11th edition of the conference "Carpathian Europe" - announcement

On Saturday, 27 February, an international conference "Europe of the Carpathians" will be held in Przemyśl. The Carpathian region, called the Green Spine of Europe, covers 6% of the area of our country. It is extremely important geopolitically and is crucial for the south-eastern direction of European politics, it is culturally rich and socially diverse. It is one of the most important European environmental resources with great natural wealth. 

The purpose of the conference is:
1. security of Central and Eastern European countries, especially in the context of uncontrolled migration to the European continent.
2. cooperation between the Carpathian countries in the field of infrastructure (road, rail, IT, aviation).
3. cooperation in the Carpathian region in the field of public communication (public media).

Panelists will include ministers, deputies, and senators from Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, and Romania.


EK foto




Information about the 2010-2016 conference series


Krynica 2012


The series of conferences "Carpathian Europe" was initiated in 2010. It included sessions in Krynica (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Przemyśl and Krasiczyn (2012, 2013, 2015), as well as in Ukraine. The conferences have an international character, attended by representatives of national parliaments and government administration from, among others, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, as well as numerous representatives of local governments, the world of science and non-governmental organizations. With such a politically significant and diverse representation, the Carpathian Europe series of meetings provides an important forum for cooperation of practitioners and experts dealing with the issue of development of mountain areas and cooperation of the whole macro-region of Central and Eastern Europe. The most important conclusions adopted by the participants of previous Europa Karpat conferences are:


Krasiczyn 2013


1) The need to build a sustainable platform for cooperation of all countries in the Carpathian macro-region, based on common values, traditions and interests resulting from the geopolitical location. An important value is the possibility of using the Carpathian cooperation as an instrument to strengthen ties between EU countries and Ukraine.

2. promotion and implementation of the concept of an EU macro-regional strategy for the Carpathians following the example of the Baltic Sea Strategy and the Danube Strategy. This strategy, by linking the development efforts of the Union, countries and regions, would become a strong impulse for sustainable and dynamic development of this part of Europe. The establishment of the strategy would be a breakthrough for territorial cohesion and for closer cooperation not only between the countries and regions of the Carpathians, but also between the European Union and its eastern partners.

Krynica 2013


3) Use of the achievements of the Carpathian Convention, a framework document on cooperation in the field of protection and sustainable development of the Carpathians signed in 2003 in Kiev by the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Hungary. To support the guidelines contained therein for the protection of the heritage and cultural and natural environment of the Carpathians, and especially to extend the impact of this initiative to other countries in the region and international organizations.

Krasiczyn 2012


4. strengthening of parliamentary cooperation of the Carpathian countries. Cooperation in the Carpathian region means not only governmental contacts and cooperation of local governments, but also contacts of national parliaments. Regular cooperation at the level of parliaments can be an important platform for the exchange of experience, joint interstate projects and policy coordination in the Carpathians.


Krasiczyn 2012


The next event in the framework of Carpathian Europe cooperation will be an international conference in Przemyśl on 27 February 2016. Its themes will focus on the following issues: security in Central and Eastern Europe in a bilateral and multilateral perspective, North-South communication and infrastructure; mechanisms for supporting regional development and the draft Carpathian Strategy; as well as cultural, economic, information, tourism and environmental cooperation projects and initiatives.

Carpathian Memorandum


Conference Carpathian Europe, Krynica 2011.

The Carpathians are an important part of Europe's regional wealth. It is an area with great social, cultural and natural resources and at the same time one of the poorest and least recognized regions, requiring coordinated support within the framework of the European Union policy.

The Carpathians have several important assets. First, they connect, across the current borders of the Union, the territories
of strategic importance - from the very core of Central Europe: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, through Ukraine to the Balkans including Romania and Serbia. Secondly, they constitute a unique environmental resource, being the "green backbone" of Central and Eastern Europe. Thirdly, it is a culturally and socially important region inhabited by nearly 20 million people.  

The Carpathians are also a problem area. Its basic weaknesses include infrastructural deficiencies, both in transport and environmental safety, lack of due care for sustainable development, social problems, including areas of high unemployment. If we do not take coordinated development actions, the economic and social problems of the Carpathian region will grow.

