On February 24-25, Krakow and Wieliczka hosted workshops dedicated to LIFE integrated programmes from all over Europe, devoted to air protection.
Speakers included project representatives from Bulgaria, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Slovakia and Spain. All these countries, like Poland, are struggling with the problem of air quality. The exchange of experiences and insights in the implementation of integrated programmes is very valuable. Dust, ozone, ammonia or nitrogen and sulfur oxides are serious challenges that many countries across Europe face.
European Commission and EASME visit
The honorary guest of the workshop was Angelo Salsi, Head of Unit LIFE and the Competitiveness and Innovation Program at the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). Angelo Salsi is responsible for managing the entire LIFE financial programme and therefore is responsible for projects covering all possible environmental aspects. In Małopolska, there is a network of competent eco-managers who help residents find the best solution in the field of heat source replacement. The LIFE project is an excellent example of the proper implementation of an integrated project.
I can admit that Malopolska Region has achieved something more – something that we in Brussels call the Malopolska effect or model. I think that Małopolska should be proud not only that it took up the challenge of addressing the problem of air quality, but also because it inspired others to do the same and implement solutions that are effectiveemphasized Angelo Salsi.
A representative of the Environment Department of the European Commission – Wilhelmus de Wilt presented the assumptions for financing environmental projects in the field of air and climate in the coming years. He also pointed to directions delimiting new design areas such as climate and energy transformation.
The workshop was also attended by representatives of the NEEMO – the institution responsible for monitoring LIFE projects and non-governmental organizations that receive funding from the LIFE programme. Representatives of the Ministry of Climate and the Ministry of Development as well as the Ministry of the Environment from the Czech Republic participated in workshops in an advisory and consultative voice. All ministries work to introduce legal regulations, thanks to which the improvement of air quality has legal legitimacy.
LIFE, Malopolska in a healthy atmosphere
The Malopolska Region has been implementing the LIFE Integrated Project “Implementation of the Air Quality Program for the Malopolska Region – Malopolska in a healthy atmosphere” since 2015. The project coordinated by the Malopolska Region involves a total of 67 partners. Among them are 62 Malopolska’s municipalities. The goal of the programme is to accelerate the implementation of measures to improve air quality. The value of the project is approximately EUR 16.5 million (PLN 71.2 million), of which EU funding is approximately EUR 9.78 million (PLN 42 million). The LIFE programme funds innovative projects in the field of environmental protection in Europe. Integrated projects are a new flagship instrument to support the implementation of strategies to improve environmental quality in a large area.