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Agenda for the Moravian-Silesian Regional Council in 2013–2016

Preamble

In free and democratic elections held for the Regional Assemblies in October 2012, the residents of the Moravian-Silesian Region expressed decisive confidence in the platforms of the parties proposing realistic solutions to the basic needs for further development of the Region and improving the lives of its inhabitants.

Based on this, the Czech Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia decided to form a coalition, whose policy statement expresses full respect for the will of the citizens expressed in these elections. The Region’s administration will follow the principles of democracy, equal opportunities and respect for minority rights as laid down in the Constitution and in the laws of the Czech Republic.

Financial Policy, Security and International Relations

Its priorities will include ensuring the operation of the Region’s own funded organisations so that they are able to provide essential services at an appropriate level. We will be diligent in caring for the Region’s assets.

In the upcoming four years, a significant increase in the Region’s internal income cannot be expected. Therefore, we will make the utmost effort to obtain additional financial resources. In 2013–2016, the Moravian-Silesian Region will be prioritising projects co-financed from Euro- funds.

With all due responsibility, we will be working with our financial resources and debt level so as to ensure we maintain the Region’s high rating. We are counting on a new loan for pre-financing and co-financing of European projects. The new loan will cover the current programme period and become a tool for the 2014–2020 programme period.

Despite unfavourable conditions from the continuing financial crisis, we are maintaining and enhancing the level of security for residents and protection for their lives, health and property. To meet these objectives:

  • We will systematically and conceptually cooperate with all components of the Integrated Rescue System
  • We will continue to provide assistance in outfitting the regional Integrated Rescue System with modern, powerful equipment.
  • We will financially support the construction of the planned Integrated Ambulance Centres for the Integrated Rescue System and of joint workplaces for IRS units, assuming funding is obtained from the EU Structural Funds in 2014–2020.
  • In cooperation with the Fire Rescue Service of the Moravian-Silesian Region and with the mayors of regional municipalities, we will coordinate and support the acquisition of technical equipment for municipal fire brigades.
  • We will continue to earmark funds in the regional budget for crisis management in the Region.

Relationships with foreign partners underlain by the existing system of agreements with partner regions will be directed toward maintaining good relations through the implementation of projects allowing mutual knowledge and cooperation especially in the areas of education, tourism and culture.

At the same time, we will initiate active economic diplomacy to support exports from the Moravian-Silesian Region and pro-export investments so that business activities can depend on these tools, in the interest of their own success, job creation in the Region and the Region’s own quality of life.

We will be using TRITIA, the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, as an effective means of promoting regional growth in priority areas (economy, transport, energy and environment and tourism).

We will be taking a new, targeted approach to developing cooperation with neighbouring regions to implement joint activities and promote our regions both inside and outside the Czech Republic.

Legislation

Based on documents prepared by sectoral departments in the Moravian-Silesian Regional Authority, municipalities with extended competence, businesses, employers and other organisations, we are preparing and will be implementing the Legislative Programme of the Moravian-Silesian Regional Council using our power to submit legislation stemming from Act 129/2000 Coll., as amended.

Our leadership will seek to amend the law on budgetary allocation of taxes to achieve a new redistribution of revenues from shared taxes among individual regions and thereby eliminate the current disparities among the regions, where Moravian-Silesian Region collects the lowest amount per inhabitant of all the regions.

Similarly they will approach environmental remediation with the aim of ensuring that priority in the use of finances acquired from pollution fees is always given to the places where environmental burdens are created.

We will review and evaluate the Moravian-Silesian Region’s existing generally binding decrees and regulations in order to update them.

Education, Youth and Sports

Education, scientific developments and research are investments in the future and also a prerequisite for raising competitiveness and prospects for business activities in the Region and the living standards of its people. Therefore, we will continue to provide a modern, accessible and well-funded public network of schools and educational institutions, while seeking to continuously boost its quality and improve future graduates’ chances on the labour market – ideally within our region.