Therefore, we believe that the efforts of countries, the European Union and individual regional authorities should be combined to develop a common strategy for the Carpathians, which would use the strengths of this area to overcome its weaknesses.

Such a strategy, following the example of the Baltic Sea Strategy and the Danube Strategy, should first and foremost be based on synergies between existing initiatives and actions undertaken in the region and thus provide added value without creating new structures, regulations or institutions.

We would like to apply for funding for actions in the Carpathian region in a coordinated manner so that the resources, especially from the EU budget, are not dispersed but strategically directed towards joint Carpathian projects. A mechanism for financing joint activities aimed at sustainable development of the Carpathians could be created based on models provided by both the current EU macro-regional development strategies and initiatives such as the European Alpine Space programme. (Alpine Space).

The number of existing good practices and initiatives in the Carpathian region convinces us that - with a well-developed strategy - in a relatively short period of time we can achieve the desired concrete results of a new initiative, be it in the field of academic cooperation ("Carpathian University"), environmental cooperation, infrastructural cooperation or the interregional project "Carpathian Horizon". Such cooperation will serve in particular to strengthen ties between EU member states and Ukraine, contributing to faster integration of this country into European structures.

A first step that could symbolically, as well as practically, prove the involvement of European policy in the Carpathian region would be for the European Union to become a party to the Carpathian Convention, to which individual states are currently signatories. The Union, having been given such an opportunity by the Treaty of Lisbon, should make use of it in this type of initiatives.

Our common goal is to create a new European macro-regional development strategy already
This is possible with the support of the main actors in European politics, both at the level of the incoming presidencies and at the level of the Commission and the European Parliament. We call for such commitment.

The Carpathians are worthy of a European strategy.

The draft Carpathian Memorandum was developed and adopted by the participants of the conference "Carpathian Europe" organized in Krynica-Zdroj on September 7-8, 2011 as part of the parliamentary dimension of the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Key findings presented at the conference


Conference Carpathian Europe, Krynica 2012.

1. The Carpathians are an important region for the whole of Europe. Support for development activities within the Carpathians can give a boost to the EU's growth.

On the eve of the decisions on the financial perspective of the European Union for the period 2014-2020, it is important to emphasize the importance of cohesion policy for the implementation of one of the most important objectives of the Community - a harmonious social and economic development throughout the Union. Budget support for development activities in the Carpathian region will not only contribute to the economic development of the EU, help in the fight against unemployment and social exclusion, but should also be an important part of the search for new potential to regain growth momentum.

We cannot afford that Europe does not take full advantage of the resources found in the Carpathians. Today, this is hampered by infrastructural barriers, lack of appropriate, specifically targeted programs to support regional cooperation, and border difficulties.

Therefore, our goal should be to strive to overcome these obstacles and launch special cooperation programs at the local and regional level within the adopted financial framework for 2014-2020.

We encourage the governments and local governments of the Carpathian countries to undertake such initiatives. They could constitute a kind of “pilot projects” for the future macro-regional Carpathian Strategy of the European Union.

2. Cooperation of national parliaments in the form of the "Carpathian Cooperation Parliamentary Network" should become an important link in Carpathian cooperation.

Cooperation in the Carpathian region should not be limited to governmental contacts

and cooperation of local governments. Contacts between national parliaments should become an important element of this process. They can be an important platform for the exchange of experience, joint interstate projects and coordination of policy in the Carpathian region.

These needs gave rise to the initiative of establishing special “Carpathian Parliamentary Teams” (Carpathian Circles or Carpathian Clubs, depending on the naming custom adopted in a given country) in the parliaments of all the Carpathian countries. They would consist

of parliamentarians of various parties and various substantive specialties, united by the idea of Carpathian cooperation. These teams, acting together, would create a natural "Carpathian Parliamentary Cooperation Network" and thus could become the basis of substantive cooperation on specific issues in the field of infrastructure, environment, economy or culture.

3. Local entrepreneurship linked to the common good should take priority over transnational investors.

The Carpathian region is a special economic region, where investment and development must coexist in a sustainable manner with rich environmental resources, which are the national wealth of the Carpathian countries. Therefore, in supporting the development of tourism and related services, attention should be paid to ensuring national ownership of natural assets, especially national parks, and supporting local communities so that they are able to face competition from transnational investors.

