Cooperation of parliamentarians from the Carpathian countries is one of the main topics discussed during Saturday's "Carpathian Europe" conference in Krasiczyn (Podkarpackie region).
The meeting was attended by MPs, local government officials and scientists from Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. During the conference there were several panel discussions devoted to various issues of cooperation between the Carpathian countries.
According to the Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Koshulinskyi, the residents of the Carpathian region, regardless of their country of residence, have similar problems. Among them, he mentioned high unemployment and insufficient medical care. "We need to find answers to these problems of the Carpathian people together," he added. Koszulinski also announced that a Carpathian group will soon be established in the Ukrainian parliament.
"It is high time such a team was established," he noted. In turn, the chairman of the EU Affairs Committee of the Hungarian National Assembly, Richard Horcsik, pointed out that the Carpathian regions must jointly set priorities and develop a programme for their implementation. "If we join forces and our goals are in line with the Europe 2020 strategy, we will manage to get money from the EU budget from the cohesion policy," he said.
Horscik noted that it is necessary to encourage local government officials and entrepreneurs to use available EU funds from operational programs and invest them in the development of the Carpathian region.
Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Pavol Zajac, on the other hand, stressed that bilateral cooperation of the countries in the area is also important. "Our cooperation with Ukraine is developing better and better. Unfortunately, the Polish-Slovak cooperation needs a boost. I hope that it will be the Winter Olympics, for which we will work together with Krakow," he added.
Maria Zuba, Chairwoman of the Polish-Ukrainian Parliamentary Group, MP from the Law and Justice party, also took part in the conference. In her opinion, the most important thing in the work of parliamentarians of both countries are mutual contacts. "We can sit in the Sejm and discuss problems, but this discussion will be futile if we do not meet each other, talk and get to know each other". - she added.
In turn, PSL MP Andrzej Sztorc from the Carpathian Parliamentary Group stressed that the development of the Carpathian region would certainly be accelerated by Ukraine's accession to the EU. "We should do everything to make it happen as soon as possible". - he added.
One of the panels at the conference was devoted to media cooperation from the Carpathian countries.
According to the president of the Association of Polish Journalists in Rzeszów, Józef Matusz, work is underway on the establishment of a Carpathian media platform. "It would consist of a news agency, radio, Internet television and a portal dedicated to the Carpathian region. To start with, we would like to invite media from Ukraine, Slovakia and Poland," he added.
The conference in Krasiczyn was organized by the Carpathian Parliamentary Group and the Association of Carpathian Euroregion Poland. The series of conferences "Carpathian Europe" was initiated in 2010. So far, there have been sessions in Krynica, Krasiczyn and Przemysl in Poland and in Yaremcha in Ukraine.
The purpose of this initiative is, among others, to monitor progress in the implementation of the Carpathian Convention and to build an international network of parliamentarians working for sustainable development of the Carpathians.