?2012 and the values of major categories of the units’ financial management in those years (per capita), in particular the amount of their debt, total and investment expenses, and expenditures on individual groups of local government tasks.
Janusz Heller, Eliza Farelnik
The aim of our research is to evaluate the level of economic independence and its influence on political system changes in different groups of local government. The research shows that the decisive factor in differentiating economic independence of local governments is the level of urbanization. In urban self-government, its own revenues surpass 50% and sometimes even 60%, whereas in rural areas (defined as rural communes and land districts) they reach about 30%. Such marked differences can cause local governments to develop in two structurally different directions.
Andrzej Pawluczuk, Małgorzata Wasiuk
Grzegorz Gorzelak, Bohdan Jałowiecki
The article presents the results of a questionnaire received in Autumn 2013 from over 1,300 Polish municipalities whose population does not exceed 50 thousand people. The material obtained from this questionnaire offers exact data concerning the performance of local governments in promoting local economic development, as well as opinions and values shared by these governments. The research is related to a similar undertaking performed in mid-1990s, and confirms earlier hypotheses indicating that spatial differentiation of performance of the local governments in Poland has deep historical roots.
Wiktor Adamus, Paweł Ptaszek
The goal of the paper is to indicate similarities and differences between strategic priorities of socio-economic development on the basis of research conducted in two local communities: Tymbark and Slopnice. The paper is based on a methodological approach called the AHP method, which is used to evaluate the benefits and costs of the basic criteria of socio-economic development and prioritizing models of development. The research indicates key factors of local development in the framework of the endogenous development paradigm. Moreover, the preferred development models have been chosen in the compared communities.
Ewa Frąckiewicz
Competitive advantage of a region, beside its natural resources, is determined to a large extent by the quality and competence of local and regional authorities. In order to benefit from region`s full potential, it is essential to involve the authorities into efficient information policy. It is reflected by the results of a Poland-wide research, where 67% of respondents perceived that it was the creation of an information system enabling fast and accurate decision-making that was the key factor determining efficient management of a company. It is therefore important to analyse how the Western Pomeranian companies see the role and activities of local authorities in this aspect. Local governments play a unique part in information delivery as they represent a group of entities which should actively affect development conditions for companies in the region, within existing legal and administrative system. The paper presents results of the research on information policy in local governments in Western Pomerania.
Małgorzata Madej

The paper refers to sublocal units within metropolitan governance, focusing on Wrocław in the context of multi-level governance and good governance. In Poland, such units function as ancillary units of municipalities (gminy). The paper describes their legal status and functioning within the Polish territorial government and discusses selected urban districts (powiaty). The analysis is based on legal acts and interviews with people involved in the local and sublocal government in Wrocław. The organisation of metropolitan governance based on smaller units is an efficient solution applied in cities worldwide, however, in the case of Wrocław, the borough model leaves a broad potential to develop this element of municipal management structure. Currently, a clear concept of their role in the city is needed.

Wojciech Tomasz Modzelewski

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.

Ryszard Czyszkiewicz
The article explores the issue of social development of the local communes. This development process is defined as growth and differentiation in the fulfilment of needs of the social groups located on the particular area. There is spectrum of measures that allows us to define level of development and specificity of the particular territorial communes. Author presents the concept of Indicator of Development of Territorial Communes (IDTC) calculated for communes. This indicator is calculated according to the portfolio method and it takes into account both growth factors and barriers of development. The practical use of the IDTC is illustrated on the example of the communes in Zachodniopomorskie Region, for years 1999–2001. The results show uneven and incoherent development of the communes in the region discussed. The further conclusion is that this situation would not change in the short-term perspective.
Martyna Sydorów

The aim of the article is to present the communication by public transport of the towns located within the boundaries of the Municipal Functional Area of Słupsk–Ustka (MOF S–U) with the core cities (Słupsk and Ustka) and to indicate the areas where the phenomenon of transport exclusion may occur. The public transportation network in the area does not meet the needs directed by the residents to local authority decision-makers, which may limit their ability to get around, especially on weekends. During the study, the literature on the subject, documents at local and regional levels, and data contained in timetables were analysed as well as the GIS visualisations were used. Insufficient communication with public transport in the area results in limited transport accessibility and, consequently, may lead to transport exclusion.

Joanna Nargiełło
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.
Renata Białobrzeska, Renata Marks-Bielska
Democratic end economic transformations that occurred after 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe Countries have resulted in a new political situation in the Baltic Sea region. They created opportunities for unrestricted development of cooperation not only at international, but also at regional and local communities level. Those initiatives are a consequence of the necessity for social and economic activation, the belief in opportunity of achieving economic benefits for everybody and they are motivated by cross-sborder transport links, cultural and language similarities between communities living at both sides of the border. The paper aims at presenting the scope and scale of regional cooperation in the Baltic Sea region with particular focus on the current effects and potential of that cooperation in the border areas of Poland. The paper presents the results of questionnaire based on investigations encompassing representatives of local governments from border municipalities of the Baltic Sea Euroregion.
Katarzyna Szmigiel
This article presents international relations of regional and local governments in lubelskie region. Analysis of the office structure and the rules of intraregional policy describe international relations of regional government. The most important research instruments used in gminas are the survey results conducted in all gminas in lubelskie voivoidship. The article`s main goal is to answer the question of the preparation process of periphery local governments in the face of European integration and their compete ability in the open economy.
Marcin Kleinowski
This article presents new risk analysis technique. The People and Property Hazard Analysis (PPHA) is probabilistic, semiquantitative technique, uncomplicated and easy to use. It provides more precise estimates of a risk level than preliminary hazard analysis – probably the most commonly performed technique by local governments in Poland. PPHA is applicable to the analysis of all types of communities and organizations. The purpose of the new technique is to provide a tool that can assist decision-makers in effectively allocating limited resources across the vast array of potential investments that could mitigate risk.
Lucyna Rajca
In Western Europe, the model of local government has been changing in the previous decades: from a council-committee model to more executive-oriented ones, like the parliamentary and the presidential models. Political leadership lies at the heart of many of the recent institutional reforms of local government. An explicit aim of these reforms has been to strengthen the executive power, and to provide strong, visible and effective leadership. For example, the position of the mayor in Britain and Germany and of the board in the Netherlands has changed. The direct election of mayors is one of the ways to strengthen the political executive. Not all countries are undergoing such kind of transformation. In some of them, changes have been restricted to few municipalities. Others have been relatively immune to this international trend towards institutional reforms.
Marek Furmankiewicz
The paper shows the basic problems of implementation of the cross-sector cooperation, in the frame of area-based partnerships, for specified rural areas in years 2001-2004 in Poland. In this period partnerships were created with international sources support and with appreciable participation of non-government organisations. The main obstacles to their actions were: the insufficient financial resources, the lack of legal form of self-governments, NGOs and entrepreneurships cooperation with equal rights, tendencies for leaders` domination in group`s actions, weak organisational structures and the lack of long-term strategies. The first effects of cooperation are little; they deal with social affairs and tourist promotion, but they show the positive role of such type coalitions in local development.
Stanisław Wyganowski
In the early 90’s public authorities in Poland considered all kinds of planning as a remaining of the socialist economy, unnecessary under the free-market rules. As a consequence, the chaos became a dominant characteristics of the Polish space at the beginning of the XXI century. This applies also to the situation in Warsaw Metropolitan Area, that exists as a real system of functional relations, but not as an administrative or planning unit. In effect, we observe the “wild urbanization” of the suburbs, and lack of development in the central part of the city. Recent centralization of local government in Warsaw has made the situation even worse, by blocking the investment and planning decisions. All these processes may lead to further marginalization of Warsaw as an European metropolis.
Andrzej K. Piasecki
Local referenda are a special form of direct democracy in Poland. As a result of some legal solutions and in the light of practice, now reaching back for over ten years, they must be considered as a populist and ineffective instrument. This refers primarily to the referenda on recalling local authorities such as city council and mayor, accounting for 85%-90% of all such events. The practice of local referenda in Poland embraces approximately 400 cases. During the first three terms in office of the territorial self-government (1990-2002), 347 referenda concerned recalling the communal councils. Such referenda may be initiated only by the residents of the commune. Only 37 of these referenda proved to be decisive, as their attendance turnout exceeded 30%. The effectiveness of referenda is limited mostly to small towns (up to 20 thousand residents), where the threshold turnout is usually reached.
Grzegorz Gorzelak, Adam Płoszaj, Maciej Smętkowski
The article presents 4 capital model as an evaluation method of the region development strategy implementation as well as strategy document analysis. The introduction provides definition of these types of capitals that might be adapted to analysis of sustainable development. Than the authors describes a result of exercise conducted together with representatives of self-government authorities consists of impact assessment of the strategy implementation in the context of selected forms of capital. The results were confronted with opinions of local self-governments authorities as well as small and medium size enterprises. These breakdown enabled authors to indicate weakness of the strategy and potentials trade-offs between different types of capital. As the final result recommendations regarding the updating processes of the strategy were formulated.
Stanisław W. Ceran, Michał Sidoruk
The study contains a review of websites of local governments in Podlaskie voivodship. The authors address the problem of demand for internet services, provide the inventory of available websites and evaluate the importance of this form of communication. The popularity of Internet services is clearly growing, especially with respect to interactive solutions, saving time and money of citizens. The quality of website’s contents is also a strong determinant of it’s success.
Wojciech Dziemianowicz, Klaudia Peszat, Kamil Przyborowski
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.
Agnieszka Szczudlińska-Kanoś
In general, political marketing is a collection of activities, techniques, methods and means that at least facilitate and at most make possible electoral success on the part of political entities. At present political marketing represents an indispensable part of politics, since only with its help do candidates have a chance of gaining and then holding on to power. After every election we can observe yet-greater competition. Political entities apply different and more elaborate methods and techniques which are aimed at increasing chances of electoral success. During the last ten years in Poland (since the new voivodships were established), it has been possible to observe the professionalization of marketing operations, particularly at municipal elections and especially at those on the regional level. In this article distinctions are therefore drawn between regional political marketing operations and those at either nationwide or local levels. The findings are based on investigations conducted by means of questionnaires distributed among the councillors serving on the voivodship regional assemblies (sejmiki) for the 2006–2010 term of office.
Danuta Kochanowska, Mieczysław Kochanowski
Sławomir Maciejczyk
The aim of the following article is to review the literature on financial evaluation of local governments and to emphasise the need of creating new methods of evaluation in this sector. The author makes references to the indicators applied by the financial institutions to business sector and points out the possibilities of adapting those experiences in assessing local governments.
Bartosz Czepil

