In the mountains, one feels no boundaries. In the mountains one seeks freedom. In the mountains there is of course rivalry, but it is about the goal, not about the opponent. This goal for man is primarily the search for harmony, balance and a dignified life in our rather complicated geopolitical space of Central Europe. Thus, if man naturally strives for sustainable development, seeking a balance between economics and ecology that would inspire creative action - he strengthens his ability to think in terms of many generations. And whole communities, "preserving" the heritage of their ancestors, build a sense of national consciousness based on the ethical dimension rather than on economic growth or satisfaction of basic needs. Such an attitude is closely related to the concern about preserving the multicultural and biodiversity diversity of the Carpathians, clean air or the most strategic
the raw material that will be drinking water in the future. Demolishing is easy and quick, building is slow and requires cooperation. It is precisely in terms of future generations that each of us should be oriented towards cooperation with other people. We need time and space to build mutual trust. As equals with equals and free with free.
The idea of a "Carpathian Europe" draws on just this kind of thinking. It draws
of the potential of this unique space, stretching over a thousand
kilometers in an arc that touches the foot of the Alps in eastern Austria and
7 Balkans in the southern part of Europe. It is an arc which for centuries has enabled nations and states to cooperate, sometimes forming great powers. It is also the homeland of many extraordinary people who have had a tremendous impact on the shape of our civilization, such as Henri Coandă from Bucharest or Sergey Korolov from Zhytomyr, whose jet ships have overcome the limits of sound and earthly gravity; Ignacy Lukasiewicz from the Podkarpacie region or Jan Szczepanik from Mościskie, known as Polish Edison - pioneers of the oil industry and color photography, weaving and weaving, respectively: pioneers of the oil industry and color photography, weaving and television; like Nikola Tesla, the brilliant Croatian Serb - the man who tamed electricity by constructing an electric motor and a solar battery; like Otto Wichterle, the Czech chemist from Prostějov, without whose plastics it would be difficult to imagine today's clothing; or Albert Szent-Györgyi from Budapest, the discoverer of vitamins C and P.
We would not have the famous Rubik's cube if it had not been invented by a Hungarian
architect Rubik Ernő, nor would we have the Pulitzer Prize if it weren't for
was established in the United States by Joseph Pulitzer of Hungary. We would not have a typewriter for the blind if Kempelen Farkas of Bratislava had not created it. And we still have great artists whose works enrich the spiritual lives of people around the globe. Among them are the genius composers Frederic Chopin, Béla Bartók, Ferenc Liszt, Antonín Dvořák, Moravian-born Gustav Mahler, Zoltán Kodály, and contemporary composers Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki. Visual artists have also achieved worldwide prominence: Kazimir Malevich, Andy Warhol, Constantin Brâncuși. Writers and thinkers from the Carpathian region, such as Martin Buber, Paul Celan, Mircea Eliade, Zbigniew Herbert, Eugène Ionesco, Stanislav Lem, Sándor Márai, Bruno Schulz, and many others, such as Czechs Franz Kafka, Jaroslav Hašek, Bohumil Hrabal, and Milan Kundera, have enriched world literature. We have heroes of recent history such as József Antall and Henryk Sławik, or martyrs such as Ryszard Siwiec, Jan Palach, Sándor Bauer or the last political prisoner of the Gulag, Vasily Stus, for whom human freedom was the greatest value. Above all, let us remember that Saint John Paul II came from Wadowice, a town at the foot of the Carpathians, the creator and propagator of the civilisation of love, an invaluable project that could overcome the numerous conflicts shaking humanity in the 21st century, a project derived from the values that guide the lives of people in the Carpathian region.
The intellectual potential of our region is great, let us just remind
the following fact - nations existing in space from the Baltic to the Adriatic,
have donated 56 Nobel Prize winners to the world.
The Europe of the Carpathians conference has been a place for people to meet and discuss for years,
who want to talk freely both about preserving the unique wealth of culture, nature and ways of farming and about working on further initiatives serving the development of the countries in our region in the world of global competition, about the Tri-Cities initiative; about NATO and security; about the European Union in the context of the problems, challenges and opportunities that it currently faces in many areas of its activity; about axiological issues of our civilization; strategies and economic development; new perspectives for scientific cooperation of the Carpathian countries - these are just some of the topics discussed at our conferences.
The Conference Europe of the Carpathians has already had its 25th edition. Many of its participants, including representatives of European parliaments, got to know the countries of our region through its prism - an open agora, a place for meetings and discussions, setting goals and seeking agreements. Carpathian Europe arouses curiosity about its neighbors and it satisfies this curiosity during subsequent meetings in Krasiczyn, Regietów and Krynica.