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The Challenge of Rapidly Improving Transport Infrastructure in Poland


  • Rafal Kierzenkowski



Following many years of underinvestment, renovating and building new transport infrastructure is an important policy priority that would increase labour mobility and improve Poland’s competitiveness. This goal is all the more feasible given that the country is going to benefit from substantial EU structural and cohesion funds over the programming period 2007-13. On top of the limited timeframe for the absorption of EU funds, the European soccer championship that Poland is going to co-host with Ukraine in 2012 imposes an additional time constraint on many investment projects. The country is heavily reliant on road transport but is lacking an efficient high-speed road network. It needs important renovation investments both in the rolling stock and infrastructure network of the railway sector. It also faces the challenges of revitalising maritime transport as well as extending and upgrading airport facilities to cope with the fastest growing air market in Europe. However, many obstacles remain and hinder the implementation of investment plans and thus need to be resolved rapidly. From the macroeconomic perspective, these are related to rising prices of scarce labour and intermediate inputs, while from the microeconomic standpoint the main difficulties lie in the area of the regulatory framework underlying the provision of physical infrastructure. Le défi d'une amélioration rapide des infrastructures de transport en Pologne Après des années de sous-investissement, la rénovation des infrastructures de transport existantes et la construction d’infrastructures nouvelles représentent une importante priorité d’action en vue d’accroître la mobilité de la main-d’oeuvre et d’améliorer la compétitivité de la Pologne. Cet objectif est d’autant plus réalisable que le pays va bénéficier d’un volume substantiel de fonds structurels et de fonds de cohésion de l’UE au cours de la période de programmation 2007-13. Outre que l’utilisation des fonds européens est soumise à un calendrier restreint, le championnat d’Europe de football que la Pologne organisera conjointement avec l’Ukraine en 2012 impose une contrainte temporaire supplémentaire sur de nombreux projets d’investissement. Lourdement tributaire du transport routier, la Pologne est dépourvue d’un réseau autoroutier efficace. Dans le secteur ferroviaire, le matériel roulant comme le réseau d’infrastructure nécessitent d’importants investissements de rénovation. De surcroît, il faut revitaliser les transports maritimes mais aussi agrandir et moderniser les installations aéroportuaires afin de faire face à une croissance du marché des transports aériens sans équivalent en Europe. Cependant, de nombreux obstacles subsistent et entravent la mise en oeuvre des plans d’investissement ; il faut donc y porter remède sans tarder. Sur un plan macroéconomique, ces freins résident dans la hausse des prix de ressources limitées en main-d’oeuvre et en intrants intermédiaires, tandis que d’un point de vue microéconomique, les principales difficultés tiennent au cadre réglementaire qui sous-tend la fourniture d’infrastructures physiques.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafal Kierzenkowski, 2008. "The Challenge of Rapidly Improving Transport Infrastructure in Poland," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 640, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:640-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Balázs Égert & Antoine Goujard, 2014. "Strengthening Competition in Poland," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1125, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item


    chemins de fer; infrastructure; infrastructure; OCDE; partenariats public-privé; Pologne; public-private partnerships; railways; road; road transport; transport; transport; Union européenne;

    JEL classification:

    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement
    • L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation
    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General

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