Pannon EGTC expands with new universities




As part of the Western Balkans Days of the University of Pécs, Gábor Mayer, State Secretary for Regional Development, Dr. Attila Miseta, Rector of the University of Pécs and Dr. László Őri, President of the Baranya County Assembly held a press conference on 8 May on the importance of cooperation between the region's leading institutions and companies.

The University of Pécs organised the Western Balkans Days, which included cultural events on the theme of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 7 May and Croatia on 8 May, along with presentations of universities from our southern neighbours. The representatives of the higher education institutions also took part in sports competitions and cultural programmes during their stay and discussed the possibilities of developing professional-academic cooperation between the universities.

The University of Pécs has long-standing relations with the institutions that visited our institution and our city yesterday and today" - emphasized Dr. Attila Miseta, Rector of the University of Pécs, then he added „Although our cooperation has a long history due to our natural geographical proximity, it can be enhanced in terms of intensity and in the areas that the cultural and educational governments of the countries concerned expect. We are currently doing a kind of exploratory work to identify potential collaborative relationships that we need to sponsor."

Gábor Mayer, State Secretary for Regional Development, said that in recent months they have been working in close cooperation with the University of Pécs on the development programme of South Transdanubia.

We have a lot of work ahead of us to implement this strategy, in which not only the University of Pécs but also universities beyond the border can play a significant role. Given that, like in South Transdanubia, on the other side of the border, in the Croatian regions, we find regions with a similar character, natural and social characteristics and economic structure, whose development challenges are similar to those of the border regions of Baranya and Somogy counties", said Gábor Mayer.

Recently, the government has started to pay serious attention to the development and catching-up of the region, with a particular focus on the supply of skilled labour and on halting negative demographic trends such as the outflow of young people from the region.

The Secretary of State for Regional Development summarised the directions represented by the programme in three pillars. These pillars are economic development of the region, infrastructure development and cross-border cooperation programmes.

Today's joint presence is also motivated by the fact that the Pannon European Territorial Association, of which Baranya is the chair, is holding its general assembly this afternoon, where - seeing the membership of the University of Pécs and its added value - we are expanding our membership towards the southern region. We will approve the applications for membership of five major universities in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina", Dr. László Őri, President of the Baranya County Assembly, told the audience.

From Croatia, the Varazdin-based University North and the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University in Osijek and from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the major universities in Tuzla and Mostar and the University of Sarajevo will join the international cooperation.