The Vulnerability of Polish Regions to the Challenges of the Modern Economy
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Publication date: 2016-08-31
GNPJE 2016;284(4):23-46
The paper deals with the conditions affecting the economic growth of Poland`s regions. Research questions are initially formulated about regularities and factors contributing to the economic success of Polish regions after their market-oriented transition. Changes in the theoretical foundations of regional policy are then discussed as well as the contribution of the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the European Union (EU) to the new doctrine. The global and European megatrends of recent decades - unfavorable to regions in EU member states, in part due to the 2008+ crisis - are described. The European cohesion policy, a unique solution globally to support regional development, plays a major role in the socioeconomic development of Poland`s regions. Poland is the EU`s biggest beneficiary of this policy, which is now oriented toward boosting regional competitiveness. Polish regions are steadily becoming stronger within the EU, as this paper demonstrates, with the best growth trajectories enjoyed by the strongest regions. The impact of the 2008+ recession on Polish regions was limited, largely thanks to quality public policies. This good trajectory may be hard to achieve in the future due to what is known as the middle-income trap. Therefore, adjustments have to be made in Polish regional policy and other policies to make regions less vulnerable to the volatility of socioeconomic development.
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