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State Secretary Kirbiš Rojs visits Izola to learn about good practices in cross-border cooperation

State Secretary Kirbiš Rojs today met with the officials of the Municipality of Izola which acts as project partner of Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy in the strategic project EUSAIR Facility Point. She also visited Izolana, the House of the Sea, a product of cross-border cooperation between Slovenia and Croatia.

State Secretary was welcomed by Danilo Markočič, the Mayor of Izola, and his colleagues and Iztok Škerlič, the Director of Public Agency for Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Development Projects of Municipality of Izola. For the most part, the discussion revolved around the project EUSAIR Facility Point and its progress. The project has been implemented since 2016 under the Adriatic-Ionian Transnational Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 (ADRION Programme). Municipality of Izola participates in the project as one of the project partners from the EUSAIR participating countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia). The project partners are responsible, among others, for the design and management of the stakeholder platform, promotion of synergies between funding sources, support to strategic project concept development, support to control, reporting and evaluation of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) and for carrying out communication and information activities. The municipality will also provide operational and organizational support to the organizers of the sixth Mediterranean Coast and Macro-Regional Strategies Week that will take place in November. Slovenia, the traditional organizer of the event, has joined forces with North Macedonia for this year’s edition of the event. State Secretary underlined that municipality has proved to be a trustworthy and reliable partner in the project.

Kirbiš Rojs wrapped up the visit to Izola with a site visit to the premises of the EUSAIR Facility Point which are located in the heart of the coastal town of Izola. Facility Point has been designed to provide stable operational and administrative support to the members of the EUSAIR Governing Board and to the coordinators of Thematic Steering Groups in the area of four Pillars (Blue Growth, Connecting the Region, Environmental Quality and Sustainable Tourism), i.e. Pillar Coordinators. ‘’Facility Point, the very first joint project of the eight countries along the shared sea, shows the growing awareness of the importance of cross-border cooperation as the only way of tackling common challenges and needs. Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy as Lead Partner will therefore continue to encourage the partnership supporting the search for synergies in the project,’’ State Secretary said about the role of Facility Point and Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy.      

On this occasion, State Secretary visited the House of the Sea or Izolana, a product of cross-border cooperation between Slovenia and Croatia under the project Mala Barka 2. The project was co-financed by Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A Slovenia-Croatia 2014-2020 and brought together Slovenian and Croatian partners who jointly carried out various activities aiming to foster the development of a cultural and tourist destination. After exploring Izola's maritime history and Izolana, State Secretary said: ''This project is a perfect example of how cross-border cooperation can increase the impact of EU investments since joint development paves the way for higher quality and success, boosts visitor flows and fosters active protection of heritage in connection with sustainable tourism.''