Vice-President László Borbély attended yesterday the Conference on a Macro-Regional Strategy for the Carpathian Region in Brussels04.12.2013 | Brussels , European Union
Mr. László Borbély, Political Vice-President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania and Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies has attended yesterday, December 3rd, 2013, the Conference on the topic of a Macro-Regional Strategy for the Carpathian Region organized at the European Parliament in Brussels.
“The future development strategy of the Carpathian Region is strongly linked to the future development of the European Union itself, as the Carpathian region is not just any region of Europe, but the second most significant mountainous area in the EU and the way a development strategy is conceived for this region may become a precedent, a role model both for the future functioning of the EU and for the decision making processes on the political level”, Mr. László Borbély warned at the Conference, underlining those features that really make this region so special: “The Carpathians are Europe’s largest mountains by area, containing the largest area of pristine forest in Europe (outside Russia) and also one-third of all European vascular plant species can be found in the Carpathians. Moreover, the European Union’s largest populations of brown bears, wolves, lynx, European bisons and imperial eagles (globally threatened species) are found in the Carpathians. There are 36 national parks, 51 nature parks and protected landscape areas and 19 biosphere reserves in the Carpathians and 200 other protected areas are members of the Carpathian Network of Protected areas. Furthermore, there are 36 registered UNESCO World Heritage sites and 49 important pilgrimage destinations in this area! So, our task is to preserve these natural resources and to develop the region in a sustainable manner. And in order for us to be able to provide the necessary human and financial resources for this, we need to develop a long term integrated plan”, Mr. László Borbély explained, adding that the first priority in this sense would be the development of a unitary strategy of sustainable development for this region, within the framework of the European Union.
“As we all know, there are no one-size-fits-all universal recipes for everything, and some regions have unitary characteristics which can only be tackled consistently and effectively through an organized and adapted set of measures and actions. This is why we already have a Danube Strategy, aiming to tackle a variety of local problems, to give an impetus to economic development, to improve the transportation networks and the energy infrastructure of the Danube Region. And these are the aims of the already existing Carpathian Convention as well, an umbrella organization trying to foster the sustainable development and the protection of the Carpathian Region, through the conservation and sustainable use of biological and landscape diversity, sustainable spatial development, sustainable agriculture and forest management and cultural heritage preservation. However, these components most be integrated into an EU framework. Many would argue that the Danube Strategy already covers the needs and goals of the Carpathian Region, but this is just partially true. A separate Strategy is needed, to focus specifically on the sustainable development of the Carpathian Region”, the Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies declared at Brussels.
Mr. László Borbély also added that, since it is unlikely that a new EU strategy should be adopted in the near future, an analysis should be made on how the already existing conventions may be exploited more efficiently in order to facilitate an even better access of the EU regions to funding. “Romania is especially interested in this topic – since the largest part of the Carpathian Mountain chains stretches through our country. We are more than ever committed to contribute our share to the sustainable development of the region and this is why we have repeatedly offered to accommodate in Brasov the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention located temporarily in Vienna today, on one hand because 40% of the Carpathians are in Romania and also because 2 million Romanian citizens live in the mountainous area of the Carpathians”, the Political Vice-President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania concluded, as, according to him, Romania could more actively participate in the programs of the Carpathian Convention this way.