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Poland is the largest beneficiary of Union assistance. The European Union has allocated EUR 82.5 billion to our country over the 2014–2020 period. Funds will be invested in increasing the competitiveness of the Polish economy, improving social and territorial cohesion and in raising the effectiveness and efficiency of administration.

For what will the funds be allocated?

Poland will invest the largest amounts in transport infrastructure (road and railway), though the highest growth is expected to occur in the area of innovativeness and support for entrepreneurs. We will continue to finance investments in environmental protection and energy production, as well projects in the area of culture, employment, education or prevention of social exclusion.

Voivodeship cities and neighbouring gminas will receive large support for the implementation of joint projects in the field of transport accessibility.

In addition, funds will be used to finance urban investments, in particular projects related to comprehensive revitalisation, clean urban transport and low carbon economy. The EU also requires Poland to ensure the development of the so-called smart specialisations, i.e. to guarantee that individual regions focus on selected priorities of the innovation policy.

In addition to non-repayable grants the European Union provides also the so-called repayable instruments, i.e. loans and credits. These instruments are available to both entrepreneurs and local authorities.The 2014–2020 perspective will be implemented in Poland by means of 6 national operational programmes managed by the Ministry of Economic Development and 16 regional programmes managed by Marshal’s Offices.

National programmes 

No. Programme title European Funds
1. Infrastructure and Environment EUR 27.4 billion
2. Smart Growth EUR 8.6 billion
3. Knowledge Education Development EUR 4.7 billion
4. Digital Poland EUR 2.2 billion
5. Eastern Poland EUR 2 billion
6. Technical Assistance EUR 0.7 billion

The largest amount of funding was allocated to the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment. The priorities of this programme include: low carbon economy, environmental protection, development of the national civil engineering infrastructure and energy security.

The second largest amount of funding was allocated to the Operational Programme Smart Growth. This programme is also the largest programme financing research, development and innovation in the European Union.

Operational Programme Knowledge Education Development aims at activating young unemployed people under 30, supporting higher education, developing social innovations, mobility and cross-border cooperation, as well as carrying out a reform of public policies in the field of employment, social inclusion, education, health and good governance.

Operational Programme Digital Poland aims at increasing the availability of the Internet, establishing a citizen-friendly e-administration which will make it possible to resolve various issues via a computer and disseminating the knowledge about computers and computer skills within the society.

Operational Programme Eastern Poland is a supraregional programme for Eastern Poland voivodeships aiming at increasing the competitiveness and innovativeness of the Eastern Poland macro-region by supporting innovativeness and research development and by improving the investment appeal of the macro-region, in particular by increasing its transport accessibility.

Operational Programme Technical Assistance aims to ensure the efficient functioning of the institutions responsible for implementing the funds, as well as to contribute to the creation of an effective European funds information and promotion system. 

Furthermore, Poland will implement Rural Development Programme (EUR 8.5 billion) and Operational Programme Fisheries and the Sea (EUR 0.5 billion). 

Regional programmes

Aside from national programmes, EU funds are allocated to 16 regional programmes. Their aim is to support the development of all the regions.

In this case the funds are managed not by the central authorities, but by local government institutions – i.e. voivodeship boards.

Amount of EU funding allocated to individual regional programmes:

  • Dolnośląskie Voivodeship – EUR 2.25 billion
  • Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship – EUR 1.9 billion
  • Lubelskie Voivodeship – EUR 2.23 billion
  • Lubuskie Voivodeship – EUR 0.9 billion
  • Łódzkie Voivodeship – EUR 2.25 billion
  • Małopolskie Voivodeship – EUR 2.87 billion
  • Mazowieckie Voivodeship – EUR 2.08 billion
  • Opolskie Voivodeship – EUR 0.9 billion
  • Podkarpackie Voivodeship – EUR 2.1 billion
  • Podlaskie Voivodeship – EUR 1.21 billion
  • Pomorskie Voivodeship – EUR 1.86 billion
  • Śląskie Voivodeship – EUR 3.47 billion
  • Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship – EUR 1.36 billion
  • Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship – EUR 1.72 billion
  • Wielkopolskie Voivodeship – EUR 2.45 billion
  • Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship – EUR 1.6 billion

European Territorial Cooperation programmes

European Territorial Cooperation programmes (EUR 0.7 billion) are characterised by their international nature and their focus on cooperation between the Polish beneficiaries and their foreign partners. Typical projects carried out across the borders may focus on the protection of cultural heritage and the environment, development of infrastructure, development of entrepreneurship and education.