'Rich' Bratislava Region appeals for EU funding

Local leaders send open letter to European Commission

Extension of the tram public transport in Bratislava is one of key projects for which Bratislava needs EU funds.  Extension of the tram public transport in Bratislava is one of key projects for which Bratislava needs EU funds. (Source: TASR)

The Bratislava Self-governing Region (BSK) has launched a campaign named 'Poor Rich Region' to get the European Commission to recognise it needs greater EU funding. Members of the city and regional parliaments have joined the campaign, putting their names to an open letter to the Commission.

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“First of all, it is important the European Union changes the criteria upon which it evaluates the wealth of regions," said BSK governor Juraj Droba.

Based on official statistics, the Bratislava region is the 13th richest region in the European Union.

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“Yes...our region produces almost 30 percent of the GDP of the whole of Slovakia,” said Ján Buocik, BSK deputy and the person behind the idea of the open letter. “However, other methodology based on socio-economic indicators ranks our region in 162nd place. This position is much more in line with everyday reality.”

The region's thorniest problem in this regard is transport and its environmental impact. It cannot implement key projects without external sources, and it is appealing to the EU for €1 billion in funding to do so.

The share of passenger transport to public transport in the Bratislava region is 73:27. The volume of car traffic emissions in the Bratislava region accounts for almost 40 percent of all traffic emissions in Slovakia. The more people in the region who switch to rail transport, the healthier the local environment will be.

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“In our open letter, we are fighting not only for financing of projects in the region, such as the Malokarpatská bypass, but also for city and state projects,” said Buocik. “State, city or self-governing region - we all live here together. And that’s why we have to fight together.”

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