Europe Day – 18 years in the EU. PLN 18 billion in support for Warsaw – Kronika24.pl

Warsaw is a European metropolis, driven by the spirit of enterprise and the commitment of its inhabitants.

Since Poland joined the EU, the capital has received more than PLN 18 billion from the EU budget for investment and development. This is more than 10 thousand. PLN per inhabitant of the capital.

Europe Day – a celebration of European unity

For 18 years, the presence in the European Union has strengthened the sovereignty of Poland and influenced the development of the country, including Warsaw. EU membership allows us to effectively defend our interests and ensure our security. Because we are stronger together – emphasizes President Rafał Trzaskowski. – Every day we see all the real and material advantages of being part of the European community. And in the new EU financial perspectives, we mainly want to invest in mobility and infrastructure projects, including the further development of the metro system – adds the president.

The multidirectional development of the capital makes it an open, friendly, functional and modern city, focused on innovative solutions, in line with social needs and respect for the sustainable environment. Thanks to this, over the past 18 years, Warsaw has become a European metropolis of the 21st century. These changes, however, would not be possible without the support of European funds – the most visible of all the benefits of Poland’s membership of the European Union.

10 PLN thousand per capita

So far, the capital has obtained more than PLN 18 billion from the European Union budget, which is equivalent to PLN 10,000 per capita. This is one of the highest results not only in Poland, but also in the entire Central and Eastern European region.

union Cohesion Fund (FS), funds both urban mobility projects and most environmental protection projects in Warsaw. The total amount of co-financing for CF projects exceeds PLN 14.6 billion. Transport infrastructure, based mainly on low-emission public transport, is a priority. Therefore, the largest funds are allocated to the development of public transport, so that it is a good alternative to individual transport. Warsaw’s key CF-backed investment is construction of the second metro line and the purchase of modern rolling stock (PLN 7.38 billion co-financing of three projects). The metro is undeniably a factor in the formation of the city, and at the same time fits directly into the hypotheses of transition to a zero-emission economy. Currently, the third phase of construction of the second metro line is underway, as well as the purchase of the rolling stock necessary for its operation. In addition, funding is planned for projects to extend the network of tram lines, ecological buses, urban railway, a system of interchange parking lots, cycle paths and major road sections. .

Boulevards, fountains and security

Thanks to EU funds, z European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), an effective project to renovate the boulevards of the Vistula has been implemented and the Multimedia Fountain Park attracting the public. On the banks of the Vistula, the Workshop of the Copernican Revolution is being built – a research and development center dedicated to innovation in education. As part of the animation of the newly created establishment, exhibitions, educational kits, educational scenarios and knowledge on skills development are planned. In turn, for the development of Warsaw business, the Smolna Entrepreneurship Center was launched in Powiśle and the Targowa Creativity Center in Stara Praga. A project for free mobile solutions that will facilitate movement in public space has also been prepared, as well as a project concerning the expansion of the alarm and warning system for people. The total amount of ERDF co-financing for projects exceeds PLN 2.5 billion.

The third of the main sources of EU support for the development of Warsaw is European social fund (ESF). Emphasis was placed, among other things, on the social and professional activation of disabled inhabitants of the capital, support for care services, as well as help for families. The total amount of ESF project co-financing exceeds PLN 750 million.

Warsaw as a metropolis

EU funds are complemented by funds from other European Union aid funds, primarily for science, research and development. Funds of the so-called Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area – under which Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein contribute to the implementation of cultural, educational and social projects. Thanks to these funds, the buildings in the Old Town, where the Warsaw Museum is located, have been modernized. System support was also obtained for the capital’s retirement homes and natural meadows on the banks of the Vistula were restored.

However, EU aid does not only cover the capital city of Warsaw, but also the entire metropolis of Warsaw. The answer to the challenges of intensive metropolitan development are integrated territorial investments – a special financial instrument that goes beyond the current programming schemes of EU funds. Within its framework, Warsaw in cooperation with 39 neighboring municipalities – with the support of EU funds – implements projects whose common goal is to eliminate problems on a supra-local scale and use the potential agglomeration municipality, both in terms of infrastructure (cycle paths, P+R car parks) and economic and social (public e-services, education of children and young people, creation of reception places for children up to 3 years). Within the framework of the integrated territorial investments of the Warsaw Metropolis, local governments have signed EU funding contracts for more than PLN 735 million.

Europe Day on May 9

Europe Day is celebrated every year to commemorate the anniversary of the signing by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Schuman, the so-called Schuman declaration of 9 May 1950, 5 years after the Second World War. This was a proposal for the joint coordination of steel production and coal mining and the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The initiative is seen as the foundation of European integration.

We celebrate European Union Day on 9 May in remembrance of this event which was the first step towards future European integration. There would be no EU without the courageous words of French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman in Paris on 9 May 1950: “The contribution that an organized and living Europe can make to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations . (…) Europe will not be made all at once or in its entirety: it will be made through concrete projects, first creating real solidarity,” he said. In his speech at the time, he proposed a new form of economic cooperation in Europe that would prevent the outbreak of a new war. He maintained that only the unification of the countries of the old continent can guarantee peace and development.

It is worth recalling that then, 5 years after the end of the Second World War, Europe was still grappling with its consequences. Robert Schuman presented an ambitious plan to combine the German and French coal and steel economies and entrust them to a supranational power independent of the two countries. European governments recognized that co-ordinating these economic foundations together would prevent a similar conflict from happening again, and that any war between eternal rivals France and Germany would be “not only unthinkable, but physically impossible”. They believed that the combination of economic interests would contribute to raising the standard of living of societies and would be the first step towards a united Europe.

Robert Schuman argued that “putting coal and steel production under joint management (…) will change the fate of the regions, long condemned to produce the weapons of war, of which they have been the victims for the most long time”. He proposes the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community. The community, created in 1952, was the first supranational European institution. Its vocation became one of the main factors in the unification of post-war Europe, it was the seed of what the EU is. Its member states: Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Italy from 1955 continued their attempts to integrate the countries of Western Europe, to create a common market and a nuclear energy community. As a result, the European Economic Community (EEC) was created in 1958 and, together with the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), created in 1957, became the first pillar of the EU. These 3 European communities: Coal and Steel, Economics and Atomic Energy had organs in common since 1958, and on the basis of what is called in the merger treaty of 1967, the complete institutional merger was achieved. In 1973, Great Britain, Denmark and Ireland joined the communities, in the 1980s Greece, Spain and Portugal, in 1995 – Austria, Sweden and Finland. Under the Maastricht Treaty, from 1992 the EEC was called the European Community.

The culmination of a long process of political, economic and social integration, on November 1, 1993, the European Union was created. On May 1, 2004, Poland became a member of the EU, along with Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary. As of 2020, after Britain left the European Union, it includes 27 countries.

According to the Eurobarometer survey published in February 2022, which is conducted in all EU countries, 70% of respondents were in favor of the European Union, of which most Poles – 82%. On average, 72% of citizens believe that their country benefits from EU membership.

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