Euroregion Spree-Neiße-Bóbr-Sprewa-Nysa-Bóbr

18 January 2017, Forst (Lausitz): German-Polish Conference "Together for the Border Region":


German-Polish Conference "Together for the Border Region"

Wednesday, 18 January 2017, 10:00 to 04:00 pm, District Spree-Neiße, Heinrich-Heine-Str. 1, 03149 Forst (Lausitz)


AEBR Secretary General Martín Guillermo Ramírez attended today the German-Polish conference “Together for the Border Region“ in Forst (Lausitz), organised by Spree-Neiße district. He spoke in the panel discussion on the “Role of cross-border cooperation from the perspective of regional governments and the Euroregion/AEBR: State of Play – Discussion – Outlook”.  


Harald Altekrüger, Head of Spree-Neiße (SPN) district/ Starosta Powiatu SPN, opened the conference and welcomed the participants. He stressed how many barriers have disappeared in the last 25 years, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, but also reminded many remaining obstacles, and perhaps some new ones. Therefore the need to stress cross-border investments in infrastructures, but also in people-to-people activities.


The following panel discussion on the "Role of cross-border cooperation from the perspective of regional governments and the Euroregion/AEBR: State of Play – Discussion – Outlook“ was moderated by Krzysztof BaługRADIO ZACHÓD S.A.


Together with the AEBR Secretary General, the following speakers participated in the discussion:

- Zbyszek Zaborowski, Marschal’s office Lubuskie/Urząd Marszałkowski Woj. Lubuskie

- Harald Altekrüger, Head of Spree-Neisse District and President of Euroregion Spree-Neiße-Bober/Starosta Powiatu SPN und Prezydent Euroregionu SNB

- Czesław Fiedorowicz, President of Euroregion Spree-Neiße-Bober/Prezydent Euroregionu SNB

Mirosław Glaz, Head of Krośnieński district/Starosta Powiatu Krośnieńskiego

- Dariusz Wróblewski, Head of Zielonogórski district/Starosta Powiatu Zielonogórskiego

- Janusz Dudojć, Head of Żarski district/Starosta Powiatu Żarskiego

- Henryk Janowicz, Head of Żagański district/Starosta Powiatu Żagańskieg


It was a very lively debate, very well conducted, stressing old and new challenges, the effects of demographic change in the territories of the border between Germany and Poland, and some solutions which may be tested by initiatives such as the Cross-Border Review implemented by the European Commission (DG Regio). The Euroregion Spree-Neiße-Bober (SNB) is a great repository of efforts to establish cross-border links, with a great network of contacts of authorities at all levels, the private sector, the Academia and civil society. Some thematic issues of upmost importance for cross-border regions (and not only) such as energy, health, emergencies and civil protection, labour, education, youth, etc., were also tackled. There is a need to explore strategic fields jointly, despite of differentials (salaries, prices), which could be an opportunity. This Euroregion could be a perfect laboratory to explore solutions for identified problems, which may become further solutions for others.


The Secretary General of the AEBR stressed the role that CBC plays in the current debate on the future cohesion policy, how the EU attention is increasingly drawn to CBC and CB areas, where EU integration is really taking place, and the new challenges over European border areas due to the current discussions on Schengen, the effects of Brexit, and a growing euro-scepticism.


After the lunch break, several workshops on administrative cooperation topics took place:

  • Workshop I – Health, chaired by Krosno district
  • Workshop II – Public Relations, Marketing, Dissemination of Information, Culture and Associations, chaired by Zielona Góra district
  • Workshop III – Road Sector,  Motor Vehicle Registration, Civil Protection, chaired by Zary district
  • Workshop/ IV – Employment agencies, Training, Youth and Social Affairs, chaired by  Zagan district


The results of the workshops were presented to the audience.


Towards the end of the conference, Mr Carsten Jakob, Director of the Euregion Spree-Neiße-Bober (SNB), presented the project "Dialogue - A Programme Area / a Voivodship / Two Euroregions" to be developed in the programme area Brandenburg-Lubuskie by the Euroregions Spree-Neiße-Bober and PRO EUROPA VIADRINA with the main aim to intensify and increase the quality of the dialogue between all players, especially public authorities / administration and the citizens, as well as a dramatic increase of authentic joint projects.


Conference programme and further information:  


After the Conference, the AEBR Secretary General and the Director of the Euroregion SNB also visited the Hospital of the Naëmi-Wilke Foundation in Guben, in order to know more about their experience with cross-border patients and their expectations. A very interesting exchange about cross-border health care took place with Gottfried Hain, Director of the Hospital.

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