The study of catalysts for the development of cross-border cooperation at the European Union eastern border.
dr hab. Danuta Guzal-Dec, dr Agnieszka Kuś, dr Marek Kuźmicki, dr Łukasz Zbucki, dr Mariusz Pyra.
IMPACT DESCRIPTION SUMMARY
The research objective was to identify the determinants and opportunities of the improvement of cross-border cooperation at the Polish eastern border / external EU border. A specific complex situation of the community in the peripheral border areas and the need to implement the concept of the sustainable and multifunctional development determined the idea of catalysts improving the conditions for the operation of economic entities and the outcomes of cross-border cooperation. The need to create cooperation networks and to build a social and business communication platform was emphasised. Research showed specific tourism development actions in favour of the multifunctional development of these problematic peripheral areas. Researchers developed a framework for a strategy of the development of cross-border tourism and formulated specific solutions and recommendations for enterprises, local communities and self-government authorities supporting the cross-border cooperation development.
CHARAKTERYSTYKA GŁÓWNYCH WNIOSKÓW Z BADAŃ NAUKOWYCH
Research on the development of cross-border cooperation at the EU external border was conducted after 2005, just after Poland’s accession to the EU and included the specific conditions and challenges to maintain the vitality of these areas. Along with the identification of specific determinants of the development of these areas, the studies became more in-depth and their value increased. In the first stage (2005-2013), general and specific determinants of the development of these areas were recognised to find the cooperation development catalysts [R1, R2]. Research revealed that due to the specific location and role of the region, one of the key factors of the economic growth was the development of tourism as a significant direction of the sustainable and multifunctional development. The sealed state borders ought to be perceived as tourist attractions which form the basis for new tourism products. Interstate events provide an opportunity to overcome barriers and resistance from the authorities, and, in the longer term, to develop e.g. small-scale tourism infrastructure. The need to break stereotypes which might slow down the border tourism development was emphasised in the study. The research of entities and institutions operating in these areas showed that, due to the limited competitive opportunities of small entities, local enterprises and communities need additional institutional support, mainly as regards the promotion of their activity and the possible development of international business contacts [R3].
The second stage 2014-2020 was focused on designing the catalysts of the support for the cross-border development. Research on a network of cross-border cooperation to improve social communication indicates that the participation in network structures strengthens resource multiplication and management processes, essential for cross-border cooperation. Relationships in a network equipped with IT technologies are more specialised and more frequent; they facilitate the satisfaction of various needs, including access to information and expanding knowledge [R4]. A survey among entrepreneurs revealed difficulties in making international business contacts and insufficient assistance from self-governments concerning the support for the development of entrepreneurship and the promotion of cooperation with international entrepreneurs. Business environment institutions and self-government units need to improve their access to information and to develop better forms of cooperation with international entrepreneurs [R5].
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ROLE OF THE ENTITY IN THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY OUTCOMES
The study represented a comprehensive, multi-layer and interdisciplinary approach to the cross-border issues and a pragmatic approach to the specificity of the location as a stimulus for the sustainable and multifunctional development of the area of Poland-Belarus – the EU eastern border. The study specified:the determinants of the cross-border cooperation development from the perspectives of macro- and microeconomics (M. Adamowicz, A. Siedlecka, M. Zwolińska-Ligaj, D. Guzal-Dec, J. Żurakowska-Sawa, A. Cyburt),
– the determinants of the development of the tourist function (presented from the perspective of socio-economic geography and spatial development, formed a framework for the strategy of tourism development in the cross-border area) (T. Mazurek, Ł. Zbucki),
– the sociological significance of cross-linking for the development of cross-border cooperation (D. Błaszczak),
– the relations between enterprises, self-government and business environment institutions in the cross-border area (M. Pyra),
to design a social and business communication platform which will catalyse the development of cross-border cooperation.
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES AND SUMMARY OF UP TO 5 SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENTS
[R1] Rozwój transgranicznej współpracy gospodarczej w regionie Biała Podlaska-Brześć [The development of cross-border economic cooperation in the region of Biała Podlaska-Brest].
Ed. M Adamowicz, A. Siedlecka, Wydawnictwo PWSZ w Białej Podlaskiej, 2007.
The researchers conducted a comprehensive analysis of various determinants of socio-economic cooperation, in particular the aspects related to the operation of domestic households, enterprises and self-governments. The major barriers for the development and the needs for economic cooperation in eastern peripheral areas were identified.
[R2] Ruch graniczny w kontekście rozszerzenia Unii Europejskiej [Border traffic and the European Union enlargement]. Ed. M Adamowicz, A. Siedlecka, Wydawnictwo PWSZ w Białej Podlaskiej, 2008.
