GeographicalLocation

 

The Carpathians lending its name for the euroregion surrounds the Carpathian Basin in a huge 1500 km long curve from Western Slovakia (Devenyi pass) to South-Eastern Romania (the Iron Gates along the Lower Danube). The areas forming the Carpathian Euroregion mainly belong to the North-Eastern Carpathians but in the west the euroregion stretches as far as the High Tatras in the North-Western Carpathians and in the southeast it includes considerable parts of the Eastern Carpathians such as the Harghita and the Ciucului Mountains.

The area of the euroregion contains considerable inner regions of the Carpathian Basin as well, like the North Eastern Great Plain, the northern arc of the Transylvanian Plain (Mezoseg) and some of the Bihor (Bihar) Mountains.

The mountainous areas belonging to the Carpathian Euroregion are made up of a series of beautiful mountains. They start with the High Tatra in the west (highest peak: Gerlahfalvi peak -2655 m), and the Tatra is linked to the low Eastern Beskides by the Locsei mountains, the Csergo and the Sadecky-Beskides. The Duklaipass can be found in the central part of this range of mountains which is only 502 m high and constitutes one of the most important crossings of the euroregion. (The lower lying northern side of the Eastern Beskides in Poland is called Bieszczady Mountains). The Uzsoki saddle (889 m) and the Vereckei saddle (839 m) are situated between the Eastern Beskides and the also extensive Maramures Mountains. The Eastern Carpathians starts at the Borsa saddle, Prislop pass (1413 m). There are gorgeous gigantic mountains here as well such as the Rodna Mountains (highest peak: Pietrosul Rodnei 2303 m), the Bargau (Borgoi) Mountains, the Caliman (Kelemen)Mountains, the Bistritei (Besztercei) Mountains, the Giurgeu(Gyergyoi) Mountains, the Ciucului (Csiki) Mountains and the Harghita.

 

 

 

Figure1: Geographical area of the Carpathian Euroregion

 

South of the main range there is a spectacular innerwreath of mountains. These beautiful landscapes are awaiting the prosperity of tourism. The almost undisturbed nature, the spectacular sight, the abundance of snow in the winter time, the kind and hospitable people (preserving their particular vernacular cultures) all await a considerable amount of tourists since it is the "industry of peace" and here the greatest opportunities lie in the development of tourism.

From the regions outside the wreath of the Carpathians the most important ones are the southern part of the Sandomierz Plain, the western edge of the Podolian table-land leaning against the Maramures Mountains and the Suceava Hills in Moldova and the Jijia River Basin nearby Botosani. Thus, mainly the extensive areas of the North Eastern Carpathians constitute the Carpathian Euroregion but it also extends to the hilly regions north and south and includes the northeastern part the Great Plain as well.

It is only the geopolitical division of the region that exceeds the morphological division. In Europe which is highly divided by political borders it is only the area of the small Benelux states which have more borders per square kilometre than this region.

 

 

 

Table 1: The area and numberof population in the member self-governments of the Carpathian Euroregion (1 January 2008).

 

Number

Member regions

Area

(km2)

Number of population (thousand people)

 

Poland

17926

2112

1.

Wojewodztwo Podkarpackie

17926

2112

 

Hungary

28639

2616

1.

Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county

7247

746

2.

Hajdu-Bihar county

6211

550

3.

Heves county

3637

328

4.

Jasz-Nagykun-Szolnok county

5607

420

5.

Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg county

5937

572

 

Romania

42281

3351

1.

Bihor countv

7544

634

2.

Botosani county

4986

462

3.

Harghita county

6610

344

4.

Maramures county

6304

540

5.

Suceava countv

8555

709

6.

Satu Mare county

4418

398

7.

Salaj county

3864

264

 

Slovakia

15746

1543

1.

Presov krai

6753

763

2.

Kosice krai

8993

780

 

Ukraine

56600

6429

1.

Tsernovtsi oblast

8100

938

2.

Ivano-Frankivs'k oblast

13900

1464

3.

Transcarpathian oblast

12860

1288

4.

Lviv (Lemberg) oblast

21800

2739

 

Total:

161192

16051

 

In the beginning of 1993, the founding self-governments of four countries decided to harmonise the development of their common border regions. The founding members included the following regions: Hungary - Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen, Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg,Heves, Hajdu-Bihar counties, in addition to four cities with county rights namely Miskolc, Nyiregyhaza, Eger and Debrecen; Poland - thevoivodships of Krosno and Przemysl; Slovakia - the members of the "Carpathian Alliance", that is, the cities and districts of Bardejov, Humenne, Mihalovce, Medzilaborc, Trebisov and Vrannov;Ukraine - the Transcarpathian oblast.

After the establishment, the following regions joined the Carpathian Euroregion: Hungary - Jasz-Nagykun-Szolnok county;Poland - the voivodships of Rzeszow and Tarnow; Slovakia - the cities of Kosice and Presov; Ukraine - Ivano-Frankivs'k, Tsernivciand Lviv (Lemberg) oblasts; Romania - Satu Mare and Maramures counties. In the beginning of 1997, Satu Mare and Maramures counties became full members and four new Romanian counties (Bihor, Salaj,Botosani and Suceava) also applied for membership to the interregional association.

In 1999 the new Slovakian government also agreed to the membership application of the two eastern regions (Kosice and Presov). Thus, today the area of the Carpathian Euroregion is over 160.000 km2(Figure 1) and the number of population living here is around 16 million with a population density of 98.9 person/km2(Table 1).

As the above information show the Carpathian Euroregion Interregional Association established in 1993 includes the neighbouring border regions of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine and Romania. The Carpathian Euroregion is the first "clear" euroregional initiative in East Central Europe since it is founded only by border regions of post socialist countries.