European Congress of Local Governments
Krakow 4th -5th May 2015,
On the basis of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Commission is currently obliged to consult regional and local governments and their associations in entire Europe already at the stage preceding the legislation process. – Due to the above mentioned provision, the regional dimension of European integration has become even more important recently. Consequently, the first day of the Congress included a plenary session „Europe of regions – a new opening”,
Jacek Majchrowski, the President of Krakow, focused in his speech on the role of the European funds primarily from the investment perspective. – Krakow would not have so many new facilities without the European financing that reached on many occasions even 75 percent – said president Majchrowski. According to Majchrowski, Poland should follow the example of Italy, where urban areas have their own EU budgets. – The European funding from the new financial perspective should concentrate on improving the quality of life in urban areas and regions – convinced Majchrowski.
The mayor of Tbilisi, Davit Narmania, reminded that the city he administered was a centre of Transcaucasia, and was always oriented westwards. – The Association Agreement signed last year between Georgia and the European Union demonstrated the extent of obligations and responsibility taken on by regional authorities – said Narmania. The Mayor of Tbilisi reminded that the European objectives, such as ecology or sustainable development have also been a priority for Tbilisi. Corresponding to the concept of Smart City, he argued that innovative solutions based on new IT technologies, development of social infrastructure and easier access to public administration have already been introduced in Tbilisi. According to the mayor of Tbilisi, strong small and medium size enterprises, tourism, commerce and congress activity are the foundations of economic development.
Poland acquired the concept of decentralization at the time of accession to the European Union – stated Zbigniew Jagiełło, the President of PKO BP.The president of the biggest Polish bank stressed a favourable geographical location of Polish cities. – We are not a type of country, which has only one big city, usually the capital. It is a good foundation for the mentioned new opening of regions – said Zbigniew Jagiełło. According to him, the key to sustainable development of Polish cities is to improve road and railway infrastructure. President Jagiełło convinced that in the next stage, Poland needs a Metropolitan Law, which would allow to depart from constraints imposed on urban development. He mentioned Silesian agglomeration and Tricity as the examples where such a law was a burning issue. According to the president of PKO, the concept of decentralization in Poland would be an interesting solution as well. - There are many institutions, which could successfully operate outside of the capital – he pointed.
According to Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, The President of the Chamber of Regions in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the foundation for development of local self-government is democracy, respect of law and civil liberties. – Only once we remember about them, can we talk about investment, economic development or innovations. In her opinion, regionalization is an answer to the crises experienced in the past. – Thanks to the regions, Europe has gained entirely a new dimension. It is a level, where decisions are taken regarding the most important areas – education, health care or employment.
The President of the European Committee of Regions, Markku Markkula, reminded that the main role of his organization was to reflect the point of view of European cities and regions in the decision-making process in the EU. According to Markku Markkula the role of local self-government has been continuously changing as the crisis has led to the tendency of nationalization of economic problems. – Looking at reports from individual countries, we can notice that regional dimension is vital for economic development, and local authorities should have more to say about such issues as European digital regulations or investments programmes.
- From 8:00 A.M. - Registration of guests Congress
- Plenary Session
- Report Presentation
- Thematic blocks, panel discussions, workshops, lectures, presentations
- Awards’ Ceremony
- Plenary Session
- Thematic blocks
- Panel discussions
- Workshops, lectures, presentations
ul. Marii Konopnickiej 17,