Between 1989 and 2014, the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship (one of the poorest regions in the European Union) was subjected to a number of external stimuli. However, not only has its position in the ranking of provinces failed to improve - it has actually worsened. Despite this, positive adaptive changes have occurred in the region, although they are limited in scope. The attitude of peripheral regions towards external stimuli can be quite reactive, as seen in the case of Warmia and Masuria. It can be assumed that the province’s smart specialisations (water economics, high-quality food, and wood and furniture) will contribute to further quality in the economic structure of the region, but it will not necessarily improve its position in relation to other regions in Poland.