Marek Kuchciński: In order for Poland to become truly closer to Europe, we need to catch up with the development of communication infrastructure: road, rail, air and internet networks throughout our region

In Jasionka, Subcarpathian region, the Forum Europe-Ukraine Forum. Politicians, entrepreneurs and experts exchanged their thoughts and experiences on economic, business and cultural issues. One of the main One of the main themes of this year's forum was the situation after the change of power in Ukraine, and discussions were focused around the slogan "New opportunities - old threats". old threats".

The event was opened by Marshals Marek Kuchciński and Władysław Ortyl. - I would like to draw your attention to the fact that we in Central and Eastern Europe care about increasing accessibility to our countries, which have been independent for 30 years. We hope that the issues discussed during the forum will serve all of us here and throughout Europe, especially in Central Europe. I also encourage you to support the new idea of creating a great trans-European communication route, super express Kiev - Paris through Rzeszow, Cracow, Dresden, Munich - said Marek Kuchciński.

During the closing gala on the first day of the Forum the prizes of Carpathian Europe of Common Values were awarded. The winners were Vera Meniok, director of the Bruno Schulz Museum and Festival Foundation in Drohobych, and Professor Stanisław Stępień, director of the South-Eastern Scientific Institute in Przemyśl, who specializes in Polish-Ukrainian relations.

On the second day of the Forum, the participants discussed, among other things, the implementation of of joint initiatives in the Polish-Slovak borderland. Chairman of the Parliamentary Chairman of the Carpathian Parliamentary Group MP Marek Kuchciński touched upon the The Chairman of the Carpathian Parliamentary Group Marek Kuchciński MEP touched upon the state policy in the field of creation and development of transboundary cooperation.

- We are catching up tremendously, so there are a lot of challenges ahead of us - he argued. According to the Marshal, one of the most important areas is the elimination of inaccessibility. - This is the Achilles heel of our part of Europe. For several years the development of communication infrastructure - from internet, through road, rail and air to the direction of North - South Europe - has been our priority - said Marek Kuchciński. He emphasized the importance of cooperation in the area of spirituality and neighborly mentality, as well as the role played by the exchange of information, support for cultural initiatives, protection of heritage inherent in the local communities, or local government cooperation in border areas.

- If we analyze the funds, the funds that Poland and Slovakia had at their disposal, plus the European funds, let's assume 170 million euros spent in the projects of the passing seven years, then please note that there is no single large nationwide strategic project that would last a generation. The money is well spent, but on small, local projects. I would encourage you from Slovakia and Poland to identify two or three important, strategic projects that would be an element to strengthen our cooperation. We have plans and initiatives for accessibility, such as the Via Carpatia, which I look upon not only as an expressway or a network of connections, but as an area where other forms of cooperation develop, e.g. cultural institutions within the Via Culturalia, regional cooperation of local government institutions from Lithuania to Turkey or Greece," said the former Speaker of the Sejm.

- Lack of accessibility hinders development, even of business contacts. It is necessary to launch fast railroads connecting the capital cities, i.e. Warsaw, Bratislava and further to the South. In Silesia it is important to complete the S1 highway and reconstruct the existing Carpathian roads: to Muszyna, through Łupków, not only to Slovak towns, but also to Hungary. I pay attention to aviation, around the Tatra Mountains also a bike path would be useful, we can think about tunneling under the Tatra Mountains. If we had road and rail infrastructure ready to be implemented, then we wouldn't have the problem from the 90s when the idea of Polish-Slovakian Winter Olympics failed. And these are challenges that should be implemented by governments - promoting our country through such initiatives - noted the Marshal.

According to Marek Kuchciński art plays an invaluable role in the promotion of the region. - I was inspired by a sculptor, artist (Carpathian Academy of Arts) Piotr Bies, who suggested that while driving around in cars, instead of empty protective walls, we could admire works, decorations referring to the tradition of local artists - said Marek Kuchciński.

Photo: Rafał Zambrzycki/ Chancellery of the Sejm



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