Economic and Legal Instruments of Local Industrial Policy: The Case of Poland
Purpose: The aim of this paper is to diagnose and evaluate local spatial policy in Poland regarding the development of industrial activities. Design/Methodology/Approach: Legal and economic instruments currently used in local governments at their lowest level (commune) have been analyzed. The study used methods typical of social sciences, i.e., methods of empirical cognition, descriptive analysis, and deductive and inductive reasoning. In addition, the legal and dogmatic method was used in legal regulations analysis. The key tools of spatial policy were also analyzed: studies of spatial development conditions and directions as well as local spatial development plans in communes covered in the industrial use to the highest degree in these plans. Findings: Analysis of the instruments used by communes in Poland as part of industrial policy shows that they are not always adequate and keep up with the growing needs associated with strong changes in the organization of industry. Industrial policy at the local level in Poland is a relatively new phenomenon. Therefore, there is a lack of experience that would allow developing long-term legal and economic solutions. This would give communes the basis to develop stable plans and take action to develop Industry 4.0. The state should implement a program to help communes related to stimulation of desirable, i.e. modern industries. Practical Implications: Results of the analyses carried out should serve as the basis for verifying the legal regulations and economic instruments used by communes regarding industrial policy. Appropriate suggestions have been made in this regard. Originality/Value: This is the first comprehensive study for Poland, and its value is because this country before 1989 developed in the conditions of a centrally controlled economy and socialist, accelerated industrialization. After 1989, industrial policy was considered a “communist survival” with great disadvantage to the development of the country. It has only been in recent years in public debate and top-level government documents that this issue has been restored to its due rank.