Cooperating for an ecologically sustainable Europe CENTRAL EUROPE visions

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1 Two June 2009 Cooperating for an ecologically sustainable Europe CENTRAL EUROPE visions FOCUS: Ambitious political goals and regional challenges PEOPLE: Looking at past and future steps from different perspectives FEATURE: Cooperation of economy and ecology PROFILES: Boosting environment on the local and regional level PROJECTS: Going from theory to practice CONTACT: Supporting and preparing the project circle

2 Content Content Central Focus 20 percent by Central People Martin Bursík: Meeting new challenges Jerzy Zajakala: Protecting the environment while promoting development Bernhard Mair: Achieving 100 % renewable energy Central Feature Federal Environmental Agency of Germany: Growth of green markets Polish Academy of Sciences: Power from the ground Regioprofiles Brandenburg: A bright spot for solar energy Budapest: Budapest promotes healthy transport Güssing: Following a formula for success Central Projects FOKS: Tackling the down-to-earth issue of groundwater LABEL: Coordinated flood control facilitates development Central Contact Slovenia harmonises transnational efforts Leading the way in Slovakia Imprint Photos: MA 27 The environment knows no borders The CENTRAL EUROPE programme has encouraged the kind of transnational cooperation that is essential for reducing climate change and addressing other ecological concerns. This edition of CENTRAL EUROPEAN looks at work being undertaken under the programme, especially environmental work. Yes we can! It is not a very innovative slogan. Nevertheless, few public policy fields test the truth of this slogan more than the environment. The last decades have shown that political effort, together with the help of the citizens and the public, may lead to significant changes. No political party, no government at the national, regional or local level in Europe gets along without an opinion from the general public on solutions and improvements to energy efficiency, nature conservation or environmentally-friendly technologies. Certainly, the environment and impacts to it brought about by manmade climate change are the ultimate test for policymakers. The conflict between environment and economy and the difficultiesof fulfilling environmental aims and goals in times of economic distress have been the topic of endless discussions within the last months and weeks. One cannot neglect taking into account that positive Co v e r p h oto : Stefa n i e M a e r t z /FOTO L I A.CO M effects of a growing economy may improve the amount of investments in environmentally-compatible solutions but may also boost the danger of negative impacts on the environment. Simultaneously, a slowing economy means less money for investments in environment yet a smaller scale of negative impacts. As a forerunner in this field for many years, the European Union also made its point clear: achieving positive results for the environment is not possible without worldwide cooperation. That is why the European Union has not just promised to reduce CO 2 emissions by 2020 by 20 percent but also stated that the reduction would be 30 percent, if worldwide partners also commit to a noticeable and encouraging reduction of emissions. Cooperation is a keyword for environmental issues. There are many issues that can be solved more easily by large-scale geographic cooperation. Environment is one of these, for sure. It is clear that no region alone, no country alone is able to overcome the challenges in this field. This is why environment is one of the main priorities in the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme and this second edition of the newsletter CENTRAL EUROPEAN is dedicated to environmental issues. The aim is to show in what ways regions and the cooperation among them can contribute to an environmentally-friendlier Europe and what important role the people, but also the projects, play in this field. Like the first newsletter, this edition of the CENTRAL EURO- PEAN also seeks to raise the awareness on the fact that regions play a crucial role in fulfilling the goals of a Europe of tomorrow. Interaction at the regional, national and European level is necessary in order to fulfil the goals. The newsletter would like to add that the environment and economy are not enemies, but are cogs that must interlink with one another. But environmental policy is not just about cooperation innovation is another key element. This newsletter aims to describe some new and fresh ideas coming from the policy level, but also from the Programme and project level. Therefore, this second issue of the CENTRAL EUROPEAN is the first in which projects approved by the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme will be presented. Christiane Breznik Walther Stöckl 2 3

3 CENTRAL FOCUS P h oto s : j t s c e n t r a l e u r o p e By Markus stradner and Claudia Pamperl Regions are obliged to conduct concrete work to fulfil these environmental goals and also are expected to be the first places achievements or failures will appear. 20 percent by 2020 The EU has set tough targets for cutting green house gases and increasing environmentally friendly energy sources. These goals can only be achieved through the kind of regional cooperation promoted by programmes like CENTRAL EUROPE. P h oto : Sandor Jackal/FOTO L I A.CO M Reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions by 20 percent? Improving energy efficiency by 20 percent? Increasing the share of renewable energies to 20 percent compared to 8.5 percent today? All of this by 2020? What sounds like an astonishing mathematical exercise is in reality one of the most ambitious political goals the European Union has set. When the Heads of States and governments met to establish these goals in March 2007, it was a clear sign that the EU was willing to continue its role as a worldwide pioneer in environmental matters. These measures are intended to lead to the EU s overall energy policy objectives: sustainability, competitiveness and security of supply. Moreover, these numbers not only demonstrate an ambitious goal for the European Union and the political stakeholders but simultaneously illustrate the shift that environmental policy has taken in the last 30 years. Being a small initiative of committed people at the very beginning and often misperceived as a threat to the workforce in the past, it is now almost universally accepted as an important issue and even seen as an increasing source of economic welfare. Furthermore, it is considered a field in which employee numbers are projected to rise in the next few years and it is a potential new market in difficult economic times. Detailed goals Nevertheless, these targets must be given shape and brought down-to-earth in order to fulfil their potential. The European Commission therefore has prepared a package with detailed goals for every Member State at the beginning of 2008, which meanwhile has been accepted and approved by the European Parliament. Now, it is the turn of the Member States and perhaps even more so their regions. Regions are obliged to conduct concrete work to fulfil these environmental goals and also are expected to be the first places achievements or failures will appear. Many environmental policy measures have already been agreed, long before the governmental meeting in March One example is the Directive on electricity produced from renewable energy sources of 2001, another one the Seventh Framework Programme, which sets out a clear priority for research in energy efficiency and renewable energies, along with directives to protect natural resources like the EU Water and Habitats Directive. Still a lot has to be done on the implementation side. 5

