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    IRE-Patron possible successor of Ban Ki-moon

    Danilo Türk runner-up in first vote on new UN Secretary-General:   In the first of several test votes to choose the next UN Secretary-General, former President of Slovenia Danilo Türk came second, right after former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. For now, the UN Security Council remains deeply divided, which is why a strong initial [...]

    Housing Alliance founded in Baden-Württemberg

    News from the IRE network:   The German state of Baden-Württemberg has founded a housing alliance together with the housing industry, the association of local authorities, the parliamentary groups, banks and environmental organizations. The new housing alliance gets all actors of the housing market at one table in order to provide fast and sufficient affordable [...]

    Meeting for better regional and local cooperation between Hungary, Slovenia and Austria

    Accompanied by IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger, representatives of the regional and local level from Austria, Slovenia and Hungary met on 22 July 2016 at the office of the Mayor of Szentgotthard (Hungary) Gábor Huszár. The second president of the Parliament Rudolf Strommer, the district governor of Jennersdorf Hermann Prem, the Deputy Mayor of Jennersdorf and Member of ParliamentBernard [...]

    Commissoner Hahn at Paris Western Balkan Summit: 146 Mio. € for connectivity projects in the Balkans

    The European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn has recently announced the release of €146 million for projects linked to connectivity in the Balkans during the Western Balkan Summit in Paris. “We have decided to provide €96 million for 3 railway infrastructure projects in Serbia, Albania and in Kosovo. We will also provide €50 million [...]

    After the Local Elections in Arad, Romania: Make full Use of EU-Funds

      A new president was elected in the IRE Member Region Arad after the local elections in Romania on 5 June 2016. Iustin Cionca of the National Liberal Party PNL will hold the office of county president for the next four years. Representatives of local authorities, the 41 counties and the capital Bucharest were elected.  “My priority [...]

    Regions and cities launch investment plan for a citizen-centred EU: A fresh start for Europe

    The EU must address an alarming fall in public investment in order to tackle growing regional disparity, support sustainable growth and restore faith among citizens, said politicians across Europe today during a two-day Summit of Regions and Cities in Bratislava.  A week after Slovakia took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union [...]

    News from IRE members: Land Hessia celebrates 70 years

    Regional Prime Minister Volker Bouffier and State Secretary Lucia Puttrich: “Hessia is 70 years old and in good shape”. High-profile personalities from politics, business, science and culture met this year for the annual Hessen Festival in the Hessian State Representation in Berlin. About 2000 guests from Hessia, Brussels and Berlin and numerous Ambassadors took the [...]

    International Know-How for Regional Migration Policy

    Intensifying the cooperation between ICMPD and IRE: IRE chairman Prof. Dr. Franz Schausberger met with former Austrian vice chancellor Dr. Michael Spindelegger in Vienna, who holds the office of Director General of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) since January 2016. They discussed the current migration situation in Europe and both agreed that [...]

    New Member from Georgia: Borjomi joins the IRE-network

    The Georgian city of Borjomi has joint the IRE-network, which now consist of more than 130 members. Borjomi (Georgian: ბორჯომი) is a resort town in south-central Georgia with a population of 13,826. It is one of the districts of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region and is situated in the northwestern part of the region in the picturesque Borjomi Gorge on the eastern edge of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. The town [...]

    More understanding and solidarity for national and regional measures to prevent illegal immigration

    The representatives of Salzburg in the European Committee of the Regions Franz Schausberger called for more understanding and solidarity towards those countries and regions that are affected most by the refugee, migration and asylum problem.   The meeting of the Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX) on 23 June 2016 debated on [...]

    News from IRE Members: Lower Austria awarded “European Entrepreneurial Region 2017″

    The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) annually nominates regions with the most convincing and promising entrepreneurial visions. On 15 June 2016 the province of Lower Austria and the regions of Western Greece and Extremadura (Spain) were awarded “European Entrepreneurial Region”. Governor of Lower Austria Erwin Pröll accepted the award for the strategy on “Lower Austrian economy [...]

    IRE Chairman Schausberger met with the first Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the European Union Ján Figeľ

    The Institute of the Regions of Europe offers its support to the new and first Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union Ján Figel, said IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger at a meeting in Brussel on 14 June 2016. Ján Figeľ (2004-2009 European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture [...]

    Local elections in Italy 2016: Political earthquake at local level

    In the Italian local elections on 5 June and in the run-offs on 19 June 2016, the voters clearly rejected the politics of the PD party of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. In Rome the candidate of the protest movement “Five Star” Virginia Raggi, won the elections with almost two thirds of the votes. Turin has [...]

    First IRE Alumni Meeting: Sharing common interests and memories

    The young professionals from all over Europe, who came to visit Salzburg on the 17 und 18 of June 2016, share two things: interest in European politics and memories of their internship at the IRE. The Alumni Meeting was organized by the IRE in order to stay in contact with the former interns and to [...]

    European crisis can only be overcome with the support of strong regions

    IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger at the European Forum Wachau, Austria:   The crisis-shaken development in Europe can only be challenged successfully with the support of strong regions, said President of the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) Franz Schausberger at the European Forum Wachau in Göttweig on 11 June 2016. The current government crisis in the [...]

    More funding for cities and regions in Slovakia

    Congress of the Union of Towns and Cities of Slovakia in Bratislava: The 27th Congress of the Union of Towns and Cities of Slovakia (UTCS) was held on 3 June 2016 in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava. The Congress was chaired by the President of the Association of Towns and Cities of Slovakia and Mayor of Bratislava Ivo Nesrovnal. Most participants were mayors of [...]

    Catalonia has positioned itself in Europe

    “Catalonia’s way in Europe” a discussion, 25.05.2016 in Salzburg: “The independence movements in Catalonia and Scotland are pro-European movements, even if independence means splitting-up from an EU member state,” said Jordi Solé, Secretary for Foreign Affairs and the European Union of the Regional Government of Catalonia. Politicians and scientists have discussed the current situation of [...]

    Southeast Europe Economic Index: Economic climate improves slightly

    Bosnian and Serbian entrepreneurs are optimistic about the future. This is the result of a study by the credit insurer Prisma and the market research company GfK Austria. 64 percent of the Bosnian and 68 percent of Serbian companies expect (very) positive outcomes in the year 2016. “Coperations are the forerunners.” says CEO of Prisma [...]

    Local elections in the UK: An Indicator for UK referendum on EU membership

    In the UK local and regional elections on 5 May 2016 the two major parties suffered losses. The election serves as an indicator for the UK referendum on EU membership next month. The Scottish National Party SNP has won most seats in the ScottishParliament, but has lost its overall majority. The nationalists succeeded 63 of 129 [...]

    Local elections in Serbia: Serbian ruling party wins majority

    Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) have achieved the majority of votes in the local elections and even in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, which traditionally is a stronghold of the opposition Democratic Party.   The right-wing SNS won 44.5 percent of votes in the elections for the Regional Assembly [...]

    New member of the IRE network: The Regional Association Pongau joins the IRE

      The Regional Association Pongau has joined the IRE network and is represented by its Chairman Dr. Peter Brandauer, the Mayor of Werfenweng. The Regional Association Pongau is an amalgamation of all 25 Pongau communities, cities and a service facility with a broad field of functions for its member communities, the tourism organizations, business people [...]

    Mayor of Ljubljana welcomes IRE initiative “Green City” conference

    IRE delegation visits Capital of Slovenia: The mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Janković and the Deputy Mayor Tjasa Ficko agreed with IRE chairman Franz Schausberger and IRE Secretary General Joachim Fritz to conduct a conference on “Green Cities” in Ljubljana. The capital of Slovenia, which is a member of the IRE network since last year, has [...]

