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Investment in human capital is a key determinant of socio-economic development in the twenty-fi rst century. These investments in rural areas require well-planned interventions in the fi eld of education. The necessary funds for this purpose will be available under the multiannual fi nancial framework EU 2014–2020. Interventions in this area in Poland are planned mainly under the Operational Programme Knowledge Education Development POWER) and the Regional Operational Programmes (RPO). It should therefore be valuable to preliminarily assess the opportunities and threats connected with the development of human capital in rural areas in Poland in the fi eld of education in 2014–2020. The aim of this article is, thus, an attempt to make such an assessment, taking into account the following aspects: scope of the EU support; procedures for obtaining fi nancial support; available funds and financial instruments. The article verifi es the following hypothesis: based on program POWER establishments and RPO 2014–2020 in the section on education potential chances of the HRD in rural areas mainly result from wide range scope of this suport; while the main threats stem from a very limited scale of prioritization in the procedure of obtaining fi nancial support and the use of non-repayable fi nancial instruments (grants). The article draws upon the analysis of regulations of the European Commission and national legislative sources, as well as literature on development of human capital in rural areas and the absorption of EU funds for social projects.


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