The article is based on a systematic review of the scientific literature addressing the phenomenon of corruption in Poland’s local governments after 1989. It covers the leading scientific disciplines dealing with this issue and discusses the sources of research data, the diversity of research problems within the respective disciplines and their major conclusions. The article concludes with a recommendation of more robust interdisciplinarity and conducting research on both bottom-up anticorruption mechanisms and political repercussions of local government corruption.

Arkadiusz Ptak
The method and rules of elections of village heads and village council-members, which are conducted at meetings of village residents, are one of the last examples of direct democracy. Even though this form of democracy has been studied and described previously, the electoral rivalry within rural communities is marginalized; therefore, it is little known. The paper tries to define the features of electoral competition and analyze rivalry at this level of government. It has been based on a case study of one commune and three research methods have been used: direct observation, document analysis and personal interviews. Additionally, the paper presents sociological and demographic studies on some of the newly elected village heads and their councils.
Bolesław Domański

The author discusses different definitions of social justice related to equality of outcome and equality of opportunity. It is argued that, in the territorial perspective, public policy should aim at improving the equality of opportunity by means of reducing social exclusion rather than at fighting regional disparities in the standards of living. What is challenged is the interpretation of the relationship between political preferences and the core–periphery division of Poland into Northern and Western Territories on the one hand and Eastern and South-Eastern regions on the other, as presented by R. Perdał et al. (2020).

Robert Pyka
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.
Grzegorz Buczek
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.
Paweł Kos?cielecki
The article is an attempt at a brief overview of the development strategies of Polish voivodeships in terms of the role of culture as a factor in regional development. The author compares the ‘old-generation’ strategies (applicable until 2005/2006) and the ‘new-generation’ ones (developed for the programming period of 2007–2013). Culture plays an important role in the development of regions as after the administrative reform of 1998 cultural policy became an element of the local government activities. The overview is preceded by a description of the constituents of cultural policy such as 1) the cultural industry as a sector of culture creation and development of cultural products, 2) cultural institutions, and 3) cultural heritage as a pool of resources to be used in the cultural creation process and promotion through the cultural institutions network. Each component analysis is accompanied by a brief discussion of the related ideas and opinions expressed in academic literature by experts from cultural institutions and culture-related academic centres. The author also offers his own concept of describing elements of cultural policy. He juxtaposes the perception of culture as presented in the available publications with the aims of cultural activity and the philosophy of cultural development in voivodeships. Consequently, the author assesses the usefulness of the widely available cross-sectional literature on culture in Poland for the building of the cultural development philosophy in the Polish regions.
Lucyna Rajca
New Public Management – inspired reforms have influenced implementation of management principles in local government, the marketisation and outsourcing. These reforms were mostly visible in the United Kingdom but appear also in other European countries, for example: Ireland, Sweden, Germany, the least in France (among described in this article). There is a risk that NPM-led reforms may come to lose sight of the underlying social purpose of public services. NPM has not became a new, universal model of public sector management. The debate about public service reform has moved (particularly in UK) beyond the concerns of NPM to an emerging concept of networked community governance.
Krzysztof Janc
The purpose of this paper is to determine whether connections within cyberspace are in any way related to borders in the geographical sense. The author assesses the connections between the websites of local authorities and destinations that can be reached by hyperlinks. He analyzes 29 counties in Lower Silesia and shows that the activity of local self-government units in cyberspace covers their real-life territory. On the whole, it can be said that connections existing in cyberspace largely reflect actual borders. However, the main functional node dominating cyberspace is the country’s capital city.
Łukasz Olejnik

This article contains the in-depth analysis of the distribution of funds from the Road Development Fund (RDF), the Local Government Investment Fund (LGIF), the 100 Bypass Road Programme, and the Strategic Investment Fund for possible alignment bias. It was demonstrated that in the case of every fund except the 100 Bypass Road Programme, municipalities ruled by the United Right received government grants significantly more often, or received higher grants. In the case of the LGIF, the scope of favouring was meaningful. To make the results robust, a set of control variables was used.

Grzegorz Gorzelak

This text addresses three key issues presented in the article by Perdał et al. (2020) and in the polemic by Bolesław Domański, published in this issue of Studia Regionalne i Lokalne: territorial aspects of social justice, the relationships between territorial differentiation of socio-economic phenomena and political attitudes and behaviour in Poland, and the problem of meeting the requirements of social justice in relation to territorial systems that are in a particularly difficult situation, mainly due to their depopulation.

Paweł Swianiewicz

The article presents the history of decentralisation reforms in Ukraine beginning with the last decade of the 20th century until the end of the year 2021, with a special focus on the territorial-administrative reform implemented in 2015–2020. The level of local autonomy in Ukraine is compared to the local autonomy index in other European countries, which was created on the basis of the same methodology.

