A Comparative Analysis of Local Investment Projects Implemented in Poland after its Accession to The European Union to Promote the Sustainable Development of Rural Areas

  • Katarzyna Kocur-Bera
  • Associate Professor DSc.


Background: There are many definitions of sustainable development. In the most general terms, sustainable development is defined as a process that correlates and equates three domains of human existence: nature, society and the economy. Developmental models can include a broader range of measures and phenomena to indicate which components deliver beneficial effects in all three domains. The harmonization of the relationships between society, economy and nature requires new, more effective and environmentally-friendly technologies, restrictions on the use of natural resources and energy, elimination of production systems that lead to environmental pollution, as well as changes in lifestyle and the existing hierarchy of values. Territorial governments manage resources and embark on investments in accordance with a set of local rules. These processes should conform to the principles of sustainable development. The above approach is advocated by the European Union which implements various programs and strategies that are committed to the promotion of sustainable development. The aim of the this study was to compare investment projects which have been implemented after Poland’s accession to European Union and to determine their compliance with the principles of sustainable development in rural areas. Materials and methods: The collection of data used in the analysis was extracted from: the Central Statistical Office (Poland), survey questionnaire (50 experts), information about investment projects which were financed by the local authorities and co-financed by the European Union in 2007-2016. The statistical analyzes, survey and comparative methods were used to achieve the objective. Results: A shift in investment focus indicates that the effectiveness of projects supporting sustainable development differed in the analyzed domains. None of the analyzed municipalities placed equal emphasis on the promotion of social, economic and environmental domain in rural areas. Conclusion: Investment projects in rural areas equally affecting all three areas of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental), does not work in practice.