Analysis of NAPs Inclusion Poland

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This page is a result of the revision by Peter Ramsden and Magda Barceló of the report "European National Action Plans for Social Inclusion and microfinance: Participation strategies, importance and challenges" (Trans-formando, 2008)

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006 – 2008

Joint Memorandum on Social Inclusion 2003


Situation and key trends

  • In recent years Poland has enjoyed sustained economic growth (3.2% in 2005 and according to forecasts: 5.2% in 2006), but this has not generated many new jobs. Even though the employment rate increased by 1 percentage point to 52.8% in 2005, it is still the lowest in EU, particularly for women (46.8%) and older workers (27.2%). The unemployment rate declined by over 1 percentage point and reached 17.7% in 2005 (16.6% for men and 19.1% for women). The long-term unemployment rate, at 10.2%, is the second highest in the EU. The at-risk-of-poverty rate stood at 21% in 2004, significantly above the EU average. The main group facing poverty was children. Total social expenditure, as a percentage of GDP, reached 20% in 2004, with 60.1% of expenditure related to pensions, 19.5% to healthcare, and 11.5% to disability. Only 0.8% was spent on housing and tackling social exclusion.
  • Poland is projected to face similar demographic trends to most EU Member States in the coming decades: the elderly dependency ratio will grow from a current level of 19% to 33% by 2025 and to 51% by 2050 (close to the EU-25 average of 52%). Life expectancy (70.6 and 79.2 years for males and females in 2004) is below EU average, but has been consistently increasing over the last decade (67.6 and 76.4 in 1995) following a decrease in 1989-1991. Poland is facing a rapidly decreasing total fertility rate: from 2.0 in 1999 to 1.2 in 2004.
  • Although the infant mortality rate is considerably and steadily decreasing (from 56.1 in 1960 to 13.6 in 1995, 7.0 in 2003 and 6.8 in 2004), it is amongst the highest in the EU. Healthy life expectancy (62.5 years for men and 68.9 years for women) is below the EU-15 average (64.3) for men but quite high and above the EU-15 average (65.8) for women. Perinatal mortality is also high at 7.5 in 2003.
  • The self-employed poverty rate is 21% which results mainly from a high share of farmers. The poverty rate in the group of self-employed carrying out non-agricultural business activities equaled about 8%.

Priority objectives of the NAP

There are four main objectives in the Polish Plan:

  • Support for families with children
  • Inclusion by activation
  • Mobilisation and partnership
  • Better governance

These main objectives are included in the NAP 2006 – 2008 (pages 26 - 28). Each objective is followed by the necessary measures to develop it.

Financial Inclusion or Microfinance mention

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006 –2008

One of the priorities in the area of the labour market policy is creation and retention of new jobs and reducing unemployment. Activities within this priority includes some microfinancial opportunities

  • Professional activation of the disabled. (Page 38): implementation of new instruments supporting employment of the disabled, namely replacing a one-off loan for the disabled for starting activities with a one-off grant for starting these activities, which should support the growth of self-employment of the disabled.
  • Another interesting issue is related in page 40: “Action 2.3.3. Development of the social economy institution”:
  • Initiatives for social co-operatives: this direction of activities is aimed at establishing own “alternative” workplaces by people excluded from the labour market.
  • the development of the counselling and information system for social economy support of the accounting and financial back-office, advisory and marketing institutions;
  • defining principles of the access to capital and public aid – by the development of local and regional loan and grant funds, as well as defining principles for support of social economy institutions from public resources;
  • Programme “Support of the Development of Social Co-operatives” implementing counselling projects as well as credit and guarantee projects.

Annex 2.2. – Good Practices in the area of social inclusion 2.2.1. Social employment providing financial support in case of starting own business activities.

Joint Memorandum on Social Inclusion 2003

This report covers many topics, and like some other reports introduces terms like “e-inclusion” or even “access to the legal system”. There are some references regarding microfinance:

  • Social protection and inclusion policies. Page 66: 4. Areas of multiple deprivation e) loan for starting a new business or preferential loans for employers creating jobs for redundant miners.
  • page 36: 4.4.2. e-inclusion. Information technologies can also play a great part in the social integration of disabled people. Many training sessions and special programmes for disabled people have been worked out to enable them to purchase computers through preferential loans and grants. A trial “Telework” programme is being implemented with the aim of encouraging disabled people's employment in innovative occupations using computer technologies.

Major changes with previous reports

  • The modernisation of the policy for social protection and social inclusion is an important element of the general country development vision included in the draft Country Development Strategy accepted by the Council of Ministers on 26 June 2006.
  • The implementation of priorities in the area of social policy is going to be supported by active policy, including the policy for the family, especially its economic, care and educational functions.
  • Poland has introduced significant reforms in its old-age pension system, the new system being in place since 1999. It has, however, created high transition costs, the financing of which will require a major effort over the coming decades. The reform also introduced options for voluntary pension insurance, subsidised by moderate tax incentives.

Preparation of the report

  • The National Action Plan on Social Inclusion for the years 2004-2006 was developed with the co-participation of ministries dealing with individual aspects of social exclusion and inclusion, and with the professional support of non-governmental organizations, academic circles, representatives of social partners and local governments. Their preparation and implementation was coordinated by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy.
  • A part of the designed actions assumed the co-operation between these groups in order to combat social exclusion in the most effective way by building on different experiences.


  • Poland has one of worst poverty indicators in the EU and Microfinace is a tool that can definitely help to improve the situation.
  • At this moment, Poland is becoming one of the countries most benefited by the structural funds and can allocate some of these resources to Microfinance’s initiatives.
  • One of the serious problems is how difficult it is to have access to housing. There are several programmes where Microfiance could be used as a complement to other actions.
  • The proposals to enhance the social economies and self-employment for handicapped people are a very interesting reference in the social credits’ use to be shared with other countries
  • As mentioned above in point 1, the self-employed poverty index, especially in the countryside, is very high. Microfinance may enable the improvement of investments and increase the profitability of these small businesses.

Contacts of interest

  • MFC:

The Microfinance Centre for Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States Gregorz Galusek: CEO Telephone: (+48) 22 622 34 65 Fax :+48 22 622 34 85 Email: Website:

  • Rural Development Foundation:

Anna Kosidlo: CEO Telephone: (+48) 22 636 25 70 Fax :+48 22 636 62 70 Email: Website: