Europe is not and it has never been equal with the USA in terms of economic achievements. What is more, on the Far East, there have appeared countries (South Korea, Japan and China) whose economies are constantly developing, which in the future will enable them to compete effectively with the global economies. In order to prepare the EU for the economic, demographic and technological challenges connected with the open market economy in the “global village”, the Lisbon Strategy was accepted between 23 and 24 March 2000. At first, it was treated as one more European document of little significance. In 2005, the Strategy itself was reformed. Since 2007, its realization has been connected with the cohesion policy. For the time being, this policy has become the most important target for the member states and their regions. The article below constitutes a contribution to the discussion about the assumptions of the Lisbon Strategy, its connections with the cohesion policy and its actual implementation in Poland.