Commemorating European Cooperation Day and celebrating 30 years of Interreg programmes
For the ninth time in a row the European Cooperation Day is commemorated by a series of events taking place throughout Europe. Today we presented the results and importance of cross-border cooperation projects in the cross-border area of Slovenian and Austrian Carinthia. We marked the 30th anniversary of Interreg programmes by planting two trees on each side of the border in the spirit of sustainability and integration. The event was attended also by State Secretary mag. Monika Kirbiš Rojs who underlined the importance of cross-border cooperation programmes.
This year’s European Cooperation Day (EC Day) events cover three themes, namely a greener and climate-neutral Europe, youth and the fact that we all need neighbours. The aim of these events is to underline the importance of the achievements of European regions and countries in cross-border cooperation. Interreg programmes are a platform for implementing joint actions, encouraging regions and countries to address common challenges and for promoting harmonious economic, social and territorial development.
Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (GODC), 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 organised the event Drauflos(s). After planting trees in Lavamünd we took a raft ride along the Drava river with the final stop in Dravograd. During the ride two projects, co-financed under the cross-border programme Slovenia-Austria, were presented, namely NaKult and SMART Tourist, which are an example of the fruitful cross-border cooperation in the field of promoting natural and cultural heritage and sustainable development of border regions.
In her opening address State Secretary mag. Monika Kirbiš Rojs underlined that cross-border projects make such cooperation possible with the latter bringing concrete results for the inhabitants which have a long-term impact on the economy, tourism and the preservation of the rich natural and cultural heritage. Cross-border cooperation builds a strong framework for maintaining good relations with the neighbouring countries; it also represents an additional financial incentive for organisations and institutions located in borders areas, underlined mag. Nina Seljak, Director of the European Territorial Cooperation and Financial Mechanism Office at GODC and Head of the Managing Authority of the Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A Slovenia-Austria 2014-2020.
Today’s event took place in the spirit of sustainability. The planting of the lime and beech tree on both sides of the border symbolises our future-oriented approach. We believe that the projects will have a sustainable impact on the programme area and will offer concrete solutions by thus having a positive impact on development and life in the border area.
Despite being small, cross-border cooperation programmes are becoming more recognised each year with the results of the co-financed programmes being an integral part of development and enhancing the quality of life in the border area. This is also one of the reasons that the cross-border cooperation programme between Slovenia and Austria is one of the most successful programmes at the EU level in terms of absorption. Cross-border cooperation will continue also in the period 2021-2027 thus bringing potential for designing numerous new solutions for the joint challenges within the border area.