Brexit May Harm Polandís Regions: Opinion
April 6, 2017
A Polish local government official is warning that Britainís divorce with Europe could cause Polandís regions to lose some of the funds they normally receive from Brussels.
Brexit will lead to changes in Europeís economic statistics that could harm Poland, says Adam Struzik, chairman of Polandís central Mazovia province. He recently voiced his view at a meeting of the EUís Committee of the Regions.
Struzik argues that it is crucial that average GDP per capita is ďcalculated correctlyĒ once Brexit happens. GDP per capita is the main criterion for the allocation of EU funds, and Poland will become statistically richer after Britain leaves the bloc even though its national income will not increase in any way, according to Struzik.
ďIf a certain statistical effect occurs, the group of transition regions might turn out to be a lot larger,Ē Struzik told the EUís Committee of the Regions in December. He was referring to regions with a GDP per capita ranging from 75 to 90 percent of the EU average. The highest EU structural funds are available to regions with less than 75 percent of the EU average. Consequently, it is important to apply objective criteria when assessing the affluence of individual regions, Struzik argued.
He also suggested that the EU average often ďblurs the real picture,Ē and the allocation of EU funds should take into account social indicators such as unemployment, in addition to the GDP criterion.
The latest data from Eurostat, the EUís statistics agency, shows that two Polish provinces have already passed the 75-percent GDP mark. These are Mazovia, which was recently split into two statistical areas, and the Lower Silesia in the countryís southwest. The latest forecasts indicate that three other provincesóWielkopolskie in the west, Silesia in the south and Pomerania in the northómay soon follow suit.
All EU regions are covered by the 28-nation blocís cohesion policy, but most structural funds go to regions whose GDP per capita is under 75 percent of the EU28 average.
Source: Polish Press Agency