4 CENTRAL FOCUS Interrelations to other political fields Environmental policy cannot be considered without its interrelation to and impact on other political fields. Social, employment, industrial or transport are just some policies to be named. Keeping in mind the discussion on CO 2 emissions or the Emission Trade System, different approaches are clearly visible. Conflicts of interest often arise when trying to balance environmental and employment strategies. Even if no serious studies on how many jobs can be created in the environmental sector exist, all studies clearly agree on one point: that the number of jobs will rise and that the European Union can benefit from this opportunity. When it launched the European Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) in 2004, the EU intended to make eco-innovation an everyday reality throughout Europe. Its objective has been to improve European competitiveness in the area of environmental technologies, and enable the EU to become a recognised world leader in this field. Already in 2006, a Commission report stated that the volume of this sector had aggregated to EUR 227 billion. Services and goods provided by the ecological industry represented about 2.2 percent of GDP in the European Union and 3.4 million people were employed in this sector. Mrs. Rebecca Harms, representing the Greens in the European Parliament, said in an interview with the German newspaper TAZ: The EU has a proportion of 30 percent in this sector, which accounts for around EUR 180 billion per year (...) That is where new workforces are built. During the informal meeting of environmental ministers in Essen, Germany in 2007, the ministers made it clear that innovations in eco-industry are the strongest pillars in the European economy and that are capable of competing globally. The estimated world market value is about EUR one trillion. The key element to the creation of new jobs, growth, prosperity and environmental protection is quick and efficient innovation in ecological processes, the ministers stated. The role of regions petitiveness. A total of EUR 105 billion will be invested over the Structural Funds or more than 30 percent of the EU s cohesion policy budget. This is three times more than in the period. This is an opportunity to promote regional development, create sustainable jobs and reduce our energy dependency, said Hübner. Environment is also an important priority of the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme. The CENTRAL EUROPE area comprises a great variety of regions, not just in terms of economy, but also in terms of natural resources, landscapes and the responsible use and protection of the environment. Depending on the geography, economic structure and performance, settlement structure and the population density, the main challenges range from land use to water management, from protected areas to the urban environment and brownfield developments. Additionally, many different approaches can be used to handle these issues. The CENTRAL EUROPE Programme accepts these differences and recognise the potential and problems that need action and answers on the transnational level. Some weaknesses and threats like the fragmentation of the landscape, high energy dependency, and increasing risk of natural hazards and irreversible climate change can be found in every Member State. They exist alongside opportunities like the potential for the production of renewable energy and subsequent social and economic benefits, especially those project proposals to be submitted within the priority Environment. The CENTRAL EUROPE Programme therefore has identified four different areas of intervention: Developing a High Quality Environment by Managing and Protecting Natural Resources and Heritage: This includes strengthening biological diversity, improvement to the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources and heritage. Furthermore, the rehabilitation of degraded areas within Central Europe, for example, former mining areas. Supporting Environmentally Friendly Technologies and Activities: implying the fostering of urban and regional technologies as well as the promotion of transnational incentives for ecoinnovations. Each region has its own potentials and risks that have to be taken into consideration. Minimising the risks together and cooperating in order to maximise the potentials of the regions in this respect will be the main challenge in the coming years of the Programme implementation. Environment is thus a great field in which to show how the European Union can bring added value to its citizens and how regions may profit. Cooperation not just for the regions themselves but for policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders is the main task. Cooperating for success the slogan of the CENTRAL EUROPE project is even truer in ecology than in most other topics. Claudia Pamperl is Project Manager at the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme Joint Technical Secretariat in Vienna. She is first of all in charge of projects within priority three of the Programme Environment. Markus Stradner is Head of Communication at the CENTRAL EUROPE Joint Technical Secretariat in Vienna and Editor of the CENTRAL EUROPEAN. Regions are affected by environmental topics in many ways. First, municipalities and regional governments are responsible for implementing concrete actions in order to improve the environment. These measures impact the regions first. Increased energy efficiency in public buildings, investments in clean urban public transport and support to small- and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) in improving their energy efficiency as well as research and development are just some of the areas for improvement. Regional policy and regional development programmes play an integrated role in this discussion. Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner made that clear, when she said, the environment is at the heart of the cohesion policy for growth, jobs and com- Reducing Risks and Impacts of Natural and Man-made Hazards: A topic which gets a lot of media attention every year, as the number of natural hazards is constantly rising. Transnational networks and the exchange of best practice strive for more effective risk prevention measures in various fields and sectors for a benefit of the regions. Supporting the Use of Renewable Energy Sources and Increasing Energy Efficiency: The regions of the CENTRAL EUROPE area shall contribute to the 2020 goals through the setting up of new strategies to enforce the use of renewable energies, but also understanding the negative implications of the production of renewable energy, e.g., the impact of industrialised monocropping for biofuels). Environment is thus a great field in which to show how the European Union can bring added value to its citizens and how regions may profit. P h oto : F OTO L I A.CO M 6 7

5 CENTRAL people Photo: Moe CR M i n i s t e r M a r t i n B u r s í k Meeting new challenges Czech Environment Minister Martin Bursík talks about what his country, this region and Europe can do to meet tough EU environmental objectives. P h oto : e u r o p e a n Co m m i s s i o n Au d i o v i s ua l S e r v i c e CE: The EU has committed itself to achieving very tough environmental objectives by 2020 (cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, improving energy efficiency by 20 percent and raising overall share of renewable energy to 20 percent). What are the main challenges in meeting these goals? Bursík: All three 20-percent figures are a challenge, of course. But we have to take into account that we must respond to the challenge of climate change. We would stress that the 20-percent reduction target can be perceived as a 30-percent reduction because Europe also has indicated it will lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent if other relevant GHG producers will come aboard. And we are encouraged by the activity of the Obama Administration in the United States. Among European environment ministers we usually speak about the 30-percent target. Although it is a very ambitious target, we have to do our utmost to reach it, otherwise we will blame ourselves and we will be unable to reverse the current trend of the average global temperature rising by 0.2 o C per decade. CE: What actions, measures and strategy does the Czech EU presidency propose in view of the conclusion of a new global agreement at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009? Bursík: First of all, we focus on negotiations with our key industrial partners such as the United States, India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and Australia as well as developing countries that are most affected by the impact of climate change. Especially those least developed countries and small island states that are the most vulnerable. The EU Environment Council has adopted a very detailed and long description about what Europe would like to see in the Copenhagen agreement, so we have a very good basis for the negotiations. CE: How do you explain the discrepancy between the protection of environment and the imposition of high environmental technical standards on the one hand, and safeguarding the economy on the other, when considering the argument that protecting the environment endangers jobs? Bursík: I do not see any discrepancy. I absolutely agree with my colleagues, European environment ministers as well as with the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in stating that the current economic crisis is not a barrier but an opportunity. We are obliged to fully exploit this opportunity to shift to a low-carbon and energy-efficient economy. This is the only sustainable and competitive future for Europe. Otherwise, other economies such as the United States or China will come with their own innovations and Europe will loose its competitive advantage. CE: CENTRAL EUROPE is a Programme which encourages regions to cooperate in order to cope with the challenges faced by the EU. What represents a special opportunity for cooperation in the improvement of environmental matters in CENTRAL EUROPE? Bursík: We have many issues and challenges in common. I would mention energy safety and energy efficiency, air quality protection, especially threatened by rising figures of car ownership, but there is also rich natural and biodiversity heritage in Central European countries, a real European treasure that should be protected very carefully. CE: How to divide the many tasks that have to be done at the EU, national, regional and local level in the near future concerning environmental topics, specifically management of natural resources, renewable energy, energy efficiency and cleaner production? And how can the projects that are funded within the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme contribute to their fulfilment? Bursík: It is always a question. But I am sure that all available resources and ways how to deal with problems like biodiversity loss, worsening of air quality, especially in towns and cities, or shifts in energy supply towards renewables should be used at all levels like you mentioned. I have no doubt about it. Using EU funds in Central European countries can serve as one good example. But also sharing examples of good practice is very important since Central Europe has many things, including history, in common. CE: What is your personal connection to the CENTRAL EUROPE area? Bursík: First, I am a Central-European-born European. I have a very close relation to Slovakia, Austria and Slovenia, since mountainclimbing is my favourite hobby and I love the Tatras and Alps very much. The current economic crisis is not a barrier but an opportunity. We are obliged to fully exploit this opportunity to shift to a low carbon and economy-efficient economy. 8 9