Therefore, in particular:

  • We are stabilising the network of secondary schools and will create, in cooperation with social partners, a map of schools and disciplines in the Moravian-Silesian Region in order to professionally and in terms of capacity respond to labour market demands and demographic trends
  • We will deepen our cooperation with secondary schools and employers, with an emphasis on making vocational and technical education more attractive. We will also use the newly constructed World of Technology in lower Vítkovice toward this end
  • We will be enhancing conditions for teaching and learning by improving the technical condition and furnishing of schools and school facilities, using both Euro-funds and financial resources from the Region’s budget.
  • We will be promoting internships and work for pupils, students and teaching staff both abroad and at foreign employers in the region.
  • We will be actively cooperating with universities in the region to maintain the accreditation of university degree programs and promote both science and research themselves and their practical integration, so that regional businesses can build their perspectives on the foundation of regional technical intelligence

Sports are the most common interest and leisure time activity. They have an irreplaceable impact on the health and lifestyle of people of all ages. They promote an active stance by youth toward life. They are also an important way to represent the Region and provide a positive image of it both inside and outside its borders. Therefore, we are guaranteeing systematic support for sports via the Programme for the Promotion of Sports and Physical Activities among Citizens of Moravian-Silesian Region we have adopted.

The Region’s budget will naturally include grant programmes to sponsor major regional and national sporting events, as well as international events such as the Golden Spike, Davis Cup and Fed Cup. We will not forget support for the preparation and development of sporting talent and residents in the Region actively involved in sports, with an emphasis on children and youth. We will be supporting the Centre for Individual Sports as a pilot project serving these ends. We are introducing an incentive-grants chapter for successful representatives in sports.

In 2015, we will take part with other regional centres in the organisation of the Ice Hockey World Championships in Ostrava.

Health Care

Quality, accessible public health care for residents of our region is and will remain one of our main priorities; to maintain its prospects we will be doing the following:

We will preserve the backbone network of hospitals established by the Region and deepen their cooperation in order to achieve the greatest positive benefits. We consider it a matter of course to construct professional centres and furnish them with cutting-edge technology, with an emphasis on providing patients with a friendly environment. An example of such modernisation will be the new pavilions in Opava and Frýdek-Místek.

  • We will devote thorough care to ensuring wide hours of availability for emergency medical services, via an ambulance station coverage plan and modern emergency medical service vehicles
  • We will strive in cooperation with health insurance companies to maintain an effective network of outpatient physicians throughout the region, including in less accessible areas – both in terms of general practitioners for adults and children and outpatient specialists

Therefore, our primary concentration will be to provide high-expertise, high-quality public health care. Our goal will be a full range of services and professional care. Unifying quality management will be beneficial for medical staff and especially health facility patients – our citizens. To this end we will also create a powerful tool for feedback, including the establishment of an ombudsman office in each Regional health facility. Our objective is satisfied, healthy citizens.

Social Policy, Culture and Care of Landmarks

The guiding principle of our work will be to support vulnerable groups and guarantee equal opportunities for all residents in the Region. We will continue to consider social policy as one of the Regional Council’s priorities. We see the fundamental approaches in the upcoming period to be as follows:

  • We will sustainably develop the social services network in close cooperation with municipalities through implementation of the Plan for Medium-term Social Services Development in the Moravian-Silesian Region. During the creation of new services we will primarily support the development of field and outpatient services that enable people to remain as long as possible in their natural environment
  • The Moravian-Silesian Regional Equal Opportunity for the Disabled Programme will be a tool for implementing changes that will remove barriers and equalize opportunities for the disabled. We will also promote the development of social entrepreneurship, including the establishment of our own social enterprise to encourage the employment of persons with disabilities
  • The Region’s aim is to get publicly funded organisations, other contractors, and social service providers all involved in the transformation of residential social services. We will continue to implement the Concept for Social Services Quality in the Moravian-Silesian Region (including the transformation of residential social services). By doing this, we will enable the disabled to live in decent conditions in their natural environment. With the use of EU funds, we will be investing in the construction and reconstruction of homes for the disabled, sheltered housing and other support for humanising senior citizen homes.
  • We will manage and coordinate activities directed toward integrating inhabitants of excluded localities into mainstream society and mitigating or eliminating the adverse impact of crime and substance abuse on mainstream society, via the Anti-drug Strategy, Crime Prevention Concept and Strategy for Integration of the Roma Community

