25 October 2013
The European Parliament held a debate on the Carpathian Region.
The European Parliament held a debate on the Carpathian Region. Tomasz Poreba, initiator of the debate, hopes that it would constitute a signal for the Council and the Commission to start actions aimed at introducing a macroregional strategy for the Carpathian Region which runs from north to south across Central and Eastern Europe, across EU Member States and potential Members.
Despite the fact that the Carpathian Region fulfils the criteria for macroregional strategies specified by the European Commission, the region is not included in any multilateral form of cooperation within the EU. According to EU Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, there is no need for the strategy for Carpathia because the region already profits from the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. “A strategy aimed at large river basins and one referring to the second biggest mountains in Europe constitute two completely different stories”, replied MEP Poreba and added that the Strategy for the Danube Region did not include Poland.
The Carpathian Region is one of the EU’s poorest regions with many challenges – particularly related to infrastructure and employment. “The region wrestles with significant demographic changes due to its high unemployment rate as well as with several other problems as, e.g. environmental pollution, deforestation and lack of infrastructure. Therefore, we consistently underline the importance of Via Carpathia, a road which would run from north to south Europe through the EU eastern regions, because it would significantly accelerate their development”, said Poreba.
MEP Poreba stressed also the huge engagement of civic groups and organizations which strive to develop the Carpathian Region. “All these actions require proper EU support. Now is the time for the Carpathian Region! Therefore I appeal for a macroregional strategy for the Carpathian Region which would enable effective development of the eastern part of the EU. It would constitute a chance for an equalisation of the huge differences between the European regions”, added Poreba.
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