6 CENTRAL PEOPLE J e r z y Z a j a k a l a Photo: Committee of Regions Cohesion Policy programmes have allocated over EUR 9 billion to the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energies in the period , with funds supporting a vast range of activities including energy efficiency improvements in industry, commerce, transport and public buildings, co-generation and local energy production, innovation for sustainable energy, and training for monitoring and evaluation of energy performance. Protecting the environment while promoting development Jerzy Zajakala, the Mayor of Lubianka, Poland and a member of the Committee of Regions, talks about the challenges and possibilities for addressing Europe s environmental concerns through regional cooperation. Regional responses to climate change should complement international, European and national policies, while building on exchange and cooperation between regions faced with similar threats and opportunities. p h oto : europeanco m m i s s i o n Au d i o v i s ua l S e r v i c e CE: The EU has set out ambitious goals in order to improve the environmental situation in Europe: What are the main challenges in your view in order to fulfil the goals until the year 2020? Zajakla: Regional responses to climate change should complement international, European and national policies, while building on exchange and cooperation between regions faced with similar threats and opportunities. Mitigation and adaptation to climate change can only be successful when all levels of government, including local and regional self-government, become involved. In 2009, the Commission for Sustainable Development (DEVE) of the Committee of Regions (CoR) will keep a strong political focus on energy and climate change policy. In particular, DEVE will explore all the potential ways in which EU policy can support towns, cities and other municipal communes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20 percent by 2020 under the Covenant of Mayors initiative. DEVE s contributions in 2009 will include an opinion on the EC White Paper on Adaptation to Climate Change, a forum on local and regional adaptation to climate change and the promotion of dialogue on local and regional adaptations to climate change. This is an important step towards global climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December Another main challenge is to halt biodiversity loss. The EU immediately needs to start developing a renewed EU vision for biodiversity for the next decade, based on the emerging concept of ecosystem services to ensure not only the cessation of biodiversity loss but also a reversal of trends, with particular investments in the development of Green Infrastructures. A key challenge is to achieve the EU s aim of decoupling economic growth from the use of resources. This implies improving regional and local solutions for the proper management of waste, further moving to a recycling society, as well as combating noise and air pollution and reducing the degradation. CE: You are member of the Committee of Regions and Mayor of Lubianka. In your opinion, what can regions and cities do in order to fulfil the so-called goals? Zajakla: Transport, housing and public buildings, and public lighting infrastructure planned for and provided by local and regional authorities are areas where significant CO 2 reductions and energy savings can be achieved. EU funding and financing should be adapted in order to prioritise actions to promote sustainable energy use. Local and regional authorities (LRAs) are in a good position to mobilise the relevant stakeholders, particularly investors, by raising their awareness of the EU climate policy requirements and by involving them in a dialogue on climate policy implementation. Moreover, the shift from non-renewable to renewable energy sources implies an increase in relatively small-scale, local energy production, a role for local and regional authorities. Street lighting, housing, transport as well as public buildings and offices become the prime areas for local and regional sustainable energy policies. Consequently, local and regional authorities must be fully involved in the preparation and implementation of national renewable energy action plans. Sustainable energy plans are the backbone of the recent initiative, the Covenant of Mayors, that aims to go beyond the targets of 20 percent reduction of CO 2 emissions by CE: To what extent can the global financial crisis influence climate change in terms of the necessity to utilise environmentally-friendlier technologies and use natural resources more efficiently? Zajakla: The Committee of Regions believes that the fundamental aim of any sustainable development strategy must be to break the link between economic growth and environmental decline. The CoR is also in favour of providing additional support to research and development activities. These two areas play an important role in stimulating innovation and generating up-to-date technologies and innovative products to tackle climate change by promoting the development of innovative goods and services. Investment programmes and financial support provided in the framework of the Recovery Plan should facilitate Europe s transition to low-carbon technology, if EU climate change and energy goals can be achieved by Further adjustment of the structural funds might be needed to prioritise the resources needed for energy efficiency in buildings. 11

