After the expiry of the EU's seven-year period in 2020, the funds earmarked for repayable instruments for local governments and business will be reused. As borrowers repay loans taken out of EU funds, the money will return to the regional treasury. According to the government's ideas, they could be managed by the Regional Development Funds, which will finance further aid programmes for the provinces.

- In the current financial perspective 2014-2020 we assume different roles depending on the programmes. The most common is the role of the fund manager of the funds under the Regional Operational Programmes, which we implement with the voivodeship governments. In total, we will sign agreements with fifteen local governments, currently there are twelve of them. We will implement programmes whose aim is, among other things, to support the return instruments of small and medium-sized enterprises - says Newseria Biznes Przemysław Cieszyński, member of the Management Board of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego.

The aim of the Regional Operational Programmes is to support the economic, social and infrastructural development of individual voivodeships. The Programmes are a source of EU funds that finance projects and investments in these three key areas.

The beneficiaries of these funds may include local government units, public services, cultural institutions and health care. Some of the funds, in agreement with the self-government, also go to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, provided that their activity fits in the sectors and sectors of the economy that are crucial for a given voivodeship.

In addition to entrepreneurship, the EU money from the ROP can be used to finance projects related to the construction and modernization of new roads, railways and transport, digitization, energy security, science and improvement of the situation in the labor market. Projects to be financed under the ROP are selected on the basis of the implementation act, the amendment of which is currently being carried out in the Sejm.

The project assumes, among others, a greater role of voivodes in the implementation of EU funds managed by marshals. This is to increase the efficiency and speed of spending EU funds, including by companies. Under the new regulations, formalities will be reduced and entrepreneurs will receive information about the granting of subsidies faster.

As stressed by BGK's Management Board member Przemysław Cieszyński, disposing of funds from the Regional Operational Programmes is an important task for the National Development Bank.

EU money back

- We will support the labour market, specifically, help the unemployed to set up small businesses, and projects related to revitalization of cities and thermal modernization of buildings, where the beneficiaries are, among others, housing cooperatives, TBS and municipal offices - says Przemyslaw Cieszyñski.

The total amount of support with repayable instruments in the current seven-year-old is PLN 11 billion. In the previous perspective, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego had PLN 2.7 billion at its disposal, which means that the scale of funds spent and the range of financial instruments has significantly increased.

- As far as the distribution of funds is concerned, the fifteen Regional Operational Programmes include an amount of PLN 6.8 billion. We also have a national operational programme called Digital Poland, whose value reaches PLN 1 billion. In addition, there are several other programmes, including the support programme for Eastern Poland in the area of small investments in tourism - says Przemysław Cieszyński.

At the end of April, BGK launched a tender in which it wants to select intermediaries for the allocation of PLN 480 million from the Digital Poland programme, for repayable instruments for operators and entities providing access to high-speed Internet. These can count on subsidies up to PLN 10 million.

According to the BGK Management Board member, after 2020, i.e. after the expiry of the current EU seven-year period, it will be possible to launch further programmes financed from the funds repaid under repayable instruments. One of the possible scenarios assumes that the money will be at the disposal of the newly created so-called Regional Development Funds, which will spend it on specific projects, depending on the region's needs.

- When beneficiaries repay repay repayable instruments, i.e. credits and loans, funds are created on the basis of which new programmes can be created. These will no longer be limited by the regime imposed by the European Commission. They can be freely spent on public purposes, depending on the needs of a given region. There is talk of institutions called Regional Development Funds, which will be supplied with these funds. The biggest advantage of repayable instruments in this perspective is precisely the fact that their use can be repeated - says Przemysław Cieszyński, member of the management board of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego.

In the current financial perspective 2014-2020, a total of about 32.3 billion euros is allocated to local governments, which accounts for 40% of total EU funds.

By the end of April Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego made payments totalling PLN 21.4 billion from the current financial perspective.