We will systematically sponsor cultural activities including folklore, care for monuments and landmarks and preserving our cultural and industrial heritage. We will support and develop these areas especially through the following steps:

  • We will help to make culture more accessible to the general public and to all age groups throughout the Region. Our assistance program will thus focus on projects and festivals of a regional or supra-regional nature, because these internationally showcase art produced by regional artists or enrich residents of the Moravian-Silesian Region with art from abroad
  • We are preparing the Concept for Living and Experienced Culture, including stress placed on developing regional folklore and promoting cultural activities by ethnic minorities
  • We are preparing project documentation for reconstructing and expanding the Ostrava Gallery of Fine Arts and also developing adequate facilities for deposits and presentations of cultural heritage significant in Europe
  • We will work to ensure that Moravian-Silesian Research Library in Ostrava obtains its own quarters on the condition that multisource financing is obtained, particularly financing with state support
  • We will complete construction of the Little Těšín Theatre (Malá scéna Těšínského divadla) in Český Těšín, including infrastructure for actors and visitors
  • We will cooperate on work to revitalise culturally significant industrial complexes and the buidings inside them in order to ensure their “revival” and open them to the public through the Lower Vítkovice and Karolina Triple Hall (Trojhali) associations of legal entities

Investments and Assets, Tourism and the Master Plan

Through multisource funding (national budget, local sources, EU funds), we are ensuring effective management of the Region’s assets. We will enrich these assets in all areas under our care via appropriately chosen investments. Emphasis will be placed on energy efficiency in buildings owned by the Region. To meet this goal, we will utilise the following tools:

  • Continuing to invest into energy savings in properties owned by the Region
  • Promoting the Region as one full of investment opportunities, within the Czech Republic and abroad

Continuing to make our region an attractive destination for tourists both in summer and in winter. We will promote the provision of services which remain in the Region and do not move elsewhere. We perceive tourism as a significant source of future regional employment.

To accomplish these goals, we will be taking the following measures:

  • We will stand together with the other regions of the Czech Republic to finalise the draft bill on promoting and managing tourism and see through its approval through the legislative process in the Czech Republic Parliament.
  • We will encourage tourism development in areas where the Moravian-Silesian Region has strong potential or something unique to offer, especially industrial tourism, cross country skiing, restaurant touring, bicycling and single track mountain biking, horseback tourism, canoeing and golf and other sporting activities for the whole family
  • We will develop marketing activities to be linked to specific opportunities for visiting and learning about the Moravian-Silesian Region. We will deepen our cooperation with travel agencies.
  • We wish to coordinate activities closely with all neighbouring regions (both domestic and foreign)
  • We wish to develop cooperation in tourism with partner regions outside the Czech Republic

When using zonal planning intelligently as a tool, the goal is to create the preconditions for efficient land use, to implement the Region’s plans and sustainably develop it. Therefore, we will protect and cultivate civilised, natural and cultural values including the urban and architectural heritage and landscapes as essential ingredients of life for the population. In the public interest, we are balancing out the interests of municipalities, concerned authorities and last but not least property owners.

We wish to meet these goals especially by:

  • Paying attention to the issue of regionally and nationally significant investments’ siting
  • Coordinating land development within cross-regional, national and cross-border functional and territorial couplings
  • Pursuing the formation of national and European planning strategies and policies, and assessing their impact on the Region’s regional development
  • Specifying, within the Region’s particular conditions, the national priorities for land use planning to ensure sustainable development
  • Acquiring land studies in order to increase knowledge about the territory and applying their results in planning documentation

By updating the Principles of Developing the Moravian-Silesian Region, we will create a powerful tool for the Region’s targeted and controlled development.

