The Commissioner took part in a debate with members of the European Committee of the Regions on the local dimension of the crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine. The meeting was one of the highlights of a two-day visit to Poland by a European Commission representative.

 

“It is a pride for Europe to have such people. We are all looking with a lot of respect for what is happening in Poland. Poland is showing the best of humankind,” said the European Commissioner.

 

“It is amazing how you managed to organize yourselves. All people open their homes. The chain of an organization is perfect. We saw it from the firefighters to the NGOs, to the normal people. It is wonderful in a circumstance that no one could anticipate that it’s absolutely unjust and we are together. So, we are with you. We are all together and we are going to win, I think,” Ferreira has added.

 

The Marshal of Podkarpackie Voivodeship, Wiesław Ortyl, stressed that local and regional authorities continued to support the reception of refugees.

 

“I would like to remind you that they serve reception centres, but also offer services in kind. All donations and money transfers are used by us to support the refugees in our voivodeship and self-governments. We are also passing on this aid to friendly (Ukrainian) regions and cities that need it,” he said.

 

The Marshal of the Greater Poland Voivodeship, Marek Woźniak, pointed out that shortly after the beginning of the war, Greater Poland had handed over two fully equipped ambulances to Ukraine.

 

“They have crossed the border and are now serving in this war zone or the one not affected by the war, but refugees are constantly flowing there,” Woźniak said.

 

He added that the municipalities of Ukraine also provide buses, medical aid, food, clothing and aids for temporary accommodation.

 

“As for the help of the municipalities on our border front, this has basically been our life for six weeks,” said Konrad Fijołek, President of Rzeszów.

 

“I look to my commitment and the commitment of my fellow mayors (...) They have basically been involved for six weeks in the reception of refugees, care, shelter, humanitarian aid and health. And they do that whole day,” he added.

 

EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, visited Poland to discuss the possibility of using EU funds for necessary measures related to the refugee crisis and humanitarian aid following the Russian attack on Ukraine. She met Mr Grzegorz Puda, Minister for the Funds and Regional Policy, local politicians and members of the European Committee of the Regions, as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations. Ms Ferreira’s visit to Poland was accompanied by the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development (REGI), Younous Omarjee.