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European Commission - Press release
The European Parliament and European Commission open offices in Wroclaw, Poland
Wroclaw, 1 July 2011 – European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek and European Commission Vice-President Reding opened the 'Europa House' – the European Union’s regional representation office – on the first day of Poland's European Union presidency. The office will play a key role in building contacts between the local authorities, journalists and citizens in Poland's south-west regions. Poland is now part of a group of the six most populated EU Member States that have one or more regional representations on their territories.
"The establishment of the new regional office symbolises the will of Poland to be increasingly active in the European integration process. With the European Parliament and the European Commission at Europa House, I look forward to seeing even closer cooperation between the EU institutions and the millions of citizens living in the south-western region of Poland. I am confident this office will be the first point of contact with the EU for the citizens of the region,” said European Parliament President, Jerzy Buzek.
"It’s essential to bring the EU closer to citizens,” said EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. “The new office is a perfect example of how the EU goes local and reaches out to the Polish people. The timing also couldn’t be better. I am sure the office will help make Poland’s EU Presidency a success. I would like to thank the Polish government and local authorities for their support in establishing ‘Europa House’ in Wroclaw.”
The Commission’s representations and the Parliament’s information offices – along with the Europe Direct Network – deal directly with citizens. They also provide first-hand information to the EU institutions about political, economic and social developments in the Member States. The staff at the new office, which is located next to Market Square and the Town Hall, will work closely with the Parliament, the Commission headquarters and the other EU institutions.
Natalia Szczucka will be the first head of the regional representation in Wroclaw. She holds a master's degree from the University of Warsaw and has been the executive assistant of the Deputy High Representative of the EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 2004, she has worked at Amnesty International’s EU office in Brussels and most recently was Amnesty's Director for Organisational Development in Europe. Ms. Szczucka's broad experience will help the Wroclaw office play a key role in communicating with citizens.
Wroclaw, the capital of Lower Silesia, is the fourth largest city in Poland with a population of over 630,000, almost one fifth of which are students. With its multicultural history, Wroclaw is often called "the city of meetings" and will play an important role during the Polish Presidency.
The Commission has representations in every EU Member States capital city. In countries with populations over 25 million (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) the representation in the capital is also supported by one or more regional representations. These are located in: Barcelona, Belfast, Bonn, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Marseille, Milan, Munich and now Wroclaw.
It is common practice to co-host the offices of the Commission and the Parliament in the same building, as is the case in Europa House.