4. The natural environment of the Carpathians is a part of the European heritage. In order to better protect it, the European Union should become a party to the Carpathian Convention.

Nature in the Carpathians is a unique environmental resource on a European scale. Therefore, it requires constant protection and working out such models of development of this area, which would not disturb the natural harmony of man with the ecosystem. The Carpathians cannot be an open-air museum of Europe. They must develop and become richer, but their natural values must not be destroyed. This is why it is important for the European Union, as an international organisation and in accordance with the Treaty of Lisbon, to accede to the Carpathian Convention, which guarantees the sustainable development of this area.

"Europe of the Carpathians" - Krasiczyn Declaration, February 23, 2013.


Carpathian Europe Conference, Krasiczyn 2013.

We, the participants of the conference "Europe of the Carpathians" in Krasiczyn, share the conviction that the Carpathians are an important element of the European regional wealth. With their unique characteristics the Carpathians are today one of the two most important mountainous regions in Europe. After the recent enlargement of the European Union, the Carpathians are also its eastern border. This significantly increases the importance of this area in ensuring sustainable development and cohesion of the Community.

Nowadays, the inhabitants of the Carpathian macro-region face numerous difficulties. Lack of transport infrastructure, visible differences in the social situation, including high structural unemployment mean that, without precise developmental measures, the situation of the inhabitants of the Carpathian region will deteriorate. Activity for the modernization and development of the Carpathian macro-region is necessary not only from the point of view of selected member states, but the entire European Union, especially in the context of its future enlargement to the east.

We believe that it is necessary to coordinate actions for the benefit of the Carpathians in many areas. Their essence should be to strengthen interstate, regional and transboundary cooperation in economic, social and cultural dimensions, so that the macro-region presents a coherent vision of development on the forum of the European Union. Only a joint effort of societies, parliaments, governments and local authorities of the Carpathian countries will create the possibility of effective advocacy for the interests of the Carpathians on the European forum.

An important role can be played by national parliaments by establishing a Carpathian Parliamentary Cooperation Network. This network should enable regular contacts between members of the Carpathian parliaments in all areas of interest to them. An important step leading to the creation of such a network will be the establishment of Carpathian parliamentary groups in individual national parliaments and in the European Parliament, and in the future, the establishment of a Carpathian parliamentary assembly will be considered.

We emphasize the importance of the Carpathian Euroregion Association as a coordinating institution
and activating activities for the development of the area. We support the proposal to create a transnational European Territorial Cooperation Operational Programme for the area of the Carpathian Euroregion in the perspective 2014 - 2020 under the name "Carpathian Horizon 2020". Such a solution would contribute to improve the coordination and increase the effectiveness of the existing financial instruments of the European Union supporting multilateral territorial cooperation. The programme should include all areas that will apply to join it.

At the same time, we call on the European Union to more actively support the goals set out
in the Carpathian Convention signed in Kiev on 23 May 2003, and we call for acceleration of efforts for the EU to formally accede to this Convention as a party. In particular, closer cooperation in the field of water and forest management is necessary. We also consider it important to implement the tasks enshrined in the Protocol on Sustainable Tourism to the Carpathian Convention.

We are pleased to note numerous examples of cross-border cooperation between partners
from the Carpathian countries. We consider the initiative to begin work on the publishing of the Carpathian Encyclopaedia to be extremely valuable. For this purpose we are establishing a working group of representatives of a number of universities interested in the problems of the Carpathians.

We are attentively following the progress of activities related to the renovation of the former Astronomical Observatory on the summit of Pop Ivan in Czarnohora and the construction of the center for academic cooperation in Mikuliczyn, in which Warsaw University and the National University of Carpathia in Ivano-Frankivsk are engaged in a joint project.

We draw attention to the common shepherding traditions belonging for centuries to the basic forms of activity of the Carpathian highlanders. An initiative worthy of promotion in this regard is the international Carpathian Redyk-Transhumance 2013, organized this year as a traditional hike with sheep from Romania, through Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Greatly facilitating the development of cooperation between the Carpathian countries - members of the European Union -
with Ukraine will be further expansion of border infrastructure. We therefore strongly support increasing the number of border crossings on Ukraine's western border.

