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The project is aimed at promoting integrated and co-ordinated development in the territory of the co-operation area “Adria-Alpe-Pannonia”. This area forms a coherent territory which is located at the interface of old and new Member States and involves regions from Austria, Italy, Hungary and Slovenia, as well as from Croatia as a Candidate Country.

Since the partner regions are not part of dynamic economic zones they need to pool resources and combine their strengths to raise enough critical mass for improving their position in relation to other agglomerations. The project will provide analytical foundations, strategic orientation and organizational structure to consolidate transnational co-operation in this area of approx. 17 mio. people.

Although the co-operation area is a coherent territory marked by proximity and intense functional links, it is very fragmented due to inherited dense administrative boundaries and heterogeneous institutional levels. The co-operation area is made up of one state (SI), 5 NUTS II regions in AT and IT and several counties in HU and HR (NUTS III). The project will provide a unique forum for the co-operation of adequate members (in terms of responsibility, function and level) from all partner regions. No equivalent platform for collaboration has yet been established, but at a higher level the partners are also members of a larger trans-national entity (“Alps Adriatic Community”), and at lower level several Euregios are/will be established for bilateral co-operation.

The project should lead to an institutional setting which is based on present requirements and suited to grasp future opportunities. Networks at political, administrative and experts level will be established in areas of key relevance for spatial development, which should actively collaborate in the elaboration of sound base-line analysis, joint strategies and a series of co-operation projects. Utmost use will be made of networks already established or outputs produced through other transnational activities, notably on-going INTERREG IIIB/C projects, in which partners from the co-operation area participate.

The backbone of the project is constituted by Working Groups in four key areas influencing spatial development. The operation of these working groups is funded under Work Package (WP) 4 and they are closely linked to the production of outputs and results of three other WPs:

- Guidance and review of material produced in WP1 (base-line data and analysis)
- Provision of inputs for the White Paper and Joint Strategy Document of WP 3
- Identification of suitable domains for joint activities and preparation of strategic projects to be submitted in the new programming period (WP 4)

The Management Board, which is consists of the Contact Points from each partner region, functions as Working Group for activities relating to the institutional structure (WP 2). A web-based platform will be established as a joint communication and co-operation tool under WP 5, as well as information material on the project and the co-operation area.

The partners for the project were identified with the intention to cover the entire co-operation area and to have partners who are comparable in their status and truly representative of the partner regions. Thus all partner regions are represented by their regional governments or equivalent bodies (with the sole exception of Zala county, which is represented by a non-profit company established by the county government as support structure for trans-national projects).

Varazdin and Vojvodina joined the project as additional partners and participate in the projects Management Board as well as in the various thematic Working Groups.

Project Costs: Total € 854.000,00

Financing: ERDF funding: € 488.000,00

Co-financing (EU partners) € 366.000,00