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    CEO Andreas Klauser is a new member of the IRE-Economic Board

    IRE expands the European Economic Network:

    The Institute of the Regions of Europe and above all its IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger are pleased to announce that Andreas Klauser, CEO of Palfinger AG, joined the IRE-Economic Board.

    Born in 1965, Andreas Klauser took over as CEO of PALFINGER AG in June 2018.. For many years PALFINGER has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative lifting solutions for use on commercial vehicles and in the maritime field. As a multinational group headquartered in Bergheim, Austria, the PALFINGER Group, which has approx. 10,212 employees, generated total revenue of approx. EUR 1,471.1 million in 2017.

    Andreas Klauser
    Source: Palfinger AG

    “Europe 1918 – 2018 – 2118”

    14th Conference of European Regions and Cities:

    14th Conference of European Regions and Cities
    30th of September until 02nd of October 2018 in Salzburg, Austria

    The annual Conference of European Regions and Cities will be organized on topical issues for Europe’s regions and cities with a view to future strategies and challenges for politics and economy. Every year, this conference brings together around 250 political and economic decision-makers from different regions of Europe.

    At this year’s 14th Conference of European Regions and Cities, international experts will address on the theme “Europe 1918 – 2018 – 2118″ and discuss in a three-day podium topics on Subsidiarity and Europe, What emerged from the Europe of its founders, Rural depopulation, Digitalisation, Future of Europe and Energy supply.

    A total of 54 speakers will attend the conference, including EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, CoR President Karl-Heinz Lambertz, Salzburg Governor Wilfried Haslauer and the Federal Ministers Juliane Bogner-Strauß and Elisabeth Köstinger.

    Decentralization and strengthening of regional and local self-government is important for the Western Balkan countries on their way to the EU

    EU-Commissioner Johannes Hahn visited the IRE:

    Franz Schausberger pointed out that the Local Self-Government Charter provided a valuable frame of reference for the municipalities and cities; a corresponding Regional Self-Government Charter had been missing for years, but would be very helpful for the Western Balkan enlargement countries.

    In the meeting with IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger, the EU Commissioner thanked the regional and local level for the numerous activities of the Institute of the Regions of Europe, especially in the area of Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Above all, the many conferences and seminars in the Western Balkans contribute to improving the capacity of sub-national administrations.

    The strengthening of regional structures and self-government in the municipalities and cities in the six enlargement countries in the Western Balkans is an important prerequisite for their rapprochement with the European Union, said Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn during a working visit to the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) on 28th of August 2018. For the future implementation of EU policies, it is essential to have strong and well-resourced political and administrative institutions at regional and local level.

    From left to right: Joachim Fritz (IRE-Secretary General), Franz Schausberger (IRE-Chairman), Lisa-Marie Stauffer (IRE-Staff) and Johannes Hahn (EU-Commissioner)  

    Cyber security is an important area of digitization in Europe

    Visit of State Secretary Mag. Karoline Edtstadler at the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE):

    State Secretary in the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, Mag. Karoline Edtstadler paid a visit to the IRE on 25th of July 2018. The State Secretary and the Chairman of the IRE, former Governor Franz Schausberger, agreed that the issue of cyber security is an extremely important area of digitization across Europe. Almost every week there are cyber attacks on banks. Edtstadler pointed out that the number of cyber attacks is skyrocketing and that in 2017, 80 percent of European companies have been affected by it in some form. It mainly affects small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which often do not have the opportunity to effectively prepare for such attacks. Across Europe, better cross-border cooperation and a clear definition of what cybercrime is necessary. Therefore, State Secretary Edtstadler advocates that the cyber security package be completed this year during the Austrian EU Presidency.

