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REC receives new home and vote of confidence from Hungarian government
Wednesday, June 19, 1996
Szentendre, Hungary - In an address to the General Assembly of the Regional
Environmental Center, Ferenc Baja, Hungarian Minister for Environment and
Regional Policy, will announce today the official opening of the Center's new
headquarters in Szentendre. The site, appraised at $2 million, was donated by
the Hungarian government at the Sofia Conference of the Ministers of the
Environment last year.
The donation represents a tremendous vote of confidence for the REC's
activities, which have been ongoing in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Environment Eileen Claussen and the
Commission of the European Communities Deputy Director General for DG XI Tom
Garvey will be among the government representatives from the REC's 27 member
nations joining Horn for the dedication. The opening ceremonies and official
signing of the REC's new charter are the first events to be held in the newly
renovated conference center.
In addition to the conference center, the property includes accommodations
visitors and an office building which will be home to the Center's head
this autumn. Moving from the current cramped quarters in Budapest to the new
facilities is seen as an immense opportunity by REC leadership. Executive
Director Stanislaw Sitnicki envisions the opening ceremonies to be only the
first of many international environmental events to be hosted at the site.
addition to increasing REC's visibility on the international stage these
changes allow us to better serve our constituents, by providing a place where
NGOs, government officials and business leaders can meet and participate in
workshops, seminars and training sessions," says Sitnicki.
Bedrich Moldan, the Chairman of REC's Board of Directors, sees the facility
the first step towards the Center's quest for financial sustainability. "It
our hope that other governments and funding agents will join the Hungarian
initiative and support the financial security of the REC," says Moldan. At
meeting, General Assembly members will discuss options for REC to encourage
other governments which support REC to follow Hungary's lead and contribute
The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe is an
independent, international organization established in 1990 by Hungary, the
United States and the Commission of the European Communities. Twelve
have since joined these founding sponsors. All of the REC's programs are
unified in their resolve to promote regional cooperation among diverse
groups in Central and Eastern Europe, to build the capacity of stakeholders
solve environmental problems, and to promote the development of civil
Beneficiary countries are Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic,
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, Poland Romania, Slovak Republic
Slovenia. Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are
expected to join the organization at this session. In these countries, the
supports environmental organizations (NGOs), local authorities, national
governments, the media, businesses and academic institutions.