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    Book presentation in the Federal Chancellery “Grossglockner High Alpine Road: prestige building of the state party”

    Presentation of the third volume from the publication series of the Grossglockner High Alpine Roads AG:

    Why was it so important to realize a project like the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, especially in the state of the state? And why in the second half of the 1930s is a high mountain road chosen as the symbol of Austrian values? And how was the message carried into the world exhibitions of the inter-war period? The connections between Austrian identity and the construction of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road are unexpected and multifaceted. Thomas Mitterecker, graduate engineer of architecture and assistant at the Vienna University of Technology, investigates these questions in his new book “Grossglockner High Alpine Road: Prestigious Building of the State Estate” (Großglockner Hochalpenstraße: Prestigebau des Ständestaates), which was presented at the Austrian Federal Chancellery on 28th of June 2018.

    Less from the perspective of the architect but mainly from the point of view of the historian Univ. Prof. Franz Schausberger referred his findings on the Grossglockner street as a myth and symbol of the state party.

    From left to right: Johannes Hörl (Director General Grossglockner High Alpine Roads AG), Thomas Mitterecker (Author), Caroline Jäger-Klein (Vienna University of Technology and President ICOMOS Austria) and Franz Schausberger (Chairman of the Institute of the European Regions, former governor of Salzburg)
    Source: Grossglockner High Alpine Road

    Strmol Mansion declared Unique Castle of the Year


    The Strmol Mansion, a castle dating back to the 13th century which was completely renovated in 2012 to become a luxury hotel, has received the prestigious award for Unique Castle of the Year 2018, conferred by the London tourism magazine Travel and Hospitality on the 20th of July 2018.

    Strmol, located 30 km north of Ljubljana, is one of the oldest and best preserved castles in the country and is considered a cultural monument of national importance. According to JGZ Brdo, Strmol is one of only two Slovenian castles with original equipment.
    The mansion’s last owners before the estate was nationalized after World War II were Rado and Ksenija Hribar, wealthy industrialists, who regularly invited the Slovenian elite for social events. The Hribars were accused of collaborating with the occupying forces in WWII, even though Hribar was known to have financed the Partisan resistance movement throughout the war. The pair was executed by the then security intelligence forces in January 1944.
    Their story inspired the award-winning novel “To noč sem jo videl” (I Saw Her That Night) by acclaimed Slovenian author Drago Jančar.

    Franz Schausberger: Reduce European regulatory density

    Plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels:

    On 4th  July and 5th of July 2018, 350 representatives of regions, cities and municipalities gathered for the 130th plenary session of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in Brussels, to which Salzburg’s representative in the Committee of the Regions, Franz Schausberger, was invited. At the centre of the last CoR plenary session before the summer break, were the priorities the Austrian Presidency, in particular questions on subsidiarity, the Western Balkans, and on migration and integration.

     ”The priorities of the Austrian Presidency are very important for the regions, cities and municipalities, and from our point of view, the slogan” less but more efficient “always resonates with subsidiarity”, stressed Salzburger representative in the CoR Franz Schausberger and continued ,”all of the priorities that Austria tackles within the program for the EU Presidency are important topics for us, and at the same time they are closely interwoven: the issue of decentralization plays an important role, above all in the Western Balkans which are currently doing a lot in the area of migration, so migration is just as important to the countries of the Western Balkans as it is to Austria.” As a further important priority of the Austrian Presidency from the point of view of the regions, cities and municipalities, he emphasized the digitization, which is “utterly necessary” especially for municipalities.
    From left to right: Michael Schneider, Barbara Eibinger-Mied, Reinhold Lopatka, Franz Schausberger und Michaela Petz-Michez
    The CoR plenary session also focused on the results of the work of the Subsidiarity Task Force. For the Committee of the Regions Michael Schneider is represented in the Task Force and for the national parliaments Reinhold Lopatka. On 6th of July 2018, the Subsidiarity Task Force delivered its final report to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The eagerly awaited report deals with a number of specific proposals, such as:
    - a single audit form for the subsidiarity check
    - an improvement in the participation of the regions and municipalities
    - the involvement of regions and municipalities in the discussion of the European Semester
    - concrete improvements in EU policies
    - a reduction in the number of so-called “delegated acts” that can be adopted directly by the EU Commission
    In an interview with Reinhold Lopatka, Franz Schausberger expressed the hope that “what was painstakingly worked out by the Task Force on Subsidiarity will not be diluted too much.” For us, the topic of shifting back many detail regulations from European areas of competence is particularly important to the Member States and their regions, in order to reduce excessive regulation”.
    From left to right: Franz Schausberger (Representative of the Lande Salzburg), State Councilor Doris Kampus (Styria), Federal Minister Juliane Bogner-Strauß, State Councilor Barbara Eibinger-Miedl (Styria), Governor Peter Kaiser (Carinthia) und Municipal Councilor Peter Florianschütz (City of Vienna)
    The program of the Austrian EU Presidency was the subject of discussion at the meeting of the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels on 4th of July 2018. The program was presented by Austria’s Minister for Women, Families and Youth, Juliane Bogner-Strauß, to 350 representatives from over 200 European regions. The representative of the Land Salzburg in the Committee of the Regions and IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger thanked the Austrian Minister for the clear and concise presentation, pointing out that there would have been easier times for an EU Presidency than at present. He supported Minister Bogner-Strauss’ statement that the motto of the Austrian Presidency “For a Europe that protects” is not only about migration issues, but is meant in a comprehensive sense, including economic and social security.
    Source: salzburg.gv

