The IPP Mainstreaming seminar has been organized in Jurmala, Latvia on the 14 June 2012.

The IPP Mainstreaming seminar has been organized in Jurmala, Latvia on the 14 June 2012.

The Mainstreaming Seminar „Gateway to the Internationalisation in Regions and Municipalities” was organized on 14th June in the city of Jūrmala (Latvia). The presentations made by project partners and external experts were followed by a panel discussion „How good practices of IPP regions can be included and mainstreamed into their future internationalization strategies”. Participants were invited to discuss their regions’ main priorities for the next EU Financial Perspective 2014- 2020 and to suggest ideas on their priorities' integration into the internationalization strategies.

Latvia was represented by Mrs. Julija Jakovleva (Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development) and Mrs. Iveta Malina-Tabune (Latgale Planning Region). Mrs. Jakovleva stated that Latvia is basically interested in infrastructure and cross-border cooperation projects. Priorities for EU Structural Funds of the next planning period though, can be set after the approval of the National Development Plan in December. Mrs. Malina-Tabune focused on strategic priorities in Latgale, such as smart government, improvement of skills, support of business networks and target-oriented bilateral programmes.

An interesting discussion regarding cooperation with highly developed regions outside Europe (Asian countries, Silicon Valley etc.) was created by Mr. Thomas Wobben from the Committee of the Regions, who said that such regions exist also in Europe, and that the main challenge for Europe is the gap between centre and periphery. Mr. Fieber of the State Chancellery of Saxony-Anhalt noticed that the main advantage in Asia is the large venture capital and the state investments. Mr. Wobben remarked that growth rates like in Asia cannot be observed in European mature economies and that it could be learnt from Asia how the infrastructure, the investments and the new jobs are associated.

Another example was the successful and profit-generating combination of heritage conservation policies and marketing strategies.

Latvian representatives pointed out the challenges of interregional cooperation, since reaching a consensus between different partners can be very difficult. With regards to common interests with neighboring countries, they consider cross-border cooperation to be more effective.

Mr. Wobben and Mr. Muñoz (from FCVRE, Valencia) disagreed and clarified that despite the geographical disposition, interregional cooperation is very essential for exchanging experience on common issues that can arise for example in such areas as flood prevention, renewable resources and demographical challenges.

For the agenda of the seminar please click here!

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