Regional Development and European Community Projects

We are promoting the creation and development of start-ups, particularly by encouraging students to launch businesses that include collaboration with universities. The Region provides seed grants for small-business development projects that would otherwise never receive credit from a bank (the tool used for this venture capital will be micro-loans; these may be provided in a larger scale after the pilot project).

Having successfully designed and implemented the Nošovice industrial zone, the Region’s next ambition is to develop Nad Barbara, another industrial zone. This is a brownfield site. No high-quality agricultural land will be taken to construct it, as would be the case with “greenfield” industrial zones. The Region can thus contribute directly to the creation of new jobs around Karviná, where unemployment is exceptionally high even though people want to work.

The Moravian-Silesian Region is furthermore ensuring the effective utilisation and thus of course implementation of regional projects in the current programming period up to 2013 (or where appropriate 2015). This involves more than 100 projects amounting to CZK 5.3 billion. These will be capital projects (transport – road infrastructure and airports, healthcare, education, social affairs, culture, regional development, tourism and environment) as well as non-capital projects (development of human resources and education in schools, social affairs, public administration, tourism and employment).

We are preparing a sufficient number of projects for the 2014–2020 period to ensure the implementation of as many projects as possible from structural funds. Thus structural funds will obviously be the Region’s main source for implementing its development plans. That means the preparation of a portfolio of regional projects already in 2013–2014 (plans including the preparation of all documentation), including financial analysis in order once again to draw financial assistance effectively from the EU.

We also will not ignore other options, the institutional foundations for which already exist:

  • Continuing in repayable financial assistance from Euro-funds; because of this we will place the JESSICA Holding Fund under the administration of the Moravian-Silesian Region
  • Assistance for large cities in the Moravian-Silesian Region seeking to maintain their current ability to make decisions about financing their development from European sources
  • Active participation in TRITIA, the newly established European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation
  • Guaranteeing continuation of the Rural Renewal Programme, taking into account the impact of the new budget appropriation of taxes to municipalities and counties

For us, regional development is not simply some fashionable, desirable term. On the contrary, it will be one of the main paths taken by the coalition in its effort to fulfill the wishes of the Region’s population for a place to which they can attach both their own life prospects and those of their children.

Transport and Environment

A high quality transport infrastructure is an essential prerequisite for further development of the Region. Modern roads are in fact vital arteries for a living and developing region. In the next term, investment will need to be directed toward projects for transport accessibility by road, rail and air. Our goal is to maintain the momentum of investment to prevent the region from lagging behind in key infrastructure. However, the regions’ options in terms of capital investments by the Czech Republic are very limited. Yet there is active lobbying, including direct financial support from the Region, aimed at speeding up preparation for the government’s projects to build Routes R/48, I/11 and I/57.

As a part of our expansion of transport infrastructure, we would like specially to do the following this term:

  • Our upcoming goal is to incorporate the highways in the so-called “Silesian Crossroads” into the EU’s basic and global TEN-T network. These roads would then become European Community priorities, enabling EU funds to be drawn for them.
  • To support all steps being taken toward development and increased use of Leoš Janáček Airport. Our upcoming objective is to expand air connections to European destinations, primarily in cooperation with low-cost carriers and to get Leoš Janáček Airport Ostrava (OSR) on Europe’s air map, it being necessary meanwhile for it to be included into the Trans-European Transit Network (TEN-T).
  • We will support a public logistics zone in land adjacent to OSR. Special attention will be paid to cargo transport and completing construction of a rail link, including a terminal. This will link the airport to the railway and improve accessibility for passengers, including those from outside the Moravian-Silesian Region. But the rail connection will also have a significant impact on the development of the entire Mošnov industrial zone and in the public logistics zone. Incorporating this facility into TEN-T
  • The highest priority is to ensure transport services throughout the Region via public bus and railed transport. Preparing a transport-supplier tender to raise the quality and improve the efficiency of the bus transport system for the Region
  • Completing the integration of public transport in the Region, including introduction of ODIS, a uniform smart card system for the Moravian-Silesian Region
  • Striving to complete a backbone rail network, focusing on the construction of Rail Transit Corridor III between Dětmarovice and Český Těšín
  • Developing and continuing to upgrade major regional rail lines, e.g. completing preparations for construction of a modernised track between Ostrava and Frýdek-Místek
  • Continuing to upgrade 2nd and 3rd class roads with maximum use of EU funds from the Regional Operational Programme. We will undertake, therefore, in the next four years to invest at least two million Czech crowns from the Region’s own resources to maintain and construct 2nd and 3rd class roads. We have already begun preparations for the start of the drawing of funds in the next EU Programme Period covering 2014–2020, including a focus on cross-border regional co-operation with the Žilina Self-governing Region and with Katowice and Opole Voivodeship

