The New Representative of the City of Krakow in Brussels
The fact that the City has its own representative in Brussels allows for fast and easy access to information from the European Union. It facilitates the promotion of the City and serves for lobbying for the benefit of Krakow.
The activities of the Representative aim at promoting the City in such a way so that Kraków would be recognised as a reliable partner for the realization of international projects. Apart from personal meetings, also materials prepared by the City serve this purpose, for example a promotional multimedia presentation “Krakow in the European Union” and at the same time a publication being created under the same title. The Representative distributes these materials amongst the regional representatives of EU member states and European institutions.
The Representative also collects up-to-date information (connected with competitions, cooperation offers, as well as with legislative changes) useful for entrepreneurs (obtaining funds), non-government organizations (obtaining resources and participation in projects) and citizens of Krakow (citizen affairs). This updated information is published on the website of Magic Krakow at www.ue.krakow.pl and in the information bulletin “ue.krakow.pl” in section “Brussels Voice”.
Moreover, it is the Representative’s task to organize projects of a promotional character both for the City as well as the Region (together with the Representative of Małopolska Voivodeship).
According to the decision of the mayor of the City of Krakow, a competition was organised in July 2005 to select the candidate for the position of the Representative of the City of Krakow in Brussels. The competition was won by Ms. Małgorzata Kuźma.
Małgorzata Kuźma, born in Krakow, is the graduate of sociology at the Jagiellonian University. She received the French Language Diploma and a Diploma of the Extended Studies on social anthropology and comparative sociology at the Paris Sorbonne. She graduated the Diploma Course in Conference Interpreting in French and English at the UNESCO Chair for Translation Studies and Intercultural Communication of the Jagiellonian University. She is a sworn translator at the Court of First Instance in Brussels. She has several years of experience in working with the European Commission as a consultant for public opinion research “Eurobarometr”, as well as a lecturer for the Public and Media Information Centre. She also worked as a research manager for Gallup International in London, as well as a director of Brussels branch of a Dutch IT company. She has been a resident of Brussels for over ten years.
Eros Tied in Krakow
Igor Mitoraj’s sculpture – "Eros Bendato" – has been raised at the Market Square next to the Town Hall Tower. The nearly two-ton bronze casting is the artist’s gift for the City of Krakow. The sculpture was unveiled by the author himself together with the Minister of Culture Waldemar Dąbrowski and the Mayor of the City of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski.
The „Eros Bendato” sculpture by Igor Mitoraj was earlier presented in Krakow as part of the exhibition „Mitoraj – sculptures and drawings” organized by the International Cultural Center (October 2003 – January 2004). It was then that Igor Mitoraj made his sculpture a gift for city of Krakow. Fascinated with the beauty of Greek and Roman sculpture, Igor Mitoraj makes statues of ancient gods, heroes, Muses and Titans (Icarus, the Gorgon, Eros, Venera, Hypnos) – monumental figures of classical proportions cast in bronze and wrought in marble. The artist's works are not copies: they are partly damaged - broken torsos, headless busts, fragments of figures. Igor Mitoraj deconstructs classical beauty - some consider it to be a nostalgic reference to the lost Arcadia, while for some it conveys criticism of – and a warning for - the modern civilization.
Igor Mitoraj, born in 1944, studied painting at the Krakow Academy of Art under Tadeusz Kantor. In 1968 he left Poland and devoted his life to sculpture. His first solo exhibition at the Parisian Galerie La Hune in 1976 was a great success: the artist’s works garnered recognition not only from critics but also from the audience. Also successful were the next exhibitions, for instance in New York (New York Academy of Art, 1989), Florence (the Bobola Gardens, 1999), or Lausanne (The Olympic Museum, 2001). The works by the distinguished sculptor belong to prestigious museums or public and private art collections in such places as the United States, Japan, France or Tokyo. They can also be admired in some extraordinary locations: surrounded by historical architecture or in modern city districts. The „Fontana del Centauro” and „Hommage à De Sabata” are located in Milan; Mitoraj’s sculptures in Rome found their place at Piazza Mignianelli and Piazza Monte Grappa, while the La Defense district in Paris boasts of the monumental “Tindaro”. The sculpture „Luci di Nara” by Igor Mitoraj is located in Krakow, at the courtyard of Collegium Iuridicum of the Jagiellonian University. Igor Mitoraj lives and works in Tuscany in Italy, in the town of Pietrasanta, whose authorities awarded Mitoraj the honorary city citizenship in recognition of his talent and merit in the field of art. Pietrasanta is a picturesque town in the province of Lukka, near the City of Carrara and close to the quarry which once supplied Michelangelo with beautiful marble for his magnificent masterpieces.
Integrated public transport in the agglomeration of Krakow – stage I
Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne S.A. in Krakow was the first Polish public transport company to present the European Commission with a project which includes funding from the EU’s Integrated Regional Operational Programme (IROP). On 19th July 2005 the European Commission finally accepted the project for funding and thus for implementation. The project – the largest of Krakow's projects financed from EU funding – has been assigned a sum of over 28 million euro. The entire investment's worth exceeds 56 million euro. The rest of the sum will be financed by means of a long-term loan from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, which specializes in financing communal infrastructural investments.
The project’s objective is an investment in public transport. This is the first investment of this type in our region with support from the Structural Funds of the European Union. There are three different investments:
• Reconstruction of the streets of Lubicz and Rakowicka (the entire length of approx. 2 kilometers) with separate road infrastructure for trams and buses;
• Reconstruction of the tram line from the terminal at ul. Kamienna to the terminal at Krowodrza Górka (length of approx. 2 km), with adaptation for the purposes of the route of the Krakow Fast Tram, as well as construction of a bus terminal with the total area of 4.6 thousand m2, with 13 bus stations. This investment is a continuation of the investment task of “Krakow Fast Tram - I line Kurdwanów–Kamienna”, started in 2000. The constructed bus terminal is to integrate the public transport system including the northern areas of the agglomeration into the municipal communication system, especially the KFT;
• Purchase of 24 advanced low-floor tram cars which are to replace the 50 high-floor type 105 Na cars (the so-called aquariums) which are currently the most popular tram type in Krakow.
The investment has the following objectives:
1. Economic and social development – enhancing competitiveness of the region through:
• increasing attractiveness of the investment areas by improving their transport services and access,
• increasing employment by making the society within the agglomeration more mobile
• saving passengers’ time used for commuting inside the agglomeration by removing bottlenecks and increasing the average speed of travel in the city
• enhancing the technical and rolling stock infrastructure
2. Improving the environmental conditions through:
• limiting pollution emitted by cars and buses
• limiting noise by decreasing traffic intensity
• improving landscape appearance.
3. Equal opportunity policy – counteracting social exclusion by adapting transportation to the needs of the aged, the disabled, and pregnant women (low-floor trams, adapted tram stop infrastructure).
Moreover, the project implements objectives related to “ the information society”, as it includes the Passenger Information System to be used in the advanced rolling stock of the fast tram line. The system will provide current information about the vehicle’s location (the tram stop names are displayed on electronic, internal displays). The system will facilitate passenger travel, and in particular tourist transportation around the city.
The research on the environmental impact indicated that the implementation of the project will introduce positive changes. The project is designed to conform to Polish and European environmental protection standards and includes appropriate prevention measures. The negative environmental impact related to reconstruction of the infrastructure, such as additional noise, vibrations or pollution has been determined to be insignificant and limited in time. This impact will be effectively limited and the consequent effects will be alleviated by implementing international procedures of planning and construction. The trams to be purchased will conform to the standards of the best available technology of Poland and the European Union.