    Slovenian President joins the IRE Board of Patrons

    Franz Schausberger visited Borut Pahor in Ljubljana: The President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor has joined the IRE “Board of Patrons” and signed the certificate on the occasion of a visit of IRE-President Franz Schausberger to Ljubljana on April 25, 2016. The Slovenian President, therefore, supports the Institute of the Regions of Europe, a [...]

    Bosnia and Herzegovina´s way to the EU has begun

    IRE Expert Conference and Café d´Europe Régional in Sarajevo, BiH: The EU has been questioned a lot lately. Both, the economic and the refugee crisis have shown that the European project is not yet a perfect one. Some long-time Member States even think about leaving the Union. Nevertheless, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has officially applied for EU [...]

    Meeting with the Prime Minister of Canton Sarajevo

    Regional representatives from Bosnia are already active in Brussels   The IRE delegation with Chairman Franz Schausberger was welcomed in Sarajevo by the Prime Minister of the Canton Sarajevo Elmedin Konaković on 14 April 2016 within in the course of the conference “Bosnia and Herzegovina’s road to the EU and the impact on regional and [...]

    Catalonia records highest economic growth in nine years

    News from the IRE Member Catalonia:   Catalonia records highest economic growth in nine years A plus of 3.4 percent in 2015 – this trend is due to the high demand of spending in households (by 3.6%) as well as spending of public administrations (by 1.6%). On the other hand, the exports have risen because [...]

    Municipal elections in St. Pölten, Lower Austria

    Municipal elections in St. Pölten, Lower Austria: SPÖ expands majority   The social democratic party SPÖ won 59.0 percent of the votes in the municipal election in St. Pölten, and the conservative ÖVP gained 20.27 percent, which is its worst performance since 1950. The right-wing FPÖ reached 14.70 percent, the Greens received 2.74 percent. The [...]

    The IRE scientific library grows with every intern

    The IRE offers young people a one-month-long internship at the office in Salzburg. Interns work on a research paper elaborating a topic related to European or regional policy. The results are published in the IRE monograph series. Furthermore, the interns support the IRE in its daily activities and the organisational processes.  from left: Gerard Ribas, [...]

    Cultural Tourism in Lithuania: Relax in Zarasai

    News from the Members:  Zarasai is one of the most beautiful towns in the Aukštaitija region. The town is surounded by blue lakes and healthy pine forests. The town, with its rich past, will celebrate its 510th anniversary. Zarasai has an interesting spacial arrangement of the town square and its streets. The value of Zarasais [...]

    Against centralization plans

    IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger visits the Croatian region of Međimurje: The enforced merging of regions and communities is the wrong way and no solution, explained IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger addressing the centralization plans of the Croatian government during a visit to the Regional President of Međimurje Matija Posavec in Čakovec on 14 March 2016. Croatia has 4.2 million inhabitants [...]

    Summit of 300 best entrepreneurs from Central and Southeastern Europe in Dubrovnik

    Schausberger: Small and medium-sized enterprises contribute to the stabilization of a region The second Regional Summit of entrepreneurs from Central and Southeastern Europe “TOP 300″ took place from 4 – 6 March 2016 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The event was organized by the International Economic Forum (MEF) “Perspectives” to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship for the economic [...]

    Elections in three German states

    The established parties have to fight for their coalitions  On 13 March 2016 new state parliaments (Landtag) were elected in three German federal states. The results of the established parties such as the CDU and the SPD in comparison to the newly-established Euro-critical “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) were of main interest. , Chancellor Angela Merkel [...]

    Runoff elections in Tyrol, Austria

    On 13 March 2016 the cadidates for mayor of 20 Tyrolean communities competed in the runoff elections. Five incumbent mayors were deselected – in St. Jakob, Rattenberg, Mieders, Trins and Fügen. In other five communities – in Telfes, Hainzenberg, Neustift, Fulpmes and Mieming – the mayors were confirmed in their offices and in ten communities new [...]

    A commentary by IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger in the Austrian Newspaper Wiener Zeitung (8.3.2016): “A silver lining in Western Urkaine”

    To read article online, please click here (only available in German): 

    Local elections in Hessia, Germany

    The Eurosceptic AfD becomes third strongest party The local elections in the German state Hessia were successful for the Eurosceptic and right-wing populist party “Alternative für Deutschland” (AfD, engl.: Alternative for Germany)as the party achieved double-digit figures in the Hessian cities. The established parties reacted with astonishment and outrage. According to Hessians CDU general secretary [...]

    Regional projects promote cross-border medical services

     IRE expert conference ”Health for all”, 24th February 2016: With rising healthcare costs and the necessary austerity measures of the public sector, cross-border cooperation in health care gains importance in Europe. Possible cost savings due to synergy potentials in neighbouring regions and cooperation between health care institutions are reasonable. The EU has already recognized this issue [...]

    Former Slovenian President supports IRE

    The IRE “Board of Patrons” consists of high-profile personalities from politics and science supporting the IRE objectives, its activities and the idea of a “Europe of regions” based on the principle of subsidiarity. We are pleased to announce that former President of Slovenia Danilo Türk has joined the Board of Patrons. Danilo Türk (born February 19, 1952 [...]

    Local elections in Tyrol, Austria

    After the elections of mayors and local councils on 28th of February 2016, the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) remains strongest force in Tyrol, Austria. The right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) recorded a gain in votes as well, whereas the Social Democrats (SPÖ) had to face heavy defeats. The votes were casted in 277 communities except [...]

    Dynamic economic development in the City and Region of Lviv

    IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger visited the capital of Western Ukraine: While the Eastern part of the Ukraine continues under war-like conditions and the Ukrainian government in Kiev is in a deep crisis, the situation in Western Ukraine is of political stability and characterized by an economic boom. This is the picture of the Ukraine that IRE [...]

    IRE begins cooperation with Komercijalna Banka (SBR)

    New strategic partner for 2016:    The IRE is pleased about the new cooperation with the Komercijalna Banka in Belgrade, Serbia. As strategic partners the IRE and the Komercijalna Banka Belgrade will implement many cross-sectoral projects in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, such as at the 12th Conference of European Regions and Cities, which will take place again [...]

    European Green Capital: Bristol hands title over to Ljubljana

    News from our Members: The Handover Ceremony of the European Green Capital Award took place on 9 February 2016 at the Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels. This is the annual event that marks the transfer of the European Green Capital title from one city to another—this year, Ljubljana takes over the reins from the city [...]

    IRE Chairman Schausberger meets President of EU Council Tusk

    President of the EU Council supports regions on refugee issue The 116th plenary session of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) took place on the 10 and 11 February 2016 in Brussels. Former Governor Franz Schausberger and President of the regional Parliament Brigitta Pallauf represented the region of Salzburg at the session. The main topic of the plenum was the refugee problem of [...]

    Elmar Brok becomes IRE Patron

     MEP Brok joins Board of Patron: After speaking at the 11th Conference of European Regions and cities on 27 September 2015 in Salzburg, the Member of the European Parliament and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok has joined the IRE “Board of Patrons”. The IRE is honoured to welcome Mr. Brok as a new [...]

    Catalonia active in Austria

    Working meeting with envoy Adam Casals    On Monday, 1 February 2016, a working meeting between the envoy of the region Catalonia Adam Casals and the IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger together with the IRE Secretary General Joachim Fritz took place in Salzburg at the Institute´s headquarters. It was agreed that a working visit of Franz Schausberger to Barcelona shall take place [...]

