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INTERREG IIIA ITALY-SLOVENIA: BEST PRACTICE 2000-2006 AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR COOPERATION 2007-2013

Cross-border cooperation programme Interreg IIIA Italy-Slovenia broadens its horizons and objectives, by becoming – as announced in the course of a meeting with the Regional Councillor for International and Community Relations of Friuli Venezia Giulia Franco Iacop, - an objective proper of EU policy to promote the competitiveness of the interested territories. After developing 475 projects over the past six years, of which 232 have reached a positive conclusion, the cooperation between the two bordering Countries further evolves towards an integrated vision, also thanks – as outlined by Iacop - to growing support from the EU (140 million euro, 85 % from European funds and 15% from Italian-Slovenian allocations) for the programming period 2007-13, that covers a considerably wider area (30 thousand square km) and a total population of more than 5 million people, more than double the figure of the recently ended programming period, totalling 2 million.  The project areas of collaboration will extend from Ljubljana to the Provinces of Ferrara and Ravenna in Emilia Romagna, across Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Provinces of Venice, Rovigo, Padua and Treviso in Veneto.
The conference of Cividale, that saw the participation among others of the Slovenian Mayors of Plezzo, Tolmino and Caporetto, as well as the Slovenian Consul to Trieste, Tanja Mljac, also served to illustrate a few of the best projects presented in the past Interreg Ita-Slo 2000-06 programming period, included in the special best practice section. The first one, still under way, aims at safeguarding the water resources of Italy and Slovenia through the purification of urban sewage in the Isonzo river and its numerous tributaries. Specifically, the experience of Slovenian municipalities will be used as a model to conform the purification plants of Cividale del Friuli,  Buttrio, Manzano, Pradamano and Remanzacco. Another project centred on the environmental salvaging of a number of chestnut woods through actions to contrast existing phytosanitary problems to enhance their productivity. Among the initiatives envisaged is the identification and the subsequent delimitation of areas where clients-tourists will be allowed to engage in direct picking.
Another project, “Europa insieme”, has now ended after successfully putting in touch – directly or through the internet – teachers and students of Italian and Slovenian schools at all levels, by supporting the exchange of information and a mutual linguistic implementation. The next meeting, on the issue of sustainable development and alternative energy sources will be held on 18th September in Tarcento (Udine).

18.09.07 foto eunews tarcentoFrom left: Erik Švab, President of Euroservis, Franco Iacop, Regional Councillor for International, Community Relations and Local Autonomies, Stefano Predan, rapporteur for project “Terra di castagne (Land of Chestnuts)” of the Municipality of Stregna, engineer Alessandro Patriarca for urban sewage purification projects (DisoCI - DisoBU - DisoMA - DisoPRE - DisoRE of the Municipalities of Cividale del Friuli, Buttrio, Manzano, Pradamano, Remanzacco ) and Viviana Gruden for project “Europa insieme”.