Bartosz Czepil

The purpose of this article is to analyse both the allocation of the financial support from the 2nd instalment of the CGFLI in the Opolskie Voivodeship and the debate in this region over accusations of the clientelistic allocation of this fund. According to the first hypothesis, the local governments affiliated with the German minority are not treated as politically neutral; therefore, they might be vulnerable to discrimination in allocation of the fund. The second hypothesis claims that the peculiarity of the local political patterns in the voivodeship, which is characterised by the low level of partisanship, gives the ruling party’s regional politicians the opportunity to undermine the thesis on clientelistic distribution of the CGFLI. The research has shown that the local governments affiliated with the German minority have a lower chance of getting financial support when compared to the non-partisan ones. Additionally, the study has distinguished five modes of counter-arguing against the thesis on clientelism, employed by the ruling party politicians of the region.

Maciej J. Nowak, Przemysław Śleszyński

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.

Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska, Justyna Ślawska

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.

Janina Kotlińska, Anna Mizak, Anna Krawczyk-Sawicka

The aim of the study is to examine the relationship between the socioeconomic potential and the financial condition of regions (voivodeships) in Poland. The authors hypothesise that there is a linear relationship between the potential of regions, manifested by the wealth and economic activity of people living and entities operating in their area, and the income potential of these local government units, and thus their ability to meet the needs of the local government community. For the purposes of the analysis, eleven measures were selected from four areas, reflecting the social and economic potential of the regions, and seven measures of financial condition, reflecting the structure of their budget income and expenditure, as well as their selected values on a per capita basis. In connection with the above, the study used descriptive statistics methods, linear correlation r-Pearson, and the method of standardised sums (Perkal index) in order to typologise the studied entities.

Dominika Wojtowicz, Bogusława Fudala
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.
Dariusz Reśko
The aim of this article is to analyse trans-border entrepreneurial cooperation in selected territorial units of the Polish-Slovakian border. The authors estimated the number of enterprises operating on both sides of the Polish-Slovakian border and described the branches which are represented by these firms. They also presented other examples of entrepreneurship in the analysed area.
Adam Gendźwiłł, Tomasz Żółtak
The subject of the paper is the participation of non-partisan candidates in local elections in Poland after 2002. The analysis of the prevalence of non-partisanship provides information on the political parties’ performance at the local level. The paper presents analyses of electoral data from the local elections held in 2002, 2006, and 2010. We have used various indicators of non-partisanship which demonstrate the performance of non-partisans in municipalities of different size, the domination of non-partisan mayors over other candidates, the strength of their clubs in councils, and the disproportions of political support between them and their committees. The results of the research show that although the share of non-partisans in local authorities is still very high, it has been gradually decreasing since 2002.
Lucyna Rajca

The reforms driven by New Public Management (NPM) led to the introduction of management principles in local governments, marketisation and outsourcing. They made the greatest impact in the United Kingdom, but were also put in place in other European countries such as Ireland, Sweden, Germany, and – to the least degree – in France (compared to other countries discussed in this paper). There is a risk that NPM-inspired reforms may come to lose sight of the underlying social purpose of public services. NPM has not however become a new, universal model for public sector management. Issues tackled in the debate concerning the reform of public services have moved (mostly in the UK) beyond the concerns of NPM towards the emerging concept of networked community governance.

Janusz Heller
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.
Tomasz Grzegorz Grosse
The article describes EU policy towards its outermost regions. The regions are an example of integration of various streams of EU policies on the territorial level, as well as a playing field for EU pilot measures and innovative modes of governance. The European approach provides special privileges for peripheral regions in EU policies and the meaning of these regions in European public debates is increasing. The author examines the development of EU policy towards its outermost regions since 2004 in relation to two basic contemporary European debates: about territorial cohesion and the future of EU cohesion policy after 2013. At the end of the article, some conclusions are given for Polish decision-makers.
Bohdan Jałowiecki
The author investigates the citizens perception of the impact of Polish-German border on local economies and communities in Western Poland. The research, based on the survey conducted in selected municipalities, reveals also the attitudes of the citizens towards the protection of natural environment and their opinion about the neighbours at both sides of the border. Finally, it attempts to assess the degree of citizens identification with the border area.
Dominika Bielecka
The article deals with determinants of efficient absorption of European Union`s structural funds by local authorities entities. It focuses on factors connected with civil society that distinguish different regions. As it was broadly recognized and explored, the "basis of civil society is the social capital of a region. Social capital includes networks and relationships between people that transmit their shared attitudes and values and therefore influences on structures of common initiatives undertaken by individuals and different groups in order to fulfill local societies` needs. The author studies to what extent social capital of different regions conditioned by cultural factors influences institutional efficiency of local authorities in Poland in relation to absorption of pre-accession fund SAPARD.
Paweł Swianiewicz

This article aims to explore residents’ preferences and perceptions of the actual styles of local political leadership in Poland over the past decades. In particular, it analyses the size of the gap between preferred and perceived leadership styles. The paper uses a classification developed by Peter John and Alistair Cole distinguishing city boss, visionary, care-taker, and consensus facilitator styles. The primary empirical material comes from a nationwide survey of residents conducted in December 2022 and surveys in a few case study cities conducted in the spring and summer of 2023. In addition, previously published results from surveys conducted using similar methods are used. The results indicate a growing preference for consensus facilitator style, assuming an inclusive style for both policy preparation and policy implementation. The size of the ‘expectations gap’ is explained by the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents (age, education) and the size of the city. Younger and better educated respondents have a particularly high expectation that mayors should involve different stakeholders in the preparation and implementation of local policies, while at the same time being more critical in assessing the actual behaviour of local authorities.

Marek Furmankiewicz, Joanna Stefańska
This paper presents analysis of different connections between institutional participants of three area-based partnerships (LEADER Local Action Groups) that have been created in rural areas to coordinate actions which contribute to social and economic development of the respective regions. The relations in three partnerships located in different historical-cultural regions of Poland were analysed in the context of the social capital concept, using basic network relation indexes. Various types of interactions between agents (coordination, conflict, co-operation, control and competition) and flows (information, financial assets, human resources and tangible resources) have been analysed.
Sławomir Pastuszka
Poland as a rightful member of European Union has got a chance to participate in structural funds and Cohesion Fund as well. Taking into consideration the limited financial opportunities of territorial self-government units in projects co-financed by structural funds, presence of private sector means may be considered as a crucial factor. The scope and typology of public-private partnerships PPP have been presented in this study. The chances as well threats which may occur during the execution of investment ventures within the framework of public-private partnership have been presented there as well.
Sławomir Pastuszka
The absorption the European Union structural aid, available in 2007–2013 period, provides Poland the opportunity of fast development and improvement of life quality. A regional policy that will effectively use the structural funds may contribute to the improvement of infrastructure, development of entrepreneurship and restructuring of rural areas. The issue of absorption ability has to be considered with particular attention. This study – on the basis of experiences in implementing the Integrated Regional Operational Programme – points out some threats and bottlenecks limiting the potential absorption of funds. The barriers have been identified using the questionnaire based research on the experiences of local governments in the swietokrzyskie region.
Tomasz Kupiec, Dorota Celińska-Janowicz

Evaluation is an important element of the public policy cycle, providing information for improving the effectiveness of implemented policies and designing future ones. In Poland, the need for the diffusion of this practice from the field of structural funds to other public policy fields has been discussed for at least 15 years. Although one such obvious direction of diffusion is local government, very little is known about evaluation at this level, and in studies summarising the general evaluation practice in Poland, this strand is omitted. The aim of this study was to assess the extent and characteristics of evaluation practices in the period 2010–2021 in cities with county [Pol. powiat] status. The analysis was based on the information on evaluation studies provided by city halls. Out of the 55 cities that were included in the analysis, 62% carried out evaluations and they completed a total of 469 studies. A systematic increase in the number of studies and the number of cities carrying them out was also observed. The dominant thematic areas were civic budgeting, social policy, and development strategy. The shares of studies carried out internally and those commissioned from external companies turned out to be similar. In contrast, studies of intervention implementation processes dominate over evaluations of intervention effects. This research can serve as a starting point for further, more detailed analyses of the organisation of the evaluation process and its use in local government.

