Čemejno – Local seminar in Koper, Slovenia
October 21, 2015
Cross border cooperation between Slovenia and Italy: one of the longest traditions in the field becomes today a fundamental tool for enhancing civic participation.
On Wednesday 21 October 2015, the Association for Culture and Education PiNA set up a local seminar called Čezmejno, cross-border, in order to discuss the meaning of cross border cooperation today, particularly the one between Slovenia and Italy, and the potentialities of the new cooperation programme Interreg 2014-2020.
The event represented the final local activity to be realized within the International project ROUNDTRIP, supported by the programme Europe for Citizens. The project is led by the Portuguese cooperative ECOS – Cooperativa de Educação, Cooperação e Desenvolvimento, CRL , and PiNA is one of the partner organizations.
Local authorities, municipalities, NGOs and CSOs representatives and non organized citizens coming from Koper and surroundings and from the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, were all invited to the event: the participation was great and due to the diversity of the audience, interesting ideas and problems were analyzed and discussed.
The representatives of the so called third sector have shown particular interest for the cross border cooperation projects but at the same time, they asserted it is very hard for them to be engaged in similar activities and to be considered from the institutions as reliable and committed partners. Indeed, citizens and associations are not very active in this sector – in the previous Interreg programme only the 3% of NGOs took part to projects. The cross border cooperation is a main part of the European policy but still, citizens are not aware of these aspects, collectivity perceives EU policies as far and vague, while their great potentiality goes often wasted.
What came out from the seminar is that this trend must change.
In this respect, associations, NGOs, CSOs and any other citizen’s representatives must be encouraged and supported, so to heighten their presence at every level, from design concepts until implementation phases. Local authorities and municipalities are called to act as mediator between the third sector and the institutional system. This complementary relation is fundamental to change citizen’s perceptions of European instruments and policies, especially in strategic areas as the cross border one. Moreover, it will bring added value to projects conceived according to the basic needs of citizens, and put into practice thanks to institutional and efficient methodologies.
You can read the report of this activity HERE