25.9 million of Euro for Austria and the Czech republic

25.9 million of Euro for Austria and the Czech republic

The European Commission has adopted a cross-border co-operation programme between Austria and the Czech Republic, which will be financed by the Community initiative INTERREG III (The Community initiative INTERREG III assists trans-European cooperation intended to encourage harmonious and balanced development of the European territory.

Strand A of the initiative concerns cross-border co-operation and the promotion of an integrated regional development between bordering regions). The programme involves the Austrian regions of Nieder- and Oberösterreich, Vienna and its northern surrounding area and the Czech regions of Ceske Budejovice, Jihlava and Brno. The programme will boost cross-border economic development and support spatial planning and environmental protection. The total amount available until 2006 is Euro 51.80 million, of which the EU finances Euro 25.90 million while Euro 22.69 million come from national and regional budgets. In addition, the private sector contribution amounts to Euro 3.21 million.

Announcing the decision, Michel Barnier, member of the European Commission responsible for regional policy, said: „The main priority of this INTERREG programme is to develop cross-border co-operation with a view to EU enlargement. There will be number of opportunities and challenges for the border regions over the next few years. Through programmes like this the EU’s regional policy will help to manage the process of accession. Cooperation across borders today contributes to confidence building between citizens and will thereby help to allay whatever fears and misunderstandings that citizens may currently have with regard to enlargement.“

The programme has five priorities: – Cross-border economic co-operation Measures are mainly aimed at promoting co-operation between enterprises, in particular in the field of innovation, technology transfer and tourism (Community contribution: Euro 7.62 million).
– Infrastructure This priority is aimed at reinforcing the accessibility of the region by improving its transport and telecommunications infrastructure (Community contribution: Euro 2.80 million).
– Cross-border co-operation and networking This priority includes the creation of networks between communes or non-governmental organisations as well as „people to people“ initiatives (Community contribution: Euro 3.11 million).
– Human resources The emphasis of this priority is on measures for cross-border co-operation in the field of education and training. Measures are also aimed at the creation of an integrated labour market (Community contribution: Euro 3.55 million).
– Sustainable cross-border environmental and spatial development
Main activities concern cross-border spatial planning and environmental protection. (Community contribution: Euro 7.53 million).
The Agenda is unanimously approved.

Another Euro 1.29 million of Community funding will be spent under the heading of technical assistance for programme administration, information and evaluation.

With a budget of Euro 4.875 million (1999 prices) for the years 2000-06 the Community initiative INTERREG III aims to stimulate interregional co-operation in the EU and its border regions. It is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). INTERREG programmes finance cross-border, transnational and interregional co-operation and projects to reinforce the economy, infrastructures, employment and the environment. The Commission adopts bi- or multilateral programmes, which have to be proposed by the designated national and regional authorities. On the Czech side funding is available under the PHARE programme and its allocation for cross-border co-operation („PHARE CBC“).
Both, INTERREG and PHARE-CBC form part of the EU action plan for border regions which was adopted on 25 July 2001.

The Austrian-Czech border region The Austrian-Czech border region has a dynamic and diverse economy. Two large city regions of Vienna and Brno on the one hand and the peripheral border areas on the other have been developing at different rates. Confronted over many years by a decrease of population and high unemployment, this trend has been reversed since the early 1990s. The rural economy is highly dependent on agriculture. Structural changes and the innovative potential of enterprises are not sufficiently developed on either side of the border.

The PHARE CBC programme
The „PHARE CBC“ programme is designed as the counterpart to INTERREG in the candidate countries. Based on a joint analysis of the socio-economic situation on the Austrian and the Czech side, a common programme has been developed. At present, Community support for the participation of the Czech border region is granted via the Czech PHARE programme.
The funding available under „PHARE CBC“ for the Czech border regions amounts to Euro 12 million for the period 2000-02. The priorities of „PHARE CBC“ correspond to those of INTERREG.

Managing authority
The secretariat of the managing authority is located in Vienna and co-operates closely with the Czech partners.

The contact address in Austria is:
Abteilung IV/4
Hohenstaufengasse 3
A-1010 Wien
Tel: +43 (1) 53115-2910
Fax: +43 (1) 53115-2180
E-mail: iv4post@bka.gv.at

The contact in the Czech Republic is:
Implementing Authority (IA):
Ministry for Regional Development, Department for EU programmes (OEUP) in co-operation with the
Centre for Regional Development
Staromestske namesti 6
CZ-110 00 Praha 1
Tel: +420 2 2486 1398
Fax: +420 2 2486 1324
E-mail: horjir@mmr.cz

Jaroslav Lakomý

Řešitel projektu za zadavatele a administrátor blogu

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