OECD Territorial Reviews: Poland 2008

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Poland 2008

Although Poland has managed to maintain high growth levels since the mid-1990s, with the second-best performance in the OECD in 2006-07, territorial disparities are persistent and rising, especially between large urban areas and rural ones. Like many OECD countries, Poland must seek to achieve an appropriate balance between support for poles of growth and the development of lagging regions, particularly its eastern peripheral regions, which are among the poorest in the European Union. This report explores the various challenges and opportunities for Polish regional development policy, and provides recommendations to best design and implement the policy mix, looking in particular at governance challenges.

English Also available in: Polish, French

Drivers of Growth and Challenges for Regional Development

Poland is one of the fastest growing countries in the OECD: average annual growth rate in Poland was above 4% between 1995 and 2005. However, the growth of GDP is not distributed evenly throughout the country. Poland has one of the OECD area’s greatest territorial disparities in terms of GDP per capita at TL3 level. Moreover, the disparities have increased since 1995, as the growth dynamics have been concentrated in certain locations. Three sets of disparities are visible: i) a persistent gap between eastern and western Poland; ii) a gap between Warsaw and the rest of the country; iii) rising intra-regional disparities, in particular in the regions of Warsaw (Mazowieckie), Poznan (Wielkopolskie) and Cracow (Malopolskie), which are largely due to rising disparities between large urban areas and rural ones. The growth rate in Polish urban areas has been among the OECD leaders for 1998-2003. While some challenges are specific to urban or rural areas, the need to hasten the move to the knowledge economy and to improve the transport infrastructure is common to all regions. This chapter assesses main trends in regional performances and disparities and identifies key challenges for the development of Poland’s regions.

English Also available in: French

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