#cooperationiscentral: Why central Europe needs cooperation more than ever
When solidarity is fading and calls for lower integration are growing, the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE funding programme believes that #cooperationiscentral. Luca Ferrarese, Head of the Programme Secretariat made an engaging case for cooperation in this #EURegionsWeek talk.
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, central Europe has significantly integrated and developed. But today there are signs that these processes could come to a halt or even be reversed. Controversial discussions about solidarity increase the impression that integration and transnational cooperation are falling out of grace. Regions and cities are more efficient and more competitive when they work together beyond borders. Citizens and companies profit from new and better services.
With its hundreds of cooperation projects in the past 20 years, the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE programme has become a bulwark of cooperation at the heart of Europe. Concrete stories of projects illustrated in the talk how e.g. a middle-sized city in Poland benefits from cooperation to redevelop the brownfield sites or make public buildings more energy efficient; how citizens of urban areas in central Europe use cooperation to lower PM10 emissions, and ultimately improve air quality, or how local companies benefit from access to innovative approaches to prepare for Industry 4.0.
Last but not least, what kicked-off the whole idea of Interreg cooperation back in the 1990s is still a very relevant topic today: i.e. floods. Central European regions are overexposed to floods, which already put people and business near our rivers at risk. When faced with these floods, regions were often acting in an uncoordinated way in the past - pushing problems further downstream and increasing the negative effects there. #Cooperationiscentral to bring public and private stakeholders along the rivers together who can then jointly develop solutions for potential conflicts and changing the quality of life of citizens in our cities and regions.
Take away message
#Cooperationiscentral to make our cities and regions stronger. Cooperation builds trust, it connects us and brings benefits for all!
‘Transnational cooperation is bringing results on the ground, answering the concrete challenges of citizens and changing their quality of life. In times when Euroscepticism is on the rise, we need to take cooperation forward in order to build more trust in central Europe.’ Luca Ferrarese
‘Transnational cooperation is bringing results on the ground, answering to concrete challenges of citizens and changing their quality of life. In the times when Euroscepticism is on the rise, we need to take cooperation forward in order to build more trust in central Europe.’