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EU-growth: Bulgaria demands perspective for the Western Balkan countries

The Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissow officially presented the European Parliament the program for Bulgarian EU- presidency, which was overtaken by his country with the beginning ot this year. In such connection he demanded a clear future vision for the joining of the Western Balkan countries to the EU. From the view on the safety situation on the Western Balkan, especially in the connection with the danger of terrorism , the possiblity of unlegal enterance of radical islamists and foreign fighters, Borissow expects the support of the Union, before these countries would be dependant upon the support of Russia, China or Saudi Arabia. In his opinion the safety of all Europe depends on the safety on the Balkan.

In his reaction to the speach of the Bulgarian prime minister the Head of the European Commission Jean- Claude Juncker once again stressed the aim of EU joining of the Western Balkan countries. The accesses will be possible only afterwards, when in these countries the agreed necessary reforms would be implemented. Herewith Juncker set a special attention to the solution of the border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia and the name debate between Macedonia and Greece.


The Assembly of the Alps -Adriatic Centre for Cross-border Co-operation: AACC in future as a competent centre for the Southeastern Europe

On Monday, December 11th, 2017 the Assembly of the AACC was held in the Centre's premises, It was attended by the members from Austria and Slovenia.
The President Bernard Sadovnik stressed in his report the 4 years of the successful work of the Centre, especially on the field of cross-border projects between the Republic of Austria and Slovenia. The AACC was very helpful for the municipalities from Slovenia and Austria, which are members of the Centre, at the execution of various infrastructural programmes. Additionally it was successful at organizing the festivals of cherries, not only in Carinthia, but also in Styria and in Vienna. The members welcomed also the well-done cross-border projects in the frame of European programmes and the activities in the favour of strengthening the intercultural dialogue in the country and in the whole Alps-Adriatic region.

In future the AACC will focus- as a competent Centre for the Southeastern Europe – on the institutional cooperation of regions and municipalities in this area. According to the mentioned plan the Assembly undividedly elected the new Board, in which are beside the former Minister of the Sarajevo Canton and the Mayor of Sarajevo Centar municipality Dr. Nedžad Ajdnadžić, the general manager of the Bosnian company Bekto Precise Enisa Bekto, also the Mayor of the market town Velden Ferdinand Vouk and the Mayor of Brda Franc Mužic. As the President and the Vice-president the Mayor Bernard Sadovnik and the former ORF General director Gerhard Weis were elected. Mag. Filip Warasch remains the Secretary General.

Actual situation in the countries of the Southeastern Europe

At the end of November the Regional Council for Cooperation (RCC) published its results of the „Balkan barometer 2017“. The Balkan barometer started functioning in 2015 and was held this year for the third time. It consists of multiregional questionnaires in the seven countries of the Balkan- Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia. Montenegro and Croatia, which is already a member of the EU.

The research was orientated on the standpoints of inhabitants towards the government politics, public services as well as the legal measures about the membership in the EU, efficiency of fighting against corruption and the opposition to climate changes.

The results are showing, that the people are under impact of their social networks strongly anchored in their home countries and that they do not trust the politics, which is a source of instability. An additional problem appears to be the high rate of unemployment, primarly caused by the unsufficient qualification and prejudices against ethnical groups.

So it is not surprising, that in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo the general standpoint about the membership in the EU is mainly positive. On the contrary the inhabitants of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are not convinced about the positive effects of the membership. Also the Croatian people are critical about their status in the Unity. The inhabitants of Montenegro have no clear opinion about the positive and negative sides of the membership. In total the share of the supporters of the EU membership has slightly increased, however there is no clear tendency about the complete approval of the membership to be traced.


Super rich buy 5.000 passports per year

Super rich persons of our world have enough of sport cars, boats and designer clothes. The desired status symbol in the moneyed circles is nowadys something quite different: the passport.
»Super rich persons are prepared to pay for a passport any amount of money and the cost is between 100.000 and 2,5 millions dollars - depending upon, in which country it is issued and what value it represents for its owner«, quotes the British „Telegraph“ Mr. Nuri Katz , the President of the company Apex Capital Partners. Meanwhile for some these documents have become „a true status symbol“. »There are persons, who posess 5 or 6 such documents. Out of the matter they made a hobby to collects the passports«, explains the expert. The majority of buyers are from China.
The most valuable and therefore the most expenisive documents are from Cyprus and enable their owners for the price of around millions Eur to travel without visa in more than 150 countries. For comparision: pricewise is the cheapest the passport of the Caribbean Sea island country Saint Lucia, which represents a cost of 100.000 $ ( about 85.000 Eur ) and offers the possibility to travel in 120 countries.

Border controls in the Schengen area will be prolonged

In this moment there are six countries in the Schengen area, where are in force border controls, which are in reference to the actual situation in validity till November 11th, 2017. Among these countries there are Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France and the non EU member Norway. The named countries applied for the prolongation of the controls on Friday, October 13th in the frame of Council of Home affairs in Luxemburg due to the political safety situation- namely the »not sufficient contol at the EU- outer borders and the increase of the terrorism threats«.
At the Austrian border with Germany there were registered – following the data of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior - between January and August 2017 more than 11.242 non permitted entrances. In Austria the controls are in force at the borders with Hungary and Slovenia. In accordance with the situation a new control point was opened on October 13th, 2017 at the Italian border near Brenner lake for the control of cargo trains coming from the south.

Investment boom: Sanctions cause no harm to Moscow

Sanctions, accepted from the side of the international community because of the Crimea annexation , seem to have no significant influence on Moscow.

To such conclusion came Sergej Cheremin, the Head of the Moscow Foreign economic and international relations Department n the frame of talks, dedicated to the real estate Fair Expo Real in Madrid.
According to his statements numerous western companies are active in Moscow. Among the biggest investors in the region belong Siemens, ABB, Schneider Electric and the producer of building materials Knauf. In Russia there are present more than 6.000 German companies. Furthermore Moscow actively cooperates with many European, Asian and American companies.

The Minister has an optimistic view regarding the medium term future and expects even a more intensive Moscow cooperation with international partners, especially with European regions and countries.

12 years needed to install the second wind turbine in Carinthia

After twelve years of planning a new electric wind turbine was installed in Carinthia. At its start on Ploecken pass the increase of Carinthian wind electricity capacity for 160 percents was celebrated. The new turbine is attractive also because of its artistic design.

The first wind turbine in Carinthia started to operate in the year 1997. Today, 20 years later, the total capacity of wind electricity has increased to 0,8 MW. Together both turbines produce about 1,3 MW of power, what is sufficient for approximately 700 households.

In the same time, as in Carinthia one wind turbine was installed, in the other Austrian states 700 turbines were installed with a total capacity of 2.000 MW.

The President of the European Commission Juncker held his annual report about the situation in the Union

The President of the EU-Commission Jean-Claude Juncker held before the European Parliament his annual report about the situation in the Union, where he defined the priorities of the Commission in the next year and he also presented his vision about the Union's future.
Among other things the priorities should be the reinforcement of the trading programme, the growth of the competitive industry, which should be the leading on the fields of innovation , digitalisation and at changes of the climatic conditions. Here Juncker stressed the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

As per his opinion further priorities in the plan for the next year are on the field of cybernatic protection, where he suggests the establishment of an European internet safety agency, and on the field of migration. According to his words the inflow of migrants and the drownings in the Mediteraneum Sea could have already been stopped. In future the aim should be to introduce legal ways of migration to the Unity . At the same time it is necessary to work out the system of returning the migrants and improve the living standard in the exile camps.

