EU Fund Absorption in Poland’s Podlaskie Province
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Publication date: 2010-10-31
GNPJE 2010;243(10):97-112
The article aims to identify factors determining the effectiveness of local governments in securing funds from the European Union. Local government authorities across the European Union are responsible for carrying out various public projects in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity followed in most countries in Europe. As part of a decentralization policy, the central government delegates authority to local areas and provides regional authorities with funds to carry out their responsibilities. According to the author, there is continued debate over whether budget funds available to local governments are sufficient to finance their projects. The European Charter of Local Self-Government, adopted by the Council of Europe in the mid-1980s, commits the ratifying member states to guaranteeing the political, administrative and financial independence of local authorities. Due to considerable limitations in the amount of funds available to local governments, they often use external funds while carrying out major infrastructure projects. Nonrefundable assistance from the EU is an especially desirable source of outside funding. An analysis of EU funds secured by individual districts in Poland’s Podlaskie province points to considerable differences in the scope of support obtained. Wyszkowska sets out to check what factors are responsible for these disproportions and why some districts obtain funds for a dozen or so projects, while others receive no support. Contrary to popular belief, securing funds from the EU depends not only on the financial status of the beneficiary, Wyszkowska concludes, but also on many other—institutional, administrative, personnel, organizational and political—factors.
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