    New Year’s reception at House of the European Union, Vienna:

    New Head of European Commission Representation in Vienna introduced   For the first time the European Commission Representation in Vienna hosted a New Year’s reception on 28 January 2016 in the House of the European Union in Vienna. The guests from politics and diplomacy were welcomed by the new head of the European Commission in [...]

    News from our Member Regions: The Parliament of the German-speaking Community of Belgium publishes a new research series on federalism

    The Parliament of the German-speaking Community of Belgium decided a number of measures at the beginning of the legislative period 2014-2019 to enhance the parliamentary work. The German-speaking Community is member of the IRE since 2010. One of these measures is the publication of a research series. The publication shall actively contribute to the regionally [...]

    “Austria is the country of states” – Interview with IRE-Chairman Franz Schausberger in the daily Newspaper “Salzburger Nachrichten”, 3 February 2016

    (only available in German): The comment is also available online (only in German). Please click here.

    Virovitica-Podravina County has a new regional Govenor

    The new Croatian government, which was sworn in last Friday (22 January 2016) consists of Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, a non-party top manager of the Croatian diaspora in Canada, two deputy prime ministers and 20 ministers. The two ruling parties, the National Conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the reform-minded neo-party Most (Bridge), gained the [...]

    Does the EU collapse because of its extreme edges?

    A comment by IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger in the Austrian national newspaper “Die Presse” (26.1.2016): The comment is only available in German, please click on the logo for the online version:

    Joint action at the EU external border is urgent

    Working meeting with Govenor Haslauer and Slovenian Foreign Minister:   In Brdo near Ljubljana Salzburg Governor Wilfried Haslauer met with Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec on 25 January 2016 to discuss a common approach regarding the refugee issue. Both countries have been passing through thousands of transit refugees in the past few months. The delegation included the President of [...]

    European Capitals of Culture 2016

    What Wroclaw and San Sebastian have in common:   The city of Wroclaw in south-western Poland and the northern Spanish city of San Sebastian were appointed Capitals of Culture for 2016. The European Capital of Culture is a title, which is awarded annually by the European UnionThroughout the year many cultural events take place and [...]

    Regional and Local Elections 2016 in Europe

    Local and regional elections will be held again in various European countries in 2016. The Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) has already researched all available dates and presents the following list. The strongest months for regional and local elections are March, May and September. Changes to the list may occur due to new [...]

    Closer cooperation between the Institute of the Regions of Europe and the Regions of Georgia

    18.1.2016   At a meeting between the Georgian Ambassador Dr. Konstantine Zaldastanishvili, former Minister of Trade and Economic External Relations, and Prof. Dr. Franz Schausberger, Chairman of IRE, the possibilities of intensifying the cooperation between the regions of the Republic of Georgia and the Institute of the Regions of Europe were discussed in Vienna on 13 January [...]

    Catalonia’s new head of government for independence

    11.1.2016 Three months after the regional elections in Catalonia, Spain: Three months after the regional elections in Catalonia the region in northeastern Spain has elected a new head of government on Sunday, 10 January 2016. Carles Puigdemont became the President of Catalonia elected by the Regional Parliament. The outcome of the vote was close: 70 [...]

    New IRE-Partner: IRE launches scientific cooperation with University of Belgrad

     The IRE starts a new cooperation with the University of Belgrade (Serbia). The Cooperation Agreement includes the exchange of publications, invitations to events and activities and the joint formulation and implementation of projects and concepts with regard to education, science and research.   The students of Belgrade University will also have the opportunity to complete a four-week [...]

    2nd round of regional elections in France: Far right loses in regional runoff elections

      Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front collapsed in French regional elections Sunday, failing to take a single region after dominating the first round of voting, pollsters projected. The conservatives surged against the governing Socialists, changing the political map of France. The failure of the National Front to gain any of the six regions where it [...]

    EU enlargement countries: Raise awareness of self-employment and strengthening small and medium enterprises

    In order to change the attitude towards more independence and autonomy regarding jobs among young people it is important to increase the number of small and medium enterprises (SME) in the EU candidate countries, especially in South-Eastern Europe. The ultimate goal of those young people is currently to get a position in public administration, which [...]

    Progress in conducting regional and local elections

    The significant progress in conducting elections in accordance with European standards in the EU enlargement countries is the result of the election observation missions of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, together with the EU Committee of the Regions and their suggestions for improvement, explained the CoR representative of Land Salzburg, Franz Schausberger, in the meeting [...]

    International students complete internship

    27.11.2015 Scientific exchange at the IRE   Three students are currently at the IRE headquarter in Salzburg to complete a two-month internship. Tajana Medaković from Serbia, Mihaiela Corsatea from Romania and Giorgio Piccirillo from Italy support the IRE in its internal organizational procedures and will submit a scientific paper on a European political or regional political [...]

    Cities from Serbia and Romania convinced of IRE Work

    IRE Network is growing After the 11th Conference of European Regions and Cities (CERC) has ended successfully, three delegations have decided to join the IRE network and to benefit from the many advantages, the valuable experiences and contacts. The 11th CERC took place from 27 – 29 September 2015 in Salzburg and over 300 participants [...]

    Committee of the Regions launches initiative to strengthen EU’s accession process

    The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) reinforces its efforts to support prospective members of the European Union by gathering local political leaders for an annual political debate dedicated to the regional and local dimension of the EU’s accession process. The initiative underlines the CoR’s long-term commitment to help EU’s neighbouring countries meet the membership [...]

    Bosnia and Herzegovina back on the reform path

    Western Balkans Working Group of the CoR met under the chairmanship of the representative of Salzburg in Brcko (Bosnia and Herzegovina): For the first time the European Commission publishes a positive report on Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is also of interest for Austrian companies.   It can be expected that the “Reform Agenda” for Bosnia [...]

    Franz Schausberger met the Mayor of Izmir – Turkey: Clearly separate EU accession efforts and commitment for refugees

    “Europe and Turkey need each other, regarding the refugee issue as well as on the topic of EU enlargement. But both issues must not be mixed,” Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu and the former Salzburg governor Franz Schausberger, Representative of Land Salzburg in the Committee of the Regions, have agreed on this at a meeting in Izmir [...]

    Local elections in Bulgaria: GERB stays strongest force

    Bulgaria’s ruling center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) emerged as the strongest political force in the local elections on 25 November 2015. At the same time a referendum on the introduction of online voting was held in which 39 percent of eligible voters participated. Now the relevant election amendment needs to be decided by [...]

    IRE Board of Trustees meets in Parliament of Lower Austria

    On Thursday, 22 October 2015, the third meeting of the IRE Board of Trustees was held in the Regional Parliament of Lower Austria in St. Pölten at the invitation of the Govenor Erwin Pröll. Trustee Member and Chairman of the European Affairs Committee in the Lower Austrian parliament Lukas Mandl welcomed the IRE and guided [...]

    Irregularities at local elections in the Ukraine

    The local elections in Ukraine will go into a second round: Vitali Klitschko in Kiev and other mayor candidates missed the majority. The election was overshadowed by a failure of the electoral authorities. In the eastern Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Krasnoarmiisk – which are bordering the pro-Russian separatist regions, citizens could not vote on 25 [...]

    IRE event certified as Green Meeting

    21.10.2015   IRE event certified as Green Meeting   For the first time the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) organized a conference according to the criteria of a Green Meeting and was successful: all the criteria have been met and the 11th Conference of European Regions and Cities, which took place from 27.9 -29.9.2015 [...]