7 CENTRAL people Moreover, the CoR has urged the Commission to encourage the take up of existing support schemes for renewable energy such as Structural Funds, access to European Investment Bank loans and others. It is essential that the EU s urban and rural areas benefit from the emergence of new markets in renewable energy. If the renewable energy sector can bring a million additional jobs in Europe by 2020, as the Commission expects, then this will be a great demonstration of a new balance between EU economic growth and its climate targets, a win-win option for all. CE: Commissioner Danuta Hübner recently said: Environment is at the heart of Cohesion Policy for growth, jobs and competitiveness. What is your opinion on this statement? Zajakla: The CoR believes that it is paramount to step up efforts to protect the environment. It would, however, draw attention to the need to avoid placing an undue burden on EU citizens and to enable companies that have already invested in very high environmental standards to compete in Europe. The relocation of European companies with high environmental standards from Europe to other parts of the world without such high standards would also make it more difficult to achieve global climate goals. Cohesion Policy programmes have allocated over EUR 9 billion to the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energies in the period , with funds supporting a vast range of activities including energy efficiency improvements in industry, commerce, transport and public buildings, co-generation and local energy production, innovation for sustainable energy, and training for monitoring and evaluation of energy performance. In addition Cohesion Policy supports investment in energy efficiency in residential housing under certain conditions. Financial instruments, including debt finance and equity funds provided by the European Investment Bank Group (e.g. through structural programme loans) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, could allow additional funding in support of Operational Programmes. For the period, EUR 4.2 billion of Cohesion policy funding has been allocated to energy efficiency for housing sector projects in Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The CoR further welcomes that Member States and regions make increased use of the new opportunities provided in both the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund to promote biodiversity and natural heritage management. Regional development plans implemented in many regions show that the tension between economics and biodiversity can be resolved and that the wise use of natural heritage can benefit sustainable socioeconomic development. It is crucial that Member States, regions and local authorities consequently minimise the negative impacts of their regional development programmes and of their projects co-funded by the Structural Funds on the environment by consistent application of Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA), Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), as well as tools like the Natura 2000 impact assessment procedures. This is in particular relevant to the newer Member States with substantial infrastructure investments being carried out. CE: In addition to climate change, European environmental policies has to fulfil many other tasks like waste management, Health, Nature and Biodiversity, Sustainable Development, Waste and Natural Resources and Urban Environment. In your opinion, which of them will play the prominent role in the coming years? Zajakla: The CoR Commission for Sustainable Development also deals with issues of agricultural policy and with maritime affairs, among others. It recently adopted an opinion concerning legislative proposals arising from the recent health appraisal of the Common Agricultural Policy. The DEVE Commission members believe that an in-depth reform of direct aid systems is required so that these systems can contribute effectively to social and territorial cohesion. The members have voiced their concerns on the lack of synergies between rural development policy and other EU policies, in particular, the cohesion policy. The DEVE Commission has held that in order to fight climate change, integrated food strategies should be encouraged. This will reduce food mileage, which covers waste and energy management, and it will lead to the establishment of a labelling system, based on criteria defining origin, quality and sustainability. To lower the carbon footprint of agricultural activities, regions should be encouraged to develop and promote locally produced food and food-related products. In the field of water policy, a number of EU directives will affect the state of the EU s water resources. In the directives, binding deadlines are an integrated part of the implementation. The Water Framework Directive operates with a deadline of 2015 where all water bodies should reach good ecological status. The first River Basin Management Plans (RBMP) are to be worked out by 22 December 2009 at the latest, and it is therefore important that the guidelines and a set of tools are developed by the end of 2009 to ensure that the RBMP are climate resilient. The Flooding Directive operates with three deadlines. In the years 2011, 2013 and 2015, preliminary flood risk assessment, flood hazard maps and flood risk management plans have to be carried out. The Water Scarcity and Droughts Strategy will introduce drought management plans. These defined targets will in large part be implemented and driven by municipalities and regions throughout Europe. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that the right tools are provided in due time by the Union to the local and regional level of government. P h oto : e u r o p e a n Co m m i s s i o n Au d i o v i s ua l S e r v i c e In the field of waste and natural resources, the implementation of the EU Environmental Noise Directive, the revised Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control and EU Waste Framework Directive, as well as the EU Landfill Directive and the ones on electrical equipment (WEEE/RoHS Directives), will continue to play a prominent role in the coming years for local and regional authorities. The CoR is at the moment drafting an opinion on the need for a further EU framework for the upcoming issue of biowaste management. The CoR is currently drafting an opinion on New impetus for halting the biodiversity decline. A large gap exists between stated ambitions and action undertaken for halting biodiversity decline. New impetus is needed in order achieve this objective. This can only happen if regional and local authorities are actively involved and in particular provided with the necessary financial means, and if more emphasis is given to sectoral integration of biodiversity and ecosystem concerns into the various policy areas. An upcoming issue also is developing an EU strategy to tackle invasive species. The CoR will continue to closely follow the involvement of local and regional authorities in the EU s, national and local/regional sustainable development strategies and policies. Improving the urban environment is a key issue in this regard and the CoR was involved in recent initiatives of the EU such as the new European Green Capital Award. CE: How can transnational cooperation in the CENTRAL EUROPE area tackle environmental issues? To what degree can it play a complementary role to the Cohesion policy programmes? Zajakla: The CoR recommends promoting cooperation in the relevant territories (for example, sea and river basins or upland regions) where territorial integration can be improved and regional and sub-regional differences can be reduced. For example, joint spatial planning strategies are a framework to deal effectively with environmental protection, pollution and transport networks. Moreover, the CoR believes that more strategic approaches such as the development of macro-regions should be encouraged like the future EU Baltic Sea Region Strategy; at the transnational level of sea basins, frameworks for innovative governance should be introduced. They should promote the integrated maritime policy that has jut been adopted by the EU to achieve greater coherence between Community action within the EU and the third countries concerned. The CoR maintains that the foremost challenge is to speed up the convergence of lagging regions, especially the integration of new areas in CENTRAL EUROPE, as regularly and quite rightly pointed out in the European Commission s various papers on cohesion policy

8 CENTRAL people B e r n h a r d M a i r Toblach is a village with 3,300 citizens and half a million tourist overnight visits a year. The ecological aspect is as important for local inhabitants as it is for tourists. Furthermore, we can record remarkable economic advantages in comparison to fossil fuels. Achieving 100 % renewable energy Bernhard Mair, the Mayor of Toblach/Dobbiaco, Italy, talks about the work of making sure his municipality runs on completely renewable energy. photos: öffentl. Bibliothek/Gemeinde Toblach, europeancommission Audiovisual Service CE: Last year, Legambiente the most important environmental organisation in Italy - awarded your municipality with an environmental price because 100 percent of the energy you use comes from renewable energy sources. Could you shortly outline the history and background of this achievement? Mair: First, I would outline that this year the municipality of Toblach also was awarded with the environmental price by the Legambiente organisation. For many years the municipality of Toblach has been occupied with the subject of renewable energies. Beginning with the Dobbiaco Colloquia in the 1980s, an annual September conference on environmental issues in the Alps, the municipal administration has adopted many ideas in cooperation with its citizens and has realised many projects such as the biomass-derived district heating plant and photovoltaic power plants. CE: What was the actual impulse to start with this environmentally friendly initiative? Mair: There s no new impulse, it s the continuation of aiming in always the same direction. CE: As many other countries, Italy will probably also not be able to reach the goals set in the Kyoto Protocol. What do you think are the most important challenges to improve this situation? Mair: Italy started very lately to bother with renewable energies, in contrast to South Tyrol, where the provincial government has supported this matter since the early nineties. The decision in Italy to go nuclear is absolutely counterproductive. CE: Within the CENTRAL EUROPE area that consists of eight EU-Member States (Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia), Italy records the highest level of dependency on energy imports. What conclusions can you make from this fact as mayor of a small municipality? Mair: Our example demonstrates clearly that small realities, in particular, have great chances to be energy autonomous. And many small ones can sum up to a big thing. CE: More than half of all Italian municipalities using renewable energy sources have less than 5,000 inhabitants. What do you think is the reason for that and how could it be changed? Mair: We have already noticed that in small communities it is easier to get the citizens agreement. CE: What arguments in your opinion advocate in favour of renewable energy sources? Mair: Toblach is a village with 3,300 citizens and half a million tourist overnight visits a year. The ecological aspect is as important for local inhabitants as it is for tourists. Furthermore, we can record remarkable economic advantages in comparison to fossil fuels. CE: Seven out of ten municipalities listed by the Legambiente organisation within the category of renewable energy come from the region of Bolzano. Can you give us reasons for that? Mair: The province of Bolzano is an autonomous province in Italy and has primary competence in the field of energy supply. As I ve already mentioned the provincial government has focused on renewable energies since the early nineties. CE: Your municipality has already participated in different crossborder programmes. Which advantages has the municipality of Toblach gained from this cooperation? Mair: Within the last years we have tried to cooperate with other municipalities that are similarly orientated and we also have assumed those ideas that matched our requirements

