Most European countries have peripheral regions, and the Community’s Cohesion Policy, which strives to reduce development inequalities between Member States and regions within individual countries, has supported them for many years in European Union countries. In Poland, five of the country’s sixteen voivodeships are designated peripheral districts. They are on Poland’s eastern border, which is also the European Union’s eastern frontier. These regions’ support programmes have been elevated to the status of independent operational programmes, with an emphasis on generating convergence effects, which can be achieved by improving the degree of innovation and applying sensible economic practises. The outflow of resources, a restricted sectoral organisation, and price-taking enterprises in a dependent relationship with external customers characterise the peripheral regions. The purpose of this article is to highlight the nature of peripherality, as well as the innovative development potential of Poland’s peripheral regions and the potential for smart rural development. The study is based on an examination of research findings gleaned from the subject’s literature as well as official data and statistics. In addition, personal study on the smart village concept was conducted in three locations of Eastern Poland. This study found a decrease in disparities in regional development in Poland, as well as a correlation between the amount of innovation and regional economic growth, which happened with a lag in relation to innovation transfer.
Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Sidorska 95/97, 21–500 Biala Podlaska, Poland.
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