    Serbia and Macedonia become part of EU talks on refugee influx:

    21.10.2015 Juncker calls for crisis summit In view of the unfolding emergency in the countries along the Western Balkans migratory route, there is a need for much greater cooperation, more extensive consultation and immediate operational action. Following discussions with several leaders, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has therefore called a Leaders’ Meeting on Sunday 25 October to discuss the refugee [...]

    Municipal and district council elections 2015 in Vienna

     SPÖ remains the strongest party A new city government in Vienna was elected on Sunday 11 October 2015. Despite the loss of votes for the social-democrats (SPÖ) the party defended its first place against the right-wing Freedom party (FPÖ).  The Vienna-election on Sunday left the boundaries between winners and losers rather blur: With 39.5 percent, the social democrats [...]

    Reducing regional economic disparities is a priority of Croatian policy

    4.9.2015 The current economic situation in Croatia and the big regional differences were discussed in meeting between the Croatian Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Alen Leveric and the head of the Institute of the Regions (IRE) Franz Schausberger in Zagreb on September 2nd, 2015. The biggest economic gap is between poorer regions bordering Bosnia and [...]

    Former President of the European Parliament supports IRE

    3.9.2015 New Member to the “Board of Patrons”:   “There is no “we” and “you”. This Europe belongs to us all.”   The IRE is pleased to announce that the former president of the European Parliament (EP) and current member of the EP Jerzy Buzek has joined our “Board of Patrons”. MEP Buzek supports the IRE’s [...]

    Kapsch successful with Intelligent Mobility Solutions

    IRE strategic partner builds on Intelligent Transportation Systems:   Vienna, August 2015 – Kapsch TrafficCom AG, listed in the Prime Market of the Vienna Stock Exchange, demonstrated significant successes in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2015/16 that lay groundwork for the future. The first positive effects of Program 2020 for reducing costs and increasing earnings [...]

    Montenegro and Bosnia to sign Border Agreement

     News from the IRE Member Tivat: Montenegro and Bosnia are to sign a historic demarcation agreement by the end of August, having agreed to bury their recent dispute over the Sutorina area. Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic on 16 August 2015 said Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina will be the first ex-Yugoslav republics to sign a [...]

    UN Special Representative becomes IRE Patron

    28.7.2015 Kandeh K. Yumkella joins IRE-Board of Patrons:   Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and CEO of the UN initiative “Sustainabel Energy for All” Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella supports the idea of a “Europe of Regions” and thus the objective of the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE), becoming new IRE patron. Yumkella followed an invitation to [...]

    Franz Schausberger awarded the Order “Mérite Européen in Gold”

    21.7.2015  21st century Europe:  Strong EU – weak nation states – strong regions The head of the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE), former governor Dr. Franz Schausberger, was awarded the Order “Mérite Européen in Gold” at the meeting of the European Forum in Neumarkt, Styria, on July 18. Christoph Leitl, president of the [...]

    FDP candidate wins in Dresden

    The liberal FDP politician Dirk Hilbert won the mayoral election in Dresden last Sunday (5 July 2015). The 43-year-old, who has taken over the mayor´s office from Helma Orosz for four months, gained 54.2 percent of the votes. Helma Orosz from the Christian Democrats (CDU) gave up her office in late February for health reasons. After [...]

    EU to fund Albania-Macedonia Electricity Link

      The EU has pledged financial support for the construction of a new 400 kV electricity interconnection line between Albania and Macedonia, Albania´s Ministry of Enregy announced last Friday. Albania’s Ministry of Energy and Industry said Brussels had “guaranteed financial backing for the construction of the new interconnection line” with Macedonia.The EU pledge was confirmed [...]

    Latest News from Serbia

    30.6.2015 Romania invites Serbia to join AGRI Gas Project After Romanian and Serbian energy ministers met in Belgrade, the two officials announced that their countries will work jointly on gas interconnection development to increase energy security. Serbian Energy Minister Aleksandar Antic said in Belgrade that the AGRI project, involving Azerbaijan, Georgia and Romania, could supply [...]

    Pro-Europe Incumbent declared Winner In Moldova Mayoral Runoff

    30.6.2015 The pro-Western incumbent mayor of Chisinau has been declared the winner in a second-round mayoral election in Moldova, securing a third term in office. Moldova’s Central Election Commission posted the results on June 29, saying that 100 percent of the ballots had been counted.Dorin Chirtoaca, deputy head of the Liberal Party, was declared the [...]

    Investments in Croatia and Slovenia

    New Multi-Million-Euro-Terminal at Split airport   The Croatian government has announced the construction of a new multi million euro terminal at Split Airport, which will stretch over 34.500 square metres and increase the airport’s capacity to 3.5 million passengers per year. Furthermore, the car park and bus area will be expanded by 35.500 square metres. Work on [...]

    Municipal elections in Albania: Success for the government party

    24.6.2015 The Albanian local elections last Sunday (21 June 2015) have resulted in a positive outcome for the socialist government of Edi Rama. His party has won 46 out of 61 mayor offices, including offices in important cities such as Durres, Korca, Vlora and Elbasan. The right-wing coalition won 15 cities. The capital Tirana has also elected a [...]

    European of the Month

    Europe Direct appointed IRE-Chairman Franz Schausberger “European of the Month June” for his involvment and outstanding achievements in European politics. Europe Direct is the information network of the EU Commission for European citizens. There are 500 information offices in the EU. Read more here.

    Pro-European candidates ahead in Moldova’s local elections

    Local elections in Moldova: In the Republic of Moldova, pro-European forces have won the majority of the votes in local elections last Sunday, June 14th. Pro-European parties came out ahead of those favouring closer ties with Russia, although many cities had no outright winner and will hold runoffs in two weeks. In Chisinau, the incumbent mayor, [...]

    Visit from Brasov, RO

    02.06.2015 Smart City became an important  topic in the Romanian city Brasov, reported city  councillor Cristian Macedonschi at his visit last week in the IRE-Headquater in Salzburg. Brasov is member of the IRE-network since 2012. Since then it is actively contributing to many events. The event “Brasov’s European path to a Smart City” took place as [...]

    Politics and business celebrate 10th anniversary of the IRE

    The Institute of the Regions of Europe celebrated its 10th anniversary with members and partners of its network as well as high-ranking guests from politics, diplomacy and economic on Friday, the 29 May 2015, in the Ministry of Integration, Europe and and International Affairs. The Institute was founded in 2004 in Salzburg by former Salzburg president [...]

    New creative spaces for cultural and economic development

    Conference on Industrial Heritage, Novi Sad, Serbia: Industrial built heritage represents a multidisciplinary field of research and practice, which is increasingly gaining importance widely. Entire territory of Serbia keeps the remains of old mines, factories, mills, canals, locks, rail facilities, warehouses and workers’ colonies that are constant reminder on life and work through the history. Particularly, [...]

    Elections in Bremen and Southern Tyrol

    11.5.2015 Elections in Bremen, 10th May2015: Losses for Social-Democrats Last Sunday, on May 10th 2015, the local election was held in the state of Bremen, Germany. Bremen is one of Germany’s three city states and has been governed by the social-democratic SPD for more than seventy years. The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is made up of two [...]

    Let data travel, not men

    IRE- expert conference on Broadband Networks, 28th April 2015 in Linz, Austria: The development of broadband and high-speed internet connections is crucial for the quality of a location. Only with access to high speed rural and border regions remain competitive. The aim of the conference was to highlight best-practice examples for the development of regional and [...]

    CoR adopts opinion on European Union’s enlargement strategy

    Call for further regionalising and decentralising reform in enlargement countries The European Committee of the Regions adopted on Thursday, the 16th of April 2015, its recommendations for European Union’s enlargement strategy. The opinion, drafted by Prof. Franz Schausberger (AT/EPP), Delegate of the Region of Salzburg to the Committee of the Regions, analyses the situation in each of [...]

