The Use of EU Structural Funds by Entrepreneurs
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Publication date: 2009-02-28
GNPJE 2009;229(1-2):69–87
The paper examines the process of absorbing European Union funds earmarked for Polish enterprises for 2004-2006. The research is based on an in-depth analysis of statistical data obtained by institutions responsible for managing EU programs in Poland as well as the country’s Central Statistical Office (GUS). Reports, opinions and surveys prepared by Polish business executives were also taken into consideration. In the paper, Ostaszewskachecks if Polish companies benefitting from EU funds were in a position to absorb these funds properly and use them to build their competitive advantage. She notes that too few enterprises in Poland have taken advantage of EU funds. Besides most these funds have been invested in non-innovative projects, she says. On the plus side, Ostaszewska says, preliminary calculations show that all the EU funds earmarked for Polish enterprises for the 2004-2006 period have reached their beneficiaries, which means there is no threat that Poland could lose part of the EU support. Polish enterprises are only beginning to learn how to put EU structural funds to good use, Ostaszewska notes. This means that some mistakes in the 2004-2006 programming period were inevitable, she says. In the years ahead, Polish businesses should be able to learn from their mistakes and absorb new funds in a better way-one that will be more beneficial for the economy as a whole, Ostaszewska concludes.