Deputy Marshal Kuchciński seeks large EU funds for the Carpathians

On Saturday, 25 June, in the seat of the Euroregion Tatry in Nowy Targ, the conference "Europe rich with the Carpathians" was opened by the Deputy Speaker of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński. The conference "Europe rich with the Carpathians" was opened by Marek Kuchciński, Deputy Speaker of the Sejm. It was another conference this year devoted to the Carpathians. Its organizers were: Carpathian Parliamentary Group, Nowotarski Starost, Nowy Targ Mayor and Euroregion Tatry

During the opening remarks of the conference, Marshal Kuchciński remindedThe Commission has also stated that 'after Hungary, the Republic of Poland takes over the presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July, and therefore it is necessary to accelerate and enrich the discussion and reflection on the current state and future development of the Carpathians, in the geographical area of this mountain range from Austria to Serbia'. It is true that the cooperation of several - very diverse - Carpathian countries is developing well, but further intensive joint action is needed to accelerate the development of the Carpathians. - During the Polish Presidency of the European Union we have set an ambitious plan to raise the issue of the Carpathians to a pan-European level, not only in terms of improving cooperation but also in financial matters. We would like, in this second half of the year, to raise the issue of the EU budget project for 2014-2020, which would take into account the issue of financial support for the development of the Carpathians, or at least improve the coordination of cooperation within the Carpathian region - announced Marshal Kuchciński. 

He noted that "in addition to the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament and the European Commission, In Europe, so-called macro-regions and their corresponding strategies, meaning cooperation of several countries in a given geographical area, are gaining increasing importance. Thus, for example, we have the Baltic strategy, in which the countries of Northern Europe that lie in the basin, or rather in the catchment area of the Baltic Sea, cooperate with each other, as it includes, among others, Ukraine. We have The Carpathian macroregion and the Danube strategy, and the Alps macroregion and the Alpine strategy. Although the discussion on the Carpathian strategy began in 2001, i.e. at a similar time to the Danube strategy, the former has not yet resulted in EU financial support. The Marshal suggested that it would be good for such a package to include a proposal concerning the future organizational functioning of the Carpathian Convention and its secretariat. Important postulates from the Carpathian Conference in Przemyśl (February this year) could also be taken into account, one of which proposed that the idea and problems of the development of the Carpathians should be presented in greater detail at a pan-European conference on 8 September in Krynica. Another proposal was to ask the governments of the Carpathian countries to enter into negotiations and to include the Carpathian project in their plans for negotiating the financial perspective of the European Union. Another proposal was to ask the government to make the Carpathian issues one of the priorities of the Polish presidency. It was also suggested that the Eastern Partnership should be a part of the whole Carpathian programme. Among the postulates was a proposal to organize cyclic meetings on the Carpathians with the participation of parliamentarians, governmental and local authorities, NGOs, Euroregions and other institutions. There was also a proposal to include universities in the process of integrating the Carpathians and activities related to the preparation of the Carpathian programme, as well as a proposal to create Carpathian teams at the level of legislative authorities in all the Carpathian countries, i.e. in the parliaments of Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and other countries. These parliamentary teams would contribute to easier introduction of similar legal regulations, and also - as control bodies in relation to executive authorities - they would support acceleration of cooperation between governments and local governments. This is in fact what is happening now - concluded Marshal Kuchciński, inviting further speakers to present their speeches during the first panel. And so, among others. Janusz Zaleski, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Environment, spoke about the most important problems of the Carpathians which are referred to in the initiatives undertaken in the framework of the Carpathian Convention. Marek Lisansky, Consul General Director of the Republic of Slovakia in KrakówHe focused on the problem of the Tatra Mountains on both sides of the border, including the infrastructural backwardness, emphasizing the need to treat these mountains as one whole, without separating them into the Slovak and Polish Tatras. Antoni Nowak, Director of the Euroregion "Tatry" Office in Nowy TargHe cited numerous examples of cross-border cooperation within the Euroregion. In the second panel, led by Senator Władysław Ortyl, about agriculture in the Slovak Carpathians spoke Former Minister of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic, Marian Radosowsky. Rector of Podhale State Higher Vocational School, Prof. Dr. Stanisław Hodorowicz presented a psychological and sociological portrait of the highlanders from the Podhale region. Andrzej Walawski, deputy director of Rabka S.A. spa, spoke about the opportunities and problems of the Carpathian spas. Wojciech Wartak, Manager of the Mining Plant "Geotermia Podhalańska" presented the environmental benefits of using geothermal energy to heat buildings; a Waldemar Rataj, President of "Pro Publico Bono" Foundation", spoke about the benefits of cultural tourism and the role of civil society. In the third panel, chaired by MP Edward Sekarka, Pavol Macala presented the Slovak Historical Institute "Slovak Matrix", which he directs. Jan Janczy, president of the local Sheep and Goat Breeding Association, presented the history of pastoralism in the Carpathians and the prospects for the development of mountain sheepfarming. Jadwiga Pilch, curator of the Orava Ethnographic Park Museum in Zubrzyca Górna, spoke about wooden architecture, lifestyle and customs of highlanders and regional products of the Carpathians. Mayor of Żywiec, Antoni Szlagor, spoke about Mountain Brands as an opportunity for the development of mountain regions. Stanisław Trebunia-Staszel presented the role of the International Festival of the Mountain Lands that he runs in Zakopane in promoting the culture of the region. At the end Maciej Motor Grelok presented the role in promoting the Carpathian region on the example of the Polish Highlanders Association, which he runs.Pictured left: Vice-Marshal Marek Kuchciński speaking. On the left - Consul General of the Slovak Republic in Krakow, Marek Lisansky; on the right - Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Poland, Janusz Zaleski.
Pictured right: Deputy Speaker Kuchcinski while leading the first panel.



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