    Cantonal Elections in Zurich, Switzerland: The major parties remain stable

    14.4.2015 For the first time since 1991, the liberal FDP (Free Democratic Party) wins votes and gains eight additional seats in the canton parliament of Zurich. However, there are losses for the Green Party and the Green Liberals. The Greens lose six, the Green Liberals five seats. SVP, FDP and CVP form the majority in [...]

    Car sharing replaces 17 private cars

    26.3.2015 Green Mobility Conference in Trieste, Italy:  The City of Trieste is the most European of all Italian cities due to its deeply rooted history and its strong cooperation with Austria and the Western Balkans, explained the Mayor of Trieste Mr. RobertoCosolini during the Welcome session at the “Green Mobility” Conference. The region always cooperated strongly [...]

    Elections in Styria, Andalusia and France

    23.3.2015 Municipal elections in Styria: FPÖ gains votes, SPÖ and ÖVP lose votes It was a test run for the ruling parties  SPÖ (Social-democratic Party)  and ÖVP (Austrian People´s Party) from Styria – and the preliminary results indicate losses in favor of the FPÖ (Freedom Party) and other minor parties.   No absolute majority in [...]

    Centralism hinders Peace

    A guest commentary by IRE-Chairman Prof. Dr. Franz Schausberger in the latest issue of the  Austrian magazine ”Public” (only availabe in German):

    Local Elections on the 15th of March 2015

    Municipal elections in Vorarlberg:  Three votes prevent a runoff in Bregenz  On Sunday, 15 March 2015, City Council elections and mayoral elections took place in 96 towns and cities of Vorarlberg. Markus Linhart (ÖVP) remains in office in Bregenz by a margin of three votes, whereas in Hohenems, FPÖ state leader Dieter Egger will go [...]

    Slovenia’s capital joins IRE network

    12.03.2015 The IRE welcomes another European capital in its network. Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and the country’s economic, political, cultural, science, historical and administrative centre. It intertwines the characteristics of a modern city with a relaxed atmosphere and a vibrant rhythm of its picturesque streets. The city of about 283.000 citizens is known [...]

    Austrian Socialist Party SPÖ wins communal elections in Carinthia

    On Sunday 1st March 2015, elections for municipal councillors and mayors took place in 132 Carinthian communities. More than 464,300 persons were entitled to vote and 2,500 mandates were available. The Austrian Socialist Party SPÖ won the election with 40.32% of the votes, representing an increase of 3.58% compared to 2009 and extended its lead. [...]

    Asylum issues and the TTIP were in the focus of a meeting between the chairman of the Bavarian Committee on European Affairs and the IRE

    Several issues were in the focus of the talks between representatives of the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) and the chairman of the Committee on European Affairs of the Bavarian state government (Maximilianeum) on Thursday, 26th February 2015. Issues that were tackled in particular were asylum, the increasing influx of refugees, border security, chances and risks [...]

    Strengthening decentralisation helps navigating candidates on the road to EU accession

    24.02.2015 from right to left: Francois Decoster (CIVEX-Chairman), Victor Tilea (CoR-Administrator), Franz Schausberger (Rapporteur of  CoR for EU-Enlargement Strategy), Zuzana Kliska (Expert).   The European Commission should in greater detail concentrate on the situation of regional and local self-government in the EU candidate and potential candidate countries in its future enlargement strategy reports, pushing for [...]

    New Catalan Embassy in Vienna

    Barcelona plans to open its own representation in Austria in a few weeks. The Catalan regional government bases his decision on the new Catalan law that allows for a own foreign policy of the autonomous region. A second Catalan embassy is planned in Rome. According to a Catalan government representative: “Economically dynamic regions go abroad.” Even [...]

    Olaf Scholz (SPD) succeeds in Hamburg City Council Elections

    Results of the Hamburg City Council Election of 15 February 2015:   For the first time, six parties enter the Hamburg City Council. The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Olaf Scholz wins the elections in Hamburg. Though the SPD reached a little fewer votes (45.7%) than in the last City Council Elections (48.8%) and has lost out on [...]

    Franz Schausberger Chairman of the Western Balkans Working Group of the Committee of the Regions

    13.02.2015 From left to right: Parliament President of Land Salzburg Brigitta Pallauf, the new president of the Committee of the Regions Markku Markkula (Finland) and former President of Land Salzburg Franz Schausberger IRE-Chairman Franz Schausberger was elected member of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in the inaugural session and Parliament President Brigitta Pallauf was [...]

    SAVE THE DATE: IRE expert conference on: Green Mobility Sustainable and Interconnected Cities in Europe

    Following the “Smart City” conferences in Tübingen (D), Vienna (AT) and Wrocław (PL) the IRE continues the series on Urban Transport and Future Mobility in Italy in cooperation with the City of Trieste, the Central European Initiative (CEI) and the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs. In most historic centres of Italian Cities [...]

    Franz Schausberger awarded with the Golden Medal of the City of Salzburg

    Franz Schausberger with wife Heidi and son Alexander. Also on the picture from left: Delfa Papic, Mayor Heinz Schaden, Albert Preims, Vice-Mayor Anja Hagenauer, Vice-Mayor Harald Preuner  and Martin Floss. The Golden Medal of the City of Salzburg for outstanding achievements has been awarded to Dr. Franz Schausberger, former governor of the Land Salzburg, on 9 February 2015. Mayor Heinz Schaden considers the Museum [...]

    2015: European Year for Development

    With the aim of achieving the objectives adopted in Rio in 2000, and with the conclusion of United Nations discussions on development objectives for the coming fifteen years, as well as the recent international negotiations on climate change and the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris, 2015 is likely to be a historic year [...]

    Markku Markkula nominated as candidate for President of the Committee of the Regions

    The EPP Group on 30 January 2015 nominated Markku Markkula as its candidate for President of the Committee of the Regions. The election for the President of the CoR will take place during the inaugural Plenary Session on 12 February. Speaking at the Group meeting, Markku Markkula, Member of the Espoo City Council in Finland, [...]

    IRE opens its new office

    27.Feb.2015 IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger, his two fellow board members Stefan Eder and Helmut Falschlehner and Secretary General Joachim Fritz welcomed guests to the office opening reception at the new location in Salzburg Nonntal. Among the guests were: Abbot Nicholas Wagner, deputy governor of Land Salzburg Christian Stöckl, district administrator Hans Mayr, the second parliament [...]

    The Austrian People´s Party prevails in municipal elections

    Outcome of local elections in Lower Austria 2015 The ÖVP (Austrian People’s Party) again gained more than 50% of the votes in the municipal elections in Lower Austria. The SPÖ (Social Democratic Party) lost 2.79 percentage points and after 70 years also lost the majority of seats in Wiener Neustadt. Bernhard Müller, who was head [...]

    The IRE expands its network

    15.1.2015 The Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) expands its network in the Western Blakans and is delighted to welcome the Montenegrin city of Tivat and the University of Osijek in Croatia.  Tivat is a coastal town in southwest Montenegro, located in the Bay of Kotor. As of 2011, its population was about 14,000. Tivat is the centre of Tivat Municipality, which [...]

    Moinești joins IRE network

    9.1.2015 The IRE is delighted to start the new year by welcoming a new member to its network. Moinesti municipality is situated on a fairy tale land, filled with magic and poetry. Here, the sky is uniquely blue; the woods that cover the hills surrounding the city are painted a bright shade of green; the birds sing [...]

