Transnational cooperation funding is decisive in making macro-regional strategies work
Many initiatives that underpin and implement the EU macro-regional strategies are funded by transnational Interreg programmes. These programmes are well-suited to provide targeted solutions designed for the specific regions, bridging gaps between national and EU-wide initiatives.
In 2010, in view of the then still upcoming revision of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), 18 partners from Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and Slovakia came together in the BATCo project to positively influence transport planning for the Baltic-Adriatic Axis. This railway axis connects the Baltic Sea with the North-Adriatic Sea and runs through five European Union Member states connecting more than 40 million inhabitants. Using state-of-the-art transport models to forecast future trends, BATCo demonstrated that the overall transport volume in the European Union can be expected to increase by as much as 60 percent by 2030.
In order to actually increase the total share of environmentally friendly railways, it is important that the improvement of rail infrastructure is accompanied by policy measures – such as higher road pricing or prohibitions on night driving for trucks – at the European, national and regional governing levels. BATCo’s efforts supported such policy measures by offering the information that policy makers need to make the right decisions. BATCo supported a pilot to demonstrate the special role Logistics Competence Centres (LoCCs) can have in serving as an incubator for transport and logistics businesses. A “Transnational Logistics Centre Incubator Concept” elaborated by BATCo was implemented as a pilot at ALPLOG Carinthia, located in Villach/Fürnitz, Austria. Along with encouraging greener transport in the Baltic-Adriatic Axis, BATCo is also promoting the kind of trade throughout the area that will make use of that transport. By establishing transnational contact points, the project supports international business activities that can use the corridor to fuel economic development.
The European Green Belt is a network of ecosystems which runs along the former dividing line between east and west. It stretches all the way from the Baltic Sea to the Danube and is marked by spatial conflicts and land claims of different stakeholders which put the strongly interconnected ecosystems at risk if not solved in a coordinated way. The GreenNet project addressed this problem especially for non-protected areas with high ecological value. These areas are vital stepping stones for rare and endangered species in the ecological network. GreenNet helped to secure the long-term protection and also pursued strategies for long-lasting, sustainable rural development in the regions adjacent to the Green Belt.
To address conflicting land-use claims, the project developed a GreenNet GIS web tool, which provides economical, spatial and ecological data. The project’s researchers identified regional stakeholders and their key interests in order to highlight potential conflicts, and the GIS tool precisely pinpointed the areas with conflicts. The tool can be used by anyone in the field of agriculture, forestry, decision-making, spatial planning, water management, nature conservation, etc. Through this work, GreenNet provided an overview of potential spatial conflicts, making it possible to close gaps in the Green Belt.READ MORE STORIES