This is Europe podcast – looking for project stories

For the Interreg podcast series This is Europe we need your stories. Podcasting is a simple but powerful medium to reach our audience. The Interact programme has experienced this in 2020 with the very first Interreg podcast series. The first 4 episodes were downloaded 5.000 times. In 2021, the plan is to go further, with shorter episodes to be promoted in a cross-media campaign. Tell your stories as journalists would. This will make them accessible and attractive to anyone with or without prior knowledge about Interreg or even EU affairs.

The point of the stories is to show the impact of cooperation on the citizen and on the programme territories. It is the goal to show that Interreg is a useful tool to fix real problems. Projects can contribute their stories until 8 March 2021.

Topics for stories in the podcast are:
1. Towards sustainable food systems
2. Re-invigorating the fight against inequality
3. Culture in crisis?
4. A digital boost for the circular economy
5. Green mobility

The Interact programme will pick the stories with the highest journalistic appeal. For that, you should identify one or two charismatic people who can speak for the project, namely end-users who may not be involved in putting together the project but who have used its results. You may find good examples of this in the 4 episodes that have been published last year (see the podcast episodes). For participating, please send a story summary, the character’s name and the topic to our e-mail address at si-at.svrk@gov.si by 8 March 2021.

First round of public involvement concluded: a step closer to the new Interreg Programme

The programming process for the future Interreg Programme Slovenia-Austria 2021-2027 is well underway and builds on the experiences from current as well as past programming periods. The EU regulatory framework and in particular the proposals of European Regulations applicable for Interreg programmes are being observed in all programming steps. The EU funding to be allocated to the future Interreg programme is not known yet.

(c) IRStone

In August 2020, the Territorial and Socio-Economic Analysis has been prepared. In addition, preliminary Strategic Orientations were prepared. This document represented a discussion paper on considerations for the selection or non-selection of Specific Objectives for the future Interreg Programme Slovenia-Austria 2021-2027. The selection of the programme policy objectives and related specific objectives was an important strategic step, which relied on the input of key stakeholders – potential beneficiaries, policy makers, thematic experts, etc. A series of activities was implemented from November 2020 onwards to collect comments, opinions, suggestions and insights on the findings for the so-far prepared documents: an online survey and two webinars, expert meetings on the policy and specific objectives, a workshop on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which is conducted in parallel to the programming process. 

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The opinion of stakeholders provided an important input to the design of the future programme. Therefore, the aim of the first round of public involvement was to consult on the thematic orientations with the interested stakeholders. 

We are grateful for all the comments that were provided by more than 500 individuals. The input from all three steps of public involvement (the online survey, the two national webinars and six expert meetings) provided important feedback, that will be reflected in the next steps of the drafting of the Interreg Programme Slovenia-Austria.

Timeline and statistic overview of the public consultations

Preliminary findings on the questionnaire for public consultations

For regular updates on the programming process, please subscribe to our e-newletter.

Consultation on the long-term future of cross-border cooperation

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) continues the elimination of obstacles faced by citizens living in border regions, whose impact on daily lives became even more apparent during the COVID-19 crisis. The CoR believes that it is important to maintain the opportunities that open borders offer to people even in a crisis situation. Following the experiences stemming from the COVID 19 pandemic, and in order to reflect on the future, the CoR, together with the European Cross Border Citizens’ Alliance, is working on defining the vision for a long-term cross-border cooperation.

To reach a balanced vision, the CoR launched a public consultation on the joint vision of the long-term future of cross-border cooperation in the European Union. Based on the feedback received, the CoR will adopt a Resolution at the July 2021 plenary. The Resolution will present concrete proposals for the future of cross-border cooperation and represent the official contribution of the CoR, and the European Cross Border Citizens’ Alliance, members to the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The CoR would like to know what the citizens, and stakeholders working on cross-border issues, think should be addressed in their proposal. For this reason, they are asking for your help.

The public consultation is available here in all EU languages, and the deadline for contributions is 14th of March.

 

Bilateral solutions 4th Call for Proposals was launched!

The Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) has just opened a new call for proposals open until 11 March 2021, addressing public authorities and cross-border structures of border regions in the EU and EFTA countries.

The aim is to identify further border obstacles of legal and administrative nature to allow for the development of innovative proposals in order to strengthen cross-border cooperation.

The 4th and at the same time last call for proposals can be found here: https://www.b-solutionsproject.com/call-for-proposals

To know more about b-solutions, visit the website: https://www.b-solutionsproject.com/

Should you have identified such an obstacle and if you would like to share it and explore possible solutions, get in contact with the b-solutions’ team at b-solutions@aebr.eu

A happy new year!

Absence notice

The Joint Secretariat is absent during the holidays and we will return on Monday, 4 January 2021. During our absence, there is no replacement within the Cooperation programme Interreg V-A Slovenia-Austria. You can send us your messages to si-at.svrk@gov.si and we will reply to you in the new year.