In further course the President introduced the scenario of the future Union, which should be based on the three principles of freedom, equality and the rule of the law. The Union should get stronger on several levels, on the field of social politics, the politics of its expansion and the inner market. So it is necessary to present the countries of the West Balkan the possibilities of the joining perspectives. However in the coming year Juncker sees no possibilities for Turkey to join the EU.


Brexit negotiations are proceeding with difficulties

Also the third round of the Brexit negotiations from 28th to 31st August, 2017 did not bring any progress. Anyway some issues as the status of people, crossing the border, claims from rights from social insurances and the recognitions of judgements at the European Court were settled .The discussions about North Ireland were judged as „successful“ from the licenced European leader for negotiations Michel Barnier.
The European Commission therefore issued further EU-positioned documents, among others also regarding the situation in North Ireland, according to which the citizens of North Ireland should have the right to choose their citizenship as British or Irish or double also after the Brexit. For Europe the validity of the „Good Friday agreement“ about the Irish peace process as well as the existence of the travelling territory in Ireland is essential. Afterwards it should be clarified , how is it possible to evade the „hard border „ between North Ireland and Ireland, where UK will be called to find a solution for the mentioned matter.
According to Barnier
up till now the results are not sufficient that the European Council of the heads of state and government leaders, which will meet in the coming October could decide, that the talks can proceed to the second phasis and that it is possible to begin discussions about the future trade relations. The trust into the British negotiating parther has fallen considerably since in June 2017 accepted existence of financial obligations from UK to EU also after its leaving was now posed under question.
The negotiations will continue in the course of this month.

Bleiburg and Brda celebrate 10 years of partnership

At the occasion of this year's Bleiburg Meadowfair from the side of the Carinthian State Governor Dr. Peter Kaiser also the Municipality Brda was appraised and its Mayor Franc Mužič, who came to the Fair with a numerous delegation , received an award for ten years of the partnership between the Municipalities Brda and Bleiburg.

The Mayor of Bleiburg Stefan Visotschnig expressed his satisfaction, that the Fair did not lose on its vitality. Bernard Sadovnik, Stefan Lesjak and Filip Warasch from AACC, Klagenfurt were also present at the opening ceremony and roundabout, which followed the opening event.

Styrian State counsellor Ursula Lackner visited Brda

„ I visited Brda twenty years ago for the first time. They have a good concept, I am enjoying the landscape, here I very feel well and that is reason, why I like to come again and again“, stressed the Styrian State counsellor for Education and Company Mag. Ursula Lackner at her recent visit of Goriška Brda. Also her close working collegues and the Country ORF director Gerhard Draxler were with her.
The Mayor of Brda Franc Mužič, who – together with madam Tina Novak Samec, the director of the Establishment for tourism, culture, youth and sport and with Anita Manfreda, the director of the municipality administration - accepted the Austrian guests, felt assured, that this visit would result in a very special response and the connections with Styria would become stronger.
On their visit the guests were accompanied by the President and the Secretary-General of the AACC Bernard Sadovnik and Filip Warasch.

Photo: The delegation in front of the altar in the Church of the Holy Cross (a masterpiece from a workshop in Villach)


Codex of behaviour for saving of refugees in the Mediterranean see

On Thursday, July 6th, 2017 the EU members again agreed upon a stronger protection of European outer borders. The agreement, which was accepted upon the initiative of Italy, foresees, that in future it is necessary to have a better control over the saving activities of the humanitarian organisations. Therefore the NGOs are subject to the Codex of behaviour while carrying on saving actions. The codex also determines, that the humanitarian organisations are not allowed to the coastal area of the Lybian territory and establishes the communication ban with hauler boats. Italy, on which coast landed about 85.000 refugees from the beginning of this year, gave the mentioned initiative in order to smoothen the pressure on its coastal area. The movement of refugees to Europe from autumn 2015 onwards is evident in the total number of European citizens. On July 11th, 2017 the Direction-General of the European Commisssion Eurostat published the number of citizens within EU as per January 1st, 2017. In the beginning of the year there were 511,8 millions of inhabitants in the Union. This is a growth in the amount of 1,5 million in comparision to the last year. The Austrian population increased for 82.789 person compared to the previous year.

EU-financial support for transport projects:
Karavanks' tunnel to be completely built

On Friday, June 23rd, 2017 the European Commission announced a very ambitious plan: in the frame of the so called investment plan for Europe there should be available 2,7 billions of Euros for altogether 152 central transport projects. The desired achievements are the substantial modernisation of railway connections, innovative transport management, use of alternative fuels and support of cross-border connections. In this context the complete construction of the Karavanks' tunnel between Austria and Slovenia is planned. With the European initiative additionally new workplaces would be created and also the basis for stroger economic activity would be given, stressed the competent EU-Commisioner Violeta Bulc.

Brexit: one half of the EU workforce threatens to leave the island

Brexit can lead to the process , that in the period of five years Great Britain will lose almost one half of the EU workforce, which is actually employed there. Such are the results of one study of the consulting firm Deloitte. Altogether 1,2 millions of workers from 3,4 millions of migrants in total, who are at the moment employed in United Kingdom, could leave Great Britain.

This threatening substantial movement of the workforce is primarly due to Brexit. Because of its cultural variety, job chances and high living standard is Great Britain considered as an especially attractive new homeland. According to Deloitte mainly the highly qualified workforce is thinking about leaving Great Britain, therefore it will be there necessary to invest intensively into the education of employees and automatisation.


In front of the Lindwurm in Klagenfurt

The employees of the municipality of Brda and of the institution for tourism, culture, youth and sport - Brda were in Klagenfurt welcomed by representatives of the AACC on their tour through Carinthia.


Administrative court confirmed the obligation of the environmental impact assessment for the planned pumped-storage power plant Koralm

The administrative court decided , that for the planned pumped-storage power plant Koralm- with the turbine power 960 or 970 MW it would be the biggest power plant in the whole Austria and the second biggest of this type in Europe- it is necessary to obtain the environmental impact assessment.

We should consider the gigantic figures of the plant: the capacity of turbine 960 or 960 MW, two with the means of valley blockades set still lakes with the size of 20 hectares and pouring of the creek from the lakes for filling up the storage tank in the size of 4,7 million mł or 5,5 million mł of total storage capacity in the period of about two and half years(!). This is the victory of justice.

Cyprus: Hope for reunification at the moment dead

EU member Cyprus is since 1974 – after the Greek military overthrough and the Turkish invasion of the northern part of the island - a divided country.
The existing, from the side of the United Nations (U.N.) intermediated talks regarding the reunification were up till now not successful.

On Friday, May 26th , 2017, the special U.N. Envoy Espen Barth Eide in Nicosia announced , that because the talks between the parties in dispute Mustafa Akinci (The President of „The Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus„) and Nicos Anastasiades (The President of the Greek part of Cyprus) failed to make any progress, there is no basis to continue the U.N. led discussions.

Not definetly cancelling the talks, the U.N. see in the moment the biggest insolvable obstacles especially on the fields of the power distribution, division of the territory, right of possession and insurance of safety.


Festival of cherries 2017

Also this year, the AACC, together with the partners from Goriška Brda, was able to delight the visitors of the cherry festival in Villach, Klagenfurt, Graz and Tschepitschach next Globasnitz with juicy red cherries.


