The article focuses on a new approach to socioeconomic development in Poland and the European Union. Special macroregional programs have been adopted for the 2007-2013 period in the EU in connection with the bloc's territorial cohesion policy. A total of 13 macroregions have been identified, including two covering Poland-the Baltic Sea region and Central and Eastern Europe. The methodology used in the article is based on an analysis of both Polish and EU documents, the authors say. On this basis, Szlachta and Zaleski identified the problems that need to be resolved to take full advantage of the potential of socioeconomic programs in Poland and the EU as a whole. After 2013, the macroregions are expected to play a greater role in the European cohesion policy. Since the local government reform in Poland on Jan. 1, 1999 and the country's entry to the European Union on May 1, 2004, socioeconomic development has been pursued in Poland not only at the national but also at the provincial level. This model, however, has not made it possible to effectively deal with supra-provincial and interregional problems, according to the authors. A pioneering project for the 2007-2013 period is a Strategy for the Socioeconomic Development of Eastern Poland Through 2020, which covers the five poorest provinces in the country, Lubelskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Swietokrzyskie, and Warminsko-Mazurskie. The strategy became the basis for a special European Union operational program for eastern Poland for the 2007-2013 period. In the article, Szlachta and Zaleski discuss experiences and conclusions resulting from this project in the context of the conditions shaping regional policy in Poland and across the European Union. These conditions have changed substantially in recent years, according to the authors. In 2010, local governments in five Polish provinces, Dolnoslaskie, Lubuskie, Opolskie, Wielkopolskie, and Zachodniopomorskie, decided to start working on a strategy for western Poland. At the same time, the Polish Ministry of Regional Development, in cooperation with local governments in the eastern provinces, launched work to update the strategy for eastern Poland. In the final section of the article, the authors discuss the ways in such programs could be used to stimulate Poland's socioeconomic development.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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