TRANSCARPATHIAN REGION IN THE SCOPE OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION POLICY – STATE OF COOPERATION
Ernest Nuser, head of the main Department of European integration, foreign economic relations and tourism of the Transcarpathian Regional State Administration
It is generally recognized among experts that for long time cross-border cooperation between the Transcarpathian region and regions of neighboring countries still serving an example of civilized and pragmatic interregional collaboration. The principles of cooperation are laid down in the operating regulatory and legal framework and concluded agreements on cooperation at the level of regions, cities and districts. First of all – these are agreements between the Transcarpathian Regional State Administration and neighboring regions of EU member-states.
In order to coordinate actions at preparation, implementation and realization of development programmes, projects on territories of the Transcarpathian region and regions of bordering countries, the following actions are being fulfilled:
Cooperation between the Transcarpathian region and border regions of the Slovak Republic
Cross-border cooperation development between the Transcarpathian region and bordering regions of the Slovak Republic is being carried into effect accordingly to the operating agreements:
1. Cooperation agreement between the Transcarpathian region and Presovsky self-governing kraj;
2. Agreement on economic-trade, education and science, cultural cooperation between Transcarpathian region and Kosicky self-governing kraj. Accordingly to the operating agreements ‘Joint Action Programmes on cooperation between regions’ are annually signed, in which concrete measures are defined concerning the cooperation in the fields of economy, education, science and culture. The Joint Action Programme with the Presovsky self-governing kraj (hereinafter PSK) for the period 2010-2011 has been signed.
In the frame of the past Neighborhood programme three projects from Transcarpathian region were announced as winners, namely: ‘Development of Beregovo Transboundary Polder System in the Tysa river basin'; ‘Pure Water'; ‘Cross-border opportunities of transport logistics developments’. The cooperation concentrates itself in the fields of economy and regional development, joint coordination, elaboration and implementation of projects within ENPI CBC Programmes, joint presentation of the regions at exhibitions and fairs in branches of culture, education and social services. Common interest is also declared concerning the support of national minorities, development of small and medium enterprises, investment activities, labour market and employment, support of cooperation development at the level of local self-governments. The region takes part in the ‘Hungary–Slovakia-Romania–Ukraine’ ENPI cross-border cooperation Programme 2070-2013. In the frame of the above mentioned Programme large scale projects were examined by the European Commission under the measure ‘Improvement of border crossing transport infrastructure and equipment at border controls’, for the Ukrainian–Slovak, Ukrainian–Hungarian, Ukrainian–Romanian border crossing points 20,4 million Euros allotted. At the same time on the 15th of May 2010 Ukrainian-Slovak Neighbourhood Days and info-Days of Europe were annually held at the ‘Ubla – Malyi Bereznyi’ border crossing point in Transcarpathia. Active working experience exchange is being implemented in the field of green tourism between the border regions of Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania.
Ukrainian – Slovak border development
At the Ukrainian – Slovak border 5 border crossing points are functioning: ‘Uzhhorod–Vysne Nemecke’, ‘Uzhhorod – airport’, ‘Malyi Bereznyi– Ubla’, ‘Pavlove–Matovce’, ‘Mali Selmentsi–Velke Slemence’.
Also aspects of opening new border crossing pints are adopted, namely ‘Ulic–Zabrid’, ‘Solomonovo –Cierna n. Tisou’ – at the Ukrainian–Slovak border, this will considerably facilitate the functioning of existing border crossing points.
Cooperation between the Transcarpathian region and border regions of the Republic of Hungary
The cooperation between the Transcarpathian region and border regions of the Republic of Hungary is being realized on the basis of Agreements between the Transcarpathian Regional State Ad-ministretion and the self-government of Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg county of Hungary and also between the Transcarpathian Regional Council and Heves county of Hungary. The following documents have been signed:
• Joint development concept of Ukrainian and Hungarian border regions;
• Joint development concept of Ukrainian, Hungarian and Romanian border regions ‘INTER-REGIO';
• ‘Carpathians 2004–2011′ cross-border cooperation strategy.