New Carinthian constitution: no reason for astonishment, but also no reason for disappointment

The new Carinthian state constitution, in which for the first time the Slovenian national minority in Carinthia is mentioned, and which should be accepted on June 1st., at the session of the Carinthian Parliament, was the thema of the working meting , held on May 24th, 2017, between the Slovenian President Borut Pahor and the Austrian State President Alexander Van der Bellen. At the meeting also the Carinthian Governor Peter Kaiser was present.

As Van der Bellen also Pahor considers the newly formulated constitution as an important and correct move in the right direction. „There is no reason for astonishment, but also no reason for disappointment“, so Pahor. The future of EU and the prolongation of border controls between Slovenia and Austria were also topics of the meeting.
After the working meeting with President Pahor there was an additional discussion with the President of the Slovenian National Assembly Milan Brglez.

In the evening the two State Presidents attended the celebration at the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Slovenian Gymnasium. The celebration was held in the Concert hall in Klagenfurt.

EU - Interruption of accession negotiations with Turkey?

After the triumph of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the constitutional referendum, which was held on April 16th, 2017, there are multiplying votes in the European Parliament, which support the interruption of EU-accession negotiations with Turkey. According to the standpoint of the observers the interruption is to be accepted already in the frame of the next regular summit of the European Council, which will be held on June 22nd and 23rd, 2017. However the official demand among 28 member countries was set only by Austria. EU-politicians of the other member countries have arguments against - namely the official interruption would place Turkey even more far from Europe and the pro-European forces in the country would become weaker.

Moving of academics after EU eastern enlargement

The study, published in the Science-Magazin by independent scientists, reports about one consequence of the EU eastern enlargement in 2004 for the 10 new member countries.; then numerous highly educated workers sistematically left the mentioned countries in the direction of Western Europe. Especially scientists and other academics did not tend in the first step to cross-country cooperation, but tried immediatelly after the access to EU to find their future in established and renowned research centres of Western Europe. In this sense we can judge the integration of new members as one way road. According to the opinion of Fabio Pammolli, the professor of economy at the Politechnical University in Milano, it would be wrong to believe, that in these countries it would be possible to stop the Brain-Drain with big investments into the infrastructure and research.. Besides new members from 2004 the mentioned problematics is characteristic also of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia.

German machinery producers are again orientated to Russia

According to one study every second German producer of machines is facing growing orders, regarding the sales to Russia.
However the Russian economy is still in crisis, since low crude oil prices, the ruble exchange rate and economic sanctions are forcing the Russian Government to implement the diversification of its economy. This measure will bring profits also to German and European machinery producers.
While the German producers are still waiting for a significant increase of business with Russia, the Chinese rivals are already on the run. According to some data last year China exported to Russia for about 4,9 billions Euros of machines and devices and has so for the first time surpassed its German rival.

Carinthia and Slovenia are strengthening cooperation

Carinthia and Slovenia will in future strengthen their mutual cooperation on different levels. This was confirmed by the Carinthian Governor Peter Kaiser and the Slovenian President of the Parliament Milan Brglez at the working meeting on the third of April 2017, which was held at the seat of the Carinthian Government.
Besides the actual thema of the implementation of the Slovenian minority in the new Carinthian constitution also the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, tasks at the refugees' movements and the position of the German speaking Oldaustrians in Slovenia were discussed.
The Austrian Ambassador in Slovenia Sigrid Berka, the Ambassador of Slovenia in Vienna Andrej Rahten, the President of the Carinthian Parliament Reinhart Rohr and the Slovenian Consul-General in Klagenfurt Milan Predan were also present at this meeting.

Presentation visit of the Presidents of all Councils

The Austrian President Dr. Alexander van der Bellen met on March 21st the Presidents and Vice-presidents of all Councils of the Austrian minorities. Led by the President of the Council of Slovenian National Community Bernard Sadovnik the President Bellen was informed about the actual situation of the Austrian minorities.
Furthermore they discussed several themas, from the issue of education and school system to the novelisation of the law of promoting publications, which ensure the basic financing of the printed media of all Austrian minorities, especially of the weekly newspaper Novice.

Author rights:Photo: Carina Carlovits/HFB
390 exhibitors at the GAST 2017

The opening speeches on March 12th were full of optimism, new initiatives and strategies were presented- with the emphasis on slow food and regionality.
The Carinthian Governor Dr.Peter Kaiser greeted the exhibitors from Austria and the neighbourhood countries with the multilingual „Welcome“. Kaiser considers Carinthia as a natural arena, which invites the whole year to an active holiday time and which acquires points with cultural and culinarical events. The important elements of the motto „Welcome by friends „ are also multilinguality and openness, added the Governor.

Mag. Filip Warasch – the Secretay General - was present at the opening ceremony from the side of the AACC.

Meeting in Klagenfurt

The Austrian Secretary Muna Duzdar visited Carinthia on Tuesday, March 6th, 2017. Among others she met the President of the AACC Bernard Sadovnik and the Carinthian Governor Dr. Peter Kaiser. The Secretary also favors intercultural dialogue and the promotion of interaction and interethnic relations, as this is also the basic orientation of activities and projects of the AACC.

Trains in the Netherlands drive on wind

End of last year the railway company from the Netherlands NS adjusted all its electrical trains to wind energy.
The transition from the electrical to wind energy was done one year earlier then planned.

Two years ago the company NS and the energy company Eneco signed a ten year contract, which defines a total transition to the wind energy for the operation of trains, namely till the beginning of 2018, reports "orf at" online. This task was however achieved one year before the planned date. Already last year the trains have reached 75% share of ecological energy, writes the newspaper "trends der zukunft" online. Every year the company NS, which transports daily on 5500 lines around 600.000 passengers, consumed about 1,2 billions of kilowatt-hours. The capacity of the wind wheel in one hour functioning period is sufficient, that the train makes the distance of 200 kilometers, refers "orf at" based on the info from NS and Eneco. Both companies will in the future try to achieve, that the consumption of electrical energy to 2020 is diminished to one third.

State constitution

Because the people do not understand...
Short commentary by Gerhard Weis

»From Carinthian politics we are used to tensions and populism- however this time the matter is evidently going too far: because 'the People ' do not understand, there is no own opinion about it. Who are' the People ', have they understood always all in the same way ( see the conflict about settlement  plates ), was there a trial at all to explain the facts to 'the People' ? This matter has absolutely nothing to do with  the democracy and plebiscite - we can not vote about the removing of the Alps only because 'some People ' want to have a free view to the Mediterranean Sea. The matter is connected with the fact that one political party must bravely lead the people ( all of them !) and not make them blind- whoever does this, namely has a look only on the back part- and this is in no way an astonishing view...«

(Gerhard Weis is the Vice-president of the AACC and the former long time intendant-general of ORF)


The answer of a German speaking Carinthian to the Benger's below sentence:

»If in the Carinthian constitution the word "Slovenian" was mentioned, this would bring strong emotions to the people. The purpose was equality, but people do not understand it. The formulation is bringing additional obstacle to the land.«

Dear Mister Benger,
I am very surprised with your statement about the Carinthian constitution. Now we are in the year 2017, however it seems you do not live in the 21st century or you belong to the group of people from the past or to trivial persons ? Or do you want to suck up with such statements to the Carinthian Freedom Party, to which we and all Austrian taxpayers can be grateful for the backpack, full of debts in the amount of numerous billions of Euros. Regardless out of which reason you gave such statement, at the next elections  I should give you my vote ? In no case !
With friendly regards 

Small growth in the European Union will continue

The economic analysts from Germany, France and Italy predict that the moderate growth in the European Union will continue. After the gross domestic product in this territory was to increase for 0,4% in the last quarter of 2016, the same rate of growth should continue also in the first two quarters of 2017, are the reports of the three research institutes from the above mentioned European countries. The main reason for such growth is the constant growth of the private and public consumption. In addition it is to expect a bit more dynamic growth of investments due to the still favourable possibilities of financing. Inflation however is to grow in the next quarters. Because of the not knowing the political and economic measures of the new American government, due to the unclear Brexit implementation and the consequences of the Italian referendum the political insecurity stays at a high level. Due to the coming votes in France, Germany and the Netherlands in the forecast time period this insecurity should not decrease substantially, what can have negative effects on investment preparations.


