The Central Europen Service for Cross-border Initiatives (CESCI) opened its European Institute on 30th May 2013 in Esztergom, in the Szent Adalbert Centre. The institution was inaugurated by Bence Rétvári, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice (KIM) and Didier Haguenauer the cooperation attaché of the Embassy of France in Budapest.
There are institutions in several European countries which deal with scientific researches on the questions of borderland situation, contribute to the legislation supporting the borders’ interoperability, organize trainings and offer information service on the subject. The model is given by the Euro-Institute (FRA-GER) founded by Strasbourg and Kehl in 1993, but several other successful initiatives exist all over Europe. (Further institutions: http://www.transfrontier.eu/)
Before the opening ceremony of the European Institute, an international instant conference took place where the ingredients for a successful cross-border cooperation was in the focus. The first speaker of the conference, chaired by Tamás Tóth (CESCI), was Jens Gabbe, the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of AEBR. Then Jean Peyrony Director of the Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière told about the exploration of border lands, while Gyula Ocskay Secretary General of CESCI had a presentation on the new methodology of border land development. Zsolt Bottlik director and László Jeney senior researcher (European Institute) talked about the historical and geographical background of borderland situation In-Between Europe, then Sebastian Rihm project manager (Euro-Institut, Kehl, Germany) and Hynek Böhm project manager (Institut EuroSchola, Třinec, Czech Republic) presented the institutional background of the model organisation, Euro-Institut.
Following the conference, Bence Rétvári, the Under-Secretary of the KIM, highlighted that the government gives high priority to the support of cross-border cooperations. He said that the European Institute shows the better face of the work of the EU. He added that cross-border cooperations are important for Hungary beacuse several Hungarians live on the other side of the border. According to him the stimulation of the econommic cross-border cooperation is relevant in order to reach that the border lands bear the opportunity of developing, instead of being the source of poverty.
Gyula Ocskay Secretary General of CESCI said that the European Institute makes field theory researches, studies on territorial coooperations, analyses the legal framework of cross-border cooperations and does researches related to multi-level governance. The results of the researches have political relevance; hereby they may help the preparatory work on laws of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice and the members of the European Parliament. Accordingly, the institution does not carry on basic research activity only, but assists to specific cross-border developments through the scientifically based influence on decision-making.
The institute, operating in the Szent Adalbert Centre of Esztergom is led by the research director of CESCI, a senior researcher, two junior researchers and other trainees (who are also employed by the planning department of CESCI) frame the organisational structure of the operational work. According to a separate contract, the Ister-Granum EGTC, placed on the territory of the institute, performs the institution’s administrative and information service functions. The four employees deal with research and educational activities.
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