Sharing the Experiences of the EGTC Approval Authorities – Economic Development from the Perspective of the EU and the CEI

April 16-17, 2015, Budapest
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary

Hungary has organized for the fourth time the Annual Meeting of the EGTC Approval Authorities. Hungary prides itself on being one of the experienced Member States with the highest number of EGTCs established and operating with Hungarian partners, hence was pleased to organize this event with the financial support of the Central European Initiative for the second time.

The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation is one of the most effective legal instruments of the acquis to foster cross-border, interregional and transnational co-operation. Moreover, the EGTC is a versatile legal instrument and a co-operation tool used in all sectors: traffic, transportation, environmental protection, education, training, health care, first aid, energy use, innovation instruments, research and development, culture, creation and development of workplaces, social services, tourism, sport, agriculture.

This year the objective of the conference was manifold. First and foremost, representatives of the Member States and the European Commission had the possibility to exchange their views on the new EGTC Regulation and its implementation. Secondly, the role of the EGTC to support economic development and business environment was explored.  Finally, colleagues and experts in territorial co-operation presented their success stories and difficulties encountered during the 2007-2013 programming period, and provided a wide range of perspectives on the possibilities and challenges foreseen in the new Cohesion Policy of 2014-2020.

The event was hosted Levente Magyar, State Secretary for Economic Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of  Hungary. Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the CEI Mr. Giorgio Rosso Cicogna, as well as Mr. Draganco Apostolovski on behalf of the Macedonian Chairmanship of the CEI, and Tamás Deutsch Member of the European Parliament addressed the participants. The conference proved to be a success, was attended by more than 100 guests coming from 17 countries, including EU and non-EU members alike.

The Central European Initiative was founded by Austria, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Italy in Budapest, on November 11, 1989 as Quadragonale. Today the CEI has become an extended co-operation framework of 18 countries and looks back on a long history. The organisation has declared among its aims to foster euro-atlantic integration of the non-EU member CEI member states, as well as to share with them the integration experiences. Nowadays there are 10 EU member states and 8 non-EU member states among the 18 CEI members.