Bilateralna współpraca gmin na przykładzie Białegostoku i Grodna
Bilateral cooperation of municipalities. The case of Bialystok and Grodno
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The conduct of international cooperation on a bilateral basis is a fundamental feature of Polish local governments. It is refl ected in the number of agreements with neighboring and other entities. An example of bilateral cooperation of municipalities is cooperation of the city of Bialystok (Republic of Poland) and the city of Grodno (Republic of Belarus). For many years Bialystok has maintained close contacts with Grodno. The first agreement on cooperation was signed on 16 June 2000. The cooperation between the two cities focused mainly on the areas of economy, education and culture. The next stage of cooperation of the cities came with the Agreement on Cooperation of 16 December 2009. Representatives of Bialystok participate in cultural, economic meetings (e.g. the Investment Forum „Grodno – a Town at the Junction of Borders”). One of the areas of cooperation between Bialystok and Grodno is sport at club level (e.g. boxing, shooting, football, basketball). These contacts are based on the participation of sports clubs from Grodno and Bialystok. Other important areas of cooperation between the partner cities are: economy, exchange of experiences in the field of public tasks execution, culture, art, education, science, tourism, and health care. The implementation of bilateral projects in these areas improves bilateral relations and builds friendship between the cities. It should be emphasized that undertaking any form of international cooperation must be based on partnership and mutual benefits, and its effectiveness will depend on commitment, determination and competence of the partners.
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