CESCI Balkans provides expertise in:
Research on cross-border issues
Cross-border cooperation might be considered as the "laboratory of the European structure" (Paul Lamassoure, MEP). It is obvious, that all achievements of the European integration (such as the free movement of goods, services, labour and capital) appear the most transparent way in the open border regions. Similarly every obstacle hindering the development of a deeper integration of the Union occurs in closed border areas. Forms and structures of cross-border cooperation thus serve as a model, as a smaller version of the EU, as a kind of laboratory which demonstrates how the European Community works. Consequently, cross-border studies are beneficial not only because peripheral border regions need to be more open for the sake of a better use of their territorial capital but at the same time it is in the common interest of the EU to follow and examine and even learn from the processes on the ground.
CESCI Balkans provides the following services:
Cross-border strategic planning
The biggest obstacle hindering the use of territorial capital in border regions is the dividing effect of the frontiers. Borders limit the area of influence of larger cities thus creating truncated urban areas. Borders lead to double peripheries in rural areas where the roads end, where the infrastructure is underdeveloped and from where the population move away because of the lack of working opportunities.
Cross-border planning and developing work fulfils its mission if it results in reducing to minimum or abolishing these unfavourable impacts.
CESCI has developed a new methodology of cross-border strategic planning which focuses on enhancing territorial, economic and social cohesion. Instead of a state-of-play analysis we elaborate a cohesion analysis seeking for the factors boosting and hindering three aspects of cohesion. Instead of a sector-based strategy we work out an integrated, cross-sectoral strategy which focuses on cohesion. By using this new method we aim at opening the borders and bringing stakeholders from both sides of these borders closer to one another.
In the field of strategic planning CESCI Balkans offers its services as follows:
Institution and project development
In recent years a bad practice of cross-border project development and implementation has taken root in the Balkans. Local actors use cross-border cooperation programmes for satisfying their own, local development needs. Consequently, sustainable, long-term institutionalised and strategic cooperation cannot be developed. The parties meet in an ad-hoc way for the sake of a single project. Following the project implementation the partners deal with maintaining only their own project package, the joint elements are fading out.
The mission of CESCI Balkans is to transform this bad practice into a good one, that of strategically based long-term forms of cooperation. Integrated projects can ensure the joint development of the projects and the long-term sustainability of the results thereof.
Institutionalised cooperation might guarantee a strategic approach in planning and financing.
In this field CESCI Balkans provides support in:
Part of the CESCI Balkans mission is mediation between the local, the national and the European level. Mediation is crucial because without this proper information on policy documents and legal provisions under preparation related to cross-border cooperation at national and EU level cannot reach local stakeholders who will be responsible for the implementation of those regulations; and vica versa: the preparation of decisions will be inadequate without the knowledge of interests and capacities of local stakeholders. Our association takes part in several professional networks and platforms in Europe.
As a service provider CESCI helps cooperation by: