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    Poland’s experience with EU funds: good use of resources will lead to the successful development of all regions

    Conference in Zagreb:

    “For the next financial period, we need to set the strategic priorities of the Republic of Croatia in the coming years. In order to achieve this, it is important to involve citizens, but also representatives of universities, representatives of regional and local government as well as civil society organizations” stated Goran Pauk, Croatian County Association President, at a conference on 22nd of February 2018 in Zagreb.

    The conference “Experiences of Poland in the Negotiation Processes and the Importance of Regional Operational Programs for the Development of Regions” was organized by the Croatian County Association and the Ministry of Regional Development and Funds.

    Following the initiative of greater participation of the Croatian counties (županija) in the negotiations and the recognition of the importance of the operational programs for regional development in cohesion policy, the Croatian regions have brought two Polish specialists to Zagreb thanks to the good cooperation with the Polish Democratic Alliance.

    The key to successful implementation of the EU funds of the Republic of Poland lies in the reduction of national and regional programming levels, which means that the Polish regions correspond to the European regions, which Croatia is also aiming for. One of them is the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, from which Marcin Szymt and Piotr Wolski come from, both experts in the preparation and management of regional operational programs for the period 2007-2013 as well as for the current financial period 2014-2020: The operational programs in Poland go through several phases and many steps, the most important is good preparation. The focus is on the comprehensive collection of barriers as well as the investment and project potential of local and regional self-government units, said Marcin Szmyt in his speech.

    Both the national and the regional level were involved in the negotiation process, each with its own tasks. The division of tasks between national and regional levels has been undertaken in order to achieve greater transparency and accountability for the management of EU funds. The regional programs correspond to the thematic objectives of cohesion policy, starting with research and innovation, promoting social inclusion and combating poverty, as well as strengthening the institutional potential and efficiency of public administration.

    A good example of good practice is integrated territorial cooperation, emphasized Piotr Wolski. The Territorial Agreement provides for consistency between the actions undertaken by the Government, with local self-government setting the development priorities and strategic areas of intervention for which EU funds and national resources will be provided in a new financial perspective. The above mentioned agreement will serve as a basis for negotiations on the future regional program, as well as the basis of state budget support and the EU distribution instrument and national funds between regions.

    The Republic of Poland has received over 80 billion Euros from EU funds so far.

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