In our region, a European territorial grouping termed Common Region there will be located in the border area of the Slovak and Czech Republics. The Slovak part of the grouping covers 22 municipalities in the district of Senica, the Trnava Region. On the Czech territory, it includes two associations of municipalities, Letovicko and Mala Hana; they belong to the Blansko District in the South-Moravian Region.
A SWOT analysis of the above territories defines the areas of mutual cooperation along with initial disparities, in particular the following ones:
- there is an industrial park in the town of Senica / there is no industrial park in the Czech part of the territory,
- there are fewer water bodies in Slovakia / there is the Letovice Dam on the Czech territory,
- there is an airport in the town of Senica on the Slovak territory,
- more protected areas are established in the Slovak part of the territory,
- a bigger share of high-quality soil for agricultural purposes is located in the Czech part,
- better conditions for agrotourism, with many cycle routes can be found in the Czech region,
- there is a well-known Smrdaky spa on the Slovak territory / the Czech part has no healing and recreation area of supra-regional importance.
These are some of initial disparities that have been determined and help analyse the industrial, cultural, and environmental status of particular territories and define necessary adjustments.
Bilingualism also plays a major role in the development of regions, especially because Czech can be understood by Slovak citizens, and vice versa, which increases the success rate of this grouping considerably. Recent common history that gave similar experience and expectations to the people of this region is very instrumental, too.
What is the EGTC?
This acronym stands for European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) which is an organisation that joins entities for the purpose of devising possible mutual cooperation strategies in the field of culture, education, sport, job opportunities, nature conservation, and infrastructure development. It helps create a stronger sense of social and territorial cohesion of respective entities.
The Slovak Republic has set up five such cross-border cooperation projects with adjacent states for the programming period 2007-2013. The programme is applicable within the entire EU and is legally defined in the Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council. It has been accepted by the Slovak Republic through a national provision in the act No 90/2008 Coll. on EGTC and the supplement to the act No 540/2001 Coll. on State Statistics.
In the EU there are currently 15 groupings of territorial cooperation and more than 20 are under preparation. Kras-Bodva was the first area registered in the Slovak Republic; it joined municipalities in Slovakia and Hungary. For the time being, further groupings have applied for registration. A recommended procedure has been set up for the establishment of a GTC; it covers the preparation, technical, and administrative phases.
During the preparation phase the terms and objectives of a territorial grouping are analyzed and defined, and potential members of the grouping are determined. During the technical phase Statutes are worked out, taking into account the internal law and order of each party involved. The administrative phase deals with the acceptance of the Convention and Statutes by each prospective member of the grouping, registration of statutes, and the ensuing full legal capacity of the grouping of territorial cooperation. The Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic has been appointed to act as the registration office for European groupings of territorial cooperation from January 1st, 2011.