9 CENTRAL feature P h oto : u m w e lt b u n d e s a m t Green jobs are booming. About 1.8 million people, or 4.5 percent of overall employment, work in the environmental sector. German companies are world leaders with a share of over 16 percent of global trade in environmental goods. H a r ry Lehmann Growth of green markets Harry Lehmann, director of the Department of environmental planning and sustainable strategies at the Federal Environmental Agency of Germany talks about a recent report on the interplay between environmental protection and economic development. The report predicts increasing demand for environmentally friendly technologies. CE: You conducted a survey on the interrelation between ecology and economy in Germany. What were the most important findings? Lehmann: The Federal Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry of Environment recently published a report on the environmental economy in Germany. This report highlights the positive interplay between environmental protection and economic development. Environmental technology ranks as one of the most important markets in this century. Eco-technologies are no longer perceived as niche-markets. We observe a diffusion of environmentally beneficial technologies in major markets such as the engineering industry, the automobile industry and the building industry. Given the scarcity of resources, we believe that eco-efficiency will become a major characteristic of industrial goods and services. Improving eco-efficiency will be a prerequisite for the competitiveness of industries. In Germany, environmental industry is established as a sector that is increasingly driving both growth and employment: In 2007, environmental goods accounted for more that five percent of industrial goods production. Between 2005 and 2007, the value of production increased by 27 percent. Renewable energies and measuring and control technology are at the forefront of this development. Green jobs are booming. About 1.8 million people, or 4.5 percent of overall employment, work in the environmental sector. German companies are world leaders with a share of over 16 percent of global trade in environmental goods. P h oto : i n f i n i t y /foto l i a.co m CE: In the survey you state that the future markets will be green. What do you mean with this conclusion? Lehmann: Environmental and efficiency technologies will play a central role in the future. To satisfy rising demand for products and services, we need to decouple economic growth from resource consumption. In addition, total resource consumption has to be lowered in the next decades. Eco-innovations are needed in all sectors of the economy. Taking into account the ecological challenges of environmental pollution, climate change, resource and water scarcity, we predict that the growing need for environmental innovation and technologies in these areas will also create high market potentials. Future green markets will be characterised by great importance of eco-innovation and high growth potential. Renewable energies, energy efficiency, sustainable water management, sustainable mobility and recycling management are all green markets of the future. Estimates by Roland Berger Consulting indicate that the world green market volume will more than double, from 1,000 billion in 2005 to 2,200 billion in Between 2004 and 2006, the number of jobs in companies active on these green markets rose by 15 percent per year

10 CENTRAL Feature EU Member States currently hold about one-third of the world market in environmental goods. They are particularly strong in technologies for renewable power generation, where their global market share sums up to 40 percent, and in waste management and recycling technology with a market share over 50 percent. CE: Which concrete outputs you expect in the coming years concerning the interrelation between ecology and economy? Lehmann: Until recently, environmental policy has tackled issues such as pollution, waste or water supply. Now countries that pursue an ambitious environmental policy have clean technology industries of a significant size. In future, environmental issues will penetrate all economic sectors and notably resource and energy efficiency will play a more important role. Neglecting environmental issues can lead to economic disruptions, as the recent problems of the automobile industry have shown. Environmental resources deliver all our basic needs. The overuse of them undermines our economic foundations. Because of market imperfections and path dependencies in the development of technologies there will be the need for governments to act and to initiate a development towards environmental sustainability. This policy will simultaneously ensure economic stability. Economic instruments such as taxes or emissions trading systems will play a more important role as they give the markets the necessary signals for environmental constraints. The future will also bring us regulatory instruments that incorporate the private sector to a larger extent. Efficiency gains, for example, can be obtained by a top-runner model that rewards the producers of the best products and abolishes inefficient products. CE: You claim that conservation of the environment can have a positive influence on the economy. Can you give us reasons for that and explain how it is possible to quantify this statement? Lehmann: If we do not act now, we and future generations will have to bear much higher costs. This is true for the area of climate protection as well as many other areas of environmental policy. The evidence shows that inaction is already damaging economic growth today. Conservation of the environment not only reduces environmental damages and follow-up costs, it also benefits the current economy. Let me highlight this argument with the following points: The public debate often conveys the impression that environmental protection is solely a cost factor. This is a short-sighted view. Investments in (integrated) environmental technologies often lead to substantial savings in operational costs, for instance, through lower costs for energy and materials or for waste management. Environmental protection is also economically worthwhile. Concerning the Renewable Energy Sources Act in Germany, savings from avoided environmental damage are already equal to the additional costs from the Act. Environmental regulation stimulates eco-innovations. According to a recent study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, the German government s climate and energy package has already proven to be a veritable economic boost programme. By 2020, the net result of all its effects on the national economy will add up to a half million additional jobs by generating demand in employment-intensive sectors, such as energyrelated rehabilitation of buildings. Furthermore, an effective climate policy will save us 17 billion on energy imports in CE: Climate protection is one of the focal points in the political agenda not only at national level of Member States, but also at EU-level. In your opinion, what are the main challenges in this respect for you? Lehmann: The main challenges, at this time of course, are the discussions and negotiations at national, EU and international level towards a post-2012 agreement in late December this year. This conference will take place in Copenhagen and surely be the focal point of interest for the whole world in relation to climate change, climate protection and adaptation to climate change. Frankly, I am not really convinced that we will be able to respond to all the needs concerning necessary regulations at that conference. But I am optimistic that the climate change issue is a top priority on the agendas of most countries of the world. It will be challenging to adopt quantitative greenhouse gas reduction targets reaching up to The IPCC - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - states clearly that we need to reduce global emissions by 50 percent on the basis o emissions data from The question will be: who will carry which part of that burden? At the moment an optimistic development is the active role of the US policy on climate change, especially regarding the development of a legal framework for reducing emissions, development of the renewable energy sector, as well as its focus on energy efficiency. The increasing demand overseas will have positive impacts on Europe s economy. The national challenge for Germany will be to implement the 40 percent reduction target by 2020 and the national strategy for adaptation to climate change. CE: The CENTRAL EUROPE Programme area consists of eight EU Member States (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia), each with a very different actual situation related to environmental aspects (protection of nature, use of renewable resources, etc.). The aim of the Programme is to improve this situation through transnational cooperation. What are the main tasks which have to be fulfilled in order to substantially improve the environmental situation in the Central European area? Lehmann: As environmental problems are usually of a cross-border character and result from complex cause-and-effect chains, transnational cooperation is required. The Agenda 21 principle think globally, act locally is crucial for sustainable problem-solving in order to avoid problems being shifted from one area to another. Future green markets will be characterised by great importance of eco-innovation and high growth potential. Sustainable environmental protection must take into account local socio-economic and cultural geographies, because regional economic linkages and different cultural points of view influence the perception of problems, definition of goals for problem-solving as well as action planning. In Central Europe, where the traditions and functionings of Western and Eastern Europe converge, culture plays a special role. In order to avoid irreparable damages, action is urgently needed in the fields of efficient use of non-renewable resources, protection of biodiversity, limitation of land consumption and climate protection. Germany is cooperating with Central European countries on these issues. The Federal Environment Agency, for instance, is in contact with environment protection agencies (EPAs) in Central European countries via the EPA network and has supported new EU Member States since the early 1990s in improving environmental standards through individual project partnerships. Exchange of experience for capacity building (e.g., establishment of effective environmental administration, support of NGOs) is another important field of cooperation. The successful accession to the EU of Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia five years ago was an important milestone in overcoming disparities in the Central European region and set a basis for common activities such as the transnational project Act Clean launched recently with the German Federal Environment Agency as lead partner. CE: What is the role of the regions concerning the interrelation between economy and ecology? Lehmann: Our objective is to create the framework for a future-oriented green economy at the international, European and national level. The arenas for putting this into practice are the regions. This is where the social, economic and ecological challenges we are facing today are concentrated. It is the regions where the green economy becomes reality. Therefore, regional policy can make a considerable contribution to the goals of a green economy. An effective green economy contributes to the overall aim of sustainable regional development. This aim also requires broad cooperation and coordinated efforts among regional and local actors. In Germany, for example, regional policy sometimes lacks this sort of cooperation, which may result in an inefficient use of natural resources, uncoordinated infrastructure measures and high expenditures. Therefore, improving cooperation on regional level is one of the tasks with which German policymaking is confronted. Promoting a green economy at the regional level is not just a national task. Challenges such as climate change, the need for sustainable energy supply or the financial and economic crisis require European solutions, in particular. We therefore welcome, for example, the recent announcement by the EU Commission that 105 billion will be invested in the green economy through the EU Cohesion Policy for sustainable growth and long-term jobs. Reducing developmental disparities has a significant impact on the competitiveness of all regions in the EU and on the living conditions of their inhabitants. We agree with the Commission that the Cohesion Policy, with its cross-border, transnational and interregional programmes, can offer an important platform for cooperation in creating a low-carbon economy. Therefore, these programmes can also help to improve regional cooperation in Germany. P h oto : Anja Krummeck/foto l i a.co m 18 19

