At the occasion of the European Cooperation Day 2013 on the spot visits of projects were organized

picture gallery The European Cooperation Day, which is organised under the auspices of the European Commission and the INTERACT programme, is celebrated throughout Europe. In the framework of the events, joined under the slogan Sharing borders, growing closer, the programmes of cross-border and territorial cooperation are presented. In Slovenia, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, as the Managing Authority for the programmes of cross-border cooperation with Austria, Hungary and Croatia in the programme period 2007-2013, organised a joint opening event at Hotel Arena in Maribor where the three cross-border cooperation programmes were introduced and presented. The participants were welcomed by the Director-General of the Directorate for regional development and european territorial cooperation, Mr. Marko Drofenik. In the frame of the Operational Programme Slovenia-Austria 2007-2013, which was at the opening event presented by the Programme manager and Head of the Sector for the Administration of Cross-border Programmes, Mrs. Laura Lajh Rauter, the group of participants carried out three on the spot visits of projects which are implemented in the programme area of the neighbouring countries Slovenia and Austria. The first project on the agenda was Brod na Muri / Murfähre. The mayor of the community Šentilj, Mr. Edvard Čagran, welcomed the participants of the project visit and invited them, after a delicious feast of local delicacies, to a ride across the river Mura with the renewed ferry.On the Austrian side, he presented them a webcam, with which it is possible to monitor the current weather conditions as well as the ferry floating across the river. The participants continued their journey and drove across the border to Styria. In St. Margarethen an der Raab they were welcomed by Mr. Armin Boštjančič-Feinig, coordinator of the project SOBIO and his project partners. The attendees were taken on a guided tour through the social biomass center. As Mr. Boštjančič-Feinig said among other things, in the field of cross-border cooperation there is in relation to the topic of “social biomass centers” a great potential. The partners involved, stressed the usefulness of the pilot model, because it at the same time improves the employment situation of long-term unemployed and difficult to employ persons. Mr. Peter Prettenhofer expressed satisfaction about the possibility of the development of this project within the OP SI-AT 2007-2013 and also commented that in the future more simplified administrative procedures and user-friendly systems for the reimbursement are needed. As part of the last programme point, the participants made their way through Styria into the Mežica Valley, where after visiting the info point of the project Geopark, descended into the Mine of Mežica and explored the underground tunnels. The participants were welcomed by the mayor of the community Mežica, Mr. Dušan Krebel, who stressed the importance of the project for the community of Mežica and surrounding communities as well as for the whole Mežica Valley. The area of the Geopark Karawanks is embedded in the Global (UNESCO) Network of National Geoparks and European Network of Geoparks, which for the region concerend, represents a major developmental, and economical-touristical potential. Given the fact that the number of projects co-funded from the programme of cross-border cooperation between Slovenia and Austria is too large for the participants to see the results in the course of one day, we decided at this time to closer present the public one project at the border and one project in each country involved in the programme. The event, at which project results are presented and which was last year carried out as a project fair, is also foreseen to take place in the next year, so that there will be further opportunities for getting to know the results of the individual projects. More information on cross-border cooperation and the event is available on the following web-pages: web-page of the MEDT – opening event web-page of the MEDT – on the spot visits of projects web-page of the European Cooperation Day 2013