18th Forum of Polish Euroregions

Representatives of Euroregion Baltic took part in the 18th Forum of Polish euroregions which was held between 15 and 18 June 2009 and hosted by Euroregion Pradziad (Euroregion Praděd) on the Polish – Czech border. EU Commissioner on Regional Policy, Ms Danuta Hübner was a special guest at the Forum.
The Forum took place in Głuchołazy, in the Region of Opole. Around 50 representatives of the following Polish euroregional structures participated in the event: Baltic, Beskidy (Beskydy), Bug, Glacensis, Nysa (Neisse, Nisa), Pradziad (Praděd), Puszcza Białowieska, Sprewa – Nysa – Bóbr (Spree-Neisse-Bober), Pro Europa Viadrina, Śląsk Cieszyński (Těšínské Slezsko), Silesia and Tatry.
The debates at the Forum centred around the European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), and the effect these might have on the cross-border cooperation in Europe. Ms Danuta Hübner informed eight such structures have been established so far and around fifteen more are in the establishment process. The Polish Euroregions decided to work towards a closer relation with the Committee of the Regions’ experts group monitoring the process of setting up EGTCs. It seems of utmost importance that Euroregions, which have been implementing cross-border cooperation in their local environments, remain relevant partners in discussing the objectives and practicalities of territorial cooperation in the European Union.
The Forum resulted with the adoption of conclusions, including the establishment of an inter-euroregional working group which will develop a process leading to the initiation of a formal structure associating all Euroregions in Poland which will represent them in a dialogue with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of Interior and of Regional Development. This dialogue should most of all concern matters related to the development and management of CBC programmes but also such  EU policies as Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Eastern Partnership and future Cohesion Policy.