A comprehensive and informative report was published in 1998 as an overview on the Eastern-Central European Consolidation Strip (Daten, Fakten, Literatur zur Geographie Europas [Data, Facts and Literature on the Geography of Europe] Volume 5), which is based upon the investigations of the IfL and its Polish and Ukrainian partners. This overview proves the existence of a Consolidation Strip of Saxony-Silesia-South-East Poland-Western Ukraine, that shows itself in eastern-central Europe to a certain extent by absolute and to a certain extent by relative consolidation values (in comparison to the neighbouring regions). The greatest concentration of population and economic power is in the Upper Silesian industrial area and further industrial areas have formed in Saxony, Lower Silesia and Small Poland (Cracow). The economic structures in this strip of consolidation are in a process of radical change. The strip of eastern-central European consolidation is linked within itself in such a fashi on that there are economic and social relationships primarily with in the individual countries as well as crossing over borders in medium distances. These relationships are borne and reflected by the flows of traffic. In contrast, the expectation has not been confirmed that this strip functions as a means of transit between Germany (Saxony) and the Ukraine. The conditions of traffic and communication along the strip of eastern-central European consolidation are comparably very good in Saxony, in southern Poland they are moderate to go od and in the western Ukraine they are rather modest. We may expect significant improvements in the next one to two decades especially when the Saxon rail and road network will be perfected, when the Polish motorway network is built up and extended and when the borderways are improved. Of course, this will also take place with the progress in the teleco mmunications links. If we ignore the traffic limitations, the strip of eastern-central European consolidation will not become completely effective as a flowthrough transit space from Saxony - Poland - Ukraine primarily because of the present economic weakness of Saxony (within Germany) and because of the critical economic situation of the Ukraine. Therefore, we can only expect a basic improvement for the overall space of the consolidation strip after the Ukraine has become economically stable. We may expect that Poland's entering the European Union soon will produce a significant stimulus for the Saxon-Polish western section of the consolidation strip to come closer to one another
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