23 – 25 June the Forum II of Regional Development will be held in Truskavets. We are communicating with the executive director of the Association of Local Councils of “Lviv Rada ” Vasyl Lozinsky concerning the Forum’s impact for the Carpathian region, the priorities and the participants.

– Sir, could you announce the events of the Forum 2017? What is its agenda?
– The objective of the Forum II 2017 – project “The Carpathians- 2020: the ways to ensure the sustainable development of local communities.” Within this, we have identified two priorities of the Forum: the development of the Carpathian region and decentralization. Additionally, the three-day Forum II agenda provides plenary sessions and panel discussions on certain topics. The Permanent Donors Fair will operate.

– What’s about the Forum II participants? Who has confirmed the participation?
– Traditionally, the heads of regional and local authorities, parliamentarians, government officials, Polish voivods heads (marshalka), representatives of the committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, as well as diplomatic corps, non-governmental organizations, international funds and programs. It is worth noting that this year we are eager to engage not only regional and district councils of Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Transcarpathian regions but the representatives of our regional communities. The mayors are invited as well.

– Who of the officials are expected?

– First, the Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andriy Paruby and the Polish Sejm Marshalok Marek Tadeusz Kuhtsinskyy have already confirmed the participation. It is scheduled the attendance of seven speakers – heads of parliaments of the countries where the Carpathians are located.
The Ukrainian side is going to be represented by the First Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Public utilities of Ukraine Hennady Zubko, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine Ostap Semerak, Chairman of the State agency for energy efficiency and energy saving of Ukraine Serhiy Savchuk.
Furthermore, the Forum I 2016 hosted 150 participants, but this year about 400 guests are expected.

– What other significant events of the three-day Forum II are on the agenda?

At the government level, there will be the second session (the first one took place in Poland) of the Working Group represented by the first Deputy Minister of Regional Development of the Carpathian countries (Ukraine, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia and Austria) to develop a common macro-regional strategies and individual financial instrument for the communities of the Carpathian region.
At the self-governing level, the first session of the leaders of regional self-governing bodies of all the Carpathian countries will be held. Considering a common character of the communities’ issues, an objective of the meeting will be to unite efforts in order to cope with the common challenges – environmental, accessibility, tourism and economy.
Moreover, a potential collaboration towards improvement of the transport accessibility will be discussed at a meeting of the parliamentary transport committees’ leaders of the Carpathian countries. A launch of the train Intercity + Lviv – Peremyshl should be noted as a positive outcome of the first joint session of the transportation committees of Ukraine and Poland.
The Ministers of Ecology and Environment of the Carpathian countries are to discuss common environmental problems and solutions.
At the parliamentary level the Forum will conclude with the signing of the declaration by all participating countries to enhance cooperation for further development of the Carpathians.

– In your opinion, has the Forum II a chance to gain a national level? Is it an essential condition?

Definitely has! And it will be! Step by step Ukraine is moving towards Europe. We have a common interest to develop the Carpathian region. The Forum is a good platform for the Summit and like-minded people who want to give a significant boost to the development and potential of the mountain areas of the country. Forum in Truskavets – an unprecedented event for Lviv region.

Interviewed by Andriy Kotenko