    Regional and Local Elections in Europe 2015

    Several local and regional elections will take place in Europe this year. The Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) has researched on the election dates published so far and presents the list of subnational elections below. Dates may change and new dates may be announced during the year. The IRE will report on this. [...]

    IRE-Chairman awarded with “Danube Flower 2014″

    15.12.2014 The IRE recently welcomed a delegation from Novi Sad, Serbia. Novi Sad is the capital of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina (APV) and a long-time member of the IRE. The APV and the IRE cooperate closely and have discussed another event for the upcoming year 2015 during the meeting. The IRE Chairman Prof. Dr. [...]

    IRE welcomes Two New Members

    12.12.2014 Bela Palanka, Serbia The Municipality of Bela Palanka is located in South East Serbia, on the road that connects Nis and Pirot, which is part of Pan European corridor 10, (Line Nis – Sofia – Istanbul). Corridor includes only railway connection between Serbia and Bulgaria, and new modern highway, which is in final construction [...]

    The next five years must be a phase of intense preparation for the enlargement countries to meet the criteria for EU membership.

    Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Franz Schausberger discussed the EU-enlargement strategy:     Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Franz Schausberger, rapporteur of the Committee of the Regions on the EU-enlargement strategy, discussed the role of regions and local self-governments in the EU-enlargement process on 4 December 2014 in Brussels. Hahn and Schausberger agreed on the necessity of [...]

    The IRE moved to a historic landmark building

    1. December 2014 The Institute of the Regions of Europe has moved its office to the south-west of the city center into a historic landmark building. “Gestüthof”, Estate Manager´s House This building served for the archiepiscopal horse breeding between 1579 and 1806. In 1809 the house got partly destroyed by a lightning, it was then [...]

    A call to finally start EU accession negotiations with Macedonia

    21. Nov. 2014 Macedonia holds the status of a candidate country for EU accession since December 2005. Therefore, it is about time that the accession negotiations are finally opened, agreed Dragan Tilev, Minister Counsellor at the Government of Macedonia for the Mission of Macedonia to the EU, and Franz Schausberger, rapporteur of the EU enlargement strategy 2014/2015 in [...]

    Albania: It´s a long, long way to Europe

    11. Nov. 2014 It is a long, long way to Europe for Albania, said IRE-chairman Franz Schausberger at the working group meeting on the Western Balkans in Durres, Albania, a few days ago. Franz Schausberger reported about the EU Enlargement Strategy 204-2015.   Schausberger stressed that public administration reform on all state levels has to [...]

    New Commission supports IRE

    Juncker and Hahn Members of IRE-Board of Patrons: The new EU Commission took office on 1 November 2014. For the first time top candidates for the position of Commission President had to compete in the European elections. We are delighted that two of the 28 members of the new European Commission accompany and support the [...]

    Franz Schausberger calls for a clear perspective of EU membership for Western Balkan countries

    29.10.2014 Visit to Montenegro:   In his function as CoR-rapporteur on the EU Enlargement strategy 2014/15 Franz Schausberger, IRE-president, recently visited Montenegro.  He met Jadranka Vojinović, State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro and several mayors of Montenegrin cities, like Aleksandar Bogdanović, mayor of the old royal capital Cetinje, Marija Ćatović, mayor of Kotor [...]

    Brčko District as Motor for Bosnia-Herzegovina

    Conference in Brčko District, 20-21 October 2014: Following the expert conferences in Dresden (D) and Vukovar (HR) in 2013, the event series “Regional Assemblies and Parliaments” was continued in Brčko (BiH) from the 20th to the 21st October 2014. The topic of the conference “The Contribution of Regional Assemblies and Parliaments in the implementation and communication of EU policies” was [...]

    Fidesz remains undefeated on Municipal Level

    Local Elections in Hungary, 12. October 2014: The ruling party in Hungary Fidesz-KDNP won the municipal elections, the second strongest political force in the country is the far-right Jobbik, whereas left-wing parties or alliances emerge only in the capital and rarely elsewhere. The Green Party and other parties had no chance. The turnout was one [...]

    Decentralisation and subnational self-government will be the special focus of the enlargement opinion

    The current autonomy of the Province of Vojvodina was the main topic of the discussions between Bojan Pajtic and Franz Schausberger in Brussels. Franz Schausberger was recently appointed rapporteur on the EU-enlargement strategy  and pointed out that decentralisation and regional/local self-government in Serbia will be the special focus of his opinion on the enlargement strategy. [...]

    Franz Schausberger appointed rapporteur on the Commission´s “Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2014-2015″

    10. October 2014 Franz Schausberger, Representative of Land Salzburg in the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and IRE-Chairman, got appointed rapporteur for the important enlarment strategy 2014/2015 of the European Commission at a recent CoR meeting. The enlargement strategy was presented by the European Commission on 8 October. Franz Schausberger will now prepare the opinion of [...]

    The Trend of Independent Mayors

    Local Elections in Slovenia, October 5th, 2014: Among the big winners were Ljubljana’s Zoran Janković and Koper’s Boris Popovič, who managed to overcome several criminal investigations into their dealings to take convincing victories in the first round. Janković secured nearly 60% of the vote in the capital, according to results, to defeat centre-right challenger Damijan Damjanovič, [...]

    A Global Parliament of Mayors

    10th Conference of European Regions and Cities in Vienna, 28.-30.09.2014:   Cities should be awarded with a more important role on the national and global stage. The increasing economic influence of urban centers must be reflected in the decision-making power of cities, pleaded Prof. Benjamin R. Barber last Monday at the 10th Conference of European Regions and [...]

    Black and blue or black and green?

     Result of the regional elections in Vorarlberg, Austria:   According to the polls the conservative party (ÖVP), with party leader and governor Markus Wallner win 16 out of 36 seats in the new parliament. The right-wing party (FPÖ) gains 9, the Greens 6, the Social Democrats and the NEOS each win 3 seats. FPÖ and Greens [...]

    London as example for Madrid

    19.09.2014 IRE-Chairman Franz Schausberger on the outcome of the Scottish referendum: 45 percent in favour of independence is a major challenge for London   45 percent in favour of the independence of Scotland means a high proportion of dissatisfaction with the central government in London, which represents a major challenge for the British Government, says the [...]

    Separatists are Gentlemen with Money

     A Comment by Dr. Franz Schausberger in the Austrian Newspaper STANDARD, 13./14.09.2014:   View online (only available in German):

    Regional Elections in Germany

    15. Sept. 2014 Social-Democrats win in Brandenburg  In Sunday’s regional elections in the German Bundesland Brandenburg, the Social-Democrats (SPD) won 32 percent of the votes. Thus, the SPD almost reaches the same result as in the last elections (2009: 33 percent). The CDU gained votes (23 percent) and overtook the Left Party. The Left Party, which governed so far with [...]

    Sustainable energy increases the competitiveness and growth of Europe and creates jobs

        10th Conference of European Regions and Cities, 28.-30.09.2014 in Vienna, Austria: The continuous trend of overcrowded metropolises and depopulated regions is also of concern to the two largest international organizations. The United Nations as well as the European Union have dealt with the topic of rural migration for years and work on sustainable, [...]

    Radio Interview: Independence movements in Europe

    An Interview of the Bavarian Broadcast “Bayern 2 – Radiowelt” with Dr. Franz Schausberger from August 18th, 2014.   Bayern 2: The British island could soon be divided. In one month, on 18th of September, the Scots will hold a vote on their independence from the United Kingdom. But the Scots are not the only ones [...]

    Regional Elections in Saxony, Germany: CDU wins, its coalition partner FDP is out

    1 Sept. 2014 The first German regional elections after the summer break took place in the state of Saxony on last Sunday, August 31, 2014. The CDU Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich confidently won the state elections. The CDU is ruling Saxony ever since the fall of the iron curtain and projections see the CDU winning [...]

