Euroregion Silesia - CZ
Adresa sídla: Horní náměstí 382/69, 746 01 Opava, Česká republika
Unlike the Polish association, there were only two founding members of the Czech association - towns of Opava and Krnov. In accordance with decisions of the municipal councils of both towns, the Mayor of Opava Jan Mrázek and the Mayor of Krnov Bedřich Marek signed an agreement about the foundation of the "Regional Association for the Czech-Polish Cooperation Opavian Silesia" on 7 July 1998 in Opava. At the head of the association, whose seat is in Opava, was Jan Mrázek. The association was established as an interest association of legal personalities according to the effective Civil Code and it was registered at the District Council in Opava on 11 August 1998.
Such a foundation inspired other Silesian municipalities to further mutual cooperation. Two years after the regional association was established there were 22 members of various municipalities (cities, towns, villages) and the activity of the association was also enlarged to the area of Northern Moravia. In 2002 there were 58 member municipalities. Since this time several other members have joined or left the association
With regard to territorial and member's enlargement of the association a new name of "Euroregion Silesia-CZ" was accepted. Such a name clearly describes the fact that it is the Czech part of the Euroregion Silesia; moreover, the name does not strictly limit the geographical area as the original name used to and it is easier and more practical for everyday use.
Membership in the Czech association reached peak in 2004 with a total amount of 61 member municipalities. The total number of inhabitants represented by these 61 members was less than that of the 19 member municipalities of the Polish association - the Czech area covered a population of about 230 thousand people, while the Polish area covered a population of about 290 thousand people. This is apparently because of a different administrative structure of Poland where municipalities called "gminas" consist of several towns and villages and thus they are bigger than the Czech municipalities representing by individual cities, towns or villages.
In November 2008 the City of Ostrava, the third biggest city of the Czech Republic, joined the association. It started to cooperate with the Euroregion Silesia short after its foundation and the approval of official membership of the Euroregion by the authorities of the City of Ostrava was a dignified outcome of a mutual long-lasting cooperation. After integration of such a big city into the association, the area and sphere of activity of the Euroregion Silesia have considerably enlarged. The Czech association founded by two towns has numbered 58 members and has covered an area of more than half a million inhabitants since it was established 10 years ago.
Since the statutes of the regional association have enabled involvement of associated subjects than mere municipalities since the beginning, the first associated members were Silesian University in Opava and Chamber of Commerce in Opava. In 2000 another associated member was "Matice slezská", an important Silesian cultural and educational organization dating back to 1877. In 2011 one of the Local Action Groups working in the area of the Euroregion Silesia became another associated member. At present the association tries to increase the number of associated members by other universities within the area of the region.
At the head of the association was Jan Mrázek, the Mayor and later on the Deputy Mayor of the City of Opava. Being the president of the Czech association and the president of the whole Euroregion Silesia (alternately with Andrzej Markowiak, the president of the Polish part) for six years, he witnessed the extraordinary development of Czech-Polish cooperation. Its high level was appreciated by the Polish Ambassador Andrzej Krawczyk during his visit in Opava in 2003. The cooperation of the "capitals" of the Euroregion Silesia, Opava and Racibórz, was called exemplary. In 2004 a new Mayor of Opava Zbyněk Stanjura was elected president of the association and in 2011 he was replaced by Zdeněk Jirásek.
Silesian Theater is visited by visitors from both sides of the border
Silesian Provincial Archive is the third largest archive in the Czech Republic
Silesian cultural and educational organization “Matice slezská”, dating back to 1877, looks after the national, cultural and historical heritage of Silesia
Silesian University in Opava cooperates with the Polish Silesian University in Katowice
Silesian Provincial Museum, founded in 1814, is older than the National Museum in Prague and is the oldest museum in the Czech Republic