Meeting of the Working Group on Inter-regional and Cross-border Cooperation and Development
WG Programme Coordinators:
Alexey Barabashev, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
Lyubimka Andreeva, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski”, Sofia, Bulgaria,
Annika Jaansoo, University of Twente, Netherlands
Stefan Okruch, Andrássy University Budapest, Hungary
Place: 29th NISPAcee Annual Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Date: October 21-23, 2021
Main theme of the conference: "Citizens' Engagement and Empowerment - The Era of Collaborative Innovation in Governance"
9 papers were presented in the frame of 3 working group sessions:
Two on-line WG-4 sections and one session with physical presence were devoted to the broad spectrum of issues concerning inter-regional cooperation and development.
Nine speakers from 7 countries of the NISPAcee region discussed topics such as:
•The Law and Economics of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), i.e. its governance structures, ownership rights, decision-making and information rights, as well as conflict resolution mechanisms. The analysis was enriched by an exploration of the ‘economics of atmosphere’ within EGTCs;
•Effects of and problems related to the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) Transport Programme (2014-2019) with special emphasis on transport investments in Eastern Central Europe;
•Inter-regional cooperation during the epoch of the Covid pandemic (triggered by Covid closing of the borders between countries of the EU due to their cultural differences and levels of trust in governments), and during Cold War times (system of travel restrictions for professional trips in East Germany);
•Relations and cooperation among different actors of the energy market that are shaping the energy policy (energy associations in Bulgaria) with special emphasis on citizen engagement and empowerment;
•Decentralisation, as some kind of controversial cooperation between the regions of one country and between the authorities of the regions, and how it is reflected in legislation (the case of Russia);
•Terminating countries’ participation in international organisations (typology, reasons, consequences, cases);
•Cooperation between neighbouring regions in waste management, different schemes of reforms in waste management (metropolitan regions, in the case of the comparative study of Moscow, Seoul, and San Francisco);
•Best practices of sub-regional cooperation (in the case of the Vologda region in Russia).
And one physical session with two speakers was held during the conference, discussing the topics:
•European Transport Investment in Eastern Central Europe within the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) Transport Program, 2014-2019;
•Management, Governance and the Economics of Atmosphere of Territorial Cooperation within EGTCs: An Interdisciplinary Analysis
The problems that were the focus of the WG-4 sessions, reflected entirely the new situation with governance during the last two years, which can be described briefly as a destruction of stability in long-range regional cooperation, due to the new challenges caused by overlapping events: Covid pandemic; energy crisis; necessity to react on the shifting of the structures of international treaties, unions and agreements; spreading of pollution and the necessity to guarantee sustainable development; necessity to concentrate resources in some selected cooperative regional projects; and the risks for the basic level of any regional cooperation, such as human contacts and travels. With the new conditions of governance, the problematics of WG-4 - the participants believed - became the centre of public administration and governance transformations and the group would like to continue its activity during the next year.