Andrzej Miszczuk
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.
Agata Mróz

The aim of the study is to examine how and at what stage in the evolution of the cohesion policy rural areas have been incorporated, thus gaining space for empowerment. The role of the territorial instrument, CLLD, will also be considered. The research problem was verified through a review of literature and EU legislative documents as well as empirical material from two evaluation projects. It was found out that the extension of the cohesion policy to include the objective of territorial cohesion was of particular importance for rural areas. In the 2014–2020 financial perspective, due to the territorialisation of cohesion policy – previously perceived as mainly urban – rural areas were considered for participation. CLLD has been proven to strengthen the sense of empowerment of local communities.

Włodzimierz Durka, Ryszard Czyszkiewicz
Researchers do not study territorial origins of students very often. However, it is a very important determinant of connections between universities and their social surroundings. A regional character of a university may be an essential value for local communities, who need well-educated employees capable of working in local administration, economy, education, social care, security, culture, research etc. In the article, territorial and social origins of the Szczecin University students were analysed and it was proved that several regional ranges of recruitment existed. A range is determined by distances between students’ houses and the university, although evidences of local loyalty can be also seen.
Paulina Rychlewska
This article shows the profiles of people who hold at least the second cadence on the position of village mayor, mayor or president of the city. According to the paradigm New Public Management, the person who manages the community is often antidote on its problems, the key for its economical success and the chance of better life its inhabitants. Doubtlessly, it is connected with a charisma of the leader. What is hidden under this term? The aim of this article is to answer the question whether it is possible to show some personality features and the model of management which decide on the chance of holding the position of the mayor of community on the next cadence. The method of the studies contain the interpretation of the personality test NEO-FFI and the questionnaire concerning the model of management of the community. The results show that the people which are the managers of the community must have some level of the main personality features in fact. Only then it is possible to hold the next cadence. It relates mainly to extraversion and conscientiousness. The model of management chosen by them is of great significance too.
Andrzej Raczyk, Kamila Graczyk
The purpose of this paper is to analyze cities’ promotion and information policy regarding the development of economic activity. The study was carried out in the form of electronic audit and evaluation of the official websites of 306 cities in Poland. On this basis, promotion and information policy was assessed and its spatial diversity analyzed. The analysis revealed significant diversity of actual involvement of local self-governments in enhancing investment attractiveness of cities. It seems that in most cases such policy either does not exist at all, or is hardly implemented. The study also shows a lack of cohesion as well as temporariness of marketing activities undertaken.
Małgorzata Kubiak, Jakub Pietruszewski
Tri-City, with the suburban area, like other Polish urban centres with metropolitan aspirations, has real chances for becoming metropolitan area of European importance. According to some European concepts, Tri-City is recognized as a member of the group of European metropolises and regarded as a link in the zone of high dynamic development in the Baltic Sea Region. The main problem for the functional efficiency of Tri-City agglomeration is cooperation and competition between cities and municipalities. The lack of common activities can be the reason of efforts and effects to squander in the field of spatial planning, programming of regional development and functioning of the whole settlement system of the metropolitan area. Pursuing the integration of Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot and thus creating an integrated metropolitan space of the highest ability to compete in the global economy, is a real challenge for the Tri-City.
Waldemar A. Gorzym-Wilkowski

Spatial planning is one of key tasks of regional (voivodship) local government in Poland. A spatial development plan for a voivodship includes many aspects which need to be decided upon. However, the implementation of this plan is largely independent of the will of the local government. The theory of planning (including spatial planning) emphasises that implementation of the plan is an inherent aspect of planning. Therefore, the article analyses to what extent regional spatial planning can actually be considered planning.

Marek Mazurkiewicz

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.

Marta Derek
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.
Paweł Swianiewicz, Anna Kurniewicz

Uptade from 2.03.2021: Parts of this article were subsequently used in the following publication: Pawel Swianiewicz & Anna Kurniewicz (2018): Coming out of the shadow? Studies of local governments in Central and Eastern Europe in European academic research, Local Government Studies, DOI: 10.1080/03003930.2018.1548352

 

The article is an analysis of the changing role and position of research on local governments in Central and Eastern Europe in the mainstream European studies. The article refers to dependency theory (Wallerstein, Prebish) applied to scientific research. It classifies Central and Eastern Europe as a half-periphery of academic research. Empirical analysis consists of two parts. The first – qualitative – is a review of the most important comparative studies of European local governments and includes discussion of the role of local governments and researchers from the Eastern part of the continent in those studies. The second – quantitative – is based on an analysis of articles published in the best international journals and citations of those articles in the Scopus database. The authors of articles on local governments in Central and Eastern Europe are divided into two groups: “locals” and “colonisers” – i.e. academics from Western universities conducting their research in Eastern Europe. The analysis covers 14 countries of Central and Eastern Europe (all the New Member States that have joined the EU since 2004 plus the Balkan countries – Albania, Macedonia and Serbia).

Adam Gendźwiłł, Tomasz Żółtak
The paper presents the basic consequences of the introduction of single-member districts (the FPTP system) in municipal elections in Poland. The authors analyze the results of the 2010 and 2014 elections (before and after the electoral reform). Basing on the difference-in-differences research scheme, the paper presents changes in the municipalities where either block- -voting or proportional representation systems were replaced by the FPTP. The empirical analyses demonstrate that the change from the BV to the FPTP system brought only marginal effects. The replacement of the PR system by the FPTP was more visible. Quite paradoxically, it increased the number of committees competing in the elections. However, the disproportionality and the share of wasted votes increased significantly, while the fragmentation of local councils decreased. In the municipalities previously using a proportional representation system, the number of candidates decreased visibly; contrary to the initial assumptions, its impact was neutral to the share of elected female councillors. The introduction of the FPTP system significantly limited the already weak presence of nation-wide political parties in local councils.
Paweł Swianiewicz
The paper is an attempt to answer few questions, which are of crucial importance for the assessment of local government financing in Poland. The main focus of the paper is on inter-governmental financial transfers. What are goals and principles of inter-governmental grants in the theory of fiscal federalism? How these principles are applied in European countries? How the practice of local finance in Poland is related to these principles and to international experience? The first section deals with theoretical issues of grants` transfers and equalization schemes. The second part includes a brief description of grant systems in selected European countries. The third section concentrates on the evaluation of the Polish practice, and includes recommendation fo future changes. However, the paper skips a detail description of the Polish grant system (which is well-known and described in Polish academic literature).
Adam Gendźwiłł, Tomasz Żółtak

The article analyses the participation of nation-wide parties in the elections of local authorities: municipal councils and mayors. There is no empirical confirmation of the assumption that along with the democratic consolidation in Poland, political parties strengthen their presence in local governments. Between 2002 and 2018 the overall spread of national parties in local elections decreased, even though the national party system (at the parliamentary arena) was relatively consolidated. The level of political parties’ engagement in local authorities, despite the changes in the level of parties’ support, is relatively stable – and low: no more than one third of elected local officials in Poland are affiliated with political parties. Among parliamentary parties, only four: PO, PiS, PS and SLD, maintained their significant representation in local governments, but the share of power at the local level which they were able to win varied considerably. LPR and Samoobrona rapidly lost their significance after their defeat in the 2007 parliamentary elections. The “new parties” established later failed to secure representation at the local level. The analyses confirm a positive (and stable over time) relationship between the level of party politicisation of local governments and the size of the municipality.

Paweł Swianiewicz, Joanna Krukowska

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.