EU and Cuba signed their first agreement

The European Unity and Cuba signed their first agreement on December 12th, 2016. The agreement about the political dialogue and cooperation represents a frame for a closer political exchange, for the improvement of the bilateral cooperation and for the mutual attitude in mulitlateral committees. For the financial period 2014- 2020 for Cuba 50 milion euros are planned, which are meant for the agriculture, safety of food products, long term exploitation of resources and for the economic and social reforms. The Austrian exports to Cuba amounted in 2015 to about 9,8 milion euros, imports about 2,9 milion euros. Important export positions are electrical appliances, paper and plastic products, the most important import products are sugar, beverages and also tobacco.

Signed partnership between Slovenian Ljutomer and town Rust

At the occasion of the 95th anniversary of Burgenland and of the 25 years of the Slovenian independance the representatives of both countries met on Tuesday, November 15th,on a mutual celebration in Seehof Rust, the seat of the Burgenland Wine Academy. Among many guests, greeted by the Mayor Mag. Gerold Stagl, were also: the Ambassador of Portugal, the Honorary Consul of Slovenia Dr. Peter Penkoff, the Presidents of the Country Counsil Christian Illedits and Rudolf Strommer, the President of the AACC and The Mayor Bernard Sadovnik and other representatives from politics, administration and tourism. At previously held bilateral discussion on the thema »Marketing for regions«, which was from the Burgenland side attended by the Governor Hans Niessl and the director of the State office Mag. Ronald Reiter, and from the Slovenian side by Zdravko Počivalšek, the Minister of Economic Development and Technology and Dr. Andrej Rahten, the Slovenian Ambassador, further possibilities for cross country cooperation were discussed, especially on the fields of tourism and wine. The signing of the partnership agreement between the town of Rust and the Slovenian town Ljutomer regarding the mutual marketing of wine sort furmint should mean the first step of this cooperation.

EU Commission supports Start-up companies in Europe

Start-up and Scale-up initiatives of the EU Commission should offer numerous inovative companies in Europe the best possibilities to become world -wide leaders. The Vice-President of the Commission, responsible for employment, growth, investments and competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, told that for stimulating of Start-up companies regulational obstacles should be abolished. Necessary is an easier access to risky capital funds and also necessary »the second chance« for enterpreneurs, who are in difficult financial situation. Therefore the Commission and the European Investment Bank group are implementing the birth of trans-european risky capital umbrella fund. The EU-Commission is further active on taxation simplifications. In the last years the Commission prepared several political initiatives, out of which Start-up companies profited, for instance capital market union, the inner market strategy and the digitalisation of the inner market. With the new initiative the biggest obstacles in the formation and growth of companies should be faced.


Meeting in Sarajevo

At the occasion of the election of the leader of the Municipality Sarajevo Center Nedžad Ajnadžič, who is also a member of the AACC board, the AACC President Bernard Sadovnik met the members of the AACC Fikret Mušič (the former Premier of the Sarajevo Canton) and Mijo Matanovič (the Counselor of the Vice Minister for Foreign Trade of federal Bosnian government).
At the meeting they agreed upon actual cooperation between the AACC and the Municipality Sarajevo Center. In future the AACC will be responsible for networking with the decision making actors in Austria. The President Sadovnik congratulated the newly elected leader and indicated the possibilities of closer cooperation, which should also strengthen the desired joining of Bosnia and Herzegovina to EU.


Visit from Globasnitz/Globasnica in Perchtoldsdorf

On Saturday, October 29th, the municipal delegation of Globasnitz from Carinthian Jauntal visited Perchtoldsdorf. The delegation of almost 100 people, led by the Mayor Bernard Sadovnik and the Vice Mayor Peter Hutter, was accepted in the Town Castle by the Vice Mayor Brigitte Sommerbauer and led through Perchtoldsdorf by Mag. Gabriele Lindenthal and DDr. Gregor Gatscher-Riedl. The historically colored morning, which included also the climbing on the Tower, ended at "Heurigen Josef " and wine-cellar Marlene Wolflinger.

The Commission of the Slovenian Parliament visited Carinthia

The Commission of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia for Relations with Minorities and Slovenians abroad, led by its President Ivan Hršak, visited Carinthia on Friday, October 14th, 2016. After the meeting in the Carinthian Parliament, the members of the Commission visited the bilingual municipality  Globasnitz/ Globasnica. There they met the political representatives of the Slovenian minority and the Mayor and the President of the AACC and SKS Bernard Sadovnik. The School Mistress Veronika Terbuch explained the guests the importance of functioning of bilingual elementary schools in bilingual communities. The AACC President and the Mayor Bernard Sadovnik stressed the importance of the cross-country- cooperation for the development of the border region.
The members of the delegation were also the members of the Parliament Ljudmila Novak, Violeta Tomič, Marinka Levičar, Marija Bačič and the Commission's secretary Barbara Medved Špiletič, Ambassador dr. Andrej Rahten, General Consul Milan Predan and Consul Jasna Goličič Bakovnik.

Wine Festival in Žitara vas/ Sittersdorf

This year's Wine festival in Sittersdorf attracted numerous visitors. On the top of the guests of honor were the Carinthian State Governor Peter Kaiser and the President of the Carinthian Parliament Rudi Schober.

Traditional Cheese Festival

On September 24th and 25th, 2016, the already 21. Cheese Festival in Kötschach-Mauthen took place now. Cheese production has a long tradition in the Valley Gailtal/ Zilja. At the center of the cheese festival was like every year the culinary enjoyment! Among the guests were also the mayor of Brda Franc Mužič and the Secretary General of the AACC Filip Warasch.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's application for the EU membership accepted

On September 20th, 2016 the members of the EU accepted the application of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the EU membership, which was presented in February this year. The prospects of the EU accession have so been presented to all West Balkan countries, Croatia is already an EU member, Serbia and Montenegro are in the access negotiations.
The access process is now starting with the point, that the EU-Commission prepares an expert opinion of the application for the membership. The Commission will forward the government in Sarajevo its questions about the readiness of Bosnia and Herzegovina to overtake the judicial system of the EU, where the answer to these questions could take one to two years. After the final report from the side of the EU-Commission the members can decide, whether Bosnia and Herzegovina will be granted the status of the candidate country and if the conditions for the start of the negotiations are fulfilled.

Hugh cake at the end of the visit of the Viennese delegation in Ljubljana

From September 19th to 21st in Ljubljana were held -in the frame of the cooperation between Ljubljana and Vienna, which started 16 years ago- the so called Viennese Days with numerous cultural events, an economic forum, presentations of the actual ecological projects in both cities, ending with surprise of the Viennese confectioners- the biggest Sacher-Torte in the world, with the radius of 3,5 meters and the weight of 600 kgs. At this occasion the Mayor of Ljubljana announced the counter visit of Vienna within the next year. The Viennese delegation was led by its Vicemayor and the City Councelor for Economics and Finance affairs Renate Brauner.

