Summary: The paper calls for an immediate start on the Polish national development plan for the period beyond 2006. The plan must be fundamentally different from the current National development plan for 2004-2006. First of all, it must cover a longer time span and focus on domestic development objectives and circumstances. While it should take into account the evolving EU cohesion policy, it must nevertheless stem from consideration given to Polandu0092s strategic interests. It should give much more priority to economic development and entrepreneurship. It should be based on a domestic structural economic transformation strategy as well as a domestic regional development policy. The intellectual approach to the issue of the EU funds must change. The experience of EU member states shows that it is not as important what percentage of the funds is spent u0096 which is what the Polish government is focusing on u0096 as whether they are spent sensibly. This should be the focus of planners and decision-makers. The system of managing programmes financed under the Structural Funds after 2006 should be decentralised and simplified. 16 and not just one regional development operating programme should be established and provincial authorities should be granted wider executive powers. The organising and legislative work should be intensified in the run-up to May 2004, i.e. the day of Polandu0092s accession to EU membership, so as to best use the EU funds granted for 2004-2006. Changes are particularly needed in the system of public finances, IT and financial spending control systems and administration training.
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