Pannon EGTC

International Territorial Development Conference in Osijek

A conference was held on 5 and 6 February about Croatian-Hungarian cooperation opportunities organised by the Pannon European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation. Within the framework of the conference, professionals shared their views on relations along the Croatian-Hungarian borderas well as about issues on promoting the growth of economy and tourism in the area.

Mutual understanding and finding the possible fields of cooperation havealways been a highlighted issue along the Hungarian-Croatian border. For several years Pannon EGTC has been working on the improvement, development and success of Croatian-Hungarian relations. Cooperation is being maintained through personal contact, conferences and events as well as through sister-county relations. Several issues have come up which have made it necessary to raise the cooperation to a higher level. Idea came to organise a grand conference in Osijek where the micro-regions and counties along the border can articulate their problems and opportunities concerning territorial development and to draft a common vision for the future. The conference was financed by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The two nations were represented on government level, thus such long waited developments are planned to be implemented as the recovering of community bus service between Pécs and Osijek and the increase of the number of border crossing points along the Rivers of Drava and Mura, since there are only three border crossing points in Baranya County along the 80 km long borderline, compared to Austrian-Hungarian borderline where there is a border crossing point in every 5-10 kilometres.  Other important issues were the intensifying of economic, touristic and cultural relations.

In his opening speech, the mayor of Osijek, Mr.Ivan Vrkić emphasised the importance of a regular bus service between the regional centres of Osijek and Baranya. Mr. Ivan Anušić, perfect of the Osijek-Baranya County, also highlighted the strengthening of public transport relations and the development of cooperation along the border. In his speech, Mr. József Magyar, the Ambassador of Hungary to Zagrab, emphasised the importance of the opening of further border-crossing points.

Mr. Csaba Nagy, president of Pannon European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation emphasised: We are working on opening more border-crossing points along the Hungarian-Croatian border and on improving the transportation and by that the economic and touristic relations in the region.

During the morning Mr. Velimir Žunac, the State Secretary of the Croatian Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds,introduced the recent territorial developments in Croatia, dr. László Mosóczi, Deputy State Secretary of the Hungarian Ministry of National Development, responsible for public transport and traffic, spoke about the possibilities of cross-border public traffic, while dr. Márton Szűcs, Head of HU-HR CBC Joint Secretariat, summarised the most important conclusions of the past calls for proposals. In the afternoon Mr. László Szászfalvi, Member of the Hungarian Parliament, urged the joint and complex development of the region along River Drava, Ms. Snježana Brzica, Deputy State Secretary of the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, introduced the recent actualities of the Croatian-Hungarian border. Mr. Zsolt Thoroczkay, the Director of the Public Road Infrastructure Development Department of the Hungarian Ministry of National Development, informed the participants about the most important milestones of the lengthening of the M6-M60 motorway to the border.

The program included a round-table meeting where Mr. János Bebics (Managing Director of the South-Transdanubian Public Transport Centre), Mr. József Dakos (Police Brig-Gen, Commander in Chief of the Baranya County Police), Mr. Darko Sobota (Perfect of Koprivnica-Križevci County), Mr. Imre Pácsonyi (Vice-President of the General Assembly of Zala County) and Mr. Milan Vandura (Director of HGK ŽK Virovitica) talked about the cross border possibilities of public transport. Mr. Szabolcs Rabb, the Secretary of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Pécs-Baranya, contributed to the round table meeting on the possibilities of economic, cultural and touristic cooperation in the River Drava Basin along with Mr.Igor Androvic (perfect of Virovitica-Podravina County), Mr. Norbert Bíró (President of the General Assembly of Somogy County), Mr. Ferenc Horvát (Deputy Mayor of Lendava) and Ms. Sandra Herman (Vice-Perfect of Međimurje).

Within the framework of the event an international press conference was held where the activities of the Pannon European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation were introduced. dr. Eszter Vitályos, state secretary, stressed that the Pannon EGTC, established in 2010, was in an advantageous situation, since there were several organisations within its members, which participated in cross-border cooperation, the possibilities for applying funds were good so it was worth joining the it.

Mr. Velimir Žunac The State Secretary of the Ministry of Croatian Regional Development emphasised that since there were several Croatian counties joined the Pannon EGTC, it promoted the more efficient use of European funds. Ms. Vesna Haluga Consul General talked about how they helped the economic partners active alongside the border to cooperate and how they helped the parties in gaining funds.

During the second day of the conference nine new members joined the organisation by that the whole region of the Croatian-Hungarian borderline is covered by the Pannon EGTC. During the General Assembly meeting the non-members visited a European Union Development, the so called Mill project.

The presentations can be downloaded clicking on the names of the presenters.

Short film on the conference can be downloaded here, the long version can be downloaded here.

Interviews appeared in the media can be downloaded from here and here.

More news