On 7-11 April, almost 30 representatives of Ukrainian local self-governments took part in the study visit to Poland organized by the Cross-border Programme Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2014-2020 in cooperation with the Carpathian Euroregion – Ukraine.
The opening meeting was organized during their visit to the 5th European Congress of Local Governments, place where the role of cross-border cooperation and local initiatives was much discussed. Leszek Buller, Director of the Center of European Projects, welcomed all participants of the study visit and emphasized that this is an excellent opportunity to establish contacts that may later result in joint cross-border projects. At the Congress the participants listened with interest to both the inspiring discussion between Grzegorz Napieralski – Senator of The Republic of Poland and Leszek Buller as well as the panel with a JTS representative entitled “How to develop tourism in historic cities”. During this discussions they had the opportunity to learn how, thanks to the projects, we can create local and regional identity. On the second day of their visit to Cracow, they took part in the special meeting with the General Consul of Ukraine, Oleg Mandiuk.
In the next days of the study tour the Ukrainian local government representatives visited the Podkarpackie Voivodeship. In Krosno, they took part in the meeting with the Polish local authorities from the Krośnieński District. They were discussing good practices in specific areas managed by Polish self-governments: education, road construction, environmental protection, municipal management, culture, sport, health resorts, public procurement etc. To see how it looks in the practice they finally participated in a study tour around nearby investments mostly co-financed by the European Union, Glass Heritage Center, Krosno Airport, Special Economic Zone, Waste Utilization Plant as well as the ruins of the Kamieniec Castle in Odrzykoń. They visited also Miejsce Piastowe and the investement co-financed by the PBU Programme within the MICHAELANDYOUTH project. In the Sanocki District they visited inter alia Special Economic Zone Zagórz-Zasław, Carmelites monastery ruins and the center of Polish-Ukrainian cooperation in Łukowe, as well as to meet local authorities. – "I am glad that such a meeting has been organized. We used to work with the Ukrainian partner, but there has been a break for some time. Now, on the occasion of the meeting, I have established several new contacts and I hope that we will attempt to some joint projects"- summarised the Mayor of the Cisna Commune in Bieszczady, Renata Szczepańska.
– "The study visit was high-level organized by the Programme Poland-Belarus-Ukraine, the agenda was appropriately selected for the auditorium qualified to participate in the visit. Meetings, presentations, discussions, participation in the Congress, everything went well and I think that each participant received the maximum information that he needs in his work."- said Viktoria Homonec, the Head of the Department of International Cooperation and Projects of the City Council of Lutsk.
– "Arriving here and meeting with local government representatives made me realize that there are similar tasks ahead of us. We have the opportunity to learn about Polish experiences and influence our decision makers to implement in the Ukrainian legislation solutions that will support the development and raise the standard of living of our inhabitants" underlined Igor Grynkiw, Chairman of the City of Zolochiv.
The participants of the study visit were qualified from the Ukrainian eligible area of the Programme including Lviv, Zakarpattya, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Volyn, Rivne Oblasts. In September the Programme will organize a similar event for the regional authorities from Ukraine.