Przemysław Śleszyński
The paper includes the most important results of the project of the same title, carried out as part of a larger project “The Development Trends of the Mazovia Region”, implemented for the local government of the Mazowieckie voivodship in 2010?2012. It primarily concerned demographic and settlement issues related to the evolution of functional relations and linkages, spatial availability, as well as infrastructure and land use conditions. The main objective was to formulate the conditions which would ensure development, and to identify the factors and conditions that affected easy flow of development stimuli and better efficiency of the suburban zone and spatial cohesion of the Mazovia region. The horizon time of the project concerned the period after 1990 (diagnosis and retrospective study) and 2030 (forecast). The paper has a survey character, it reports on selected topics only, and its aim is to disseminate important research results.
Agnieszka Sobol, Monika Krakowiak-Drzewiecka

Investment policy is a driving force in the transformation of cities. It plays a significant role both in terms of daily living conditions and in the long-term consequences of decisions that are taken. The residents’ opinions about the investment policy should be accorded a special value. The aim of this paper is to analyse and estimate the scale of empowerment of the investment policy of all 71 cities of the Śląskie Voivodeship. Three models of residents’ participation are used in the paper: symmetric, consultative and asymmetric. The questionnaire survey and desk research form the basis for assigning cities to the proposed models. The analysis reveals that the mechanism of empowerment is becoming more and more important for Silesian local governments, although residents’ involvement in urban investment policies is still far from satisfactory.

Bartłomiej Kołsut, Przemysław Ciesiółka, Robert Kudłak
The article attempts to identify and analyze the actions undertaken in the cities of the Wielkopolska Voivodeship in the area of urban renewal in the 1999–2005 period as well as the direct and indirect effects of these actions. In order to reach this objective, we analyze the local renewal programmes as well as other strategic documents launched in the investigated cities. In addition, we employ the survey technique and conduct numerous in-depth interviews with the local actors of the renewal process in order to get better insights into the economic, societal and spatial context of the renewal process. As a result, we show that the actions undertaken by the cities of the Wielkopolska Voivodeship in the realm of urban renewal are hardly integrated (they are not comprehensive and do not complement each other in a given area) and dominated by infrastructural investments. In contrast, the economic and social projects remain rare and their consequences ambiguous. We also identify some unexpected, positive as well as negative, consequences of the renewal process, such as increasing engagement of local property owners, entrepreneurs and associations in the renewal actions as well as the problem of profiteering on the renewed areas.
Mikołaj Herbst, Jakub Rok

The goal of this article is to investigate the spatial allocation of human capital investment at the local level in Poland. In particular, this analysis refers to the funds within the Human Capital Operational Programme (POKL 2007–2013). The study is divided into the following parts: extrapolation of the algorithm for allocating the POKL funds between regions to the local level; comparison of the allocation based on the data from the period before the programme with the hypothetical allocation of the same funds based on the measurement done after the end of the programme (the „before-after” method); and a comparison of the intentional allocation of POKL funds with the observed actual absorption of funds at the local level in 2007–2015. The analysis carried out in this article proves that the final effect of POKL allocation at the local level is not a simple extension of the government’s plan of division expressed by an algorithm. The absorption of funds per capita differed between municipalities within individual voivodships, but more funds did not necessarily go to the areas that were particularly structurally burdened (according to the governmental algorithm). The „before-after” analysis leads to the conclusion that, in the period under study, development disparities increased, and development gap between eastern and western Poland deepened. The situation is particularly difficult in the territories of the so-called internal peripherals.

Adam Gendźwiłł, Tomasz Żółtak, Jakub Rutkowski
The authors consider the problem of limited supply of candidates for mayors. Since 2002, most electoral committees in Polish municipalities have only participated in the elections for municipal councils and not for the principal executive office. Between 2002 and 2010, there was also a growing share of municipalities in which only one candidate ran. The logistic regression analysis demonstrates that the electoral committees’ decision whether or not to nominate a candidate is influenced by their size (popularity), as well as the size of the municipality. If there is a dominating committee and competing incumbents, it is less probable that another candidate would run. It is evident that the well-known effect of incumbency advantage works not only during the elections but also before them (when candidates are registered).
Katarzyna Radzik-Maruszak
In many European countries local governments, in particular on the municipal level, search for new solutions to improve the governing process. The aim of this paper is to present an innovative model, based on the idea of New Public Governance management, which operates in the city of Tampere, situated in southern Finland. Introduced in 2007, the model is based on three main pillars – strong leadership, effective and responsible service provision, and citizen involvement in the decision-making process. The paper describes each of these elements and indicates its practical advantages and disadvantages. The analysis has been conducted on the basis of official city documents and interviews conducted with experts in Finnish local government as well as leading local politicians from Tampere. In conclusion, it is pointed out that although the Tampere model should certainly be labelled as innovative, the solutions adopted generate some difficulties. These include tensions between politicians and administrators as well as problems related to the coordination of city services and the attitude of politicians and administrators towards citizen participation.
Dorota Mantey
The aim of the paper is to identify different visions and expectations of the citizens and the local government regarding the development of their suburban space, which are a source of potential spatial conflicts. It discusses contradictory interests of all the people living in the suburban area, certain groups of inhabitants, and local authorities. The paper characterizes different types of conflicts, including spatial ones. The conflicts in the suburbs are generated by a desire to keep the suburban character of the place of residence, the primacy of property rights and individual interests over collective ones, and excessive development ambitions of local authorities. Considerations on spatial conflicts in a suburban zone are illustrated by the results of two surveys carried out in the Lesznowola municipality near Warsaw, one on a representative sample of residents throughout the whole municipality (394 persons), and the other on a representative sample of residents of Mysiadło (305 people).
Paweł Swianiewicz, Julita Łukomska
Debates on the impact the size of sub-national jurisdiction has on the costs of public service delivery have a very long tradition, but in spite of multiple empirical studies, results are still far from conclusive. Methodologically rigid studies of the relationship, based on data from Poland, have been so far very rare and the paper tries to contribute to filling the gap in our knowledge. The authors apply a quasi-experimental scheme of synthetic control method for Polish county and municipal fragmentation to analyze the impact of territorial reform on administrative spending as well as on the operating surplus of the budget. The analysis clearly confirms the existence of the economy of scale in administrative services. The result concerning operating surplus is less clear. There are signs of scale economies on a county level, but the results for municipalities are more ambiguous – there are unexpected signs of positive impacts of fragmentation (diseconomy of scale) occurring after a transitional period related to the high transaction costs of the reform. The difference between the results for counties and municipalities may be interpreted as a result of: (1) the larger financial autonomy of Polish municipalities; (2) the different scope of services delivered by both tiers; (3) the fact that municipalities are more embedded in local communities, allowing them to utilize potential benefits of small scale, as suggested by public choice theory.
Aldona Standar

The objective of this paper is to present the role of the relationship between the location and financial performance of local government units. One of Poland’s largest voivodships, Wielkopolskie, was used as an example. Recent acceleration of suburbanisation processes not only results in socioeconomic changes in municipalities surrounding cities but also affects their financial performance. To attain the aforesaid objective, this study used variance analysis to investigate the significance of the differences in the financial ratios between the units analysed by location (measured as the distance of rural municipalities from district towns and from Poznań, the region’s capital). The research proved that the closer a municipality is to an urban centre, the greater its financial autonomy, liquidity and investments, yet at a higher level of debt. Also, the proximity to Poznań is a better determinant of the differences in financial performance than the location close to smaller urban centres.

Paweł Swianiewicz, Julita Łukomska

Uptade from 2.03.2021: Parts of this article were subsequently used in the following publication: Swianiewicz, P., & Łukomska, J. (2016). Local tax competition in Poland?. Miscellanea Geographica, 20(3), 37-43

 

The paper considers the usefulness of the tax competition theory for the analysis of local tax policies in Poland. The concept has been successfully used for analyses conducted in several European countries, but it has not been systematically tested in Poland yet. There are two types of competition discussed in the paper: classic competition for mobile tax base and yardstick competition, in which local politicians compete for political capital related to a comparison of tax rates with neighbouring municipalities. Due to the limited size and types of local taxes in Poland, it is expected that yardstick competition is more important than classic competition for mobile tax base. The paper also examines regional variation in the intensity of local tax competition, and it formulates the hypothesis that it is more visible in regions with higher bridging social capital. Results of the conducted research indicate that the theory of local tax competition is a useful concept helping to explain the variation in tax policies among Polish municipalities.