11 CENTRAL regions CENTRAL EUROPE covers eight EU Member States and more than 60 regions. About 148 million citizens or 28 percent of the EU population live in this area. It is an area with high economic disparities and great opportunities. It is also an area that is growing closer, where increasing cross-border and transnational cooperation helps to overcome borders that have been so important in the past. This issue highlights the following regions: Burgenland Region Brandenburg Region KÖZÉPMAGYARORSZÁG Region 20 21

12 CENTRAL Feature W i e s l aw B u j a ko w s k i Two major features of geothermal energy are its relatively common occurrence and its availability at any time, independent from the weather or the season of the year. Power from the ground Geothermal sources can provide clean energy, but there are challenges involved, according to Wieslaw Bujakowski Ph. D., head of the Geothermal Laboratory at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Kraków. we participate in the EU projects like the Integrated Geophysical Exploration Technologies for deep fractured geothermal systems (I-GET) and Geothermal Regulations for Heat GTR-H. We have a vast experience in the geothermal field, probably leading the country, but of course we permanently strive to broaden it. We successfully apply for the successive EU projects (e.g. GEOCOM Geothermal Communities to demonstrate the use of geothermal energy for district heating with small-scale renewable energy systems (RES) integration and retrofitting measures). We have submitted four papers to the World Geothermal Congress, Such participation has enabled us to become familiar with the most recent research methods (I-GET), helpful for future recognition of the geology of the geothermal systems and enabling the collection of information about favourable legal solutions for renewable energy systems (GTR-H). CE: What are the main advantages of geothermal energy? What are the major environmental concerns that also should be taken into consideration? Bujakowski: Geothermal energy has an advantage over other energy sources due to the fact that there is no negative impact on the environment from the emission of pollutants to the atmosphere. Two major features of geothermal energy are its relatively common occurrence and its availability at any time, independent from the weather or the season of the year. These features give geothermal an advantage over other renewable energy sources. Wind and solar energies strongly depend on the climate, weather and seasonal conditions, while biomass and biogas energy applications produce pollutants from combustion. Geothermal energy also can contribute to stimulating local economies, through recreation and balneotherapy. These applications derived from geothermal energy and water resources may share a meaningful part in the local economic development due to the creation of considerable employment. CE: What are the major challenges for geothermal energy in the coming years and what measures have to be taken in order to streamline the introduction of use of such energy in everyday life? Bujakowski: The major challenge in Poland is the elaboration and implementation of a support programme for the development of geothermal projects during the reservoir, drillings and exploitation phase of each project. In each of the stages some actions may be taken to lessen the geological risk of drilling, to ensure long-term operation of the geothermal reservoir and to offer tax abatements and investment support. Zero pollutants emission should be taken into account as a precondition for financial support for the exploitation stage. Apart from financial support, a clear set of legal regulations also would facilitate investment. Both the financial and legal aspects of this support programme currently are being discussed in the Polish parliament. We hope these negotiations will be successful and their effects will be implemented quickly. CE: What role does the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences play in the definition and implementation of the Polish energy policy? How are the regions involved in this policymaking process? Bujakowski: The Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences takes an active part in the creation of new legal regulations favourable for geothermal energy. We participate in meetings organised by members of parliament and government representatives. The experience obtained in the realisation of the EU projects in cooperation with France and Germany (e.g., Geothermal Regulations for Heat GTR-H ) P h oto : polish academy of science p h oto : europeanco m m i s s i o n Au d i o v i s ua l S e r v i c e has allowed us to supply useful information to Polish regional authority representatives. We also research geothermal systems and publish atlases of the geothermal water reservoirs. CE: What objectives related to the use of renewable energy source and geothermal energy has Poland set in its mid-term and longterm energy strategy? Bujakowski: In Poland, several key legal documents are being prepared that will be decisive for the development of renewable energy. A new national energy policy is being prepared to facilitate renewable energy projects. Meanwhile, a new geological and mining law is in the works. Due to a lengthy legislative process, it is difficult to predict the final outcome, but we hope that Polish commitments to regulations for the reduction of greenhouse gases in the programme will really advance the development and use of renewable energy sources. CE: What experience have you obtained from transnational cooperation in the field of renewable energy policy and to what extent has it helped you boost your research? Bujakowski: Our transnational cooperation is very broad. Apart from informal contacts during international conferences and congresses (e.g., World Geothermal Congress 1995, 2000, 2005), CE: What challenges should transnational cooperation tackle in geothermal energy policy during the programme period and how can the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme contribute to settling them? Bujakowski: Geothermal energy policy is a prime example for cooperation at the transnational level within the European Union. This is even truer as this policy is not uniform enough at the moment. Good, complex solutions in some countries (guarantee of the geological risk, taxes, financial support and others) should be introduced in other countries, too. These complex solutions may differ in the amount of financial support but they should be considered in a similar range in all countries. Like RES electric energy, RES heat also should be given green energy status. It is very important to countries like Poland where the heat production is the dominant output from the geothermal energy. However, electricity production also could be possible (using the binary system) but requires drillings to deep reservoirs (over four kilometers) that involves large amounts of funds. The latter should the objective of the common EU energy policy in the near future. Though the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme does not foster huge investments, it still enables us to take advantage of its opportunities to fund pilot projects and realise pre-investments and the development and implementation of strategies opening the way to even bigger and more complex uses of geothermal energy