The researchers identified the specific barriers for the development of cross-border cooperation, including the institutional support for the cooperation development. Research on entrepreneurship and the determinants of its development in the cross-border areas is of particular significance. The barriers and opportunities of entrepreneurship development in the Poland-Belarus cross-border area were identified.
[R3] How to promote a Cross-Border Region as a Tourism Destination – The Case Study of the Bug Euroregion. T. Studzieniecki, T. Mazurek, Tourism Rewiev, Vol. 62, no 1, pp. 34—38, 2007.
The researchers explored the specific conditions for the development of cross-border tourism. In their research, they tackled legal and organisational aspects of tourism traffic in cross-border areas and identified the barriers and perspectives for the development of cross-border tourism.
[R4] D. Błaszczak, Kapitał społeczny w sieci współpracy transgranicznej Białej Podlaskiej i Brześcia [Social capital in the network of cross-border cooperation of Biała Podlaska and Brest], Biała Podlaska: Wydawnictwo PSW JPII, 2016.
The researcher explored the issues of establishing a network of cross-border cooperation from the socio-economic perspective (economic sociology). In his studies, he identified the opportunities, barriers and factors of establishing effective networks of cross-border cooperation, including various entities based on both sides of the border.
[R5] Cross-border cooperation and development of entrepreneurship in selected Polish-Belarusian border areas. K. Świerczewska-Pietras, T. Siluk, M. Pyra, Biała Podlaska: Wydawnictwo PSW JPII, 2015.
An international research team conducted research on cross-border cooperation and development of entrepreneurship in border areas. The researchers from Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education identified the needs to improve cooperation and effectiveness expressed by Polish entrepreneurs. The monograph was written under the project Creation of the BIZNESTRANS cross-border platform promoting and supporting the cooperation between business and scientific institutions towards stronger ties between them..
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE RESEARCH ACTIVITY IMPACT, INCLUDING THE ACTIVITY WHOSE OUTCOMES ARE THE SUBJECT OF COMMERCIALISATION, WITH AN INDICATION OF THE RELATION BETWEEN RESEARCH ACTIVITY AND THIS IMPACT AS WELL AS THE SOCIAL GROUP BENEFITTING FROM THIS IMPACT AND THE GREATEST RESEARCH ACTIVITY IMPACT AREA
The impact of research on cross-border issues is due to the need to support cross-border cooperation at the EU eastern border. The main assumption was to promote a new approach focused on communication and cooperation, which aimed to break cooperation barriers and strengthen business ties between partners on both sides of the border. This goal was achieved by means of the popularisation of specialised knowledge on practical aspects of cross-border cooperation, cooperation networks, and economic activity (entrepreneurship and business creativity stimulation). To this end, conferences, workshops and consultation meetings were organised with Polish and Belarusian self-government representatives and entrepreneurs associated in chambers of commerce. These activities allowed Polish and Belarusian entrepreneurs associated in societies and chambers of commerce to have access to the breakthrough research results, advanced specialised knowledge and a number of innovative solutions which increased the scope of cooperation of border enterprises. Thus, their competitiveness in international markets may be increased and financial results improved. Science has become a bridge between the West and the East, a gate towards integration [S1].
A detailed exploration of the issues of cross-border tourism development gave the grounds for the designing of a strategy of cross-border tourism development. Research carried out by the scholars at Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education focused on the effective use of the tourism potential of border areas, which indicated the need to create new tourism products. This research led to the implementation of the project called “Cycling trail – in the footsteps of the Bug River mysteries” [S2, S3]. The international project brought a number of socio-economic benefits which in 2017-2020 affected the local communities inhabiting the border areas of Poland and Belarus. The online platform of cooperation (http://www.szlak-rowerowy.akademiabialska.pl/) created as a result of the project stimulated cross-border cooperation. It contributed to the integration of border areas and an exchange of experiences but also facilitated the knowledge flow and exchange of opinions on the development of local tourism (including the creation of new tourism products). The implementation of the project led to the creation of three new cross-border tourism products: a trilingual map, a tourist guidebook, and a cycling trail of 600 km together with a network of information boards and parking places marked, which served to promote the region. Tourist traffic was revived, which improved the economic situation, conditions of entity operation, including the catering industry, which in turn led to the creation of new jobs [S3].
Due to the fact that cross-border cooperation is organised within a network of social relationships, the study of communication processes in these networks was emphasised. Cross-border projects and other initiatives were analysed, with circa 100 entities participating in various networks of relationships, including those of special institutional importance, based in the cities of Biała Podlaska and Brest. As a result of the study, the strengths and weaknesses of communication in the Quintuple Helix model (economy – society – self-government – cultural institutions – higher education) were deeply analysed and effective networks of cross-border cooperation were created, covering various entities based on both sides of the border [S4].
