Mayor of Amsterdam visits Kraków
On Monday, November 6, Femke Halsema, the Mayor of Amsterdam paid a visit to the Mayor of Kraków, Jacek Majchrowski.
Also present at the meeting were Nina Gabryś-Janowska, Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of Kraków for Equality and Robert Piaskowski, Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of Kraków for Culture.
The Mayor`s visit to our City is associated with an important eucational project. Femke Halsema was accompanied by a group of 20 young residents of Amsterdam who came over to see the material evidence of the Holocaust. Their main destination was the Memorial and Museum Aschwitz-Birkenau. Prior to the meeting at the City Hall, our Guest and the Dutch youth visited the Branch of the Kraków Museum in the former Oskar Schindler Enamel Factory. Mayor Majchrowski recommended also to see the former labour camp at Płaszów. Although the construction works still carried on at the memorial site of the former camp are scheduled to end in about two years, the open air exhibition "KL Płaszów" is already accessible to public.
During the meeting with Mayor Majchrowski, the Mayor of Amsterdam pointed out that both cities are now facing similar challenges. One of them is the excessive inflow of tourists who are not particularly interested in discovering the heritage and the exceptional nature of the places they arrive at. Mayor Majchowski remarked that one of the tools helpful in solving this problem would be to more closely control the short-term lease issues. Following the example of Amsterdam in this respect, Kraków proposed introducing changes in legal regulations.
Subject of the discussion were also climatic changes and green transformation, as well as so intense, in both cities, actions in the field of culture. It is culture that constitutes an important factor in building the multicultural society. Both Amsterdam with its population representing 140 different nations and Kraków which already in the Middle Ages used to be home to a variety of foreigners, undertake a vast range of actions aimed at integration of all their residents. Such efforts are promoted by an effective migration policy, equality policy and observance of human rights. In this respect, of importance is also the issue of Amsterdam and Kraków` s cooperaton within the framework of ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network) of which the two cities are active members. Mayor Femke Halsema inquired about the current situation and challenges associated with the large inflow to Kraków of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Mayor Majchrowski described the solutions applied by the city, particularly those regarding education. He stressed the unprecedented openness of Cracovians with which they received ukrainian refugees. But- as Mayor Majchrowski said- we have had this openness interwoven into the urban fabric of our city which is most overtly represented by the open gate in the city`s coat of arms.