Two cities, one history of cooperation. Our personal contribution at EC-Day in Nova Gorica

Vespucci school vessel

We started our volunteering period at Interreg V-A Italia-Slovenia Programme in Trieste one month ago. Since our arrival in Trieste, time has passed so fast, every day is a new discovery for us. Trieste is a wonderful city rich of history, behind every road corner there is a story that can be told. During our first month, we learned that Trieste is aimed to the sea but maintains solid roots with the surrounding land, the Karst. In this area, history has created a unique place, where Latin, Slavic and Germanic culture are melted together, a place so uncommon that is hard to find a similar one in the whole Europe.

Today we want to tell you the history of cooperation between the city of Gorizia in Italy, and Nova Gorica in Slovenia. The two cities were once divided and today are united thanks to European cross-border cooperation.

Commemorative Plate of Transalpina Square

As a consequence of World War II, the city of Gorizia/Gorica was divided in two parts. The city centre remained in Italy and the surrounding area was gained by the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During the entire period of the cold war the two areas were divided by a hard frontier, making trade and people movements difficult or impossible. When in 2004 Slovenia entered in the European Union, it seemed clear that there was the need of a new instrument able to develop a stable cooperation beetwen Gorizia and the new established city of Nova Gorica, which grew during the cold war period. When in 2006 the EU Parliament and the Council established the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), the area formed by the municipalities of Gorizia, Nova Gorica and Šempeter-Vrtojba decided to create the first form of this new type of cross-border cooperation.

Today the EGTC GO is working at two cross-border projects: Salute-Zdravstvo and Isonzo-Soča. The first one is aimed to create a cross-border health services network for elderly people, through a work of integration between the services and health facilities involved in the project, to ensure a better healthcare for everyone. The second one is aimed to create a network of walking and cycling paths, including a new bridge across the river Isonzo/Soča, to create a cross-border urban park to promote a sustainable mobility between the two cities and can encourage a different way of tourism.

The Isonzo-Soča project was presented to the public during the last EC-Day, on Semptember 27th 2018. The event started with a public conference in the city centre of Nova Gorica. Then, there was a guided tour of the area where the cycling paths network and the bridge on the river Isonzo/Soča will be created. We contribuited at the visibility of the event by taking photos and videos to create a report about the event. During the following days, thanks to EU Survey tool, a survey form was created to give at Interreg V-A Italia-Slovenia an assessment of the public’s reaction.

We are glad to help the spreading of information about Interreg V-A Italia-Slovenia Programme in this area. We think that Interreg programmes need to be boosted and highlighted, especially where they gain good results in ameliorating the every day life of many European citizens.

Isonzo-Soca valley

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