Agata Brzóska, Paweł Swianiewicz

Uptade from 2.03.2021: Parts of this article were subsequently used in the following publication: Swianiewicz, P., & Brzóska, A. (2020). Demand Elasticity for Local Public Transport in Polish Cities: Do Local Policies Matter?. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 16(61), 125-142

 

After 1990, the number of local public transport passengers has been systematically decreasing at the expense of individual transport, which led to an increase in traffic congestion and deterioration of air quality in cities. However, for the last few years, a reversal of this trend has been observed in some cities. The article, using the data on the present number and recent changes in the number of passengers in nearly 100 Polish cities, discusses regression models to explain the factors influencing the diversity of demand for public transport services and its dynamics. The independent variables of the model refer both to the characteristics of cities (their socio-economic environment) and the organisation of services (e.g. organisational and legal forms of local transport companies, tariff policies, etc.). The results show that the density of the public transport network is the most significant factor explaining variation of the demand, while the level of ticket prices is almost insignificant. Demand in the largest cities has also recently been on the increase, but the relationship between the demand and the population size of the city is not a linear one.

Paweł Swianiewicz, Urszula Klimska
The article discusses political leadership in local government. Change from traditional local government to local governance requires also institutional changes and new roles played by local leaders. The notion of political leader is limited to persons having democratic legitimacy for their role played in local politics. It excludes people, who might be influential but remain outside formal democratic institutions of local government. The article distinguishes between type (which depends on formal institutional settings) and style (more dependent on personal characteristics) of leadership. The article discusses selected theoretical concepts of type and style of leadership and tries to refer them to Polish local governments. Recent Polish reforms have brought a change from the type which was close to a collective model to one closer to a strong mayor form. Analysis of four initiative in 2 Polish cities (Poznan and Ostrow Wielkopolski) allows to formulate some conclusions on citizens’ perception of actual styles of local political leadership. The largest proportion of citizens in analysed cities prefers a style which is close to consensus facilitator. But in a real behaviour of leaders, citizens see more of city boss style, which might be characterized by the implementation of an own vision with internal resources existing within local government structures. Comparison of citizens’ preferences with the perception of actual behaviour of leaders allows to compute an Expectation Gap Index. The gap is usually quite narrow in initiatives focused on the construction of broad development programmes, but it becomes wider if we turn to more concretely focused projects.
Robert Pyka
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.
Jacek Wasilewski, Michał Kotnarowski, Witold Betkiewicz

The article focuses on the beliefs of the regional political elites in Poland about the models of democracy, operationalised as opinions about political representation, direct democracy and elite integration. The empirical basis is a questionnaire survey of 400 members of regional political elites carried out in 2017. The sample consists of 400 councillors of the 2014-2018 term of regional (voivodship) assemblies and town councils of big cities. The data show that an incoherence of views characterises the regional political elite: they do not form a more general vision of the democratic process, and detailed opinions on representation, direct democracy and elite integration poorly correlate with independent variables, including those describing political affiliations, i.e. party affinity or location on the left-right scale. The primary explanation for this incoherent image is the thesis about the lack of professionalisation of the regional elite.

Krzysztof Kluza, Ryta Dziemianowicz

As a consequence of the global financial crisis which began in 2008, the amount of debt of the local government sector in OECD countries has remarkably increased. In Poland, the debt of local governments has started to fall gradually after reaching its peak in nominal terms in 2014. In this article, we examine how the ability of local governments to repay their debts changed over the 2007-2016 period. The analysis reveals that, despite their considerable nominal indebtedness, local governments had already returned to a strong debt repayment capacity at the end of 2016, observed formerly at the end of 2009. However, at the end of 2016, one in eight local governments had become overindebted in terms of their repayment capacity, despite the rigorous statutory debt limits imposed in Poland. The most worrying situation is in towns with county rights: in 33% of these entities, the debt repayment period is estimated at longer than 15 years. This category represents 33% of Poland’s population, and therefore it is of a systemic importance.

Paweł Swianiewicz, Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska

The purpose of the research presented in the article is to assess the effects of the 2015 amalgamation of the Zielona Góra city with the rural commune of the same name on the quality of local democracy. The second goal is to examine the phenomenon of free riding on the common pool in the context of the local-level territorial reform. The analysis, based on a quasi-experimental scheme using the synthetic control method, unlike previous studies, did not confirm the free riding hypothesis. The results of the study also indicate that the strategy implemented in Zielona Góra can be useful in achieving an intermediate political goal, which is to ensure the residents’ approval of the reform and legitimization of its results.

Robert Pyka

The author explores the problem of territorial reorganization of the metropolitan area within the Canadian evolutionary federal system, taking as an example the cities of Toronto and Montreal. The results of the research indicate that adaptation strategies, applied by states aiming at empowering the metropolis, depend on the general level of the territorial units’ autonomy. The existence of strong local self-government favours creation of intercommunal cooperation structures without dissolution of current local territorial units. Territorial reorganization in the case of states with a low level of local autonomy may facilitate elimination of former local units by theirs amalgamation in new, larger metropolitan self-government structures. As far as this context is concerned, Canada constitutes a very interesting study case. Taking into consideration Canadian evolutionary federal system, highly limited local autonomy of the cities, and its mix of European and American traditions, one can observe almost all the above-mentioned dimensions of reform and adaptation strategies. Advanced and institutionalized intercommunal cooperation, developed in Toronto and Montreal in the middle of the 20th century, was interrupted by amalgamation imposed by provincial government, which resulted in creation of new, enlarged metropolitan cities of Toronto in 1998 and Montreal in 2002. In both cases the amalgamation has not been accepted by a part of the population and destabilized cooperation in these metropolitan areas. The trouble with amalgamation led to abandonment of further structural and territorial reforms, which were replaced by functional ones, taking the form of special agreements between Toronto and Montreal and their respective provinces (Ontario and Quebec), giving them both new competences and financial resources. Regardless of any difficulties in pursuing an appropriate metropolitan regime and the suitable position for the metropolis in the structure of a political and territorial system, both cities have achieved strong economic performance and high quality of life.

Beata Namyślak

The present paper focuses on creative clusters in Poland. Its main goal is to determine the factors behind the establishment of creative clusters and the factors limiting their activity. The study is based on data provided by cluster facilitators, and the CATI and CAWI methods are used for analysis. The study shows that the most important factors contributing to the creation of clusters are internal: the willingness to cooperate, especially between knowledgeable entities, and to strengthen market position and the range of influence. The barriers are: reluctance to share knowledge, the advantage of rivalry over cooperation, poorly perceived flow of employees in clusters (internal factors), as well as dependence on external financing and lack of interest on the part of local government units (external factors).

Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska, António F. Tavares

The goal of the present study is to determine what types of emotions are displayed by mayors in social media. Their posts at the Facebook social network were tested using sentiment analysis. The study shows that the top concern of the mayors’ agenda built on Facebook is to create their positive image of someone willing to build relationships with citizens. In their personal profile pages, mayors also favour information about specific decisions rather than more general information about events in the municipality. The most important conclusion is that the mayors use emotionally charged social media posts more often than the administrators of the city organization profiles, and that these are usually positive emotions.

Agnieszka Stanowicka

Modern cities are developing dynamically in search of ever newer concepts of management. One of them, developed in Poland since the 1990s, is the concept of the marketing management of the city, which is based on the marketing mix concept. The city authorities also look for new sources of the competitive advantage (this is how the concept of slow city management was born). At the same time, in addition to competition, there is a desire for cooperation between cities, manifested by the development of the Citt?slow city network. The study identifies the marketing mix instruments of cities which are used by Polish cities after they joined the Citt?slow network. The method employed was a questionnaire survey, which was sent to 26 Polish Citt?slow member cities in 2017. It was observed that the greatest changes occur in the product strategies under which cities are obliged to develop these urban sub-products that are necessary for the city to function in accordance with the slow city philosophy. As part of promotional efforts, PR activities should be emphasised, whose aim is to create the image of a slow city. The “hospitality” of the city and openness to contacts with the external environment has also increased.

