Industrial and Cohesion Policy and The EU’s Reindustrialization Plan: Implications for Poland
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Publish date: 2014-10-31
Gospodarka Narodowa 2014;273(5):53–80
The paper looks at whether the European Union’s industrial and cohesion policies for the 2014–2020 period can contribute to the reindustrialization of EU regions and to what extent this objective is reflected in Poland’s economic development strategy. The author uses a method based on analyzing trends in the development of industry and in EU industrial policy as well as plans for reinvigorating European industry contained in strategic EU and Polish government documents. The EU’s Strategy 2020 confirms a distinct evolution in the European Commission’s approach to industry, according to the author. This is reflected in a focus on not only horizontal activities, Gawlikowska­‑Hueckel says, but also—in a novel approach—on sector­‑specific activities, including support for the restructuring of beleaguered sectors, the author argues. The reindustrialization process will be supported by cohesion policy through measures such as co‑financing smart strategies and investment in industry. But this strategy may prove to be ineffective, Gawlikowska­‑Hueckel warns. She adds that the development of a modern industry in Europe will mostly depend on the location preferences of corporations, which have become independent market players in this era of globalization and are choosing investment destinations to suit their own interests. Therefore a “renaissance” in European industry will largely depend on the conditions on the internal market and on whether or not it provides an attractive alternative to countries with lower production costs, Gawlikowska­‑Hueckel says. As for Poland’s strategy, new measures to support the renewal of industry should be taken, taking advantage of synergy effects in industrial and cohesion policy, the author says. At the moment strategic government documents rule out sector intervention. Given the aims and instruments of industrial and cohesion policies, Gawlikowska­‑Hueckel concludes, cohesion policy can have a more “pro‑industrial” effect.