The article examines the model and programs for the socioeconomic development of Wales. As a result of a devolution process, Wales gained the possibility of independently programming its developing policy in the 21st century. Wales is also a major beneficiary of European structural funds, as a result of which its national strategies must be in line with the priorities of European regional policy. The main value of the article is that it assesses, in a uniform analytical arrangement, the most important strategic long-term and medium-term documents of Wales, including a plan for the regional development of the country, a long-term concept for environmental policy, a medium-term strategy of socioeconomic development and a section of the National Strategic Reference Framework for 2007-2013 applying to Wales. All these documents represent an internally consistent arrangement, which also applies to studies prepared for the needs of the European Union. The analysis shows that Wales, taking advantage of the process of devolution, adopted a modern model of socioeconomic development oriented toward building a knowledge-based society. Logical and internally consistent development activities are especially important to an effective economic policy. An analysis of the Welsh socioeconomic policy and its EU context reveals that many of this country's experiences may be applied in other EU countries and regions, in keeping with the principle of promoting best practices. Because Poland faces development challenges similar to those embraced by Wales over the past few years, the final part of the text presents the most important conclusions and recommendations for Poland.
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