Moreover, reaching out for concerted demands and opinions of circles and institutions connected with the public and private media sector operating in the Carpathian area, we support the initiative to create an international platform for cooperation of the Carpathian media in order to jointly promote, develop and implement effective systems of information exchange.

We also emphasize that the overriding goal of all activities should be to develop a European macro-regional development strategy for the entire Carpathians, with the participation of all interested countries and regions as well as European institutions. The establishment of the strategy would be of crucial importance for territorial cohesion and closer cooperation not only between the Carpathian states and regions, but also between the European Union and its eastern partners. The Carpathian macro-regional strategy ("Carpathia 2020" - CEEC - Co-operation, Economy, Environment, Culture) should be primarily oriented towards cooperation, including economic development, environmental protection and culture. The integration of the Via Carpathia into the TEN-T trans-European transport networks should be part of this strategy. This route, running through the eastern areas of the EU, should become a kind of core around which the sustainable development of the entire Carpathian macro-region will be created. 

"Carpathian Europe" - Memorandum of Krynica 2013


Carpathian Europe Conference, Krynica 2013.

The participants of the “Europe of the Carpathians” Conference, gathered in Krynica, decided as follows:

  1. Propose to the national parliaments the creation of Carpathian parliamentary groups. A further step could be to take steps towards the creation of an Interparliamentary Assembly of East-Central Europe. The Assembly should become a platform for permanent cooperation between the parliamentarians of the region. Its goal should be to work for the subjective development of East Central Europe. The work of the Assembly, due to its parliamentary character, will bring together politicians from different sides of the political divide and thus guarantee continuity of cooperation regardless of governmental changes.
  2. Take steps to create intergroups in the European Parliament that would work on Carpathian cooperation.
  3. Act on the forum of the European Union and governments of Carpathian countries in order to promote and implement the concept of EU macro-regional strategy for the Carpathian region. This strategy, by linking the development efforts of the EU, countries and regions, should become a strong impulse for sustainable and dynamic development of this part of Europe. We consider the development of traditional branches of the economy, agriculture, tourism, action for the benefit of national culture and the development of infrastructure linking our countries to be particularly important. These priorities should be properly integrated into operational programs for the disbursement of EU funds within the financial perspective 2014-2020.
  4. Support the idea of protection of the heritage and cultural and natural environment of the Carpathians through the Carpathian Convention and especially extend the impact of this initiative to other countries in the region and international organizations.
  5. Work to initiate regular meetings of intellectuals from Central and Eastern Europe to reflect on European identity and work to broaden and disseminate knowledge about our region. Related to this initiative is the idea of establishing a Carpathian University with the aim of both developing scientific research that will serve comprehensive development and popularizing it in academic and educational circles.

"Carpathian Europe" - DECLARATION Krynica 2014


Carpathian Europe Conference, Krynica 2014.

The war in Ukraine represents the greatest security threat to Europe since the end of the Cold War.

This threat stems from the fact that once again after the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, Russia's aggression is changing borders by force and seeks to recognize this as a permanent state.

The annexation and occupation of Crimea and the encroachment of Russian troops on the territory of eastern Ukraine are a violation of the basic principles of international law, undermine the principle of territorial integrity and state sovereignty, which are the foundations of peaceful order in relations between states.

In this situation, it is largely the reaction of individual countries, the entire region of Central and Eastern Europe, the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union that not only determines peace in Ukraine, but also whether Europe will be safe and remain a continent of the rule of law and universal values.

Passivity in the face of these facts is no choice. The policy of appeasement can still lead today to the catastrophe that Europe already went through once 75 years ago.

Therefore, the participants of the "Europe of the Carpathians" Conference, gathered in Krynica on September 3, 2014, strongly condemn the policy of Russian aggression, which destabilizes Eastern Europe, and call on the states of the transatlantic community to consistently and adequately respond to this threat, including by expanding the defense capabilities of allied countries from Central and Eastern Europe.

Ukraine should be fully supported today in any form it may request, and the joint transatlantic response to Russia should be strong enough to deter its further aggression and restore Ukraine's territorial integrity, including Crimea.

We especially call on the countries of our region to find a way to respond together and in solidarity to the war in Ukraine.

We express solidarity with all the victims of the occupation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine, especially the families of the fallen soldiers.



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