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Sustainable urban and regional cooperation for a polycentric territorial development in a competitive CENTROPE region (CENTROPE CAPACITY)
Start date: Dec 31, 2008, End date: Dec 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

CENTROPE – an area connecting regions in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia - is still characterized by substantial internal social and economic disparities through significant differences due to their location in “new” and ”old” EU member states and substantial differences between the cities, their environments and more rural areas, with some areas lacking behind in their economic performance, accessibility among others. In the future CENTROPE will see distinctive demographic and social change due to the dynamics of economic transformation. With the abolishment of the last legal barriers the mobility of labour will increase – bringing about challenges for local labour markets and social cohesion in particular in the urbanised parts of the region.Centrope Capacity seeks to overcome these divergences by using the differences at the same time and calls for a parallel evolution of transnational policy-making in several fields of action. However, the stark differences in legal competences, political capacities, financial resources and decision-making procedures of the regional/local public authorities involved, and the resulting lack of routine in transregional co-operation hamper the full exhaustion of development potentials. Consequently, what is mostly needed are tools for transnational governance that can bridge the institutional gaps through innovative & flexible structures and procedures.Since 2003 there has been a sustained, politically supported effort to create a transnational region at the intersection of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary & Austria. The remarkable potentials of this 4-country-region shall be unleashed to develop a competitive growth pole that carries considerable economic weight in Central Europe and is unique among European cross-border regions. CENTROPE CAPACITY represents the jointly supported, comprehensive institution-building and strategy-implementing lead project of 16 regions and cities. For the first time in the CENTROPE development process, the partners will create a framework in which they will be able to govern the transregional integration process on an equal footing. Achievements: With semi-annual summit meetings on top level, centrope capacity has created a new political framework for forging a common agenda. Supported by a transnational agency (dedicated offices in all foue partner countries and a coordination office), the partner regions and cities now have a means at hand to translate their leadership into a multi-faceted development programme. These offices and their Joint Managing Directorate for the first time provided adequate operative capacities for continuous cooperation in all parts of centrope. In the process, the agency has beengenerating impulses for new projects, developing concepts, involving stakeholders and publicly promoting the centrope idea. Activities focussed on four strategic cooperation areas: the development of a knowledge region, improvement of the region’s human capital and its spatial integration, and joint culture & tourism marketing. centrope capacity provided the framework for working groups and symposia of expert circles (so called “thematic fora”) to develop a set of multilateral lead projects to be implemented in the years to come. Three large-scale pilot activities played an elevated role: While the Regional Development Reports provided regular analysis and policy recommendations for a highly integrated economic area, the Infrastructure Needs Assessment Tool was pointing out the most pressing bottlenecks in the cross-border transport connections and has developed a strategic framework for infrastructure development in centrope. Lastly, the centrope tourism portal represents a new web-based tool for marketingthe destination to residents and visitors alike. Since summer 2010 a peer exchange initiative is providing a platform for the exchange of know-how between transnational regions in Europe: Öresund Region, Euregio Maas-Rhine, Eurométropole, Greater Region and Upper Rhine Region. A professional branding process has defined the cornerstones of a cohesive region brand that specifies core elements of the centrope identity (USPs, brand values) and results in the slogan “Meet Europe. Meet centrope”. From now on, location marketing efforts of the centrope partners can build on this emergent brand. The website, regular electronic newsletters and printed folders/brochures provided ample information on the project and the development of the region. At their final summit meeting, the centrope partners agreed on the maintenance and further deepening of cooperation structures based on the thematic “centrope strategy 2013+” and an operative business plan.
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  • 80.4%   3 628 358,30
  • 2007 - 2013 Central Europe
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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11 Partners Participants