    For digitization, small and medium-sized enterprises need support at all levels

    Styrian Regional Councilor for Economy Eibinger-Miedl at the Conference of the European Committee of the Regions in Romania:
    The challenges and opportunities of digitalisation for small and medium-sized enterprises in structurally weak and remote areas were the focus of the Economic Policy Commission (ECON) of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) on the 22nd of June 2018 in Bucharest. Regional Councilor Barbara Eibinger-Miedl (AT/EPP) represented Styria (IRE member) for the first time on the panel of the international conference.
    Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of the European economy and create secure jobs on the ground. Although Europe is a world leader in many industries and leading European companies in key sectors in terms of technology and automation, the majority of SMEs are far behind, especially in remote or underdeveloped areas. The example of Styria shows that digitization in rural areas can be an opportunity.

    “Especially in rural areas, SMEs have great potential to benefit from new technologies and ways of working and to shape them decisively. It is our job to raise awareness, provide seamless broadband, enable the exchange of know-how and financially support SMEs. In Styria, we are on the right track with initiatives such as the new SBIDI broadband company, our training and further education programs and our cross-border Silicon Alps Cluster”, explained Barbara Eibinger-Miedl (see picture), Styrian Regional Councilor for Economic Affairs, Tourism, Europe, Science and Research. She has been a member of the Committee of the Regions since 12th of April 2018.

    The conference was held at the invitation of the mayor of the 3rd sector of Bucharest, Robert Sorin Negoiţă (RO/EPP), in the presence of the Romanian Minister of Business Environment Ştefan-Radu Oprea, representatives of the European Commission and experts from all over Europe.
    Source:, Teresa Rothwangl

    Banja Luka invests 15 million euro by the end of 2018

    Bosnia and Herzegovina:

    The Mayor of Banja Luka, Igor Radojčić, announced on 16th of May 2018, that the total budget of Banja Luka was increased by six million euros for investment. Private investors and the Republika Srpska will also participate in the realization of projects.
    According to Radojčić, the largest projects involve the development of the wastewater system, which will cost 50 million euro, and the construction of a multifunctional congress center with an estimated value of around 20 million euro. “One of the major projects concerns the construction of the bridge in Dolac, which is estimated at 4.5 million euro,” said Radojčić. “The agenda will also include an investment plan for the next three years, with spatial planning high on the agenda”, he added.
    Radojčić noted that Banja Luka was declared a European City of Sports in 2018 and was also nominated for the European Capital of Culture 2024. “So we have many long-term plans ahead of us, and in ten years’ time, we will transform our city into a safe and comfortable living environment”, said the mayor.
    Mayor of Banja Luka, Igor Radojčić

    500 million dinars for the development of the municipality of Ruma

    The Government of AP Vojvodina invests in municipalities:

    On 11th of June 2018, the President of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Igor Mirović, visited the municipality of Ruma. Mirović statet that the government of AP Vojvodina has invested 500 million dinars (4.2 million euro) in the development of the municipality of Ruma over the past two years.
    “The reconstruction of the main road in the municipality, in which the government of AP Vojvodina has invested 135 million dinars (1.1 million euro), is underway and should be completed by autumn”, said Mirović. He added that the government has already invested 45 million dinars (380.000 euro) in the infrastructure of Buđanovci village.
    Referring to the reconstruction work in “Rumska Petlja”, one of the largest industrial zones in Serbia, President Mirović emphasized that the municipality of Ruma is continuously developing.
    Source: Government of AP Vojvodina

    President Mirović signed contracts with municipalities

    Funding allocated for agricultural projects:
    On 5th May 2018, the President of the Government of AP Vojvodina, Igor Mirović, awarded 68 contracts to representatives of 41 municipalities. The provincial secretaries of agriculture, water management and forestry from a total budget of 932.5 million dinars (800 million euros), 300 million dinars (254 million euros) were allocated from the government. 
    Mirović emphasized that the government of AP Vojvodina has focused since 2016 on economic development and agriculture as one of the most central points. “Our budget has been increased by eight million dinars since 2016, which we will use for development projects,” said Mirović. The contracts entail the regulation of sewer networks and agricultural roads.
    The regulation of the sewage network, which will enable the irrigation and drainage of agricultural land, is a strategic objective of the Government of AP Vojvodina.
    President of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Igor Mirović

    Source: Government of AP Vojvodina     

    Apatin plans to become a university town in 2018

    Apatin has embarked on its way to become a university town, as the Belgrade Modern Business School plans to open another faculty in Apatin. The Modern Business School, which was founded by the Academy for South East Europe (A.S.B.) in Vienna, offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs.

    Apatin’s municipality president, Milan Škrbić, met Professor Dr. Nenad Vunjak on 3rd of June 2018, who emphasized that students will be able to access high quality education in their hometown and reduced tuition fees. “The program entails more practical education, students will have the possibility to continue their studies in Austria”, added Vunjak.
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