More countries to join Via Carpathia Lancut declaration

Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia are expected to sign the Lancut declaration on the Via Carpatia route, Poland's Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk said on Saturday.

The minister, addressing the 20th "Europe of the Carpathians" conference in Przemysl, south east Poland, focused on the Via Carpathia road project stressing that the idea of building this route was initiated in 2006 in Lancut by ministers of Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

The minister noted that the route must be included in the core TEN-T network - EU's main transport network. "Then, we will be sure that the entire route will be built and co-financed from EU funds."  

Minister Adamczyk also announced that the third conference of countries signatories of the Lancut declaration will take place at the turn of the first quarter at the latest. The group is be joined by Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia.

Ultimately, the Via Carpathia route is expected to connect seven countries on the Baltic and the Aegean Seas. It would run from Klaipeda and Kaunas in Lithuania via Bialystok, Lublin and Rzeszow in Poland, Kosice in Slovakia, Debrecen in Hungary, and further on to Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. According to plan, it is to reach such destinations as the Romanian port of Constanta on the Black Sea and Thessaloniki in Greece on the Aegean Sea.

The Polish stretch (760 kilometres) of the international route is expected to cost around PLN 30 billion (EUR 7.13 billion) and is to be ready in 2025.

Participants in the two-day "Europe of the Carpathians" conference discussed the most important issues pertaining to Central and Eastern Europe’s history, culture, social affairs, economy and current European problems. More than forty speakers (parliamentarians, politicians, local government officials and intellectuals) exchanged opinions and experiences on the current issues of the region. The forum brought together guests from Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Germany, Poland, Russia, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, the United States, Hungary, Great Britain, Italy.