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“Space without Boundaries” Conference to Mark the Close of the MORO Competition for Model German-Polish Cooperation Projects

On 14 and 15 October 2014, a two-day conference was held under the title "Space without Boundaries" at the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in Berlin, bringing to a worthy close the Spatial Planning Demonstration Projects (MORO) “competition for model German-Polish cooperation projects”. The event was attended by over 200 stakeholders from Germany, Poland and the wider European level.

The first day of the conference, titled "Visionen 2030", offered the opportunity for students from a number of higher education institutes in Germany and Poland to discuss their ideas for the development of the German-Polish border region up until the year 2030. During the evening, participants were invited to a reception by Ms Katherina Reiche, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Further highlights of the evening included the cabaret artist Steffen Möller, who shared his thoughts about the similarities and dissimilarities between Germans and Poles, and a tour around displays about the competition winners, the Euroregions and the INTERREG IV A secretariats.

The second day of the conference opened with a plenary session, where participants were welcomed by the State Secretaries from the BMVI and the Polish Ministry for Infrastructure and Development (MIR). This was followed by technical lectures dealing with current questions regarding cross-border German-Polish regional development and a more detailed presentation of the results of the student ideas workshops held the previous day. In the afternoon, there were four parallel workshops dealing respectively with the themes of cross-border integration, cross-border accessibility, tourism development, and needs and means of local cross-border cooperation.

The closing plenary session provided an opportunity to summarize the various outcomes of the conference. There was also discussion of the possibilities offered by INTERREG V A und B for cross-border German-Polish cooperation in regional planning. The event was drawn to a close by the co-chairs of the German-Polish Regional Planning Committee who gave a summary of the conclusions they had drawn from the conference in relation to the work of the committee.

Under commission from the BMVI, INFRASTRUKTUR & UMWELT (IU) was responsible for preparing, running and evaluating the conference. To this end, they worked closely with the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development, a part of the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBSR), as well as with the MIR.

The slide presentations that accompanied the conference addresses are available on the conference website, as is a detailed overview of the plenary session and the workshops held on 15 October 2014:

www.raum-ohne-grenzen.de [Note: linked website in German and Polish]

Comprehensive information about the competition can be found on the following website:

www.kooperation-ohne-grenzen.de [Note: linked website in German and Polish]