It is no easy matter when 24 towns from three countries using three different languages want to form a common alliance. But the fact that it can succeed is shown by the Project City Cooperation.
From a position at the edge to the centre of Europe
It is only 20 years since the 24 towns were hermetically sealed one from the other by iron curtains between the West, the East and southern Yugoslavia. Despite this, contact between the three countries was never lost, even then at that time. The border opening and the accession of all three countries to the European Union has made it possible for thousand-year-old economic, cultural and personal relationships to be revived. While the 24 towns were formerly only on the edge of economic entities, they now find themselves united at the centre of Europe.
Transcend borders and realize your visions
For many years now the European Union has been supporting regional initiatives to assist the development of cooperation across frontiers. After much time and preparation, the towns' cooperative alliance has succeeded in gaining support for the development of a cross-border towns' alliance between the European Union, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Slovenia and the province of Styria within the framework of Slovenian-Austrian and Austrian-Hungarian programmes.
The European Union supports over-the-border cooperation
Bereits seit vielen Jahren unterstützt die Europäische Union regionale Initiativen, um die Zusammenarbeit über die Grenzen der europäischen Staaten zu fördern. Nach langer Zeit der Vorbereitung ist der Städtekooperation gelungen, für den Aufbau eines grenzübergreifenden Städteverbundes von der Europäischen Union, der Republik Ungarn, der Republik Slowenien und dem Land Steiermark im Rahmen der Programme Slowenen-Österreich und Österreich-Ungarn Unterstützung zu erhalten.
Work together to revitalize town centres
At the heart of this cooperation between towns is concern for town centres which for hundreds of years have been the nerve centres for commerce and culture within the entire region. These regional centres are to be further enlivened by activities undertaken by the 24 towns. A host of common activities will enhance the attraction of the centres, increase purchasing power and draw in more customers. Amongst other things, improvements will include cross-town gift vouchers, bonus actions in the economy, 24 towns' advantage cards, advertising through audio-visual media and new proposals for children.
The diversity of the 24 towns to be presented outwards
Within a very confined area, the 24 towns demonstrate amongst themselves a unique historical, architectural, cultural and culinary diversity. This diversity should be presented to the outside world through the collective marketing of the 24 towns via brochures, trade shows and via the internet in order to encourage new visitors to the region. At the same time, meetings between the towns should be intensified through active, reciprocal advertising of large events and cultural and culinary highlights.
Discover 24 towns in 4 languages
Behind the buildings and the people in the 24 towns there are numerous exciting stories to be told from many historic eras and cultural districts. The most interesting events and anecdotes are to be shared on guided town walks in every town in the language of its neighbours and of its guests (English, German, Hungarian or Slovenian). Informative tourist town guides and audio guides will relate the best of the town stories; from 2012 these will be available at all times and free of charge, in all 24 towns. And further action to strengthen the alliance of the 24 towns is already in the pipeline