    10th Conference of European Regions and Cities, City Hall of Vienna (AT)

    10th Conference of European Regions and Cities Economy meets Politics “EUROPE 2050: Overcrowded Metropolises – Empty Provinces?” Sunday, 28th – Tuesday, 30th September 2014 City Hall of Vienna, Austria The gap between big cities and rural areas is getting wider every day. Big cities offer many possibilities and attract young people and families, whereas rural [...]

    “If Mayors Ruled the World”

    25 July 2014 Dr. Benjamin R. Barber speaks at the 10th Conference of European Regions and Cities, 28-30 September 2014 in Vienna, Austria: The Institute of European Regions (IRE) is pleased to inform you that Benjamin R. Barber will speak at the 10th Conference of the European Regions and Cities on 28 – 30 September [...]

    “Ukraine must become a federal state – or perish”

    21 July 2014 A comment by IRE Chairman Dr. Franz Schausberger in today´s Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten: To read article online please click here.

    “Border in our Brains”

    An Interview with Franz Schausberger in the Austrian Business Journal “Wirtschaftsblatt”, 24 June 2014: Please click on the logo below to read article online (only available in German):

    The Committee of the Regions should provide its know-how regarding regionalization of the Constitution for Ukraine

    18. June 2014 Franz Schausberger:   Even though the current international politics does not focus on the regionalization of Ukraine, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) should be pushing regionalization in this violence-ridden country. Only through regionalization can the unity of the state be obtained in the long term, said the CoR representative of Salzburg [...]

    EU must prepare for “internal enlargement” through independence movements

    2 June 2014 The question of whether regionalism in Europe would lead to more separatism has to be answered with a definite “No”, said IRE chairman Univ. Prof. Dr. Franz Schausberger in his opening speech at a symposium on the topic of “Uprising of the sub-national regions – Europe’s challenges of the 21st century?” of [...]

    Access to high-capacity internet is a fundamental right

    28 May 2014 IRE symposium on broadband in Hallwang: Austria has a great need for action regarding broadband supply, said the President of the Austrian Association of Municipalities Helmut Mödlhammer. The expansion of broadband supply should not only take place in areas where it pays off economically but also in areas where it does not. [...]

    Prahova County – Mother land of the Black Gold and the Red Wine

    19. May 2014 IRE welcomes new Member:   Prahova is an administrative district in the south-east of Romania, with the capital Ploiesti. The district is divided into 104 villages: two municipalities (Ploiesti and Campina), twelve cities, 90 municipalities (including more than 400 villages). Prahova is the district with the largest number of cities in the [...]

    Timidity and ignorance of local administrations complicate EU projects

    12 May 2014 IRE Europe Day in Brasov, Romania: 64 years ago, on 9 May 1950, the former French foreign minister Robert Schuman held a speech in which he called for a European co-operation for coal and steel. This led to the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which is the cornerstone [...]

    Guest lecture: Decentralisaion in Europe

    8 May 2014 Guest lecture by Franz Schausberger:   On the occasion of the IRE Europe Day in Brasov, IRE Board Dr. Franz Schausberger was invited by the Transilvania University of Brasov to give a guest lecture on the state of decentralization in Europe. The speech was recorded in a booklet. Please click here to [...]

    Federalization of Ukraine and South Tirol as model for Eastern Ukraine

    5. May 2014 IRE- Chairman Franz Schausberger on Ukraine Crisis: The European Union shall certainly accept the offer of the former governor of South Tyrol Luis Durnwalder for consultation and the suggestion of a similar model for Eastern Ukraine as the one which was implemented in South Tyrol. For decades the German speaking population was [...]

    Ukraine crisis might have been prevented by timely regionalization

    30. April 2014 IRE-Chairman speaks at the CORLEAP* conference in Brussels on „Decentralization in the EaP countries”:   When he drew up the opinion on “Decentralization in Europe” for the Committee of the Regions a year ago, he could not have foreseen the explosiveness of this issue in the context of the crisis in Ukraine [...]

    Regional Media reflects Democratic Development

    29. April 2014 IRE-conference in Novi Sad, Serbia: Most of the daily media consumers are not only interested in information on international and national events but also on happenings in their immediate region and community. Therefore, local and regional coverage in the print and electronic media play an increasingly important role for exchange of regional [...]

    Successful implementation of cross-border EU regional funding

    23. April 2014 IRE-Chairman Franz Schausberger visited the Hungarian county Vas:   The most pressing concern of the Hungarian county Vas, which is on the borders of the Austrian province of Burgenland and eastern Slovenia, is the connection to the European transport network, said President of the Vas county Ferenc Kovács at a visit of [...]

    € 0,67 per day for peace in Europe

    14.April 2014 Café d´Europe Régional in Salzburg: The EU has made a remarkable development. 25 years ago you had to undergo checks at border-crossings, customs controls and exchanging the different currencies while on vacation in another European country. Today you travel through a free Europe without border crossings and in most cases you only need [...]

    IRE Chairman presents membership certificate of the “Board of Patrons” to the Croatian President

    31.03.2014 The Croatian President Prof. Dr. Ivo Josipović joined the Board of Patrons for the Institute of the Regions of Europe in June 2013. During a visit to Zagreb the IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger officially handed the certificate to the Croatian President last week in the presence of the Austrian Ambassador to Croatia Andrea Ikić [...]

    The Smart Cities of Europe

    IRE-Expert Conference in Wroclaw, PL: Today, around 50 percent of Europe’s population lives in cities, by 2050 the number is expected to rise to 75 percent. Three out of four people will therefore live and work in urban areas. At the same time, the EU has the objective to transform cities into low-emission-zones and citizen-centered [...]

    Serbia as investment location

    Friday, 21.Feb.2014 Serbian Consul General visited the IRE: from left: IRE Chairman Dr. Franz Schausberger, Consul General Vladimir Novakovic, IRE Advisory Board Member Dr. Bernd Petrisch   On 21 January 2014 the Serbian Consul General in Salzburg, Vladimir Novakovic , visited the Institute of the Regions of Europe. The economic opportunities of Austrian entrepreneurs and [...]

    The next European conflict ante portas

    Wednesday, 12. Feb. 2014 Commentary by Dr. Franz Schausberger in the Wiener Zeitung: A commentary by IRE-Chairman Dr. Franz Schausberger on the situation in Moldova, where the autonomous region of Gagauzia voted in favour of a membership in the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and dismissed a free trade agreement with the EU. [...]

    Schausberger calls for solidarity and support for Ukrainian regions and municipalities

    Monday, 3. Feb 2014 The EU Committee of the Regions (CoR) adopted a resolution on the situation in Ukraine at its plenary session on 31 January 2014. The CoR expressed its solidarity with the Ukrainian people, who are peacefully demonstrating for democratic values, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Any violence and all forms of intimidation [...]

    The Vysocina Region joins the IRE network

    Monday, 13th Jan. 2014 The IRE is pleased to welcome a new member to its network. The Vysocina Region is one of the 14 regions of the Czech Republic. The west of the region is historically part of Bohemia, the East is located in Moravia. The Council is based in Jihlava (Jihlava). The area of [...]

    IRE meets SME Europe

    Friday, 10.Jan.2014 IRE Chairman Dr. Franz Schausberger welcomed Dr. Horst Heitz, the executive director of SME Europe of the EPP from Brussels, on Friday the 10th of January 2014 in Salzburg for a working meeting. The SME Europe (Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Europe) is the official business association of the European People´s Party with the [...]

