Members of “The Left” political faction of the European parliament visited Ostrava in early October of this year. This visit was proposed by fellow MEP Kateřina Konečná in the wake of Czechia receiving the Presidency of the Council of Europe. During these so-called “Study Days,” visiting MEPs had a chance to familiarize themselves with the Moravian-Silesian region, and understand some of the most resonant and currently discussed topics. We asked Kateřina Konečná herself for the details.

Kateřina, what sort of event is this?

Each European parliament member gets an opportunity to organize meetings and conferences for the members of their faction during their country’s term of presidency. These events provide detailed recounts of how European grant funds are being used within the country. At the same time, this also gives local specialists from different fields the opportunity to get acquainted with MEP’s from different committees and commissions, therefore giving them a link to the people partaking in the drafting of European legislature, which eventually has an effect on member countries themselves.

What topics have you prepared for your colleagues?

I am always in contact with people within the region, so I have a good picture of current events here. This is why I wanted to present my colleagues with what we have managed to accomplish and what sort of vision we have for the future. The first conference was centered around the restructuring of our region through the use of EU funds. Presenters here included political, university and industrial company representatives. The second conference discussed the topic of alternative energy sources, and included a closer look at possible future uses of hydrogen. We are also open to debates regarding current energy sources the region makes use of. I would be happy to constructively discuss potential opportunities, but also the possible negative effects of the energy crisis and any solution options.

Have you already received any feedback from your colleagues?

Yes, and it has all been very positive. My colleagues are also tackling the uneven development of regions within their own countries and searching for the best approach to the mining of mineral resources with respect to the citizens. Their countries are also passionately discussing optimal energy distribution, energy prices and new technologies. All of these subjects were examined at  theconferences here. I am glad that those who accepted my invitation have a professional understanding of these topics and are able to understand our views on them.

How will this event play into your next actions?

Of course, this event  is one of the of many activities I concern myself with in the region. I would be happy if local participants would accept my invitation to Brusself or Strasbourg, where we can work together to find ways in which we can turn what we talked about into a reality, not only as far as funding is concerned, but within the broader context of our region’s development, as well. People who know me personally know that I never give up. As a MEP, I am prepared to take part in improving not only the Moravian-Silesian region, but the entirety of our country as well.

Thank you for the interview. On behalf of the magazine, I wish you much success in your further efforts for the development of our region.