Around 190 participants attended the presentation event of the Interreg VI-A Greece-Italy 2021/2027 Cross-border Cooperation Programme, in which the Basilicata Region participated for the first time, held in Matera in the Mulino Alvino conference hall on 11 July 2023.
Greetings from the host city were delivered by Francesco Salvatore, President of the Matera City Council.
The Managing Authority of the Interreg Greece-Italy Programme – Maria Nezeriti, the representatives of the structure of the Managing Authority at the Ministry of Finance of the Hellenic Republic – Eva Karagianni, Nikoletta Tatari, Ioanna Kalaitzogou, the representative of the Joint Secretariat Gianfranco Gadaleta, the Territorial Cohesion Agency – Filippo Lavecchia and the Programme Communication Officer Carmela Sfregola attended the meeting.
The President of Basilicata Region, Vito Bardi, was delegated to preside over the meeting by the Councillor for the Environment and Energy, Cosimo Latronico, who pointed out that “The participation of the Basilicata Region in the Interreg VI-A Greece-Italy 2021-2027 Cooperation Programme with the territory of the Province of Matera is an important goal: It is the result of a negotiation activity started by the Basilicata Region in agreement with the Calabria Region, which led, in agreement with the Cohesion Policies Department, to submit to the attention of the European Commission, the modification of the Programme’s eligibility area, also in coherence with the belonging of the Basilicata territory to the Adriatic-Ionic macro-regional strategy (EUSAIR) already in the 2014/2020 programming”.
This enlargement opens new opportunities for cooperation in a macro-regional perspective with the three Greek regions (the Region of Western Greece; the Region of the Ionian Islands and the Region of Epirus), as well as with the neighbouring regions of Puglia and Calabria. This area is characterised by similar challenges and problems (e.g. depopulation, youth unemployment), but also by great potential in some common sectors (Blue Economy; Tourism; Creative and Cultural Industries; Green Economy and Bio-Economy) in a ‘European macro-region’ characterised by extensive biodiversity and rich in environmental and cultural attractions.
The Councillor Latronico confirmed that “Thanks to the funds of the Programme, we intend to set up immediately an Info Contact Point in the city of Matera to support the work of the Managing Authority and the Joint Secretariat, with the task of ensuring that the objectives of the Programme will be communicated to potential beneficiaries and stakeholders, supporting the preparation, application and implementation phases of the projects.”
During the event, the Managing Authority of the Interreg Greece-Italy Programme and the representatives of the Greek Ministry of Finance illustrated the aims, objectives and main actions of the Programme, which includes allocated resources of 106 million euro divided into 4 Priorities and 11 specific objectives, as well as the procedures for the selection of projects and the eligibility rules for expenditure, the project selection criteria, the application procedures also through the programme information system.
In particular, the Managing Authority Maria Nezeriti pointed out that “Interreg is a key instrument of the European Union that strengthens cooperation between regions and countries within the EU. The Programme will have positive effects on all our regions and today’s event will certainly contribute to bring us even closer.”
This concept was also confirmed by Gianfranco Gadaleta, Joint Secretariat Coordinator, who, in expressing his satisfaction with the integration of the Regions of Basilicata and Calabria in the Programme, emphasised that “the territorial cooperation has effects on the territory only if it fully involves citizens and stakeholders” and added that “the presence of the representatives of the Regions of Calabria and Apulia, in the room today, is a clear demonstration of the strong will to cooperate”.
The greetings from Puglia and Calabria regions were entrusted by Giuseppe Rubino and Nicola Mayera.
The works were moderated by Antonio Bernardo, Head of the Managing Authority Office of the Basilicata 2014-2020 ERDF OP, who concluded the works by inviting the participants to start building partnerships with potential partners from the other five eligible Italian and Greek regions in view of the publication of the first calls for proposals of the Programme.