    The Crisis of the Autonomy of Vojvodina hurts Serbian EU Accession Efforts

    Friday, 3rd Jan 2014 from left: Franz Schausberger, Slavisa Gruijc, Andreas Kiefer   The Secretary-General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Andreas Kiefer, Vice-President of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina (Serbia) Slavisa Grujic and IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger met for talks at the Institute of the Regions of [...]

    Very active European Affairs Committee in the Lower Austrian Parliament – European Peace light at the IRE

    Friday, 3rd Jan 2014 The European Peace Light was brought to the IRE by the Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the Lower Austrian Parliament Lukas Mandl. Mandl informed IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger about the activities of the European Committee, which is one of very few regional parliaments to have repeatedly requested a “subsidiarity [...]

    Follow-up of the IRE conference on “Integration policies at regional and local level”, Graz (A)

    A successful integration policy cannot be implemented without the commitment of the regional and local authorities. There are different approaches and activities, which are worth sharing. Representatives and experts from European institutions, associations, science and economy took part in this conference to present Best Practice examples. More information and the official conference programme please click [...]

    2013, December: Integration means potential not problem for the host country

    IRE conference on integration, 4th of December 2013 in the City Hall of Graz, Austria: Two out of three children born today in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, have an immigrant background. This clearly shows that the idea of integration has to be transferred as quickly as possible to the civil society in the host country. [...]

    An invitation to Brussels

    Café d´Europe Régional on 2nd of December 2013 in Neumarkt am Wallersee, Austria: Coffee houses have a long tradition in Central Europe of being places to meet, to discuss and to exchange different opinions. Referring to this social heritage, the IRE has started a series of Café d’Europe Régional. The main aim of these events [...]

    Strengthening regional and local authorities in Europe

    Franz Schauberger meets the designated CoR Secretary General Andrä Rupprechter: from left: Andrä Rupprechter and Franz Schausberger IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger, representatives of the state of Salzburg in the Committee of the Regions, already met Andrä Rupprechter one day after his appointment as the CoR Secretary General in the Council of the European Union. Both [...]

    Andrä Rupprechter appointed new Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions

    Austria takes over one of the most important administrative positions in the EU: On the afternoon of 27 November 2013 the director of the Council of the European Union unanimously got appointed Secretary General by the Bureau of the Committee of the Regions from 1 April 2014 on. The appointment was agreed on with the [...]

    “Don´t touch regional and local democracy!”

    20. Nov 2013 Franz Schausberger in Barcelona:   Roger Albinyana Saigí, Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the European Union of the Government of Catalonia chaired the conference where Franz Schausberger (fourth from left) participated as a speaker.   There are currently several legislative proposals on the table in Catalonia and Spain that will have a [...]

    University Constantin Brancoveanu in Pitesti becomes New Cooperation Partner

    Monday, 11.Nov.2013 On the occasion of the international conference organized by Constantin Brancoveanu University in Pitesti (RO) on regional development in Europe last week, the University signed an agreement on cooperation with the IRE. The university is represented by Rector Prof. Dr. Ovidiu Puiu and agreed to cooperate by exchanging publications, information, organizing conjoint projects [...]

    3 New Members to the IRE Network

    September 28th, 2013 The IRE welcomes three new members to the network and hopes for a fruitful and strong cooperation:     Union of District Councils of Moldova   represented by Andrei Buzatu, Executive Director         Municipality of  Sipovo (BiH)   represented by the Mayor Dipl. Milorad Cirko       Independent [...]

    Boundless Thinking thrives Cross-border Cooperation

    9th Conference of European Regions and Cities, Pamhagen (A)/ Sopron (HU):      “Cross-border cooperation as a future strategy for economy and politics” was the title of this year’s Conference of European Regions and Cities, which was organized by the IRE for the ninth time. „Regional networking increases the competitiveness and international common solutions are [...]

    IRE Journalist Award: Media Ambassador of Regionalism

    Monday, October 14th 2013 For the first time the IRE awarded the IRE journalist award to media representatives for their extraordinary medial involvement in the field of European regions and regionalism during the 9th Conference of European Regions and Cities in Pamhagen (Burgenland). As the Chairman of the IRE Dr. Franz Schausberger emphasized, it is not [...]

    ” 10 Point Memorandum of Vukovar ” by the IRE

    Thursday, 19. Sept 2013 IRE conference in Vukovar On the occasion of the conference “Regional Assemblies as an Intermediaries Between Citizens and the EU,” which was organized by the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) on September 18th, 2013 in Vukovar, Croatia, the representatives of the Regional Assemblies from Croatia ,Serbia and Bosnia – [...]

    Regional delegates as intermediaries between the citizens and the EU

    Wednesday, 18. Sept 2013 Conference in Vukovar, Croatia How can the regional assemblies contribute to increase the mediation of European values and policies by the European Commission in the new Member State of Croatia, in Serbia and Bosnia – Herzegovina? How can members of these regional assemblies mediate the wishes of the citizens to the [...]

    Nothing new in the Balkans

    Thursday, 29 August 2013 “Minor matters can easily destroy political partnerships in Serbia, which may lead to big changes. Therefore, a stable government is needed for a rapid progress of the EU accession negotiations in January 2014.” A guest commentary by IRE chairman Dr. Franz Schausberger published in the Austrian Newspaper “Wiener Zeitung” on 29 [...]

    Edmund Stoiber new Member of the IRE – Board of Patrons

     Wednesday, 14. Aug. 2013 After 14 years in office as minister-president of the German state of Bavaria (1993 – 2007) Dr. Edmund Stoiber sees great potential in regional and municipal cooperations. Strengthening the political and economic position of regions is of great importance for him, therefore, he supports the objectives and activities of the IRE [...]

    Minimum framework for regionalisation in European states would be useful

    Date: Monday, 22 July 2013 Meeting Between EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn and IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger in Salzburg: Minimum framework for regionalisation in European states would be useful.   EU-Commissioner Johannes Hahn and IRE-Chairman Franz Schausberger The European Council adopted the Charter of Local Self-Government many years ago, which has become very helpful for states [...]

    2013, June: IRE conference “Smart Cities”, Vienna (A)

    Friday, 28 June 2013 Oslo, the capital of electric cars In the capital of Norway, more than two thousand electric cars are on the roads. Whoever drives an e-car does not pay tolls and can “refuel” for free using electricity at the many power stations in the inner city.  The green mobility of Norway gives [...]

    Meeting between Bojan Pajtić and Franz Schausberger in Novi Sad (SRB)

    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 Immediate involvment of the regions and municipalities in Serbia needed in EU accession negotiations   Above: Branislav Bugarski, Member of the Regional Government for Interregional Cooperation and Local Self-Government, Bojan Pajtić, President of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Franz Schausberger, Former Governor of Salzburg , Chairman of the IRE   Now [...]

    Schausberger received prestigious award from the Republic of Hungary

      Award for his commitment to Hungarian regions and municipalities and for university teaching from left: ambassador Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky (Republic of Hungary), IRE chairman Dr. Franz Schausberger   The former Governor of Salzburg, Univ. Prof. Dr. Franz Schausberger, Chairman of the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE), received the Commander’s Cross of the Hungarian [...]

    Croatian Regions must get involved in EU Accession

    DATE: Thursday, April 4th 2013 IRE chairman Franz Schausberger met the Croatian President Ivo Josipović and President of the Region Istria Ivan Jakovčić on the occasion of the celebrations of the Istrian regional statute in Poreč. Main topic of the discussion was the role of Croatian regions in the upcoming EU Accession of Croatia. Schausberger [...]