During this time, the Government Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Development and European Cohesion Policy (GODC) will perform only urgent tasks due to the epidemiological situation. In emergencies, the GODC can be reached at +386 1 400 3680 and via e-mail at gp.svrk@gov.si.

Thank you for your understanding and happy holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Take part in the first public consultation of the cross-border programme Slovenia-Austria

All interested stakeholders and citizens that would like to express their opinion on the preliminary Strategic Orientations are kindly invited to do so via an on-line form that is available on this link: ON-LINE SURVEY or to attend the webinars which will take place:

More information on the public consultation is available at: PREPARATIONS FOR THE FUTURE SI-AT PROGRAMME ARE UNDERWAY. 

YOUIND – JOINT KICK-OFF MEETING OF STEERING GROUP AND STAKEHOLDERS

On September 23rd and 24th , Project Partner 4 – the Municipality of Idrija – hosted a two-day workshop for steering group members and regional stakeholders. The aim was to connect stakeholders from both regions – Idrija and Styrian Iron Road – and establish the groundwork for pilot actions that will be organised during the course of the project.

All project partners attended the conference with many local stakeholders from both regions being present in the meetings and activities which were hosted in a typical industrial setting. The Slovenian stakeholders signed a regional memorandum of understanding, outlining further cooperation in the region.

The academic partners, University of Graz and  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, presented a summary of their research, which was followed by a discussion of all participants on how the pilot actions should be implemented.

The workshop was a success, as it enabled the partners and stakeholders to meet in person, establish bilateral connections and also form groups of stakeholders which will be working together in the future.

With the Drava raft from Lavamünd to Dravograd for celebrating the European Cooperation Day and the 30th anniversary of Interreg programmes

For the ninth time in a row the European Cooperation Day is taking place under the auspices of the European Commission. Today, we presented the results and importance of cross-border cooperation projects in the cross-border area of ​​Slovenian and Austrian Carinthia. At the same time as celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Interreg programmes, we planted two trees on each side of the border, in the spirit of sustainability and integration.

This year’s European Cooperation Day (EC Day) events bring together three thematic topics; a greener and climate-neutral Europe, young people and we all have a neighbour. With the events, the organizers want to emphasize the importance of the achievements of European regions and countries in cross-border cooperation. In 2020, at the level of the European Union, we are also celebrating 30 years of European Territorial Cooperation programmes, which are better known as the Interreg programmes and represent the second pillar of cohesion policy. Such programmes provide a framework for the implementation of joint actions, encourage regions and countries to address common challenges, and promote harmonious economic, social and territorial development.

This year’s event was set in a cross-border environment, where many projects have been or are still being implemented, which would not be possible without Interreg programmes. The event, which took place in the cross-border area of ​​Slovenian and Austrian Carinthia, took place under the auspices of the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (SVRK), the managing authority of the Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A Slovenia-Austria 2014-2020, in cooperation with Austrian programme partners, the Provincial Government of Carinthia (Amt der Kärntner Landesregierung) and Kärntner Wirtschaftsförderungs Fond (KWF) and project partners. The event also presented two projects co-financed under the cross-border programme Slovenia-Austria, NaKult and SMART Tourist, which are a good proof of successful cross-border cooperation in the field of promotion of natural and cultural heritage and sustainable development of border regions.

As pointed out in her welcome address by mag. Monika Kirbiš Rojs, State Secretary of SVRK, without cross-border projects such cooperation would most likely not exist, nor would there be many concrete results for citizens who have a long-term impact in the field of economy, tourism and preservation of rich natural and cultural heritage. Cross-border cooperation is an important framework for maintaining good neighbourly relations and an additional financial incentive for organizations and institutions in border areas, especially before these ceremonies, said mag. Nina Seljak, head of the Managing Authority of the cross-border programme.

This year’s European Cooperation Day was somewhat curtailed and, in terms of scope and implementation, was adapted to the situation related to the COVID-19, but the main activity of today’s event was sustainable. The ceremonial planting of linden and beech on both sides of the border represents a symbolic view of the future, an investment with which, as through projects, we try to leave a sustainable mark in the programme area and positively influence development and life in the border area. The participants went from one side to the other side of the border with the Drava raft, which connects Lavamünd and Dravograd by driving through the beautiful natural scenery of the Drava River and its surroundings.

Despite their small size, cross-border cooperation programmes are becoming more and more recognizable from year to year, and the results of co-financed projects are an indispensable part of the development and increase of the quality of life in the cross-border area. This is one of the reasons why the cross-border programme between Slovenia and Austria is one of the most successful programmes at the EU level in terms of spending. Cross-border cooperation will continue in the period 2021-2027, which opens the potential for many new effective solutions to the common challenges of the cross-border area.

Pictures of the event are available here

The video of the event is available here.