The Italy-Slovenia interregional cooperation aims at promoting innovation, sustainability and cross-border governance to create a more competitive, cohesive and livable area.
The cooperation programmes were created already in 2000: previous Interreg IT/SI editions helped regions strengthen the cohesion level of the Programme area and better focus on strategic approaches and actions. The geographical coverage of the Programme area is characterized by an internal diversity with the presence of coastal areas, mountain ranges, rural and urban areas, and lagoon landscapes.
The Programme area extends over a total surface of 19,841 km² and has a total population of approximately 3 million inhabitants. The entire Programme area includes 5 Italian NUTS3 level regions (provinces of Venice, Udine, Pordenone, Gorizia and Trieste) and 5 Slovenian statistical regions (statistical regions of Primorsko-notranjska,Osrednjeslovenska, Gorenjska, Obalno-kraška and Goriška). Overall, on NUTS2 level on the Italian side, the regions involved are those of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, while for the Slovenian side, Vzhodna Slovenija and Zahodna Slovenija. The cooperation area includes various models of territorial development.
With a financial allocation of more than € 90 million, Interreg V-A Italy –Slovenia Programme will support a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as planned by the Europe 2020 Strategy, spending significant resources on growth, innovation, quality of life and environmental sustainability, also through the improvement of the efficiency of public administration.Three are the main pillars of cooperation: (I) concentration, (II) territorial connection and (III) administrative cooperation.
A specific example is the functional urban region of Gorizia, Nova Gorica and Šempeter where, drawing on the experiences achieved through several European cross-border projects, an EGTC (European Group for Territorial Cooperation) GO has been established in 2011. Since its constitution, EGTC GO aimed at creating a "programming laboratory" in which the representatives of the three municipalities could discuss and draw up proposals to jointly solve the issues of the cross-border area. The EGTC, considered the most advanced form of cross-border territorial cooperation, shares goals relating to common management and modernization in health, environment and infrastructural sector, urban transport, logistics, energy and economic development initiatives.