The aim of the analysis presented in the article is to specify the most important factors influencing the development of the EU regional policy. Main macro-economic and institutional determinants having influence on the effectiveness of this policy reducing regional disparities within the EU were examined. It is in the interest of Poland, the country which is characteristic of much lower level of economic development than most other member states, to use all the existing mechanisms to reduce that gap. But effective implementation of regional policy requires a provision of adequate finance. It means proper use of home as well as foreign resources, especially those coming in from the EU budget.