13 regioprofiles The positive effects yielded from renewable energies on economy and on employment in structurally-weaker federal states are especially noticeable. A bright spot for solar energy Brandenburg is a leader in producing technology that can turn the sun s rays into a clean source of power. Around 80 percent of German and 20 percent of worldwide production of solar cells takes place in eastern Germany. The production capacity of modern thin-film modules in the region is even as high as 94 percent. Alongside the chemical industry, optics and microelectronics, the solar industry has developed into one of the most important industrial sectors in eastern Germany. Photovoltaic production has led to the creation of over 7,000 jobs in the last decade, and it can be safely assumed that, with corresponding state support, photovoltaics in eastern Germany will continue to expand at a disproportionately high rate. Solar energy is one of the most innovative and rapidly growing industries in the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region. At least 35 percent of all German solar modules are manufactured in Berlin-Brandenburg, where the complete solar supply chain is represented: plant planning; research and development; material testing; suppliers of glass, special chemicals as well as assembly and electronic components; silicon production; maintenance and overhauling of machinery as well as recycling of solar modules. Brandenburg at the forefront of renewable energies With around 38 per cent of Germany s overall production capacity of solar modules, Brandenburg is at the top of the federal state league table. Energy production is traditionally our forte, and will remain so with renewable energies, Brandenburg s Minister President Matthias Platzeck stressed when receiving the 2008 federal state Leitstern (Lodestar) price for renewable energies on 10 November In the words of Prof. Frithjof Staiss, chairman of the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Technologies (ZSW), in the determining categories, Brandenburg is right up at the top. This is what finally earned it first price. Brandenburg, Baden-Württemberg and Schleswig-Holstein are Germany s leading federal states in the field of renewable energies. This is the conclusion of the first-ever comprehensive comparative study commissioned by the Agency for Renewable Energies in Berlin. The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), together with ZSW, put all federal states to the test in over 50 fields. The result is hitherto the most-comprehensive database on renewable energies at federal state level, with information on economic implications, political parameters as well as the respective share of individual technologies and their scope for expansion. The researchers also were able to ascertain the most successful policy models at the federal state level. Generally, the federal states in eastern Germany score somewhat better than the rest of the country. This is first evident in a greater commitment towards renewable energies. Secondly, the positive effects yielded from renewable energies on economy and on employment in structurally-weaker federal states are especially noticeable. The federal state comparison further shows that the potential for the use of renewable energies is spread equally throughout the whole of Germany. In the words of Ulrich Junghanns, minister for economic affairs for the State of Brandenburg: I am delighted at this award for Brandenburg as the leading state in the field of renewable energies. But this does not mean we must rest on our laurels. Brandenburg, too, still has much potential to be tapped. Brandenburg s pre-eminent position with regard to renewable energies is based on a holistic approach, at the heart of which is a differentiated energy programme, backed by targeted funding instruments and reliably communicated. P h oto : H Z B 25

14 regioprofiles Differentiated energy programme Brandenburg s federal government plans to develop renewable energies as a cornerstone of its energy provision. By 2020, a fifth of the state s primary energy consumption should be covered by wind and solar power, biomass, hydropower and geothermal sources. Brandenburg is a leading production location for photovoltaic technology and frontrunner in the expansion of wind power. This energy programme was singled out by the Leitstern price as one of Brandenburg s clear assets. To attain these targets, the state is focusing on the development of electricity networks and the establishment of companies in the photovoltaic sector. In the study Best Practice for the expansion of renewable energies, Brandenburg took first place in the overall ranking and is among the leading federal states in all categories. Targeted funding programmes When compared with the other federal states of Germany, Brandenburg received second place for its efforts to fund the utilisation of renewable energies. The state has an excellent programme for the funding of investments and of technology transfer, as well as for the use of renewable energies. These programmes are co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The InvestitionsBank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB) is the central donor and supports the investment plans of Brandenburg s solar industry. P h oto : Leonid Nyshko/foto l i a.co m Currently, 15 companies from the solar industry have made, or committed themselves to, investments totalling around 700 million euros and covering 24 projects. We have so far given 103 million euros of funding to these businesses, explains Klaus- Dieter Licht, chairman of the ILB board of directors. In these 15 companies alone, some 2,000 new jobs have been created, together with 60 training places, he adds. In the wake of these funding programmes, recent years have seen a veritable investment boom. Companies as Conergy, for example, invest some 250 million euros in the world s most modern integrated silicon-wafer-based solar cell production. First Solar Manufacturing is building the world s largest thin-film solar factory. Odersun AG is launching a new thin-film technology based on copper strips. At the same time, the potential for utilising hydropower and photovoltaics is still far from exhausted. The actual proportion of solar energy contributing to total consumption in Brandenburg is under one percent and effectively plays no part in covering the state s energy requirements. This could change significantly in the coming years, however. By 2015, it is planned that an area of 11,000 hectares will have been consigned for solar parks, yielding an output of 2,750 MW. Some places in Brandenburg, moreover, already offer outstanding examples today, such as the energy commune of Prenzlau, with 20,500 inhabitants. For several years, the district town of Prenzlau in the Uckermark region has been producing more energy from renewable sources than the town itself consumes. The company Enertrag has been located in Prenzlau since 1993 and has established wind power plants with an output of 220 MW. Since 2002, aleo solar AG also has worked in Prenzlau, producing solar modules with a capacity of 90 MW per annum. Prenzlau has a modern heating plant with geothermic input and a whole host of private biomass power plants. Yet the town does not regard the pool of renewable energies as empty and aims to create even better networking among the various parties involved. However, few companies have engaged in research and development in the region. Frequently, technological innovations from other European regions, or even further afield, are brought to Brandenburg, like the case of First Solar. First Solar is an American company that is a world leader in the production of thin-film photovoltaic systems, opening the world s first recycling plant for thin-film modules in February Photo: danielschoenen/fotolia.com Brandenburg and Berlin possess great innovative potential here which, in conjunction with its notable photovoltaic manufacturers, can lead to it developing into a prime solar region within Germany and Europe. As Dr. Steffen Kammradt, executive director of the Zukunfts- Agentur Brandenburg, puts it, Brandenburg and Berlin possess great innovative potential here which, in conjunction with its notable photovoltaic manufacturers, can lead to it developing into a prime solar region within Germany and Europe. With three new solar factories plus the Institute for Solar Technologies and the Institute for Innovative Microelectronics as well as further technological partners Frankfurt/Oder, already a major centre for semiconductors, is now the largest nucleus of solar competency in eastern Germany. Proof that regional cooperation bears fruit can be seen, for example, in recent developments at Odersun AG. In September 2008, the firm was selected by The Guardian as Europe s hottest clean technology company. The Guardian wrote: Solar cell maker Odersun tops the Guardian/Library House CleanTech 100 list, beating a host of innovative firms developing green energy and gadgets. The hi-tech firm that provided solar cells for the roofs of the buildings in Beijing s Olympic Park has been named as Europe s hottest clean technology company. Reliable communication ERDF Good prospects for strong ideas Brandenburg s third success factor singled out by Leitstern 2008 concerns communication and information transfer both within the federal state and beyond. The implementation of high-level objectives to meet environmental targets requires coordination at a global, or at least European, level. But resistance on the national level needs to be overcome here after all, at the end of the day everyone benefits from greater independence from finite resources. One way the European Union supports such developments is through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). ERDF funds contribute to the strengthening of Brandenburg s competitiveness and the increasing of the region s attractiveness. Within the current funding period , around 1.5 billion euros of ERDF funds have been made available to Brandenburg. This has already enabled numerous projects to be initiated and implemented with more planned. To provide further information on the use of European funding, the ERDF administrative authority, together with the InvestitionsBank des Landes Brandenburg, launched a public information campaign. This will, for example, include the presentation of 12 ERDF-funded projects of the month, including interactive multimedia presentations like a virtual space for Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics that will enable citizens and potential business partners to explore the company. For further information, please see online: Text: Martin Müller/ Translation: Graham Welsh 26 27

