GECT (3): PROJECTS AND OPPORTUNITIES
The GECT is certainly an opportunity for the future of Gorizia, even if of slow gestation. But people know little about it. Precisely for this reason, we have tried to clarify its motivations illustrating its origins, funding, changes during its ten years of life. Today we are talking about the projects, while you may find other articles concerning this organisation again in this section.
Isonzo-Soča (Isonzo Riverside):
This project involves the conservation, recovery and development of the natural and cultural heritage inherent to the Soča area. It is all about the realization of works such as a shared bicycle path and a redevelopment of the accommodation area with camper van parking in Vrtojba as well as promotional activities. This single project has funding for 5 million euros, spread over 48 months. To be precise, this project costs a total of €4,378,438, divided between the three municipalities, while Gorizia takes only 40% equivalent to just over €1.7 million and with the works expected to be completed by the end of 2020, the least among the three neighbouring municipalities. Honestly, as Gorizia is by far the main promoter of the GECT, it was expected to attract some extra money to be able to expand its very successful green attractions park in Slovenia. Will there be further opportunities?
The second TIR project seeks to strengthen cooperation in health services of various types (autism, mental health, physiological pregnancy, etc.) to share essential services in line with European directives. This project is also endowed with a lot of money, 5 million euros precisely. So far, progress has been made by mapping and analyzing the shared services, aimed at reducing healthcare costs and increasing patients' benefits. We are talking about a special area, where all residents will be able to use the services offered by both sides together, without unnecessarily splitting costs. A lot of money here has been spent on (complex) status quo analysis, promulgating future actions that aim to build a more united health system and other purely medical actions - medical analysis - for autism in this case. Like it or not, this is the aim of this project, a more efficient cross-border healthcare perhaps.
Among the other projects not of ITI nature, but still important (even very important we would say), there is the Cyclewalk project, which collects almost 300.000€ and supports the transition to green mobility through studies, training and technical-scientific consultancy in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam. Another one is the CB Pump, which finances a study on the obstacles that prevent a correct cross border mobility (20.000€). Then we also have the Cross-Border e-Procurement plan which aims to reduce bureaucratic obstacles that prevent cross-border tendering (in line with what promoted in Brussels for the Single Market) and the IVY - Interregional Volunteer Youth project which promotes cross-border voluntary activities lasting up to six months.
Analyzing this, now less unknown GECT, we understand that the latter is playing a very important role in unifying, not only in words, the Gorizia border area. The experts' analyses are very ambitious since they aim to increase the number of tourist presences up to 270,000, as well as having more than 700,000 overnight stays per year with an average stay rate of 4 days in Gorizia. All this would, according to these analyses, be possible thanks to multiple investments both private and public (40.000.000€ in total) by 2023. In our opinion, these forecasts are too optimistic, given that the City of Culture - an initiative born in Nova Gorica - should increase visits to the city from 2025.
Anyway, from the data we can see that in these years, especially in the last ones, very concrete steps have been made so that Gorizia at least tries not to sink into oblivion. Certainly, the (economic) results are not yet visible to the naked eye, however, at least here, we can say that something is moving, hopefully, it will also be able to run fast.
Martin Novak - Gorizia3.0