Visit at the Swiss partners

On 29-30 January 2013, a delegation from the Zag贸rz Municipality visited the partner municipality Villars-sur-Gl芒ne in Switzerland. The visit was the next stage of the “ACADEMY OF DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT – development of an active local civil society and the mutual transfer of knowledge and skills in solving basic problems of local communities based on local experience of Zagorz (Poland) and Villars-sur-Gl芒ne (Switzerland).”

In the delegation of Zag贸rz were Mayor of Zag贸rz Ernest Nowak, Vice-President of the City Council in Zagorz Marek Marcinik, Secretary of Town and Municipality Zagorz 艁ukasz Wo藕niczak, chairman of the Department of Technical Services in Zagorz Marian Hni艂ka and Agata Kurkowska – project coordinator. Special guest of the visit was Alicja Wosik – Carpathian Deputy Voivode, who as Deputy Mayor of Zagorz, initiated the partnership of municipalities Zagorz and Villars-sur-Glane.

Representatives of the nine-person Executive Council of Villars-sur-Gl芒ne with the Mayor Erika Schnyder at the lead warm and kindly accepted the Polish guests. Secretary of Municipality Villars-sur-Gl芒ne Emmanuel Roulin, with great commitment looked after the group for the entire time of the visit. The hosts show to the participants way of functioning of Swiss municipality and briefly explain the principles of public administration in Switzerland. A special place was dedicated to environmental issues. The delegation of Zag贸rz commune had the opportunity to take a close look at the waste collection system in Villars-sur-Glane by visiting one of the waste collection and segregation points.

The purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with practical solutions on the example of the Swiss implemented in Villars-sur-Gl芒ne industrial ecology project. The project involves the creation of the concept of a better functioning of the Technology Park Moncor based on environmental solutions. The aim of worked out solutions is greater economic efficiency combined with a higher life standard of citizens and employees in the area while respecting the environment. The project involves all the companies operating in the zone. They are covered by a common heating system based on the energy from the waste incinerators built in the municipality. The generated energy is also directed to the apartments adjacent to the area. The project also includes planning activities to enhance the attractiveness of municipal land.

The idea of 鈥嬧媑ood environmental governance within the industrial zone is very interesting 聽for Zag贸rz Municipality because of the existing special economic zone. In the area there are several companies and creating new, which implies the need to find solutions to protect the environment. Getting to know the best practice partner community in Switzerland is the inspiration for the Municipality Zagorz in this kind of action and can be helpful in developing their own methods of effective, as well as ecological use of environment.

The “Academy for Democracy and Development,” is funded by the Block Grant Partnership Fund Swiss – Polish Cooperation Programme. The next stage of project operations will be organization of study visit in Villars-sur-Glane, in which at the end of May 2013 will participate: local government officials, students, and leaders of civil society organizations from the area Municipality Zag贸rz. During their stay in Switzerland will be presented a promotional video of the municipality Zag贸rz which is prepared in this project. The final part of the “Academy for Democracy and Development” will be study visit of Swiss officials in Municipality Zag贸rz planned for October this year.