Task on the desk: implementation of the successful embedding process
Macro-regional content is well placed in the programming documents, now it is our job to continue with implementation of "embedding" through inclusion of relevant macro-regional contents in the future calls and other forms of allocating resources.
On 31 January 2023 a 7th EUSAIR Financial dialogue in Slovenia, organised by Slovenian project partner of EUSAIR Facility Point and in cooperation with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development. It was the 1st one in the new financial perspective 2021-2027.
The development of the future is closely related to our ability to connect and cooperate. All departments involved in the progamming process worked hand in hand to include as many macro-regional priorities as possible in the new financial perspective, which resulted in a successfully completed partnership agreement and other programming documents.
Why? Because the priorities that we managed to agree on through cooperation within the framework of our macro-regional strategies address challenges that go beyond our national borders. The pollution of one country spills over into the next without hesitation, and measures to protect marine areas and endangered animal species show improved results in their conservation in the entire region. Therefore, all countries had to do their homework and place the set goals in the programming documents.
A lot of work is therefore behind us, and at the Financial dialog we took the opportunity to review what has been achieved in the Slovenian process of placing macro-regional content in program documents. At the same time, we have already taken a step forward towards the implementation of flagships in practice. Meaning, to the implementation of "embedding" through the inclusion of content in future tenders and other forms of allocation of funds.
The mutual exchange of opinions and coordination between the authorities involved in the planning and management of the European Structural and Investment Funds and the implementers of macro-regional strategies, is indeed one of the key prerequisites for the success of the strategy, and the demonstration that these actually serve their purpose - providing a unique platform for cooperation, bringing together different councils on a common stage to fulfil common goals of the countries included in the macro-regional strategy.
As a result of this process in Slovenia, EUSAIR priorities and flagships were placed in all Interreg programs from the EUSAIR area, of which Slovenia is a part, as well as in the European Cohesion Policy Programme. To just quickly mentioning the efforts in the direction of ensuring a green Europe with bicycle connections, the improvement of railway connections, which will not only benefit Slovenia, but due to its junction position, the entire region, as well as measures in the field of flood safety...
The predispositions are excellent, now it is necessary to continue with the good work also in the implementation phase. Which means e.g. take into account the macro-regional dimension when designing public tenders and in this way make it possible to obtain co-financing for the implementation of flagship projects.
We are aware of the limitations of Cohesion Policy, which is highly regulated and sometimes works a bit fragmented. Therefore it is important to know that it takes a lot of creativity, courage and persistence to implement new ideas that transcend existing national and mental boundaries. That is what EUSAIR Facility Point project did. Our project colleagues tirelessly search for solutions and strive to keep us connected, also in the form of financial dialogues since 2017.
In the future, our well-known supporting structure may change, but let’s hope that its legacy will live on. That during its operating years all actors learned about the value of cooperation in this field and will be strong enough to continue in this and all subsequent financial perspectives.