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ANSA/Environment: Lombardy, E-R, Piedmont most active in EU

Via inter-regional and transnational cooperation - ESPON

(ANSA) - BRUSSELS, NOV 26 - (by Alessandra Briganti) Inter-regional and transnational cooperation programmes play a fundamental role in the development of renewable energy sources, in the reduction of pollution and in the fight against climate change.
    Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont are the most active regions in this field and together with Slovenia and Croatia constitute a focal point of cooperation for the environment and energy.
    This emerged from the 'CE FLOWS' survey, carried out by the EU's ESPON study programme, specialized in regional analyses.
    The study is devoted to trade and levels of integration in the functional area of central Europe that crisscross the territories of member States: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, and some regions of Italy and Germany.
    An area that represents 23% of EU territory, once divided by the Iron Curtain, which is also the manufacturing heart of Europe: here they produce 68% of the added value in manufacturing of the entire EU.
    The researchers investigated their development potential and obstacles, touching in particular on the way in which cooperation can reduce the socio-economic gap between regions and boost integrated territorial development.
    One of the aspects analyzed was environmental cooperation.
    Most of the regions that present a higher risk of soil erosion - for example northern Hungary and eastern Poland - or which have a strong dependence on cars and a significant rate of waste production - for example eastern Germany - are involved only moderately in the Interreg and LIFE programmes, and even less in Horizon 2020.
    On the other hand, the researchers found more intense models of cooperation in the regions that follow a course of development linked to the circular economy.
    These regions, which often revolve around major urban centres, are very active in cooperation in research and innovation, or record good environmental indicators. Among the examples cited, we find Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, northern Bavaria, and western Slovenia, as well as Berlin, Vienna and Warsaw.
    According to the researchers, furthermore, there is a close relationship between the models of cooperation in the environmental field and those linked to the energy transition.
    In other terms, the regions involved in more cooperation projects on the circular economy are also those which take part in a higher number of projects regarding energy efficiency, renewable energies and green technologies.
    In Italy, Slovenia and Croatia you find the leading regions in cooperation projects aimed at developing renewables.
    The Italian regions, in particular Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont, also stand out for their participation in environmental cooperation projects.
    This Italy-Slovenia-Croatia triangle, the researchers write, , is a focal point in cooperation for the environment and energy in the area observed. (ANSA).


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