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The Regional development agency for Podravje – Maribor joins Euromontana!

We are pleased to announce that the Regional development agency for Podravje – Maribor has recently joined Euromontana, becoming our 66th member. The Regional development agency for Podravje – Maribor (RDAPM) is a public non-profit institution and is one of the 12 Slovenian accredited regional development agency. RDAPM, which covers of 41 municipalities, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and is the oldest regional development agency in Slovenia. RDAPM operates in the Pohorje mountain range, which is located in the north-east of Slovenia, bordering Austria. With an altitude ranging between 300 and 1.500 m, Pohorje is a mid-mountain area.

By joining Euromontana, they expect to discuss the Cohesion Policy with other members and to learn from their good practices for regions, as well as to design new projects for the sustainable development of mountain areas.

 

Main missions of the Regional development agency for Podravje – Maribor

The Regional development agency for Podravje – Maribor is a key actor to connect the 41 municipalities of the region and to support their sustainable development.

The priorities of RDAPM are the elaboration and implementation the Regional Development Programme of Podravje region, the promotion of a regional approach  and the preparation and implementation of regional projects. These include different topics that contribute to the sustainable development of rural and mountain areas, including sustainable tourism,  mobility circular economy and support to businesses and SMEs  preincubation.

In addition, the RDAPM agency has also prepared a Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3) strategic documents for Podravje region.

 

Key stakeholder for territorial cohesion

RDAPM is also a key stakeholder in the implementation of Cohesion Policy in mountain areas. RDAPM  coordinated the preparation of the 2021-2027 agreements for the development of the region – a key  document of the Regional Development Plan.

RDAPM is also member of:

  • the Working group for the preparation of strategic development instruments for the East Slovenia region under objective 2 (Low-carbon and green cohesion region East Slovenia 2021–2027)
  • the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy’s Working Group for investment priorities for the programming period 2021–2027 – objective greener, low-carbon Slovenia) in the process of preparation of Operational Programme for the Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy on national level.

 

Focus on sustainable tourism

The Regional development agency for Podravje – Maribor is the coordinator of the Partnership for Pohorje, a cooperation partnership for the sustainable development of tourism in the Pohorje mountains.

The cooperation partnership was created to jointly address the obstacles that the tourism sector is facing. The partnership adopted the “Pohorje Development Strategy”, which identifies the key objectives for the future of tourism, with the support of 47 partners in the entire Pohorje area, including municipalities, tourism operators and regional development agencies and outlines opportunities, for example to improve mountain bike trails, to develop public transport and to raise awareness of the damaging effects of the over-use of cars. One of the flagship measures of the strategy is also the creation of the Pohorje Regional Natural Park. They also confirmed the “Tourism Strategy for Sustainable Development and Marketing of the Destination Pohorje 2021−2027”, which result is Destination management and marketing organisation with 5 centres for marketing, experiences, quality, infrastructure, research and development.

The main goal is to make the Pohorje mountains an internationally recognised green destination. Members of the partnership commit to »preserve the natural and cultural features and encourage coherent economic and touristic development with an emphasis on the sustainable use of natural resources.«

This initiative was presented at the XII European Mountain Convention in October 2022, read more in the event’s brochure of initiatives.

 

The Regional development agency for Podravje – Maribor had already collaborated with Euromontana the framework of Montana174, a project on Cohesion Policy in mountain areas. As a new Euromontana member, RDAPM now expects to further exchange with other mountain areas and to learn from their good practices.

The agency also hopes to find in the Euromontana network potential partners for EU-funded project. RDAPM has designed, participated in and implemented more than 150 projects funded by national and European funds, such as Slovenia’s 2014-2020 Cohesion Policy projects, COSME, H2020, Interreg Alpine Space, Interreg Europe, Interreg Central Europe, Interreg Danube, Interreg Slovenia – Austria, CLLD projects etc.

Klavdija Gornik, Project Manager at RDAPM, was also elected to the Euromontana Board of Directors at the General Assembly on 22 November 2023.

RDAPM is also part of the Enterprise Europe Network, a member of a network of Slovenian regional development agencies and a member of EURADA, the European Association of Development Agencies.

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24 November 2023

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