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The article deals with the problem of cohesion between the local potential of the rural communes of the Lódzkie province and the directions of pro-development initiatives launched by the local authorities. The authors' considerations boil down to a comparison between the weak and strong points of the analysed communes, as subjectively perceived by the local decision-makers, and the number and directions of actions taken to support local development. The results of this comparison make it possible to formulate a conclusion that the local potential determines to a minimal degree only the directions of activities undertaken by local governments. They reveal the low level of specialization in respect of the launched ventures which take into account these features of the local environment that attest to its specific character and form its potential
The LEADER+ Pilot Programme was included in Poland's structural funds as measure 2.7 of the Sectoral Operational Programme 'Restructuring and Modernisation of the Food Sector and Development of Rural Areas'. The filing of applications and the procedure of their formal evaluation took nearly a year. 174 applications were admitted to the implementation of Scheme I with the purpose of creating and registering a Local Action Group and preparing an Integrated Development Strategy for Rural Areas. The first agreements on subsidies to Scheme I were signed in August 2005. Some partnerships decided to start implementing the programme without financial assistance. What does the process of implementing Scheme I of the LEADER+ Pilot Programme look like? What, according to persons directly involved in the formation of partnerships and creation of the Integrated Development Strategy for Rural Areas, are the strong and weak points of the programme, and what opportunities and threats are connected with its implementation? These are the most important questions that the authoresses of the article are trying to answer. Their analysis is based on the results of research carried out in two Polish communes. The aim of research conducted with the help of participating observation and other techniques of collecting materials was to present the course and mechanisms of implementation of Scheme I of the LEADER+ Pilot Programme. The results of the conducted analysis provide material for considerations as to the chances for success and development of the 'common European initiative' in Poland.
Modernization processes in the agro-food sector and rural areas in Poland, in compliance with challenges and versatile conditions, are a fundamental and, at the same time, very complex problem. A strong influence on the direction of activities launched to modernize agriculture, agricultural markets and rural areas is also exerted by processes connected with the globalization of economic systems, integration with European Communities, and macroeconomic solutions resulting from the decisions of the World Trade Organization. Taking into consideration all these conditions the stimulation of the modernization process in this sector becomes an important task for state policy. The experience to-date suggests that the present policy of financing research and development (R&D) is conditioned by many dependencies and has not produced, as for the time being, fully satisfactory results in the form of significant improvements or a faster rate of implementation of modernization processes in Poland's agricultural sector and rural areas.
The authoress examines the possibilities of supporting the development of rural communes by means of application of marketing concepts. She concentrates her attention on promotion efforts launched at the initiative of the representatives of local councils. The main thesis is that there exists a relation between the distinguished types of communes (which differ in term of social, economic and cultural factors of development) and their promotional initiatives. The results of surveys conducted by her confirm the generally prevailing opinion about the bad economic condition of rural areas. Local authorities concentrate their attention mainly on the endogenous socio-cultural development and rarely on matters connected with economic development. The latter is initiated owing to the local resources rather than owing to the search for impulses (in the form of personnel, financial means or investors) that could be found outside the commune. Promotion is addressed to the local community chiefly. A statistically significant relation existed between four groups of variables: internal economic promotion - economic character of development; internal social promotion - mixed character of development; internal social promotion - economic character of development. The results of conducted research indicate that communes launch promotion efforts mainly in the internal social and the internal cultural spheres. Entities that apply for the external economic promotion more often record better economic indicators and, consequently, achieve a better position on the labour market and are richer. Key words: promotion efforts, local development, rural areas.
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