The BIZNESTRANS project was implemented as a response to the cross-border cooperation problems with business communication support, identified in the study. Under the project, an electronic business communication platform was created, which facilitated the exchange of experiences and good practices, which further helped understand processes/problems related to the cooperation with an international partner. Access to the cross-border communication platform accelerated the transfer of know-how of instruments supporting effectiveness and efficiency of conducted economic activity and of cross-border economic cooperation, but also strengthened business ties between partners from Poland and Belarus. Of great importance for the support of the development of border enterprises was also a trilingual manual for entrepreneurs, published in 600 copies under the BIZNESTRANS project [S5].
DETAILED CHARACTERISTICS OF UP TO 5 PIECES OF EVIDENCE OF SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY IMPACT
[S1] Speeches and testimonials of Polish and Belarusian entrepreneurs (speeches by Svetlana Stepanyuko and Alexander Konovalov; testimonials by Jarosław Łepecki (Dombud), Tatiana Aleksandrowna Pipper (ArtPipper) and Tatiana Yukhnovich Leonidovna (HiFi).
The entrepreneurs confirm that, due to their access to the results of the studies conducted by the scholars from Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education, they could apply specialised knowledge and a number of innovative solutions which contributed to the improvement of conditions of operation and economic health of these enterprises. According to the entrepreneurs, the BIZNESTRANS project brought valuable results, including such outcomes as the formation of new business behaviours and an increase in the scope of cooperation with international partners.
[S2] Testimonials signed by the President of the City of Biała Podlaska M. Litwiniuk, which confirm the significance of scientific as well as research and development activity of the scholars at Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education.
The President emphasises that the outcomes of the scientific activity of the scholars at Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education had a considerable impact on the economy and the development of the city and the region. They gave the grounds for the strategy of tourism development in the city and the county, which led to an increase of the role of tourism in the development of the region, in particular to the strengthening of the tourism potential of the region (development of small-scale infrastructure) and contributed to strong socio-economic ties between Brest and Biała Podlaska.
[S3] A reference letter of the Head of the Tourism Department of the Sport and Tourism Division of the Brest Regional Executive Committee confirming the Polish and Belarusian research cooperation and its essential socio-economic significance.
The Head emphasises the breakthrough nature and international scale of the research by the scholars at Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education and indicates social, economic and cultural results of the project “Cycling trail – In the footsteps of the Bug River mysteries”, including the online platform of cooperation which accelerated cross-border cooperation. The Head confirms that the research results contributed to the improvement of the conditions of cross-border tourism and were useful for the creation of the regional strategies of tourism development.
[S4] Speech by the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Biała Podlaska, Leszek Horeglad, confirming the significance of the research conducted by Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education for the development of entrepreneurship in the region.
The President emphasises that the research activity of the scholars at Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education supports the Chamber in the implementation of its statutory objectives related to training, promotional and informational activity as well as the activity related to the integration of entrepreneurs from the region. The involvement of Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in the intensification of the cross-border cooperation development deserves special recognition. The research results, in particular those of the BIZNESTRANS project, turned out to be helpful to numerous companies associated in the Chamber of Commerce of Biała Podlaska but also to enterprises from Belarus.
[S5] Testimonials from Polish and Belarusian associations of entrepreneurs (Public Association «Union of Brest Region Businesspeople» and the Chamber of Commerce of Biała Podlaska) confirming the significance of cross-border collaboration research
The letters from the Polish and Belarusian associations of entrepreneurs confirm that the research activity on the development of cross-border cooperation conducted by the scholars at Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education provides numerous enterprises associated in these Associations with tools enhancing their innovativeness and competitiveness in international markets, contributes to a better understanding of the essence of cross-border cooperation and, as a consequence, to the strengthening of business ties between partners from Poland, Belarus and Russia.
INFORMATION WHETHER THE IMPACT IS THE RESULT OF INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES, AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES FOR THE CREATION OF THIS IMPACT
The cross-border area is a complex system of economic entities, institutions and their interactions. That is why, research with a real impact on the society and economy of this system requires studies going beyond the scope of the discipline of economics and finance. Due to the complex character of the research issue, interdisciplinary scientific research was necessary.
The perspective of the management and quality sciences facilitates the diagnosis of interorganisational relationships in the studied area. The sociological perspective helped to discover the specifics and opportunities of the development of social networks. The perspective of economic geography and spatial development showed the environmental and spatial conditions of cross-border cooperation. In the economic perspective, needs were recognised and optimal tools designed to improve the economic situation of single entities and to increase the multifunctionality of the economic system and the sustainable development of the cross-border area at the EU external border.