    She also welcomed the issue of digitization and cyber security in a separate panel discussion at the 14th Conference of European Regions and Cities of the IRE, to be held in Salzburg from 30th of September to 2nd of October 2018.
    State Secretary Mag. Karoline Edtstadler (centre), IRE –Chairman Franz Schausberger (left), IRE Secretary General Joachim Fritz (right) with staff and interns of the IRE

    Schausberger met the Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia, Predrag Stromar


    IRE-Chairman Franz Schausberger visited on the 21st of August 2018 the Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia and Minister of Construction and Planning, Predrag Stromar. Schausberger brought the Croatian Vice-President a personal invitation to the Conference of European Regions and Cities in Salzburg. Stromar is expected to speak on the subject of “rural depopulation”, which is an eminent problem especially in Croatia.

    Predrag Stromar with Franz Schausberger

    Congress delegation meets with Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia and Herzegovina:

    On 25th of June 2018, a delegation from the Congress’ ‟Reflection Group on Mostar” met in Sarajevo with the President of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Irena Hadziabdic, to discuss the situation of the country several months prior to the general elections on 7th of October 2018. The delegation was joined by Franz Schausberger, Member of the EU-Committee of the Regions and Chair manof the CoR’s Working Group on Western Balkans.

    In the meeting, the complexity of the situation in this city Mostar was underlined as well as that the Central Election Commission was technically prepared to hold local elections in Mostar as soon as a solution will be found.  Moreover, the Congress delegation and the Commission also exchanged on the forthcoming general elections to be held in BiH on 7th of October 2018 and particularly on the regional elections which will be observed by the Congress. Some important technical improvements have been achieved, despite the fact that there was no breakthrough in respect of the required crucial amendments of the Electoral Law.
    The Congress Reflection Group was set up to contribute to a sustainable solution for restoring local democracy in Mostar where since ten years no local elections have been held due to political stalemate. The visit of the Reflection Group in Sarajevo and Mostar is part of the Congress activities to promote local and regional democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to the observation of the regional elections, the Congress will also carry out a monitoring visit in November 2018, to evaluate the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government.


    Lviv solves its waste problem environmentally friendly

    IT Park becomes the first infrastructure investment in Ukraine of one of the world’s largest asset management companies:

    The western Ukrainian municipality of Lviv will receive a financing package of up to 35 million euro arranged by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to address long-standing solid waste management issues. In doing so, it becomes the first Ukrainian city to join the Bank’s Green Cities Framework. This framework offers a comprehensive business model for green urban development, combining strategic planning with investments and associated technical assistance. As such, Lviv will over the next twelve months be implementing a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) in order to implement green municipal investments and necessary policy reforms.

    A 13-year municipally guaranteed loan of 20 million euro from the EBRD will be complemented by an investment grant of up to ten million euro from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P), to which the European Union (EU) is the largest contributor, and a five million euro concessional loan from the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF). The funds will be used to support the rehabilitation of the Hrybovychi landfill and the construction of a municipal solid waste mechanical biological treatment plant in Lviv, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by approximately 141,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. The city will also adopt better recycling and waste management practices. As a UNESCO protected city with a renowned cultural heritage, Lviv has over 750,000 inhabitants and is the administrative and touristic centre of the western part of the country. The project is also the first to be implemented in the context of Ukraine’s National Solid Waste Management Strategy.

    2nd from right: Lviv City Mayor Andriy Sadovyi
    Innovation District IT Park, the largest infrastructure project of Western Ukraine, was launched on 30th of June 2018. The groundbreaking ceremony was hosted by the consortium of partners: project’s initiators Lviv IT Cluster and Galereja Centre, as well as investment companies Brookfield & Partners and Horizon Capital.

    IT Park’s officially announced construction will cost in total 143,3 million euro, this amount is invested by several companies. Volodymyr Zhenchak, developer and investor of the project Galereja Centre says: “By 2021 we will build six 8-story buildings with a lease area of 72,000 m2. One high-rise business centre with a total area of 32,000 m2, a multifunctional centre with a variety of leisure and relaxation areas, conference rooms, and an international network hotel. However, the real value of IT Park cannot be measured with square meters. It’s a very ambitious project, and our goal is to implement it in the best possible way”.


    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
    Copyright © 2018 Institute of the Regions of Europe