Considering the increasing role of cities throughout the world and in Europe, the European Union regulations on cohesion policy that are binding in the 2014–2020 programme period have foreseen the need to introduce a separate intervention dedicated to cities and their functional areas. However, the implementation of these solutions did not come without certain problems. They referred both to the process of institutionalising co-operation and to the realisation of projects. Also in Poland, Integrated Territorial Investments have not gone beyond co-operation for the absorption of EU funding so far, which demonstrates doubtlessly that their potential still remains unexploited. Thus, a discussion on both the positive and negative aspects of the implementation of ITIs is necessary. Poland, as the largest beneficiary of the Cohesion Policy, has a wide experience, which might provide valuable information on that matter. The aim of the paper is to present these experiences and to provide conclusions for the regional policy.
During the last decades we observe growing importance of cities for socio-economic development, what concern especially larger cities. Currently patterns of socio-economic processes are very diff erent from those registered at the end of XX century. An important role in revival of cities played cohesion policy of European Union. Poland is an example of very well structured settlement system what could be used as an asset to avoid medium development trap for polish economy. In Poland issues of urban policy formulation are much better addressed in last generation of development strategies on central and regional levels.
In this paper experiences and manifestations of territorialisation of European cohesion policy, with special concentration on Poland, who is the biggest benefi ciary of that EU policy, were presented. Regional level is having strongest impact on success of territorialisation of public policies, but general conditions are shaped by central level, and also local level role is increasing, including cities and urban policy. Later an analysis of possibilities and conditions of EU cohesion policy territorialisation was elaborated, evaluating favourable and unfavourable factors. Conclusions are rather pessimistic, because there are many restrictions and preliminary preconditions of effi cient and eff ective decentralisation of EU structural intervention.