Governor Kaiser for stronger connection of the existing companies with Start-ups

The Carinthian Governor Kaiser opened the Klagenfurt Autumn Fair, which is, as Kaiser stressed, directed ahead. The existing companies should get more connected with new developments and Start-ups.
Kaiser also mentioned the thema Hypo/Heta, for which a solution should be found in the mid of the next month. The way, which is pathed now, should be the only one acceptable for the future of this country.
After the greeting speaches of the leading country and state politicians the former Minister of Finance dr. Hannes Androsch held a lecture about the fairs as shows of achievements. He also warned about the ideas of exiting from EU, which are to be treated as proposals for economic suicide. We simply should not have no interest for a week EU or even for its disintegration. Especially for a small country like Austria the open markets are of fundamental meaning. „Only united we can be players on the world scene“, he stressed. Androsch did not forget to mention that in this moment the world economy is similar to a stammering motor. The overdue housework should be done quickly. Education has herewith the essential importance.


EU Commission's standpoint is that the Austrian composition with Heta creditors is not a state support

On September 2nd, 2016 the EU Commision decided that the composition of Austria with creditors of Heta Asset Resolution AG, which is responsible for the orderly liquidation of Austrian bank Hypo Group Alpe Adria, is in conformity with the EU regulations for subsidies. The guarantee document of Carinthia , which is the basis for the formal offer of the Republic of Austria to the creditors , was transmitted to the EU Commission in order to obtain its juridical standpoint. EU Commission does not treat this agreement as a new state subsidy, since herewith it refers to the payment of already previously agreed /permitted state guarantee.

Societal event Villach Fair 2016

The Slovenia-day in Villach also visited representatives of the AACC, which is co-organizer of the event.

Carinthia becomes a member of the Anti-Atom Alliance of the European Regions

In these days Carinthia became a member of the „Anti-Atom Alliance of the European Regions.“ This Alliance was established in March 2016 and is an answer to European efforts to strengthen the use of the atomic energy in the future. The Country counsellor Holub about it: Carinthia is with its Energymasterplan 100 percent on the renewable way and wants to be active against the fact , that the outdated atomic energy is keep alive artificially by the EU-subsidies. In the frame of the Alliance we have decided for an european energy orientation without atomic energy. „Carinthia is also in the European space the best example, how this is feasible„, adds Holub.

Brexit vote bad for Germany?

The possibility, that in the future the German economy faces recession, has significantly increased in the last weeks.. The main reason is the result of the Brexit vote, which causes unsecurity- especially on the financial markets. This is the signal of the economic situation indicator from the Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) of the Hans-Boeckler Stiftung.
For the time period from June to September 2016 the IMK-indicator , which comprises the main information about the actual economic situation, shows a medium recession possibility in the height of 21%. In June the value of this indicator was only 8,8%.
The actual forecast of IMK is based on the standpoint, that Brexit will already in the next year have significant influence on the economic growth in Germany. In such situation IMK advises, that the governments in Germany and in the other EU countries abolish the standstill in the public investments as soon as possible. In this way the urgenty demanded company investments can achieve important impules.

8th July, 2016
Cherries in the neighbour's garden
Slovenia-Graz: Mutual festival 2017

»Cherries in the neighbour's garden...« sang years ago Peter Alexander and had cherries not really in his mind. The well known text of this song is however this time connected with the Slovenian municipality Goriška Brda in the real meaning of the word, since the neighbouring country can offer sweet and red cherries already from the end of May onwards and year after year properly celebrates their »harvest«.
Already in the times of the Monarchy mostly women traditionally brought the first cherries in spring time from Goriška Brda to Klagenfurt and Vienna. The municipality Brda and the AACC ( Alps-Adriatic Centre ) organized in the last years together with the towns Kagenfurt and Villach the festival of cherries with wine, musical programme … and in this way successfully revived the past tradition.

On 1st and 2nd of June next year we will celebrate with the town Graz, announced today during his today's visit of collegue Mag. Siegfried Nagl the Mayor Franc Mužič. In his luggage he had a lot of delicacies to taste. Beside the cooperation at the festival of cherries the discussion was also about the meaning of Slovenian independance 25 years ago and about the fact, how the cooperation afterwards positively grew up and intensified. The Mayor Nagl stressed: »It is a pleasure to me, that we will be together at the festival, we will also invite our village of cherries Hittendorf. On the other side I came to the conclusion, that today cooperation sholud be strengthened even more than ever before and that is necessary to look for places for resting. Your municipality is one of such places.« The Slovenian Mayor was only able to confirm these words and to add: »We are located in a beautiful landscape with marvelous views towards the Alps and the sea, beside the cherrues we also have excellent wines. I cordially invite you and all your citizens«.

Villach Church Day :Associations will not come

The mandatory cash register desks keep associations away from their participation at the Vilach Church Day, which will be held from July 31st to August 7th. The responsible persons are worried ,that the cooperation of voluntary workers would also not be possible.
104 traditional and 28 music groups will take care for the entertainment in the center of the town. 240 stands will be set on 50.000 square meters big arena.
All, who will have stands at the Church Day, either enterpreneurs or associations, will be obliged to register all their staff and – for the first time this year- to have cash register desks.
On Monday, July 31st there will be the Slovenian day at the event. AACC will be also this year at the disposal to the Villach Church Day.


Cherries from Brda conquered Vienna

On Monday, June 13th, 2016 the Mayor of Vienna Dr. Michael Häupl accepted the delegation of the Community Goriška Brda, which was led by the Mayor Franc Mužič. In the frame of this event were the cherries, which were brought to Vienna after one hundred years of break and were officially given also to the Mayor of Vienna. With this symbolic gesture the cherries are to be sold in Vienna in the future, too - so as they were sold in the times of the Monarchy.
The AACC has - in the anniversary year of the formation of the Republic of Slovenia - significantly contributed to this historical event.


Villach, Klagenfurt and Tschepitschach under piles
of tasty dark red cherries from Goriška Brda

More than 3000 kilos of sweet cherries from Goriška Brda were sold in Villach, Klagenfurt and Tschepitschach at Globasnitz in the frame of the Festival of cherries, which is organized by the Community of Brda and the AACC. Cherries are besides the beautiful landscape, elegant wine and proschiutto the pearl of Goriška Brda. The traditional offer of cherries from the Monarchy times was revived by the AACC, whose President is Bernard Sadovnik and General Secretary Filip Warasch; together with the Municipality of Brda and its Mayor Franc Mužič, who is also Kugy's laureate. The three locations of the Festival are: Villach, Klagenfurt and Globasnitz. In Villach and Klagenfurt more than 2000 kilos were sold, the rest in Tschepitschach-all in a short time period, the cherries were sold out much before before the Festival ended.
This every year's Festival is without doubt an important acquisition from the view of Alps-Adriatic cooperation, for Villach, Klagenfurt and Globasnitz however it is a true pleasure in the very authentic meaning of the word.

Smuggling means a big income
for organised criminal in Europe

The mutual research of Europol and Interpol showed, that in the times of the migrant crisis the smuggling is a billion business for terrorist networks and for the organised criminal. According to the evaluation of both mentioned organizations on their way to Europe migrants paid only in the last year to smugglers between 5 and 6 billions EUR. More than 90% of migrants came to Europe with the assistance of the organised criminal against paying the amount up to 6 000 EUR per person. . We can presume that the smuggling of the migrants is an international business model, in which people from more than 100 European and non-European countries are participating. The international police authorities are warning , that the decrease of the migrant figures does not automatically mean also the decrease of the smuggling of the migrants. We can expect, that in the future the number of the people , wanting to come to Europe, will increase again. In this moment only in Libya there are more that 800 000 migrants waiting for the transport to Europe.

