With Fit for Cooperation, the European Region supports the planning of cross-border projects in the cooperation area Italy-Austria.
Cross-border projects have many obstacles: different languages, cultures, legal systems, distribution of competences, etc. Public administrations represent no exception. On the other hand, cross-border cooperation comes with many new opportunities, for example the possibility to address cross-border challenges that cannot be solved otherwise (e.g. Brenner Base Tunnel). The exchange of competences and best practices is made possible through cross-border cooperation. And there is also EU funding that supports a more united Europe through financial means.
Fit4Co: New projects for the Euregio
Practice has shown that planning cross-border projects comes with several difficulties. This is where Fit4Co comes in. It is conceived as a starter package for kickstarting cross-border cooperation in the public sector.
Through the support of the Euregio Office, some of the cross-border obstacles can be overcome: the EGTC can promote the connection between member administrations, coordinate their actions, organize meetings with funding bodies (for instance INTERREG), and offer many other tailor-made solutions to enhance cooperation. In addition, the Euregio provides interested administrations with consultants specialised in project management (in the Fit4Co project-jargon they are referred to as “coaches”). At the request of the interested administrations, other experts can be brought in as needed.
The result of Fit4Co? Many excellently planned cross-border projects that have been made "fit" for submission to funding agencies (e.g. Interreg). Through these projects, the European region will grow even closer together over the coming years.
Unique cooperation between two Euroregions
Fit4Co is the first initiative in which two Euroregions joined forces in a common INTERREG-project. The project was presented in Brussels as a best-practice project of cross-border cooperation during the European Week of Regions and Cities 2020 (video registration of the event). Building on this, the two EGTCs want to work even more closely together in the future to further deepen cross-border cooperation in the Italy-Austria cooperation area.