Development of border-crossing pints at the Ukrainian-Hungarian border
The functioning border crossing pints at the Ukrainian–Hungarian state border:
• ‘Chop–Zahony'; ‘Luzhanka–Beregsurany'; ‘Vylok–Tiszabecs'; As for opening new border crossing points:
• ‘Solomonovo–Derecske’, Velyka Palad–Kispalagy’
Cooperation between the Transcarpathian region and border regions of the Republic of Poland|
On the 21th of June, year 2002 Agreement on cross-border cooperation has been concluded between the Transcarpathian Regional State Administration and the Podkarpackie Voivodship. Also network of agencies on support of small and medium business of the Carpathian region has been created within the participation of Polish and Ukrainian representatives.
As for border-crossing development, building of ‘Lubnia–Volosate’ pedestrian border crossing point is foreseen on the borderline with the Republic of Poland. For today the decision on opening the above mentioned border crossing point is adopted at the Ukrainian side with a joint control of customs and frontier services of both countries. The building project is being under the phase of feasibility study.
On the Ukrainian-Polish border ‘Lubnia–Volosate’ Neighbourhood Days are traditionally organized.
The Transcarpathian Regional State Administration takes active part in the ‘Poland–Belarus-Ukraine’ 2007-2013 ENPI cross-border cooperation Programme. The representation of the region’s interests was secured at the sittings of Joint Monitoring and Joint Evaluation committees. Active training of potential recipients and beneficiaries is being leaded as for participation in the Neighbourhood Programmes via informing, consulting, support and conducting of training programmes on project management. The Transcarpathian RSA, the Lviv RSA, Volyn RSA, Marshall offices of Podkarpackie and Lubelskie Voivodships had considered the need to elaborate the Strategy of cross-border development until the year 2015 with the participation of 5 border regions, with the aim of the Programmes’ synchronization on both sides of the border. In the frame of agreements on cooperation the project of the ‘development Strategy of Ukrainian and Polish border regions until the year 2015′ was elaborated. The strategy includes the above mentioned border regions of Poland and Ukraine. Moreover, Transcarpathia for many years regularly takes part in all Neighbourhood and Partnership Programmes of the European Union that were, -and are in action at the Eastern border of the EU: TACIS, INTERREG, PHARE, CADSES and now ENPI.
On the region’s territory two main cross-border cooperation Programmes are in action: ‘Hungary– Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine’ 2007-2013 ENPI cross-border cooperation Programme, total financial allocation – 68 638 283 EUR and the ‘Po-land-Belorus-Ukraine’ 2007-2013 ENPI cross-border cooperation Programme, total financial allocation – 202,9 million EUR.
Among the awarded projects: ‘Hungary -Slovakia - Romania – Ukraine’ 2007-2013 EN PI cross-border cooperation Programme
• ‘Sustainable development of natural assets in the Tisza River basin’
• ‘Further development and harmonization of the Hungarian and Ukrainian Upper-Tisza flood-prevention development programmes, establishing an integrated flood-preventionforecast system with the adaptation of GIS model';
• ‘Elaboration of documents for Cross-Border Industrial Park Creation with the Elements of Logistics – ‘Bere-Karpaty';
• Bioenergy of the Carpathians;
• European cradle
• Borders for people
Due to the Programme we successfully resolved the financial questions of building those border crossing points that are having prior economic importance: Luzhanka–Beregsurany (on the Hungarian border), Diakovo–Halmeu (on the Romanian border) and Uzhhorod–Vysne Nemecke (on the Slovak border).
Transcarpathia at the same time pursues active cooperation with individual regions of EU countries in the frame of signed cooperation agreements with Maramures and Satu-Mare counties (Romania), Szabolcs–Szatmar-Bereg and Heves counties (Hungary), Kosicky and Presovsky krajs (Slovakia), Podkarpackie Voivodship (Poland), Ober-franken County (Germany) and Vysocina kraj (Czech Republic). We are expecting new agreements with South Tyrol region (Italy), Burgenland (Austria), Vukovar–Skrijem county (Croatia) and Kaliningrad region (Russia).
Source: Magazine “Transcarpathia” № 3 winter 2010/2011