Przemysław Śleszyński
The purpose of the article is open to debate. It presents the main conclusions from a study made in March 2017 for the Office of Analysis and Expertise of the Senate of the Republic of Poland on the merits of changes in the territorial division of the Warsaw Metropolitan Area. In this study was carried out a synthesis of the research conducted mainly by the author on the development of Warsaw Metropolitan Area and the Mazowieckie voivodship, including the impact of the capital and delimitation of its functional urban area. In its summary were formulated the most important conclusions, arguing for finding a compromise solution, aimed at establishing a new administrative division system, taking into account both the daily urban system, spatial cohesion needs, and the interests of residents and entrepreneurs. Due to the importance of the area, including Warsaw’s functions as a capital city, the conclusions apply to the whole Poland.
Dagmara Kociuba
The paper summarizes the activities, carried out in Poland in the period 2011–2016, which led to the delimitation of Functional Urban Areas of Voivodeship Centres (FUA VC) in the scope of the implementation of Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI). The first part of the paper presents the principles of implementing ITI in Poland, and the results of the delimitation of FUA VC proposed by the central authorities. In the second part, they are confronted with the results of studies conducted in all Polish regions. This makes it possible to assess their mutual relations, and to observe five variants of works related to the delimitation of FUA VC for the implementation of ITI, namely I. Ministerial, II. Cooperation, III. Strategic Planning, IV. Expert, and V. Interim.
Justyna Ślawska

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.

Magdalena Lesińska, Kamil Matuszczyk

Migration management is one of the key tasks faced by regional authorities in Poland, which experience deepening processes of shrinking and ageing of population. The aim of the article is to determine whether policy makers are aware of the role of migration processes and migration policy, to show their presence in demographic development strategies, and to describe the activities undertaken at the regional level in response to the ongoing demographic processes. The analysis is based on the example of the Łódzkie, Opolskie, and West Pomeranian voivodships. The article proposes an analytical model assuming a gradual process of decision-makers’ reaction to demographic changes. An analysis of documents and interviews with people responsible for regional demographic policy confirms they are aware of ongoing population processes and their consequences, at the same time, however, there is a lack of actions aimed at stimulating inflows of foreigners. The initiatives aimed at stopping the population from emigrating are more important.

Paweł Swianiewicz
Horizontal transfers in the local government financial equalization system have been raising a lot of controversies in Poland during the last few years. The paper shows similar instruments functioning in other European countries: Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. The paper discusses two mechanisms of equalization: that of revenue and of expenditure needs. European experience is discussed in a way which makes it possible to draw comparisons with regulations in Poland as well as with current debates in Poland.
Łukasz Drozda
The institutionalized revitalization process is an important tool of contemporary Polish public policy. According to the declarations of local authorities, its programmes are designed to support the development of so-called degraded spaces and the effort against social exclusion of their inhabitants. However, as the analysis of municipal revitalization programmes (GPR) in the biggest cities reveals, planned revitalization leads to gentrification of a urbanized area and is therefore more conducive to segregation than to social inclusion. This paper discusses the relationships between revitalization and gentrification on the basis of the content and assumptions of urban regeneration programmes. It is based on the literature and on selected GPRs.
Robert Pyka
The global Post-Fordist economy based on permanent flows changes the way we use space. It modifies the processes of functioning of cities, some of which take the role of global hubs or regional networks. It is an open question whether and how the changes concerning territorial and competence range of cities influence institutions and institutionalizations of contemporary city authorities. Although it is difficult to establish a general answer to this question, the author bases his reflection on the case of the evolution, unprecedented in the French conditions, of the local government system of Grand Lyon Urban Community. On 1st January 2015, after 45 years of its existence, Grand Lyon became a Metropolis of Lyon, establishing a new unit of local government with extended range and new competences, combining the prerogative powers of municipalities, an urban community, and a department.
Adam Gendźwiłł
The article presents an overview of opinions on climate change and the ways of adapting to it held by representatives of Polish local authorities (political leaders and local administration representatives) in a recently conducted survey. The author briefly describes the institutional context in which the new field of local policy has emerged and local adaptation strategies are established. The empirical analyses, based on survey data, demonstrate that local authorities in many municipalities remain relatively sceptical about the human impact on climate change: 32% feel convinced by the existing evidence. The analyses also demonstrate that there is a relationship between attitudes of local authorities towards climate change and the population size of the municipalities, as well as its previous exposure to extreme weather events. The results suggest that local adaptation policies have more chance of being developed in municipalities with specialized environmental administration.
Jarosław Kempa
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.
Dagmara Kociuba, Małgorzata Bielecka

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.

Agnieszka Kozera
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).
Dominika Wojtowicz, Kinga Paciorek
The paper focuses on issues related to the impact of quality management in local government at the municipal level on the use of EU funds supporting local development. Poland is one of the greatest beneficiaries of structural funds provided for regional development and strengthening cohesion within the Community. Local governments are one of the groups which absorbed most of the funds for 2007–2013. The paper describes how and to what extent the implementation of New Public Management tools in local government administration can guarantee efficient use of EU funds. Three areas of such impact are taken into consideration – the amount of acquired funds, efficient implementation of the projects co-financed by the EU, and the quality of these projects.
Grzegorz Gorzelak
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.
Joanna Krukowska, Marta Lackowska
The paper focuses on the institutional solutions adopted in different Polish urban regions as a response to the requirement to create the so-called ITI instrument in the framework of 2014–2020 EU financial perspective. This phenomenon is analyzed in the light of the mechanism of launching and functioning of metropolitan cooperation structures and the concept of Europeanization. The authors assume that former – more or less successful – attempts to institutionalize such cooperation in Polish urban functional areas influence the process of creation and functioning of ITI cooperation.
Ryszard Rózga Luter
The aim of this work is to analyze urban development of Mexico City in its broader, macro-regional context which also describes the term megalopolis, and in its narrower, metropolitan sense. Without attempting to reach premature conclusions, we can say that a metropolis like Mexico City is exposed to processes typical of such cities: more and more extensive land use, changes in economic, social and demographic structures, etc. What is more, like other emerging or accelerating processes, also globalization had an important impact on cities, resulting in both positive and negative changes. This work is an attempt to identify and, if possible, to analyze some of these changes in Mexico City.
Urszula Kaźmierczak
Rock mining is popular and characterized by the exploitation of local deposits, which are used as a bargaining chip in local economic and socio-political politics. The aim of the paper is to analyze the impact of rock mining on the local economy of Polish communes. A contextual analysis was performed of inflows to the communes’ budgets resulting from the exploitation of rock minerals, the contribution of rock mining in the creation of local jobs was assessed, and the benefits from reclamation and development of post-mining areas were estimated. To do all that, the Author used the method of indicator analysis of local government units and stochastic methods of data analysis, as well as inference based on collected data. Studies have shown that rock mining is a factor supporting the local economy. Benefits from the exploitation of rock minerals should be taken into consideration in the development of plans concerning mineral rock deposits.
Janina Kotlińska
Self-government-owned properties, and especially local ones, are primarily owned by urban and urban-rural communities. Many of them constitute municipal real estate resources and serve the collective needs of both members of the local community and visiting outsiders. These properties need constant budget expenditures (both current and asset-related). Some of them generate income that is a small percentage of total municipal budget revenues. However, the income from their sale can be much higher if the local authority decide to sell it and someone wants to buy it. The interests of both sides do not meet often enough. Not all municipal properties are for sale, and those that are do not always meet buyers’ needs. Very often the value of a property is different in the owner’s and the potential buyer’s opinion. The purpose of the study is to answer the following questions: 1) Do municipal properties have market value and does their sale price reflect their value?, 2) What are the determinants of municipal property price and for what reasons do local authorities decide to sell them?, 3) Are all municipal properties equally attractive to buyers?, 4) What revenues has the sale of municipal real estate generated for municipal budgets in the recent years?
Grzegorz Masik
The paper begins with an analysis of policymaking principles and responsibilities of local authorities in Poland. Next, outputs of local policies at the level of the gmina are presented in a case study of the suburban area of the Gdansk agglomeration. Chosen features of local policies are pointed out as a basis for comparison of the local districts. The decisions taken by local governments allow to classify types o local policy. For instance, while some of the local districts prefer investments in social infrastructure, other are more inclined to invest in technical infrastructure. Only two out of seven local governments create and implement policies which can be identified as sustainable.
Paweł Swianiewicz, Karolina Olszowiec

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.