In the area of road network modernisation, we expect to complete the following:

  • Route I/11 in the east and the west of the region, including the section around Třinec
  • Commencing construction of further sections of R48, including the start of construction of the Frýdek-Místek Bypass
  • Opava Bypass

The state of the environment is currently one of the leading and most prominent topics in the Region. It has a direct impact on both human health and the economic and social development of the region. Our region is unusual in its exceptional natural wealth, but also in the significant environmental burden caused by the historical focus on heavy industry. Finally, the Region’s air is affected by its location within the Silesian Basin, characterised by high density of industry as well as of local heating and of transport, and its specific climatic inversion conditions. Our goal is to achieve further progressive improvement of the environment through systematic and effective measures at the local, regional and international level. The Regional Council aims to pass measures whose main priority is improvement in air quality as the environmental most strongly holding us back and take further action to improve all other aspects of the environment.

The baseline document for this is the Environmental Policy for the Moravian-Silesian Region, which enables us to define and enforce individual support areas in both thematic and regional European Union programmes for the 2014–2020 Programme Period, while creating a reservoir of potential projects

The Regional Council’s priority is to push for the following:

  • More stringent emission limits and operational conditions for IPPC industrial enterprises operating at the level of the BAT (Best Available Techniques) limits in accordance with Commission Implementing Decision No 2012/135/EU, and this no later than 2 years. We will advocate comparable operating conditions primarily for industry in the Czech Republic and Poland
  • We will be continuing both our assistance programme aimed at greening local solid fuel boilers and our information campaign to alert the public to the problems associated with local heating
  • We will be cleaning roads owned by the Region more frequently and promoting this commitment with other roads’ administrators. We will be promoting environmentally friendly vehicles for public administration
  • We will submit a draft amendment to the Clean Air Act with a request that air pollution charges paid by industrial enterprises be transferred to the region where the pollution originated and be used to help compensate for the environment damage caused within that region.
  • A number of smaller municipalities have failed to fulfill their commitments under the EU directive on urban waste water treatment. This is because they are not able to invest from their own resources in expensive treatment plant construction. Therefore we are undertaking to continue to provide assistance especially to small municipalities so they can fulfil the given directive and also gradually address their drinking water supplies
  • We will be promoting thoughtful solutions to reduce the amount of municipal waste going to landfills
  • Environmental education, awareness and implementation of Local Agenda 21 principles and MAS are together considered an essential pillar for steps to improve the environment. We are undertaking to work systematically with children and youth, employees, employers and the general public that will help to change their view toward the world and slowly turn people’s habits toward nonviolent, considerate behaviour toward nature

Conclusion

We are convinced that the citizens of the Moravian-Silesian Region reading this platform statement will find inside it a regional development programme “for them”. This is the point of formulating it, as we have expressed above in the Preamble. We have no other goal than fulfilling the vision of a shared future expressed by the Region’s population. In implementing this policy, we are looking forward to close cooperation with members of the Moravian-Silesian labour/ industry/administration Tripartite, civic associations and other entities representing the public interest.

Through this platform we will strive to build trust among residents during our term as we meet targets respecting their wishes as expressed in their votes.

It is in this approach toward overcoming society’s perception of “us vs. them”, in joint communication and meeting objectives that we see true fulfilment of the ideas of civil society and a responsible programme policy.

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