National and Regional Development Policy: Comparing Ireland and Poland
More details
Hide details
Publish date: 2008-02-29
Gospodarka Narodowa 2008;221(1-2):1–15
The paper describes how, within the European single market, the economies of small nation states and regions of larger states have more in common than is often recognized. The author suggests that, as a role model in the design of a special development program for the eastern Polish regions, the example of Ireland is relevant to Polish regional administrations as they attempt to achieve the best return from capturing gains from European Union and national policies as well as building on their own, rather limited, locally devolved powers. The analysis demonstrates that during the 18-year period of three EU-assisted investment programs, the Irish economic policymaking environment shifted from one appropriate to a state on the periphery of Europe to that of a region more fully integrated into an encompassing European economy. The author concludes that the challenge facing regional policymakers is to understand how national policies can have both positive and negative regionally asymmetric impacts, while acknowledging the extremely constrained scope for designing offsetting region-specific policies within the context of the nation state. It is politically difficult to design regional policies that introduce fundamental differences between regions of a nation state other than in terms of the level of income redistribution. But if the Polish regional economies are to be renewed, big innovations are precisely what are needed.