The European Union, according to the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, promotes the economic development of member countries through five main funds: European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, Cohesion Fund, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
In current programming period (years 2014-2020), EU has allocated 960 billion euros (82.5 to Poland). The current budget treats economic growth, employment and competitiveness as a priority. For entrepreneurs, start-ups, young creative people a number of ways of support has been prepared and afforded by funding from the national operational programmes:
Smart Growth Operational Programme
Smart Growth is entirely financed from the European Regional Development Fund. It is addressed to:
- enterprises (in particular SMEs, start-ups)
- scientific institutions, consortia of companies
- business environment institutions.
Implementation of the program is based on the priority axes:
- support for R & D activity of enterprises
- support for the environment and capacity of enterprise for R&D&I activity
- support for innovation in enterprises
- Increase the research potential
- increase the intensity of cooperation within the framework of the National Innovation System
Operational Programme Eastern Poland
The program covers five provinces of Eastern Poland: Lubelskie, Podkarpacke, Świętokrzyskie, Warmińsko-mazurskie and Podlaskie. Programme’s objectives are aimed at improving the competitive position of Eastern Poland by stimulating economic development, including the increasing of innovativeness in economy and developing the labor market in the macro-region.
OP EP funds are intended to support innovative entrepreneurship, start-ups development, internationalization of SMEs and investment in public transport, roads and railways; in particular in:
- startup businesses,
- Innovation centers and animators of the Startup platforms,
- local government units
- PKP PLK SA
Operational Programme Digital Poland
Focused on Information - Communication Technologies (ICT) and, above all, on development of the broadband networks and e-Public Services. To provide a new mass access to broadband Internet, to rise digital competences of different social groups in order to eliminate digital exclude.
Programme Digital Poland enables financing the initiatives of telecom companies in the field of construction, expansion or remodeling the networks of accessing to the high speed Internet. Support can be given to the companies that are interested in projects of e-Government conducted in cooperation with local authorities and Government Administration.
Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment
Programme aims to support economy that effectively uses the resources and is environment friendly, also that conducing the territorial and social cohesion. The Programme will particularly promote cities by allocating financial resources in the areas of transport and improvement the energy efficiency. Support covers:
- local government units
- companies performing for public benefits,
- public administration,
- services other than public administration,
- institutions of Health Care,
- cultural, science and education institutions
- Large companies
- social organizations and religious associations.
Operational Programme Knowledge Education Development
Within this Programme entrepreneurs have the opportunity to obtain the financial resources to increase the competence of personnel. Two axes' young people on the labor market’ and ‘Improving the effectiveness of selected public policies "provide mechanisms of support and promote the employment and to start a business.
Regional Operational Programmes
The main objective is to increase the competitiveness of regions and improve the lives of their residents through using the regional potentials and eliminating development barriers, based on the strategies of regional development, with an emphasis being based on regional smart specialization strategies.
Regional Operational Programme for Świętokrzyskie 2014-2020 is aimed at dynamiting the economic development of the region, through new technologies and increasing the level of social capital.
Development Policy for the region focuses on strengthening the competitiveness and innovativeness of the regional economy and establishing strong potential of regional enterprises, covering areas such as:
- resource efficiency and low-carbon economy,
- social inclusion
- reduction of unemployment,
- improve the quality of social and public services
- modern communication
- labor market,
- social inclusion,
- development of education.
For 2014-2020 perspective EU designed special funding for financing new programs providing additional support in different areas:
- Horizon 2020 - to stimulate the research works at the highest level, to promote international cooperation and innovations in enterprises, etc. (80 billion euro)
- COSME program is to facilitate SMEs access to markets within the EU and beyond it, as well as to ensure an easier access to financing through loan guarantees and capital (2.3 billion euro)
- Connecting Europe Facility - the most important instrument for financing strategic infrastructure investments in construction of roads, railways, power grids, as well as the development of Information and Communication Technologies (33 billion euro)
- Erasmus + - to facilitate the stay of young people in internships abroad, which in turn will improve their skills and increase their employability (15 billion euros)
- Creative Europe aimed at European culture, cinema, television, music, literature, theater, cultural heritage and other related fields (1.5 billion euros).