Minister responsible for local self-government and regional development, Zlata Ploštajner, MSc and Governor of the Austrian Province of Styria, Franz Voves spoke about the cooperation in the framework of the cross-border cooperation programme between the Austrian Province of Styria and Slovenia and underlined the key achievements of the cooperation thus far. In the first part of the meeting which took place in Graz the Minister and Governor also exchanged their views on the cooperation within the Euro-regional connections and made the following conclusions:
• The Republic of Slovenia and the Province of Styria have been successfully cooperating for several years in the framework of the cross-border cooperation programmes between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Austria. The cooperation began in 1995 with the programming period, the main objective of which was “recognition and identification” of partners, their potentials, structures and objectives. The cooperation has given good results in the field of tourism, rural development, culture, human resources and environment.
• The successful cooperation continues also in the new programming period 2007-2013 as the Managing Authority for the Operational Programme Slovenia-Austria and the Joint Technical Secretariat for the above-mentioned Operational Programme are jointly established in Maribor. Connecting the two different experiences, organisational and legal structures and developmental strategies is the main challenge in the framework of the cross-border cooperation. In the programming period 2007-2013 the existing EU regulations represent a close cooperation of partnering countries in the implementation of the cross-border programmes. The first projects of the Operational Programme Slovenia-Austria 2007-2013 have already been approved, namely projects in the field of tourism, entrepreneurship, culture, health, urban development and regional development, environment and natural resources management. Signing of the contracts for the projects approved in the framework of the first deadline of the first call for proposals is foreseen to take place before the summer. Enhancing drawing on the resources of the cross-border cooperation programme contributes to realising the objective of mitigating the effects of the financial and economic crisis. In formulating further calls for proposal we shall take into consideration the measure which might contribute to mitigating the effects of the crisis.
• Project cooperation with the Euro regional connections needs to be strengthened and upgraded with the framework of the macro-Euro-region. Cooperation within the Working Group Alps-Adria-Pannonia can draw from the past experiences of regional and transnational cooperation and the professional agreement reached concerning the structure and image of the future Euro-region in the project framework MATRIOSCA AAP Interreg IIIB programme.
Minister Zlata Ploštajner, MSc and Governor of the Austrian Province of Styria, Franz Voves continued their meeting in Maribor where they took a look at the project “Vinsko-kulturna pot Nadvojvode Janeza”.
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