Warsaw receives in structural funds more money than it actually spends on defence
maybe in the coming years, but not so in 2016:
In 2016, investment activity declined significantly due to a low utilisation of the EU structural funds and increased uncertainty.
but let's say that the full EUR 86.1 billion will be distributed throughout the 2014-2020 timeframe, we are talking about EUR 12,3 billions per year or EUR 320 per polish citizien per year or EUR 27 per citizen per month.
and we are talking gross inflows here. The goverment spends PLN 18 billions (EUR 4 billions) in EU contributions in 2017: mf.gov.pl/documents/764034/5945940/20170630_state_budget_expenditure_V_2017.pdf
so there is only a maximum inflow of EUR 8 billions net targeted to specific projects and we are down to EUR 210 per citizen per year to EUR 17,5 per citizen per month.
And this is the maximum, which is never reached. One year before the end of the 2007-2013 program, only 61% of these funds were actually distributed and in the end, more than 10% was never paid at all: insideurope.eu/node/487
To further compare the numbers, let's look at FDI: com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY_Attractiveness_Survey_Poland_2017/$FILE/EY-Attractiveness-Survey-Poland-2017.pdf]
we had for every year since 2005 an annual investment from foreign entities of more than USD 1,000 billion in Poland and on average USD 830 billion in greenfield investments, meaning building facilities like offices and factories from scratch. Outflow of funds is on the other side comparatively low, some USD 50 billion.
Compared to FDI, EU funds are a drop in the ocean. And I have not even started to analyse how efficient that EU funds are put to work. Not everything is going into obviously useful projects like building roads, bridges, and railways, but there is plenty of stuff devised by EU bureaucrats that has at least questionable value.
Considering Brexit will diminish the source of funds together with lagging countries like Italy also not able or willing to pony up lots of money, starting from 2021, CEE countries will have to live with less EU funds anyway and I project that nobody will really notice.