The aim of the article is an analysis of the absorption of European funds by local governments, businessmen and farmers in the years 2004-2006. Experience obtained within the two years of Poland's membership in the EU has occasioned numerous questions, opinions and controversies concerning the usage, management and realization of projects co-financed from structural funds. All those comments demand a broader discussion in view of a new financial perspective of the EU for the years 2007-2013, with an increase of financial transfer up to 59.6 billion EUR. In comparison with the period of 2004-2006 this means an increase of funds by almost six times. Thus, funds available in the years 2007-2013 are an enormous opportunity for the Polish economy and society.