Picture by Land NRW
Tuesday, 15 December 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia/Republic of Poland: Under the chairmanship of the Marshal of Lubusz, Elżbieta Anna Polak and Minister for European Affairs of NRW, Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, representatives of the 16 German Länder and the 16 Polish voivodeships discussed the potentials of interregional cooperation, in particular, the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to Corona, the Committee for Interregional Cooperation met as a video conference. Minister Holthoff-Pförtner as per statement below: “In times of crisis and need, our cooperation based on trust proves particularly valuable. Germany and Poland are strongly affected by the pandemic and face the same challenges. Close exchange and strong professional networking are a great benefit for all involved. The intergovernmental commission is a platform for this important cooperation.”
Prof. Dr. Hugo van Aken, Chairman of the Board and Medical Director of Münster University Hospital, and Dr. Marek Działoszyński, Chairman of the Board of the University Hospital in Grünberg (Zielona Góra), reported on the pandemic response from the perspective of the hospitals involved.
Münster is responsible for coordinating international patient admission in North Rhine-Westphalia. The University Hospital Grünberg, one of the largest hospitals in the Polish-German border region, has been converted into a COVID 19 priority hospital. The Minister continued: “Coordinated cross-border cooperation and exchange is at the core of the European idea and is proving its worth in the Corona crisis. Only together will Europe contain the pandemic. Another sign of pan-European solidarity is the 750 billion euros in reconstruction aid for the regions most affected by the pandemic, which the Council agreed on last week under the German Presidency.”
There are well-practised partnerships between the German Länder and the Polish voivodeships, which are now proving their worth in the pandemic. The German-Polish intergovernmental commission was set up in 1991 by the governments of Germany and Poland. North Rhine-Westphalia and the Lubuskie Voivodeship head the Committee for Interregional Cooperation.
For further information:
Government of North Rhine-Westphalia: https://mbei.nrw/de/pressemitteilung/deutsch-polnischer-austausch-zur-bekaempfung-der-covid-19-pandemie-und-ueber