Dr. Wiktor Szydarowski, an academic teacher from Gdańsk and an expert in the regional development of Baltic Europe, has been the director of the pan-European research program ESPON since 2020, the work of which determines the amount of EU spending on the development of individual regions of the continent, including as part of the Covid-19 recovery program or the European Green Deal.
ESPON is a European research program that connects academic centers and state and local government institutions that deal with planning the development of municipalities and regions in every corner of the continent.
"Local government officials and politicians in Poland and throughout Europe are currently intensively looking for proven solutions and ideas for the development of municipalities and regions," Szydarowski said.
As he explained, the basic task of ESPON is to support successive EU presidencies in achieving their goals. Therefore, the research team provided data for both Germany, which raised the issue of structural changes in post-carbon regions in the second half of 2020 and Portugal, which focused on the future of rural areas.
Poland, as one of the EU Member States, is also the subject of ESPON research. Among the projects planned for the coming years, a dozen are to concern our country. Szydarowski pointed out that many municipalities, associations of municipalities, or entire regions from Poland are interested in spin-off activities, which means that as part of a large project, for example, energy transformation, detailed studies are carried out at the local level.