Small and medium sized enterprises (SME) play an important role in the economies of numerous emerging economies. Despite the fact that the SME sector plays a significant role in the national economy it still suffers from the underdeveloped financial sector services. It results in the lower levels of indebtedness of private sector in Poland in relation to such emerging economies like Malaysia, Estonia or Chile. The commercial financial sector is inefficient in delivering funds to SME, the important role in this area is played by regional policy, especially supported from European regional funds. The distribution of development funds is realized with serious problems because SME are reluctant to financial sector services and besides typical grants, debt-type instruments meet serious problems. Polish SME are also reluctant to use support instruments aimed at developing innovations, R&D, and intellectual property (IP) protection. Imitation model of growth still dominates among Polish SME. To address this issue, in 2014 the University of Gdansk (UG) launched a project, supported by National Science Centre (NCN, governmental), on using behavioural interventions to increase the propensity of Polish SME to apply more ambitious development measures through support instruments. The research revealed, that the majority of tested behavioural interventions aimed at building friendly support environment proved to be efficient and increased the interest of SME in developmental activities.
Improving energy efficiency is key to moving toward sustainable development. It contributes to the reduction of energy consumption and carbon emissions, as well as to climate change mitigation. Indicators of energy efficiency play an important role in this field because their improvement is targeted by policy makers. Indicators based on the ratio between energy consumption and gross domestic product (GDP) are currently used by multiple key organizations, including Eurostat and the World Bank, as the main energy efficiency indicators. This study examines the most widely used indicators and identifies their deficiencies. Over the last decades, these indicators tend to show a continuous strong improvement, signifying positive progress toward energy efficiency, even in cases when the physical consumption of energy has increased significantly. This phenomenon is based on GDP adjustment. The energy intensity of economies, used currently to measure energy efficiency, masks problems and has led to the green labeling of wealthier economies. An analysis of energy efficiencies reported for multiple countries and the structure of their energy spending shows that the reported values are counterproductive for comparing economies in the context of environmental protection. The indicators sanction economies with low energy consumption and low or moderate GDP. The economies belonging to the group of the largest energy spenders per capita are labeled highly efficient because of GDP adjustment. Decision makers are therefore prompted to focus on GDP growth even at the cost of a major increase in energy consumption. An additional problem in the indicators is that they do not properly model international trade. The responsibility for energy spending is shifted toward the producers of energy-intensive goods and services. Energy intensity is a useful indicator to measure the resistance of an economy to the volatilities of energy prices. However, the challenges in the fields of environmental pollution and climate change are related to physical processes and energy consumption rather than to changes in the GDP or the monetary valuation of products and services. Indicators measuring energy efficiency as GDP per unit of energy use are inadequate and misleading as principal tools to measure energy efficiency.
The EU member states have implemented excise duties on fuel and electricity according to the EU Energy Tax Directive. The purpose of these measures is to motivate a reduction in energy consumption by internalizing external costs of energy. The taxes on energy have success in inciting energy savings. Simultaneously, the price levels of energy in the EU member states have increased to levels significantly higher compared to other countries in the region and the world. The price increase is the result of a cumulative effect of excise duties and other taxes and mechanisms including feed-in tariffs and quota policies. While the Energy Tax Directive gives the member states a level of freedom in setting the exact duty rates, the minimal rates enforced on all member states are relatively high. The policy intends to limit competition between the states on low energy prices and arbitrage trading between countries. We examine the purchasing power for energy products relative to the per capita GDP for a wide set of countries countries within the EU and in the rest of the world. We can identify several groups or clusters of countries based on their GDP per capita and energy prices. The new member states of the EU face a unique combination of low or moderate GDP per capita and very high energy prices. Their relative purchasing power for energy is degraded to levels comparable or lower than the purchasing power in developing countries with significantly lower GDP per capita and underdeveloped energy infrastructure. The calibration of energy taxation in the EU at high price levels suitable for Western European economies with high per capita GDP is leading to strong negative social effects and increasing poverty in Eastern European member states. The current implementation of these policies does not recognize to a sufficient extent income levels, regional social inequalities, and the low price elasticity of demand for energy.
Regional-level authorities are increasingly involved in designing their own strategies to support and enhance innovative local dynamics and improve the performance of their regional innovation systems. The aim of the paper is to assess the role of regional authorities’ policy in building innovation capacity of Pomorskie Voivodeship. As research methods, the author used descriptive analysis, analysis of strategic documents and data analysis. The results show that local government authorities of Pomorskie Voivodeship are active in supporting innovativeness of the region. Cluster policy and bottom- up process of defining smart specialisations may be assessed positively. However, a lack of separate governance structures of the regional innovation system, such as planning, organization, motivation and monitoring should be recognized as unfavourable. Finally, it is still necessary to concentrate measures on meeting needs necessary for an effective commercialization of innovative solutions.
In search for a path of development, some communities face internal factors deeply influencing the choice of development strategy. Such factor would be an environmental protection of the territory, as it may crucially limit industrial activity. Narol community, located in southeastern Poland, near the Ukrainian border (Podkarpackie Voivodeship), has landscape protection of several levels covering 100% of the territory, so the possible development could not consist on industrial investments. On the other hand the concerned region, Roztocze, is a recognized touristic area, but Narol was always rather out of its main tourists trails. Nevertheless its assets (nature reserves, landscape and monuments), would predestine Narol for a touristic destination. But, considering strong competition in the region, the distinguishing feature would be of importance. The municipality had recognized cultural tourism as a way Narol could adopt, and has started several activities aiming to transform Narol into a cultural centre of the region. This paper presents the study case of Narol municipality’s activities in the context of transferring neglected heritage into an activated agent of development – resulting in social and economic growth. Its’ aim is to research (based on the Narol example) a place of local heritage assets in development process: if, and how they can be used to increase community’s sustainable growth.
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