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"GO! Borderless Square": a special legal zone for Transalpina/Trg Evrope Square


International guests convened today in Gorizia by the EGTC GO for the B-solutions project  


The outcome of the study carried out by EGTC GO within the framework of the B-Solutions project for event management between Nova Gorica and Gorizia was introduced today in Gorizia. The conference “GO! Borderless: dealing with problems and identifying solutions” was attended in the morning by experts and policymakers from various European organizations and institutions.  
The meeting was held at the offices of the GO! Center in Corso Giuseppe Verdi 51, a new area available to the EGTC GO for the preparation and promotion of GO!2025.  

After institutional greetings by Councillor Sarah Filisetti of the City of Gorizia and Mija Lorbek, Head of the Cabinet of the Mayor of Nova Gorica, Vesna Humar, State Secretary of the Government Office for Slovenians abroad of the Republic of Slovenia, who has been close to GO!2025 since the candidacy, emphasizing the importance of bureaucratic harmonization in the border area.  

The topic of the morning was about overcoming the bureaucratic problems of cross-border spaces.  

The heart of the entire program of the European Capital of Culture Nova Gorica/Gorizia is the Transalpine Square/Trg Evrope, a symbol of the European spirit. However, the planning of events in this space involves the need to consider and comply with the regulations of two different states: to present day, procedures must be followed and permit applications submitted in both countries, as well as incurring double charges. If not resolved, these issues could hinder the very success of the Capital. For this reason, EGTC GO sought help from the B-Solutions project, promoted by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and setting for today’s meeting, as explained by Cinzia Dellagiacoma, project manager of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR).  

Afterwards, some practical cases were presented by the speakers in Gorizia. Ricardo Ferreira, Border focal point coordinator of the European Commition – DG REGIO, emphasized the importance of institutionalization of cross-border cooperation, presenting the tools that the EU makes available to border areas to face specific challenges. Guus de Bruijn, representative of the Secretariaat-Generaal van de Benelux Unie spoke about the functioning of the interregional organization between Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, which was established before the EU to promote the free movement of workers, capital, services and goods in the region. Sónia Antunes, coordinator of Ceveria-Tomiño Eurocity of AECT Rio Minho, told which tools “her” EGTC (in the border territory between Spain and Portugal) has adopted to resolve difficulties on the border area. Marcin Krzymuski, representative of the Frankfurt-Slubice Cooperation Center (Germany/Poland) led the example of two specific projects implemented by the Center in a cross-border manner: a bus line and a heating system. 

During the second part of the morning, moderated by Sandra Sodini – director of International Relations of the Autonomus Region of FVG, our discussion got even more into the heart of the matter with the speech of European Member of Parliament Sandro Gozi. During his report he outlined the Bridge EU project, a proposed plan to hold a Cross-Border Coordination Center in each capital of each EU member country and to have a cross-border committee with territorial representatives from both countries. The hope of the submitters is that the negotiation process with the European Commission will begin within three months and the project will be approved before the end of the current European legislature.  

That was followed by lawyer Mitja Ozbič, a cross-border legal expert, who presented the results of the study he developed for EGTC GO in the context of the B-Solutions project. The report outlines some possible solutions that are useful and already tried and tested in the organization of events between the two municipalities (such as a vademecum, IT solutions, joint calls) yet ineffective in removing the root of the problem. 

The only solution that is really effective, presented today by Ozbič – and supported virtually unanimously by the speakers – is to reformulate the entire approach to the use of the common area, which should be defined not as a separate area, but as a single, common place, in order to simplify administrative hurdles and enable deeper and smoother cooperation. Therefore , the only solution that would really overcome the problem would be to define a special legal zone for the square. The intent is to have a single administrative procedure to be used by Italian and Slovenian proponents, regarless of whether the event take place in whole or in part in one or both states. Barbara Zilli, Councillor for Finance of the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, pointed out that our territory has already made significant progress in resolving issues related to the particular configuration of our area and reiterated the support from the regional government to continue in this direction and make the Transalpine square the centerpiece of the European Capital of Culture and good practice for other similar cases.  

During the closing of the proceedings, the President of the EGTC GO Paolo Petiziol recalled that the EGTC is the bearer of this demand to all institutional stakeholders; however, a strong political will, not only local, but also national and European, is needed to achieve an effective result.  





The EGTC GO was founded in 2011 by the municipalities of Gorizia, Nova Gorica and Šempeter-Vrtojba. It is a public body with jurisdiction over the territory of all three cities, with the aim of designing a single cross-border city. In addition to being awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2025, the European ITI (Integrated Territorial Investment) projects Salute-Zdravstvo and Isonzo-Soča have had a great impact among the many activities to date.   

There are now more than eighty EGTCs (European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation) in Europe, which were created to support the development of border areas and to overcome existing bureaucratic barriers.   



B-Solutions and its extension B-Solutions 2.0: Solving Cross-Border Obstacles are initiatives aimed at tackling legal and administrative obstacles at the EU's internal borders. The initiative, promoted by DG REGIO and managed by the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), is a great opportunity to gather information in a bottom-up approach where cross-border cooperation actors can tell which obstacles they face when trying to implement projects with their neighbouring countries. 




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