The aim of the research project was to find an answer to the question whether spatial variations in the level of socio-economic development of rural Poland are gradually disappearing thanks to the cohesion policy pursued in the country or whether they are still growing despite the implementation of this policy. It was assumed that the course of ongoing transformation is dependent on two factors: cohesion policy and the well-known fact that the effectiveness of investment is higher in better developed areas. Additionally, an attempt was made at determining how the discussed processes were influenced by policies pursued by local authorities. Other factors (e.g. attractive location) have greater influence on spatial variations in development than the pursued cohesion policy.