Carinthia in EU

At the occasion of the Europe Day , which will be on May 8th, the Carinthian Government publicated on its website some interesting information regarding Carinthia in the European Union.
From 2007 to 2013 Carinthia received referred to agricultural initiatives 694,4 millions Euro, for cross-border projects additionally 23,8 millions Euro, further for support of economy 67,4 millions Euro and 20,5 millions Euro more for measures against unemployment and poverty.
The above mentioned are initiatives from the so called » structural funds », which were given from the side of the Union to Austria as co-financing. These amounts were then split to federal units and spent by different subjects in Carinthia.
The EU budget ( more years financial frame from December 12th, 2013 ) is in total 908 billions Euro.


Slovenska Bistrica: International conference about voting rights in EU

The castle of Slovenska Bistrica some days ago hosted an international conference under the title "Voting rights from the local to the European level - the political participation of EU citizens at the developing of the community". Twelve delegations from nine countries participated at the conference. Namely Slovenska Bistrica participates - together with fourteen regions, towns and organizations of the civil community - at the project "European regions develop European citizenship", which is partly financed in the frame of the European program for citizens. The main part of the conference was the round table, where the voting rights on all levels were discussed by the former Minister, the leader of the Slovenian Delegation of The Assembly of EU regions in Brussels and the Mayor of Slovenska Bistrica Dr. Ivan Žagar; Bernard Sadovnik, the Mayor of Globasnitz and the President of The Alps-Adriatic Center for Cross-border Co-operation in Klagenfurt and several eminent experts. The conference was moderated by the political analyst Božidar Novak. The initial lecturers were Dr. Rudi Rizman from The
University of Ljubljana and Bologna and Dr. Lenart Škof from The University of Primorska. The event was followed by numerous students of The Secondary School Slovenska Bistrica.


President Heinz Fischer for gradual elimination of EU sanctions against Russia

While visiting Moscow The Federal President of Austria Heinz Fischer stressed, that Austria respects European sanctions against Russia. However- one , who intends to improve mutual relations, can not be satisfied with the sanctions, so Fischer. The basis for the sanctions is the conflict , referring to the Crimea half-island. Fischer is assured, that gradual abolition of EU sanctions is a way , about which it is necessary to think. The relations between Russia and EU are quite far from optimum and neither Russian nor Austrian economy can profit out of such situation.

The Great Golden Honorary Award for Valentin Oman

The important Carinthian artist Valentin Oman received the Great Golden Honorary Award from the Country Governor Peter Kaiser and his deputy Gaby Schaunig. Numerous important guests, among them also Oman's wife Elisabeth, were present at the award ceremony.
Valentin Oman was born on December 14th, 1935 in St. Stefan near Villach, he finished secondary school in Tanzenberg, studied at the University of Vienna and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana.
Among his numerous masterpieces are the artistic decoration of The Slovenian Gymnasium in Klagenfurt and as well the wall paintings and the Piran's crossway in the Tanzenberg Church. Oman is also a Honorary Doctor of the University in Klagenfurt and a corresponding member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
He lives and works in Vienna and Finkenstein.

Border controls: loss for Europe

Experts expect higher costs and prices as well as deadlock in the growth. The study of the Bertelsmann Foundation concluded that for EU losses in the amount of 470 billions Eur are to be expected, the end of Schengen would however cause negative economic effects also out of Europe.
„When the gates within Europe go down again, this means a big pressure for the humble growth in Europe. Finally the bill is paid by the people“, is the opinion of the Foundation. The basic point for actual calculations are time losses, which would be caused by the border controls of passenger traffic at the borders all over Europe.
The labour costs would increase, the stocks in warehouses should be bigger, a price pressure would be caused. Eventually we are faced with higher prices, lower demand for consumers' goods and decline in the international competitiveness. Investments shrink and finally the economic growth reduces.

High award for the Association of Slovenian organisations (ZSO) in Carinthia

At the celebration on January 23th, 2016, the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor handed over the Award of merit to the President of ZSO dr. Marjan Sturm for the 60th anniversary of the Organisation.
Also the Minister dr. Josef Ostermayer, Minister Gorazd Žmavc and the Carinthian Governor dr. Peter Kaiser expressed their congratulations to dr. Sturm, who is leading this Association for 24 years.
Also the AACC is expressing its congratulations to Marjan Sturm, who is a member of the Board of the AACC. At the celebration the President of the AACC Bernard Sadovnik and the Vice-president mag. Zalka Kuchling were present, too.

„The borders of Europe- human rights and consequences of the climate changes“

This year's „European tolerance discussions„ will be held under the above moto in the Carinthian mountain village Fresach from April 11th to April 14th, 2016.
Beside the Austrian President numerous representatives from the world of politics, art and culture will be present. About 50 researchers, writers and artists will also this year lead the dialogue with the domestic inhabitants and will discuss the points, which cause movements all over Europe.
Manfred Sauer, the President of the Association and the main supervisor of the Evangelical church in Carinthia (on the photo the first from the right), is expecting from these discussions initiatives, which bring courage and solutions. „Herewith we are based on information, explanations and personal dialogue, verified elements, which are a remedy for prejuduce,“ concludes mag. Sauer.

New year' s press conference of the President of the European Commission

The President of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker stressed on his New year's press conference that the EU Commission would be also in the future concentrated on the growth and employment as its priority tasks. The first results of the investment offensive are noticable, 81000 small and medium size enterprises have already made profit on the basis of the initiative. Juncker is critical towards the implementation of the actual measures for controlling the migrants's crisis, especially towards the non realised relocation of 160000 refugees.
Additionally he stressed that EU Commission is decided to guarantee free movement of people and goods in the Schengen area. The actual, temporary controls for regulating the flow of the migrants among the European countries will cost EU up to 3 billions Eur.
Juncker is expecting the approval of the EU- reform proposals from the side of the United Kingdom till the end of this February.

Russia thinking about selling VTB and Sberbank

Due to the price decrease of crude oil on the world markets the Russian Minister for Economy Alexej Uljakajew is considering to sell the biggest state owned banks, among them VTB and Sberbank. The Russian Minister of Finance also announced it would be necessary to decrease the non- essential expenditure for ten percents.

The look at the world market prices of fossil energy sources undoubtfully shows the serious Russian situation: the barrel ( 159 liters ) of crude oil WTI had on January 12th, 2016 the value less than 30 dollars.
The problem is in the fact that the Russian Federation gets a substantial part of its revenues from the business with oil and gas. This business is at the moment significantly influenced by falling prices.
The actual situation in Russia is described as serious, the budget deficit in 2015 was about 2,6 percents.

EU–trials against Austria because of the violation of the law

The European commission led in December 2015 47 trials against its members because of the violation of the contracts , which are a part of the European legal system. The majority of the trials refers to violations from the fields of financial stability, migration and interior matters.
Against Austria there are now two litigations before the European court.
One because of not considering the European laws about public tenders. The client was supposed to give orders for printing of official documents ( passports, driving licences) directly- without a tender- to a private company „Osterreichische Staatsdruckerei“. The second trial is referring to the EU laws about driving licenses, Austria was supposed to issue incorrect driving licenses to some truck and bus drivers.

