THE PRESENT STATE AND PROSPECTS FOR A MULTIFUNCTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF RURAL AREAS IN POLAND IN THE CONTEXT OF ACCESSION TO EU
The rate of development of rural areas is not satisfactory both in the light of the existing needs and of the expectations of the rural population. It is not possible to make up fast for delays in Poland's civilisational development in relation to the advanced EU countries. This process takes time and requires patience and respect for the rule that 'tough' economic and infrastructure parameters are not the only determinants of the chances of individual communes. Another important determinant is 'social capital'. The success of efforts to release the potential represented by local communities depends on many factors, including a well functioning self-government, the emergence of rural leaders, an improvement in the general level of education, increased confidence and readiness to co-operate, etc. Local development and its prospects should be strictly associated with such programmes as 'LEADER' and 'Revival of Rural Areas'. This is the reason why greater attention should be given in the strategy for 2007-2013 to the elements which contribute to the development of social capital of the rural areas.
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