Public Assistance in Poland Against the Background of Other European Union Countries
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Publication date: 2005-03-31
GNPJE 2005;198(3):67-89
The article offers a comparative analysis of the scope and structure of public assistance in Poland and the European Union prior to the latest round of enlargement. Financial assistance granted to businesses is an important instrument of economic policy and a form of state intervention aimed at protecting select sectors of the economy. The analysis focuses on the years 2000-2002, with 2003 data additionally considered in the case of Poland. The subject of the analysis was the scope of public assistance, including its relation to GDP, its structure by beneficiary (individual sectors of the economy), directions of allocation for sector and horizontal purposes as well as the instruments used. The analysis reveals that the allocation of funds as part of public assistance primarily depends on the goals that a given state intends to attain and on the financial resources at its disposal. Research has confirmed that the structure of assistance in Poland, in comparison with “EU-15” countries, differed in many respects, which primarily resulted from the restructuring needs of the Polish economy. The eventual completion of these processes will call for a reorientation in the allocation of public assistance, with limitations in sector assistance in favor of horizontal assistance—designed to support chiefly those priorities that contribute to an increased competitiveness of the economy, including the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, research and development and training. These changes will be linked with the takeover of supervision over public assistance by the European Commission. Its policies in this area will determine the extent of financial assistance granted to Polish entrepreneurs in the coming years as well as the limits for using such support as an instrument of economic policy.
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