The event, which has already become a European fixture, returns to its "home" Izola after two years of epidemic restrictions. The Municipality of Izola organizes it with the support of JZP Izola and in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, the Government Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Development and European Cohesion Policy, the European Commission, Interact Programme, Koper Regional Development Center and other partners.
The guests were welcomed by the mayor of the Municipality of Izola, Danilo Markočič, who emphasized the good experience of Izola in providing new green and blue jobs and joint projects for even better cooperation in the region.
State Secretary Matej Skočir pointed out that the Municipality of Izola is becoming an important partner of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, especially of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, as in the strategic project EUSAIR Facility Point, it represents the Slovenian voice in the implementation of sustainable environmental content in the macro-region in the field of integrated management of sea and its hinterland land as well as contributes to the search for development models for strengthening green infrastructure and opening new, green jobs.
A region is only as strong as are the connections within it, said State Secretary Marko Koprivec from the Government Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Development and European Cohesion Policy. Macroregions represent a unique platform of cooperation, not only of state institutions, but also of the academic sphere, local communities and the non-governmental sector. This is also the greatest added value of the Mediterranean Coast and Macroregional Strategies Week, which brings together all the aforementioned stakeholders in one place.
"Connectivity within macro-regions is key and even necessary for effectively addressing modern challenges. In this regard, it is particularly important to point out the extremely inclusive nature of macro-regional strategies, which goes beyond membership in the European Union", believes the Member of the European Parliament Milan Brglez.
"The topic of this year's event, Healthy Sea for a Safer Future, is extremely important in light of the current tense international relations. European citizens increasingly feel how important macro-regional strategies are in times of crisis," said Sławomir Tokarski, director of the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission. Representatives of the European Commission regularly attend such events in successful local environments.
Ambassador Ksenija Škrilec, Acting Director General of the Directorate for European Union Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out the importance of the region's supporting structure EUSAIR Facility Point. The latter offers a unique opportunity to use our knowledge and experience to strengthen cooperation with other EU countries and institutions and adequately defend the interests of other stakeholders.
The Week until Friday offers a varied program of content about the sea and its hinterland, the natural and economic potential of the coast, but also the risks that the sea and hinterland face due to natural phenomena and human activities. The latter are not necessarily harmful to the environment, as nature and the economy can be strengthened with appropriate solutions. The events will take place mostly in the Manzioli Palace, while the Friday workshops "Green transition and macro-regions" and "Innovations for a sustainable blue economy" will take place in the InnoRenew Center.