Paweł Swianiewicz
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.
Witold Betkiewicz, Agnieszka Jasiewicz-Betkiewicz
Big cities in Poland as well as abroad are the focus of many scientists of different disciplines. The authors of this study join these researchers and concentrate on a previously neglected segment of the Polish big cities’ political actors – city councillors. The aim of this paper is a socio-demographic description of the big city elite. The authors analyze its main characteristics: gender, age, occupational position, and local government experience. They also try to compare the big city elite with other parts of the political elite, especially with the simultaneously studied medium city elite. The paper is based on survey research conducted by the authors in the 12 biggest Polish cities.
Arkadiusz Tuziak
The article presents innovation issues in public administration in the Podkarpacie region. In the situation of progressing territorial development, widely understood innovation is the ability to create, put into practice and disseminate it. This ability is the condition to raise competitiveness of the regional economy, while increasing the opportunity to achieve success in the escalating competition between the regions. Taking into account that local and regional authorities play the major role in the modernizational and developmental processes, the analyses and characteristics included in the article are concentrated on the diagnosis of the competence of public administration employers. The range of the above mentioned competence is the management of the local and regional development and the economy development based on the knowledge. Identification and description of the restrictions and barriers of innovation in the council and government administration were considered as well. The study is based on the results of the empirical research which aim was to recognize attitudes and actions of public administration in the Podkarpacie region, realized within the confines of the purposeful project of the Science and Informatics Ministry: "The Regional Strategy of Innovation of the Podkarpacie Province".
Maciej Onasz, Michał Klonowski
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.
Marek Kozak
The main objective of this paper is to analyze the reasons of development of the Integrated Territorial Investments in the new 2014-2020 period in the context of EU reforms, and to describe the creation process and the threats this experimental approach may encounter in Poland. The Author’s main thesis is that the experimental ITI concept causes additional conflicts between management authorities and beneficiaries who are used to the fact that declared and implemented intervention aims are different. The Author also assumes that there exist important factors that could potentially hinder the radical reforms and re-establish the status quo (or “domesticate” the policy). The main methods (desk research and involvement in preparatory works as a Ministry expert) determine the structure of the sources used. The paper offers some conclusions.
Sławomira Kańduła
The subject of the paper is the discussion on horizontal redistribution of public revenues among local self-government units. The assumed aim of this redistribution is to equalize the different levels of income and burden of expenditure. The paper lists desirable features of this redistribution, motives for its application, and arguments of its opponents. The analysis of the latter shows that while part of the criticism refers to the essence of horizontal redistribution, significantly more of it concerns the dysfunctions of its mechanism which became apparent after 2008. The criticism focuses, for example, on the criteria for making compensatory payments, the structure of tax revenue indices, the so-called reference period, the amounts of compensatory payments, the criteria for the distribution of the collected amounts. The paper includes suggestions concerning recommended directions of changes in the mechanism of this redistribution.
Agnieszka Kozera
The debt of local government units (LGU) is part of the public debt. Therefore, the analysis of the phenomenon of local government debt is important for the financial security of the state. In Poland, in the period 2007–2013, the debt of local government units rapidly increased, in particular in the major cities with poviat rights – metropolises. Due to the dual nature of metropolises, they perform many important tasks in the social and infrastructure sphere that determine the quality of life of their residents and contribute to the socio-economic development of the region and metropolitan areas. However, an excessive increase in debt of the metropolis may in the future be a barrier to achieving a high rate of socio-economic development. The aim of the paper is to analyze the phenomenon of indebtedness in the largest cities with poviat rights – metropolises – in Poland in the years 2007–2013. The study draws on publicly accessible databases compiled by the Ministry of Finance (Wskaźniki do oceny sytuacji fiansowej jednostek samorządu terytorialnego).
Jacek Wasilewski
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.
Maciej Holko
Neoclassical economists usually think of “microfoundations” before they come to macroeconomics. We claim exactly the opposite: every microeconomic theory should be grounded in a credible macroeconomic model. Such a model may be the classical paradigm and Kaleckian economics, which are fundamentally different from the neoclassical paradigm. Thus, we will prove the following thesis: political economy is better than the neoclassical theory at describing and explaining contemporary regional development processes. State policy has a fundamental role to play in shaping regional development, while local authorities may perform an auxiliary function.
Agnieszka Stanowicka-Traczyk
The paper is based on the results of empirical studies concerning town identity building conducted in 206 selected town administration offices in Poland during the years 2003–2005. The paper aimed at identifying the main identity strategy instruments applied in Polish towns. For that purpose the major town identity building instruments related to visualization, communication and pattern of behaviours including marketing activities, were identified and characterized. Those instruments should be focused around the most important attributes of a given town. It was established, however, that towns expose too many attributes of identity in their strategies hence the image created can become unclear and illegible.
Julita Łukomska, Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska
The paper describes an indicator constructed to measure financial flows between local governments in Poland. These flows are considered as the measure of local governments’ cooperation and of the strength of functional connections crossing administrative boundaries. The purpose of this paper is to present the scale and the subject of financial transfers between local governments and the factors explaining the variation of local governments’ financial cooperation. The biggest financial transfers take place in functional urban areas, but only in terms of current expenditures. Transfers of investments expenditures are higher outside these areas and are characteristic of less affluent municipalities. The strongest associate function is to provide transportation services: both in terms of current expenditures and investments.
Sławomira Hajduk
The aim of this paper is to evaluate the activity of local governments’ planning and investment service in the environmentally valuable areas of Podlaskie Voivodeship. Spatial planning at the local level is extremely important, especially in the environmentally valuable areas. It makes it possible to preserve the natural environment for future generations and to maintain ecological processes. However, protective measures should not disturb municipal investments. One of the appropriate solutions is the introduction of local land development plans – a framework of rational management of natural resources and of marketing development. This is particularly important in the areas of municipalities which, beside ecological functions, play an important role in the development of tourism and transport, and are situated in suburban areas.
Małgorzata Czornik, Piotr Gibas

The purpose of the paper is to point out the characteristic features of spatial development in cities of the Metropolitan Union of Silesia (GZM), located in the central subregion of the Upper Silesian region. The specificity of its development is the result of both historical conditions arising from the exploitation of natural resources, which were taking place for many centuries, as well as the contemporary economic and social impacts that are affecting the functioning of highly integrated territorial units that co-create the GZM. The presented research results refer to a selected area of interest in urban morphology. In this case, it is the comparison of a combination of building types located in the GZM cities with buildings in other cities of the Upper Silesian region and all other Polish cities.

Janusz Heller
Financial independence is considered to be a crucial instrument of self-governance. This issue is treated in a dynamic and structural approach. The aim of the research was the evaluation of the level of changes in local government units` financial independence. The highest level of independence is found in the cities with poviat rights, whereas the lowest is found in self-governing voivodeships and in poviats. In the communes, the level is average, but there are big differences between them in this aspect. The urban communes and those situated near big cities have a much higher level of financial independence than rural communes, situated far away from major cities.