The ‘Olza’ Association for Development and Regional Cooperation was founded in Cieszyn in 1998 as a voluntary association of communes and districts in the south of Poland. Its objective is to support the local and regional development of these areas which lies in the direct vicinity of the Polish-Czech border along the Olza river. All activities undertaking within the core objective are implemented by the ‘Olza’ Association using three types of measures: a statutory actions, the MIcroprojects Fund administration (since 1999. Thanks to that fund the ‘Olza’ Association has supported over 8000 projects) and implementation of own projects (over 120 projects implemented by the ‘Olza’ Association).
Marek Olszewski, Strategy & Development Manager
Rynek18, 43-400 Cieszyn, Poland
Role of the institution regarding cross-border issues
The ‘Olza’ Association is the Polish party to the agreement called ‘Cieszyn Silesia Euroregion’. Within the euroregional structure it undertakes a range of activities covering the following objecitves:
- the exchange of experience and information concerning the region’s development,
- the exchange of experience and information concerning the labour market,
- cooperation in development planning,
- solving common problems with transportation, traffic and communication as well as citizens’ security,
- solving shared problems concerning ecology and natural environment,
- cooperation in the scope of prevention and elimination of natural disasters consequences,
- cooperation in the sphere of economy and trade,
- the development of tourism and passenger traffic,
- campaigns supporting the development of culture, education and sport,
- cultural exchange and protection of the shared cultural heritage,
- cooperation of rescue services and mountain rescue services,
- cooperation between schools and youths.
References regarding cross-border issues
The ‘Olza’ Association offers two types of cross-border training sessions (interactive and specialised) in order to provide the participants with the necessary skills to work with partners on the other side of the border. Some examples of trainings are listed below:
- Conceptual thinking as a tool of cross-border cooperation.
- Vocabulary of cross-border cooperation, available in Polish, Czech and Slovak.
- Environmental protection in a border region – challenges and opportunities
Research / Applied research
- Jacek Siatkowski, Justyna Konik [ed.], A comparative analysis of the major thematic areas which were financially supported on Polish, Czech and Slovak border under the INTERREG programs, 2019.
- Agnieszka Olszewska [ed.], Recommendations for the Polish-Czech border within the Cieszyn Silesia Euroregion in the field of health protection and crisis management, 2018.
- Hynek Böhm, Bogdan Kasperek, Agnieszka Olszewska, Marek Olszewski [ed.], Recommendations for the construction and development of Polish-Czech relations, which were influenced by a context of common painful history, 2018.
Consulting / Studies
- Marek Olszewski [ed.], The documentation setting out the form of cooperation and developing common actions within Polish-Czech-Slovak EuroInstitute’s partnership, 2020.
- Bogdan Kasperek, Marek Olszewski [ed.], The Partnerships and Cooperation Program between Jastrzębie-Zdrój, Karviná and Havířov, 2019.
- Marek Olszewski [ed.], Conceptual and strategic document – the action plan implementing by Cieszyn Silesia Euroregion and EGTC Eurodistrict PAMINA for the period of 2016-2020, 2017.
- Cross-border identity and look at the engagement of civil society in the context of twin cities, 5 March 2020, Cieszyn/Český Těšín.
- The twenty fifth meeting of the Polish-Czech Intergovernmental Commission for Cross-Border Cooperation, 6-7 June 2019, Cieszyn.
- 20th anniversary of the Cieszyn Silesia Euroregion, 22 April 2018, Cieszyn.
- Łukasz Wróblewski [ed.], Śląsk Cieszyński w świetle wyzwań i zagrożeń XXI wieku, TRANSCARPATHICA, vol. VII, Polska Akademia Nauk Oddział w Katowicach/Stowarzyszenie Rozwoju i Współpracy Regionalnej „Olza”, Cieszyn-Katowice, 2020.
- Andrzej Kasperek [ed.], Śląsk jako aktualny problem badawczy, TRANSCARPATHICA, vol. V, Polska Akademia Nauk Oddział w Katowicach/Stowarzyszenie Rozwoju i Współpracy Regionalnej „Olza”, Cieszyn-Katowice, 2018.
- Marcin Dębicki [ed.], Polacy i Czesi w mediach, TRANSCARPATHICA, vol. IV, Polska Akademia Nauk Oddział w Katowicach/Stowarzyszenie Rozwoju i Współpracy Regionalnej „Olza”, Cieszyn-Katowice, 2017.
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