Important visit from Gorizia region in Carinthia

Upon invitation of the Alps-Adriatic Centre for Cross-border Co-operation the Mayor of Nova Gorica Matej Arčon and the Mayor of Brda Franc Mužič as well as the Director of the Regional Development Agency Črtomir Špacapan visited Carinthia on Wednesday, November 25th, 2015. The visit at the Mayor of Villach Günther Albel was followed by the meetings with the Country Counsellor Christian Benger and the Mayor of Klagenfurt Maria-Luise Mathiaschitz.
The themas of the meetings included programmes and projects in the frame of the new EU programme period on the fields of tourism, economy and culture between Carinthia and the Gorizia region as well as the Soča valley.

Carinthian Counsellor Rolf Holub in Ljubljana

Upon invitation of the Slovenian Minister of the Environment and Spatial planning Irena Majcen the Carinthian Counsellor Rolf Holub, responsible for the environment and energy , visited the Slovenian capital city on November 23rd, 2015. On the meeting actual mutual projects as well as further steps on the fields of waste treatment, spatial planning , environment protection and network Natra 2000 were discussed.
The Carinthian delegation was accompanied by Bernard Sadovnik from AACC, Klagenfurt.


Meeting in Slovenske Konjice

Upon invitation of the Mayor of Slovenske Konjice Miran Gorinšek almost 100 inhabitants from the Municipality Globasnitz visited the Municipality and its traditional Feast of St.Martin. The contacts with Slovenske Konjice were established by the President of the AACC and the Mayor of Globasnitz Bernard Sadovnik. The two Mayors agreed upon future mutual cooperation on all levels. The member of the Slovenian Parliament Bojan Podkrajšek and the Patrish Priest Jože Vogrin were present at the celebration, too.


The goal is a common tourist product

The mayors and the head teachers of the elementary schools from municipalities Globasnitz, Zell Pfarre, Jezersko, Predvor, Tržič and Šenčur had a meeting in Jezersko and Preddvor and agreed upon concrete cooperation on various fields. The elementary schools will have a reunion already next April  in Šenčur. The mayors agreed to establish the cross border cooperation so that a mutual calendar of interesting events would be prepared and would be available to all citizens. The main priority however is the cooperation in tourist sector where a mutual project/ product should be formed, also in connection with a possible financing from the side of EU.

Carinthia is awaiting the constitutional reform

The Carinthian Coalition is presenting the reform of the constitution. Slovenian national minority will be for the first time mentioned by its name in the new constitution. The reform foresees the abolition of the proportional system. Therefore smaller parties, elected in the country government, will have more rights.
This means that inthe future various majorities could be formed and it will not be obligatory that the strongest parties would be represented in the government. Long time the People's party (ÖVP) was against the naming of the Slovenian national minority, the Liberal Party is still against.
The last constitutional reform in Carinthia was in the seventies of the last century, the government coalition ( SPÖ, ÖVP and the Greens ) have two thirds of the majority.

Cultural workers from Brda in Kötschach Mauthen

Numerous cultural workers (among them also the attractive majorettes) from the Municipality Brda led by their Mayor Franc Mužič enriched in beautiful weather this year's Cheese Festival in Kotschach Mauthen. Filip Warasch from AACC was also present at the opening ceremony.

Low level of citizen awareness regarding the EU initiatives on the field of regional policy

More than one third of EU citizens live and work in bordering regions. The European territorial cooperation is playing a significant role at removing obstacles on borders and at promoting cross border cooperation on the fields of safety, transport, building, energy, health, education and at assuring working places. 10 billions of Eur will be invested in interregional cooperation in the time period 2014-2020, out of which two thirds will be given to bordering regions. Recently made Eurobarometer – query on the the thema „General awareness and perception of EU regional politics“ showed that only one fifth of all citizens are aware, that EU regional funds were invested in these regions. The results of the query indicate that still a lot needs to be done in order to strengthen the awareness of Interreg programmes.


Inflation in Europe stable

The yearly inflation is unchanged according to the latest data of the Statistical office of the EU (Eurostat) in August 2015 in Eu area comparing to July 2015-remaining at 0,2%. The highest yearly inflation rate in August was reached in components foods, alcohol, tobacco (1,2%) and services (1,2%).
Lower inflation rate (even deflation) was observed at industrial goods without energy (0,6%) and energy (- 7,1%).
The highest change in comparision to July is expected in component energy. The inflation rate here was in July 2015 minus 5,6%.

The Festival of cherries 2016 also in Vienna

The Slovenian Ambassador in Vienna Dr. Andrej Rahten vistited together with the President of the AACC Bernard Sadovnik and the Financial advisor Stefan Lesjak the Mayor of the Municipality Brda Franc Mužic.

They agreed to organise the Festival of cherries – which is since some years a big success in Carinthia - with the assistance of the Slovenian Embassy next year also in Vienna. At this occasion the Municipality Brda will provide a special promotion at the reception of the Ambassador at the 25th anniversary of the Slovenian independance. The ham and wine from Brda will enrich this event.

Photo (from the left): Stefan Lesjak (AACC), Mayor Franc Mužič, Ambassador Franc Rahten, Director of the Institute Brda Tina Novak Samec, Bernard Sadovnik (AACC)

EU Commision presents its strategy for the Alpine region

The European Commission has started the macroeconomical strategy for the Alpine region with the intention of forming mutual challenges for seven Alpine countries- Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia, Liechtenstein and Switzerland on the fields of economy growth, innovation, mobility, connections , as well as environment and energy. It is altogether the fourth macroregional strategy of the EU. These seven countries present more than 70 millions of citizens.
The European council must now confirm the acceptance strategy.

Intensifying cooperation

The Carinthian Governor Dr. Peter Kaiser was on July 20th, 2015 in Slovenia upon invitation of Dejan Židan, Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food. They discussed the possibilities to intensify cooperation between Slovenia and Carinthia on different fields, among others especially education and agriculture.
As mentioned, one of the main issues was education, therefore it is no surprise that Židan and Kaiser visited the Biotechnical School Center in Naklo.
The Governor Kaiser evaluated the Center as a »very positive surprise« and stated, that he is leaving »with very positive impressions«. As an example of the cooperation with Carinthia Židan mentioned the sector of complementary activities in agriculture.

The Carinthian energy plan presented in Slovenia

The Carinthian State Counsellor Rolf Holub ( The Greens) presented
recently in Kranj to 27 Slovenian mayors from Gorenjska and Posočje regions and to numerous experts from the field of energy supply procurement the Carinthian strategic plan for energy- the energy masterplan.
As after the presentation Holub said , the municipalities from the above mentioned regions want to use the same concept as Carinthia, namely the energy supply procurement from the renewable energy sources (photovoltaics, water, wind, biomass).

Expenditure of EU countries in 2014

Eurostat has informed that the total expenditure of EU countries in the last year was 6701 billions Eur. This is almost one half of the gross domestic product (48,1%) . In comparision to the past year it has gone down for 0,5%.
From these data it is evident that in 2013 among others 40,2% of expenditure refers on the field »social security«, 14,8% on »medical services« and 10,3% on »education«.
The tendency for 2014 is the conclusion that the expenditure in many EU countries went downwards, especially in Greece ( - 10.7%) and in Slovenia ( -9,9%), Austria shows with 52,30% a growth of 1,4%.

