Cross-border Cooperation – New Opportunities for Regions

During the panel titled “Cross-border Cooperation – New Opportunities for Regions”, guests from Poland, Czech and Romania described their experiences and observations concerning the accomplishment of projects within transborder cooperation and new perspectives of their completion.

The transborder cooperation connects regional policy with integration processes with the most effective tool to overcome the dividing role of borders, uniting contiguous zones and reducing the distance in the development of regions.

The ideas to use the transborder cooperation effectively and increase the potential as well as strengthen the leadership in the management of transborder cooperation initiatives were discussed during the panel titled “Cross-border Cooperation – New Opportunities for Regions” by regional authorities,  representatives of business, science or culture. The panel took place during the 30th Economic Forum in Karpacz. The partner to the panel was The Center of European Projects, with its director, Mr Leszek Buller, PhD, as a moderator of the discussion.

Director of the Center for Balkan Studies, Dumitru Tudor Jijie, who represented Romania, emphasized that in his country, over 500 units representing local authorities, NGOs, businesses and associations are engaged in transborder cooperation. Owing to such cooperation, plenty of small units were given an option to benefit from broad programmes and European funds. As the biggest barrier, Mr Jijie indicated the fact that Central European countries draw the greatest attention to Western European countries, while it is needed to increase the engagement into the cooperation with countries from Eastern Europe.

“Border – it is only a line on the map. The development of contiguous regions depends only on our cooperation,” said David Pastva, Regional Development Agency of the Czech Republic. In his opinion,  common goals that the neighbouring regions can complete are driving forces for cooperation. And the best results are achieved through goals that serve not only for the sake of local communities but also for the sake of countries.

In turn, Kamil Glinka from the University of Wrocław presented the results of the recent studies, which indicate that only the first wave of the pandemic resulted in freezing transborder cooperation. And owing to the cooperation of many units it was even possible to combat the results of the pandemic and worsening of the economic situation in regions. Particular institutions, local governments and organisations were collaborating actively in order to counteract barriers in the sphere of education, culture and medicine. The pandemic was the great trial of the transborder cooperation, from which the regions emerged successfully, overcoming the obstacles imposed by the lockdown.