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The Warsaw Voice » Other » October 28, 2009
The Lower Silesia
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European Community at Work
October 28, 2009   
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Marek Łapiński, the Marshal of Lower Silesia province, talks to Barbara Deręgowska about European funds and Polish-German relations.

How are EU funds helping Lower Silesia to develop?
European funds have financed a number of projects carried out by the Lower Silesia government and other local governments and enterprises. It is one of the main objectives of the provincial authorities to stimulate economic development through faster absorption of EU funds in the region. EU funds have significantly improved the quality of life for people in Lower Silesia, which we can see traveling on new roads and bridges and admiring architectural gems which have regained their former splendor thanks to subsidies from the EU. We have been also obtaining funds for enterprises in Lower Silesia and thanks to the Jeremie initiative, companies in our region will have easier access to loans, guarantees and credit. The funds available total over zl.400 million, which will go to enterprises in our region. It is our deepest concern to ensure that Lower Silesia residents feel proud they live here. We thus use EU funds not only to improve transportation networks and preserve cultural heritage, but also foster what matters the most, namely, the potential available in terms of the young, talented and energetic people who live in this region. We invest in scholarships for gifted students and new centers of education complete with modern equipment.

Lower Silesia offers good prospects not only to native residents, but to every European.

This year's 11th Lower Silesia Political and Economic Forum in Krzyżowa will mark the 20th anniversary of the Reconciliation Mass in Krzyżowa. What effect will the event have on future relations between Poland and Germany?
This year's Forum in Krzyżowa is very special in that it marks 20 years since the democratic transformation of Poland and Eastern Europe started. Lower Silesia has played an important part in the transformation. Polish-German reconciliation is more than gestures by state officials. It is about joint grassroots projects by local communities in regions. Such activities need initiative and support, which means we have to foster good relations with our neighbors. During this year's Forum, we will focus on Polish-German relations-we will plan future economic, cultural and social initiatives. There will be weighty discussions on the cultural identity of Lower Silesia. Our region has a unique heritage rooted in the Polish, Czech and German cultures, and has a prominent European orientation. The heritage is reflected in the economic and political life of the region. We are happy about a visit that officials from our partner regions of Saxony and Lower Saxony will pay to the Forum. For many years, our three regions have been working together on projects which benefit their inhabitants. Personal contacts and cultural, political and economic ties are the foundations of common Europe.
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