Kugy's award 2015 for Franc Mužič

The Association of Carinthian Slovenians (SKS) granted this year's Kugy award to the Mayor of Brda Franc Mužič in the frame of the Municipality Brda holiday for his pioneer work in the field of the cross border and regional cooperation in the Alps Adriatic area.
The Mayor Mužič began to establish contacts with municipalities in Croatia, Italy and Austria immediately after his first election. In Carinthia Brda are closely connected with Bleiburg, Globasnitz, Friesach, Völkermarkt, Kötschach-Mauthen, Villach and Klagenfurt.

The Mayor Mužič is also a member of the Board of the AACC, Municipality Brda is its member for more than 10 years.
Franc Mužič is truely »a man of Alps-Adriatic area« and »an European« , said the President of the Association Bernard Sadovnik when giving the award to the Mayor Mužič.

European Parliament postponed TTIP negotiations

The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, postponed for June 10th, 2015 planned voting about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between EU and USA ( TTIP). We have already mentioned this topic on our webside. The most problematic subject in negotiations is the investment arbitration. There are 116 proposals for changes. Because of this fact the Committee on International Trade will discuss about TTIP again. TTIP should increase the growth and the employment in Europe and strengthen the world trade.

Festival of cherries in Carinthia!

On Thursday, May 28th, take place a Festival of cherries in Klagenfurt - Neuer Platz. On Saturday before the Festival in Villach was organized and at last on Sunday, May 31th, take place the Festival of cherries in Čepiče in Globasnica.

Citizens dialogue in Ljubljana

On May 8th a cross border dialogue between the European Commisioner for transport Violeta Bulc and citizens from Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Italy took place. One of the topics was the poor infrastructure in the region. In this moment the journey by train from Klagenfurt to Ljubljana lasts several hours, although the two towns are only 80 kilometres apart. Furthermore European Unity should improve the connections among regional airports and harbours. The other two themas were the endeavoring of the Unity for employment of the young people and the incentives for small and medium size companies. The citizens dialogue was held in the frame of the European Youth week 2015.


Carinthian Counsellor Benger in discussions with Slovenian partners

The Counsellor of the Carinthian Government Christian Benger discussed the future European and international projects with the Minister for Economic Development Zdravko Počivalšek, the Minister of Culture Julijana Bizjak Mlakar and her State Secretary Anton Peršak.
»In the Alps-Adriatic space I see big possibilities and opportunities for our mutual region«, Benger described his visit in Ljubljana. The Slovenian partners want to intensify especially the cooperation in the fields of creative economy and start-ups, this means by creation of innovative companies. The partners stressed the possibility of a positive development - in spite of savings - primarily on the basis of the cooperation in the economy or culture.
The Counsellor Benger afterwards visited also the Mayor of Nova Gorica Matej Arčon, since this region will in the future be able to participate in the funds in the frame of programmes of EU for Carinthia.
From the side of the AACC Bernard Sadovnik and Filip Warasch accompanied the Counselor on his visit.

Sadovnik became Mayor of Globasnitz/ Globasnica

AACC chairman Bernard Sadovnik prevailed on Sunday, March 15th in Globasnitz in the runoff election against Wolfgang Wölbl and conquered the Mayor chair. He is the second Mayor from among the EL after Franz-Josef Smrtnik, who became the Mayor of Bad Eisenkappel six years ago and repeated the election victory two weeks ago. Bernard Sadovnik won the runoff election in 659 votes (53.97%), its competitor, the former Socialist Mayor Wölbl 562 votes (46.03%). The AACC congratulates Sadovnik to success..

Carinthia will be able to spend 11,9 million Euros

On its meeting on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 the Carinthian Government concluded the cooperation programme »INTERREG V-A Slovenia-Austria« for the period 2014- 2020. As the Deputy of the Governor Dr. Gaby Schaunig, Carinthia will acquire 11,9 million Euros  of the European money.
The cash fund of the European Regional Development Fund will in future be used for the strengthening of the research in the technological development and innovations, the growth of the competitiveness  of small and medium companies, the protection of the environment and the initiating of the efficient use of resources and the improvement of the institutional capacity and efficient public administration.
The  Carinthian Fund for the Development of Economy (KWF)- for economy projects and the Department 3 of the Carinthian Government  for non economy initiatives will be responsible for additional information and project implementing.

Committee of the Regions in the frame of EU started working

In the beginning of February 2015 – after votings to the European Parliament - the Committee of the Regions met again, in it there are 350 representatives from 28 members of the European Unity. The Treaty of Lisbon namely defines that neither the Commission, nor the Council or the Parliament of the EU are allowed to accept conclusions regarding the local or regional administration without prior consultation to the Committee of the Regions.
The Carinthian Governor Dr.Peter Kaiser represents Carinthia in this political body (he is its member since the Year 2013); Slovenia however-which is regionally not divided - is represented by several Mayors. Among them there is also the Mayor of Slovenska Bistrica (and a member of the AACC, too) Dr. Ivan Žagar, namely from the Year 2011 onwards.
We contacted the Mayor Dr. Žagar, who is the leader of the Slovenian delegation in the Committee of the Regions and a member of the Presidency of this Committee, as a member he is active in Commissions COTER ( Commission for Territorial Cohesion) and ENVE (Commission for Environment, Climate changes and Energy) for his standpoint: »Regarding the Transatlantic partnership for Trade and Investments (TTIP), which was discussed at the last plenum meeting I think, that the very high level of the European standard of protection (regarding the protection of environment, climate, protection of animals, protection of food, rights of consumers and rights for data protection) should be kept and preserved, in no way can we allow the lowering of these standards.«
The Carinthian Governor Dr. Peter Kaiser is writing on his website, that he endeavoured for the protection of the social and ecological standard in the discussion at the last plenum meeting about the trade agreement between the EU and the USA (TTIP). »The rights of the corporate groups can not prevail above human rights«, such is his conclusion.  

Zalka Kuchling, the new school Headmaster

Mag. Zalka Kuchling is the new Headmaster of the Klagenfurt Slovene secondary school and will start her work on February 16th, 2015 – after the school holidays. The new school Headmaster will still be the Delegate in the Carinthian Assembly, since these two functions are compatible, said the President of the Carinthian School Board Rudi Altersberger.
The AACC sincerely congratulates Mag. Zalka Kuchling for this important nomination.

The Daily Center for Activities for older people in Globasnitz

The project leader of ASSO, President of the AACC Vice-Mayor Bernard Sadovnik about plans for the Daily Center for Activities in Globasnitz/Globasnica:
"The recent months showed that the formation of the Info office and of the Daily Center for Activities for older people were a full success, not only in Globasnitz, but also out of its borders. I am personally very satisfied about this fact. Furthermore I will do my best to continue with these projects for senior citizens after the financial support from the side of the EU stops. For me it will be a pleasure to endeavour for this task."


The New Year's reception of the Carinthian Government in Velden

At the January event in Velden, the State Governor of Carinthia, Peter Kaiser, his Vice-Governors Beate Prettner and Gaby Schaunig and the Government Counselors Christian Benger, Rolf Holub and Gerhard Köfer expressed their New Year's wishes for the Year 2015 to almost one thousand invited guests from politics, administration, economy, church, sport, culture and society. At this occasion the Carinthian Governor asked all the present for positive support to Carinthia. Ferdinand Vouk - as the Mayor of the inviting municipality - accepted numerous greetings from the leaders of the Carinthian politics. Beside many guests from the public life, also the Member of the Bundesrat Ana Blatnik, the President of the Carinthian School Board Rudolf Altersberger, the bicyclist Paco Wrolic and the representatives of the Slovenian National Minority Bernard Sadovnik and Marjan Sturm were present.

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