746 01 Opava
The Euroregion Silesia is one of the youngest Euroregions of the Czech-Polish border-area. It was established in September 1998 after the foundation of the neighbouring Euroregions of Praděd and Cieszyn Silesia, which filled the gap in the historical area of Upper Silesia.
Towns and villages in this area were predestined to mutual cooperation by unified historic development. No sooner had a border divided the united entity than Maria Theresa of Austria was defeated in a war with Frederick II of Prussia in 1742 and lost most of Silesia. The Racibórz, Głubczyce and Hlučín regions were annexed by Prussia while the Opava and Krnov regions remained a part of Austrian Empire in the territory of Bohemian Crown Lands and became part of so-called Czech Silesia (sometimes called Austrian Silesia). Contact between the regions was slowing down and stopped eventually because of the new border.
The end of WW II had no impact on reunification of the region - Upper Silesia became a part of Poland and Czech Silesia became a part of Czechoslovakia. The development of people's contact on either side of the border was not supported by either of the countries' membership of Eastern Bloc countries. Although the countries were divided only by a so-called "green border", the border-area was closely guarded and people were allowed to cross at only a few official border checkpoints, and doing so involved many formalities. Natural everyday contact between the closest neighbours was utterly impossible.
Czech Silesia - dark orange
Polish Silesia - yellow
Real Czech-Polish cooperation within this area has grown since 1989 with the advent of democratic changes in both countries. Initially comprising partnerships between individual villages and towns, it has gradually assumed a regional importance. The first ideas and negotiations on establishment of a large "Opole-Moravian-Silesian Euroregion" were followed by signing a declaration by representatives of the towns of Opava, Krnov, Racibórz and Głubczyce on 3 November 1997.
On the ground of the declaration two associations came into existence on either side of the border in 1998. The representatives of the associations signed a contract about the cooperation called Euroregion Silesia on 20 September 1998.
The contract about the cooperation between the Czech and Polish associations called Euroregion Silesia was officially signed on 20 September 1998
Euroregion Silesia is a cooperation agreement between the Polish Association of Municipalities of the Upper Oder River and the Regional Association for the Czech-Polish Cooperation Opavian Silesia, now called Euroregion Silesia-CZ. It is necessary to take into consideration both of the associations and all their members when speaking about the Euroregion Silesia. If there were not a mutual agreement, whose aim is support and execution of Czech-Polish cross-border cooperation, the only Czech or Polish association would not be a Euroregion, per se, but a mere interest association which can operate wherever outside border regions.