Marek Kuchciński during Slovakia-Poland Forum: Strengthening cooperation between our countries in the context of the whole Central Europe is of particular importance in today's world and in the current political situation

The 3rd Slovakia-Poland Forum in Bardejovské kúpele in Slovakia aims at building good relations and creating opportunities for cooperation between partners from Slovakia and Poland. The panels were devoted to the results and priorities of the Slovak-Polish cross-border cooperation, our solidarity towards new challenges, strengthening of the transport infrastructure on the Polish-Slovak border and prospects for development of the Polish-Slovak economic relations.

Strengthening cooperation between our states in the context of Central Europe as a whole is of particular importance in today's world and in Europe's current political situation. We see very clearly that the overlapping huge crises involving the whole world encourage us to think more locally and to maintain those ties and contacts that are torn apart by economic crises, inflation, pandemics or wars. With all the strength of public authorities - parliaments, governments, local governments, but also other institutions - we should ensure that this cooperation develops. The prospects are excellent, but the challenges are great," said Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Marek Kuchciński.

According to Speaker Kuchcinski Polish-Slovak cooperation is developing better and better, and the war, among other things, accelerated this, but it caused an economic crisis. Looking back from 2004, the EU has created enormous opportunities for us: no borders, free travel, economic and social development, etc. However, from a political perspective, some crises do not affect us as much as western EU societies. For example, the crisis of values. We need to realize what this means for us. Apart from economic cooperation, it is the human being that counts, the human being is the value. We have to think how to protect these values, so that they strengthen our relations and cooperation between Poland and Slovakia, and the whole of Central Europe.

The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee also stressed that As far as local self-governments are concerned, it is worth considering how to prepare subsequent projects (and there will be huge money for them - billions of zlotys from the National Reconstruction Plan, the Polish Order and especially from the Strategic Investment Program). How to plan them so that they cooperate with Slovak projects. This will give us a double effect. Not only will we develop our border counties, but also our cooperation. Transport connections are important, not only Via Carpatia, completion of S1 or local roads and railroads, e.g. in the area of Muszyna. We have to think about the north-south axis, and Poland and Slovakia are an important element of it. We can assume that there will be huge money for it. 7 million people left Ukraine, 90% of them fled to Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine. This forces us to think about what to do about it. Maybe it would be worthwhile for our parliaments (PL, SK + possibly others, especially from the Carpathian region of Europe) to think about how to engage our local governments in cooperation with Ukrainian local governments. We already need to work on how to rebuild it, there will be huge funds for this, much more than the Marshall Plan. Ukraine will need them. If we think about maintaining the EU community without the disintegration that threatens us, we need to think about creating a model of our values. There is strength in it, because we are similar; we speak a similar language, we have similar history and experiences, cultural achievements, outstanding personalities, etc. People are our value, Ukraine is helped by people, not just countries. We are characterized by great tolerance, also or especially at the local level.

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