Institution Building for Regional Policy in Central and Eastern European Countries – Ready for Accession to the EU?
The contribution investigates the state of institution building for regional policy purposes in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary - candidate countries, which are preparing to become EU member states. In comparison with the situation at the beginning of the 1990s, when regional policy had only little importance in these countries, some progress has been achieved in the field of institution building, primarily at national level. A lot, however, still has to be done to complete this institution building: adaptation of programmes to the requirements of the EU regulations set for structural funds, designation of the management authorities and paying authorities, better coordination between the various central state institutions involved in regional policy, inclusion of regions into the national programming process. The competencies of these latter in the sphere of regional policy, which should be strengthened in the course of administrative reform in all the countries investigated, have not gained a foothold yet. In the accession states there is a need to clarify how the regions could be involved in the process of elaboration and realization of regional policy programmes.