The 1st ASECU Winter school took place in Polanczyk, near the picturesque view on the Lake of Solina. But before starting their journey in Polanczyk, the winter school started on the 17th of February with a conference at the University of Rzeszow entitled “Depopulation in the Countries and Regions of the Three Seas Initiative Conditions and Consequences”. The conference was split into one debate on “Socio-economic and demographic challenges in the Three Seas Initiative countries” and a panel session entitled “Depopulation-related changes in the state and structure of the population and their infrastructural determinants”.

Next day students officially started the winter school in Polanczyk, there were students coming from 14 countries who had the opportunity to discuss the topic of “Via Carpatia – a route to the future: Socio-economic and geopolitical aspects”. They were divided in 8 groups, with different topics related to Via Carpatia, namely:

1. History of South and Eastern Europe in being a common socioeconomic and cultural area.

2. History of Via Carpatia and present stand of realization.

3. Technical, institutional and financial issues of Via Carpatia.

4. The significance of Via Carpatia for trade relations in the region.

5. The significance of Via Carpatia for financial mobility and cross-regional investment.

6. The significance of Via Carpatia for interregional tourism, as well as for touristic attractiveness of the region as a whole.

7. Via Carpatia and cultural interconnection / cross-cultural communication in the region.

8. The geo-political significance of Via Carpatia.

Students had the challenge to design a poster where they could highlight their best ideas regarding the topic. During these days, they were having sessions in the morning and afternoon, where they spent their time working on their poster, gathering ideas and being creative. On the 18th of February, in the evening, the students organized the Global village where each country had to present their culture, food and beverages, the night ended with traditional songs. The following day, some of them continued their journey on a boat trip on Solina lake and some went skiing. Between their hard-working sessions on their poster, students had workshops on Erasmus+ grants, meeting with the media from Poland and an official visit from the local government representatives.

In the last day students had to present their ideas during the “Europa Karpat” annual Economic Forum which took place in Przemysl.

Walk to Rzeszow City Center

Opening and first meeting at Rzeszow University

International Conference about Depopulation in the countries and regions of the Three Seas Initiative – Conditions and Consequences, at Rzeszow University

Boat trip at Lake Solina

Global Village Night