Happy Easter holidays!

Exceeding averageness – exceeding borders: Geopark management centre

On Friday, 12 April 2019, as part of the NaKult project, new premises in the building of the former Volksschule Šentlipš, in the municipality of Sittersdorf/Žitara vas were opened. The premises will serve as the Geopark Management Centre, which also includes a Geo-workshop for various, especially educational, activities.

Interreg funds are intended for content that goes beyond national borders and the implementation of which achieves better results when activities are coordinated on both sides of the border. Cooperation is not always something self-evident, something that will happen completely automatically, but it requires a desire to overcome averageness. A good example of cooperation is the NaKult project, in which several municipalities and regional institutions on both sides of the border are spreading awareness of Geoparka’s rich geodiversity and developing remote hiking trails as a new joint tourist product. The result of the project is also the management centre in Sittersdorf/Žitara vas. In order to operate it, within the project, they purchased equipment and furniture for the space, which will be used for the implementation of various activities, such as an annual Geopark camp and educational workshops.

The opening of the new premises was attended by Dimitrij Pur, Head of the programme’s Management Authority (MA), Daniel Fellner, Regional Councillor, Angelika Kuss-Bergner, member of the National Assembly, as well as representatives of project partners and mayors of the Geopark municipalities: Jakob Strauss (mayor of Sittersdorf/Žitara and 2nd President of the Regional Parliament), Gerhard Visotschnig (mayor of Neuhaus/Suha), Franc Jožef Smrtnik (mayor of Železna Kapla/Bad Eisenkappel), Stefan Visotschnig (mayor of Pliberk/Bleiburg), Herman Srienz (mayor of Feistritz ob Bleiburg/Bistrica pri Pliberku), Hannes Mak (mayor of Gallizien) and Bernhard Sadovnik (mayor of Globasnitz/Globasnica).

The event was spiced up by the children’s choir of the Sittersdorf/Žitara vas elementary school.

For more information about the event, please visit: www.geopark-karawanken.at.

New opportunity for receiving ERDF funds in July

To date, 43 projects with a total value of 43.5 million EUR from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) have been approved in the frame of the cross-border Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A Slovenia-Austria. The programme co-finances activities in three priority axes. Within the priority axis 1 “Strengthening cross-border Competitiveness, Research and Innovation“, 17 projects worth approx. 13.9 million EUR ERDF have been approved so far. 13 projects, amounting to approx. 17.2 million EUR ERDF were approved under priority axis 2 “Protecting the Environment and Promoting Resource Efficiency“. In the area of ”Enhancing Institutional Capacity and an Efficient Public Administration” (priority axis 3), also 13 projects were approved for a total of approx. 12.4 mio. EUR ERDF funds.

So far, a bit more than 97 % of all available programme funds were awarded or contracted. The remaining funds, a bit less than 1.5 million EUR ERDF are available in the 5th deadline for submission of applications, which will be open until 4 July 2019 (the submission of applications will be possible through the eMS system by 12:00 noon).

Based on a review of 43 approved projects, we found that at programme level we have not yet achieved all the planned values of the programme indicators. The indicators for which the values have not yet been achieved relate to research and development projects (specific objective 1) and to the topic of internationalization (specific objective 3) within priority axis 1, and projects involving research institutions in the field of management and utilization of water resources (investment priority 6f) within priority axis 2. Considering the amount of available funds and the achievement of the values of the programme indicators, the recommendation that the projects submitted in the 5th deadline for the submission of applications under priority axis 1 should not exceed 500,000 EUR ERDF should be followed, projects under priority axis 2, more specific under investment priority 6f, should not exceed 350,000 EUR ERDF and, under priority axis 3, the projects submitted should not exceed 250,000 EUR ERDF.

We strongly recommend that the project partners contact the competent national / regional authority and the Joint Secretariat at the time of preparation of the project application or prior to the submission of the project proposal. Experience has shown that such an approach enables more successful project preparation.

The Open Call and the Application Pack are available under the following link: Open Call and Aplication Pack.

97% of the programme funds contracted in Burgenland

In the frame of the 7th Monitoring Committee (MC) meeting of the Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A Slovenia-Austria, held on 3 and 4 April 2019 in St. Martin an der Raab in Burgenland (Austria), the members of the MC amongst other things decided on the projects that were submitted within the fourth deadline for the submission of applications. Within this deadline of the Open Call for Proposals, 21 project applications were submitted. 2 projects were approved at the meeting, 4 projects were postponed by the MC members, while 9 projects were rejected. In total, more than 900 thousand EUR ERDF programme funds will be contracted within the fourth deadline of the Open Call for Proposals, which means that the programme contracted 97% of all available programme funds. In the frame of the approved project BANAP (2nd priority axis), the Slovenian and Austrian partners will jointly promote the conservation of biodiversity and develop practical solutions for the maintenance of biotically rich grasslands. The project Co_Operation (3rd priority axis) enhances participation in joint rescue actions in case of natural and other disasters between partners in Gornja Radgona and Bad Radkersburg. The lead partners of the approved projects will sign the ERDF Subsidy contracts approximately in May.

The next, fifth deadline for applications will end on 4 July 2019 at 12.00 p.m. The Open Call and the tender documentation are available on the programme website. For more details regarding the 5th deadline of the Open Call, please contact Mojca Muršec (T: 00386 1 400 3167).

The MC members also set the basis for the programming of the period 2021-2027. In the framework of the meeting, the presentation of the project INNOVET, took place. The president of the provincial parliament, Verena Dunst, and the mayor of the municipality of St. Martin an der Raab Franz Josef Kern shortly joined the MC and stressed the potential of cross-border cooperation between Slovenia and Austria in the spirit of the European orientation.

The decisions of the Monitoring Committee are available here.