150 participants from several countries participated in the 2nd Carpathian Days of Neighborhood, which took place on 8-10th August on the border of Subcarpathian and Transcarpathian regions. The conference part, organized on the Polish side in Muczne (Bieszczady Mountains), was co-organized and co-financed by the Cross-border Cooperation Programme Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2014-2020. The event was under the patronage of the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development, Managing Authority of the PL-BY-UA Programme.
The first part of the conference was devoted to the future of the Carpathians, the second part – to current activities and future of the Programme. Andrzej Słodki, Head of the Joint Technical Secretariat, talked about the Programme and the state of its implementation. Rafał Baliński, Director, Department of the Territorial Cooperation, Ministry of Investment and Economic Development, took part in the discussion about the future of the Programme: “We do not know yet what resources to have in the future. The current proposal of the European Commission is not satisfactory for us, it means reducing the pool of available funds from 700 million to less than 600 MEUR, and there are other entities. However, the European Parliament was in favor of increasing the budget.”
The PL-BY-UA projects implemented and selected for implementation in the Carpathians, with the participation of the Subcarpathian (PL) and Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivska and/or Lvivska (UA) regions, were also presented. Such projects are in total 72 and the total value of EU funding reaches 70 MEUR.
The next day, after crossing the border at the temporary check-in point Wołosate-Łubnia, conference participants took part in a study visit in the Transcarpathian Region. Igor Bondarenko, Head of the Transcarpathian Regional State Administration, was the host of that visit.
The Carpathians, which largely lie within the Programme area, are a huge mountain range that runs through the territory of as many as 8 countries: Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Austria, Hungary and Serbia. Like other mountain areas, they have less favorable farming conditions, which are influenced by among others: worse climate and soil conditions, limited transport accessibility, weaker infrastructure development level and often peripheral location. The common challenge is to intensify the socio-economic development of the macro-region, while maintaining the rich values of its natural and cultural environment and the principles of sustainable development.