Europa XXI (2023) vol. 45

Directions of change in the spatial policies of Polish border municipalities during the first year of war in Ukraine, 2022

Przemysław Śleszyński, Maciej J. Nowak

Europa XXI (2023) vol. 45, pp. 5 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/Eu21.2023.45.5

Local-level spatial policies in Poland are determined by diverse social, economic, political and environmental factors. On the one hand, they result from the specific characteristics of individual areas. On the other, however, supra-local factors are found to be playing an increasingly important role. These can include trends related to the Europeanisation of spatial planning and the associated promoted institutional changes and changes in planning practices. However, from February 2022 onwards, certain European countries in particular have seen another important factor has come into play, i.e. the war in Ukraine. It thus seems legitimate to verify how the fundamental change in the geopolitical situation, i.e. the location in the immediate vicinity of a victim state (Ukraine), an aggressor state (Russia) and an aggressor-friendly state (Belarus), along with a number of related consequences (including a change in the nature of border capacity, a sense of insecurity, potential changes in investment policy, etc.) determine the directions local spatial policies have been taking. The main purpose of the article is to diagnose the current planning situation of units of local-government administration along Poland’s eastern border by reference to two groups of issues: (1) concerning the state of progress of planning work, as well as (2) the impact of the outbreak of war in Ukraine on changes in spatial policy (perforce ancillary, given the small number of responses received). The source of the data were annual surveys of the Ministry of Development and Technology and Statistics Poland regarding the advancement of planning work at the level of the Polish gmina, as well and a survey addressed to all 77 such units of local administration located by the border. Particular reference was made to the application of spatial-planning instruments at the local level (studies of spatial planning conditions and directions, local spatial development plans and decisions on development conditions – with the analyses concerning the period before the major July 2023 amendment of spatial planning law). Particular attention was paid to the frequency of enactment of individual acts, with this being related to both earlier periods and trends in Poland as a whole. The research finds that the relatively high level of activity shown by some of the surveyed gminas in amending/updating spatial planning studies and spatial / physical development plans may not be related to the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The Polish spatial-planning system in fact lacks instruments by which to react flexibly and ensure the integration of development policies (as is particularly necessary when a crisis erupts).

Keywords: local government, Polish border areas, public safety, Schengen border, spatial policy, war

Przemysław Śleszyński [psleszyn@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00‑818 Warszawa, Poland
Maciej J. Nowak [maciej.nowak@zut.edu.pl], Zachodniopomorski Uniwersytet Technologiczny w Szczecinie Wydział Ekonomiczny

Citation

APA: Śleszyński, P., & Nowak, M. (2023). Directions of change in the spatial policies of Polish border municipalities during the first year of war in Ukraine, 2022. Europa XXI, 45, 5. https://doi.org/10.7163/Eu21.2023.45.5

MLA: Śleszyński, Przemysław and Nowak, Maciej J.. "Directions of change in the spatial policies of Polish border municipalities during the first year of war in Ukraine, 2022". Europa XXI, vol. 45, 2023, pp. 5. https://doi.org/10.7163/Eu21.2023.45.5

Chicago: Śleszyński, Przemysław and Nowak, Maciej J.. "Directions of change in the spatial policies of Polish border municipalities during the first year of war in Ukraine, 2022". Europa XXI 45 (2023): 5. https://doi.org/10.7163/Eu21.2023.45.5

Harvard: Śleszyński, P., & Nowak, M. 2023. "Directions of change in the spatial policies of Polish border municipalities during the first year of war in Ukraine, 2022". Europa XXI, vol. 45, pp. 5. https://doi.org/10.7163/Eu21.2023.45.5