15 regioprofiles One week of actions to improve environmental friendly transport in the capital of Hungary Budapest promotes healthy transport The Hungarian capital undertook a host of activities to win the European Mobility Week Award for their effort in promoting a higher public awareness on cleaner transport alternatives between 16 and 22 September Here is a summary of their achievements. P h oto : ungor/foto l i a.co m Tuesday: Community traffic September 16 began like any average Tuesday morning: traffic jams on the roads leading to Budapest. On an average day, more than 400,000 cars and some 600,000 people try to find their way towards the city center. Roads are unable to cope with such a volume of traffic and gases from the exhaust pipes of slowly advancing vehicles pollute the city s air. Seventy percent of destructive climate gases originate from vehicles and 66 percent of this amount is pumped into the air in Budapest from the exhaust pipes of passenger cars. Public transport means are responsible for a smaller part of harmful gas emissions while they carry a majority of passengers: 65 percent. Rákosmente has the largest population of any district in Budapest and is located the furthest from downtown. Running in parallel with the busy road, there is a railway line offering an alternative route to the city center. The Rákosmente local government created a park and ride (P+R) facility for commuters to leave their vehicles. To promote its use, the local government sponsored a getting there competition among several high-profile participants. 1. Local resident Ildikó Bényi, a well-known television presenter, competed by car. 2. Budapest Deputy Mayor Miklós Hagyó, responsible for city management, accompanied by Budapest Transport Company Ltd. CEO, István Kocsis, started out by bus. 3. The third team was made up of the managers of MÁV Hungarian Railways and those of the passenger transport subsidiary MÁV Start. They were accompanied by the head of the Clean Air Action Group and the district mayor of Rákosmente and they got on the train towards the city center. The first team to cross the finish line at the Budapest Mayor s Office arrived by train, soon followed by the team traveling on the buses of the local transport company. The competitor starting out by car missed the start of the press conference, proving that it is impractical to use for daily commuting to work a slow and expensive car that is also harmful to the environment. Wednesday: Alternative car use In the spirit of the Mobility Week slogan Clean air for everyone!, both drivers and pedestrians could familiarise themselves with the low fuel consumption and low emission vehicles exhibited in a main square in Budapest. In a densely populated area, emissions from these vehicles are close to zero. Anyone could try the hybrid feeling. For the entire day, Toyota Prius hybrids, operating as fixed-route share taxis, transported passengers free of charge between Blaha Lujza Square to Bosnyák Square in the east of Budapest. Next year, the Széchenyi Race, initiated by young Hungarian 29

16 regioprofiles transport experts, will again exhibit the vehicles of the future at the Mobility Week. A parade of prototypes powered by footwork, electricity or bio-ethanol also took place. Thursday: Mobility and shopping Would you have guessed that if you bought a kilogram of garlic produced overseas, you also get 2.6 kilograms of carbon-dioxide along with all that garlic? Greenhouse gases emitted into the air during millions of kilometers of cargo transport play an important role in climate change. An exhibition was held in Budapest to bring attention to important consumer tools like a counter of food-kilometers that can make a difference in avoiding unexpected side-effects of shopping. In a call to activate smart, proactive consumers, a contest also was held to support food items produced in Hungary, good for both environmental protection and the Hungarian economy. During the contest, the town was looking for the most conscious customer in Budapest. Participants had to purchase the ingredients for a Sunday dinner by minimising the environmental impact of their shopping. Competitors had to assure that the burden on the environment resulting from the transportation of the goods they bought was as low as possible: they should buy domestic products. An important point of consideration also was the means of transportation to the market: by car, bus or on foot. On the spot, organisers distributed information material to help people in monitoring the impact on the environment. Friday: Environmental consultation forum Day four of European Mobility Week began with an Open Environmental Consultation Forum where professionals and civilians joined together at roundtable discussions to debate issues like traffic and noise pollution in Budapest. In addition to air quality, noise pollution also is a harmful factor to health. The forum concluded with the completion of, Budapest s noise map as a first step in noise reduction. Saturday: Pedestrian streets Last year, during the 2007 Mobility Week, young visual and applied artists formed the Art Corso street gallery where the main street of downtown was turned into a workshop. The Day of Pedestrian Streets continued on Zrínyi Street in 2008, by adding shop-window and street theater to the day s program. A press conference also was organised about plans to expand the network of pedestrian streets in the downtown. As a result of harmonising different development plans, car traffic is set to be reduced in the historic downtown. A hundred-year-old plan came to life with the transformation of Zrínyi Street from a busy downtown street congested with cars into a walking street linking the Basilica with the Chain Bridge and the Danube. This programme continues with alleviating traffic in adjacent Sas Street. This year s Mobility Week offered many choices to the public: the night of alternative theatres began with the shopwindow theater on Zrínyi Street on Saturday evening. A further 21 venues awaited spectators in the capital with theatrical performances as well as dance, exhibitions, concerts and pieces of performance art. The feast of theaters reached its zenith on Sunday, the Car-free Day, with a Season-Opening Festival on Andrássy Avenue. Sunday: Car-free Budapest As of midnight Saturday to midnight Monday, Budapest s most famous boulevard, a World Heritage Site, belonged to pedestrians, bicyclists and roller skaters. European Car-free Day on Andrássy Avenue has become Hungary s largest outdoor environmental festival. The avenue, built over a century ago as a promenade, annually turns into a common community ground in the spirit of the EU slogan: Clean air for everyone! As alternatives to car use, a wide variety of colorful programmes from bicycle riding and street sports to concerts and street theater performances were offered to the general public along the avenue. Environment-friendly products and services like waste collection for recycling, the re-utilisation of used batteries or recycled paper furniture were displayed at the Green Technology exhibition. During the Eco-Fashion Show by Merlin Energy, the models were dressed in recycled costumes. In the House of Past and Future, passersby participated in the Forgó Morgó National Energy Efficiency Programme quiz about saving energy and what they can do to avoid climate change. The minister for environment, Imre Szabó, joined the festival and announced that the quality of air in Budapest would be monitored more strictly in future, and if necessary, the capital city would order smog alerts and restrict traffic. A mobile laboratory also checked air quality during Car-free Day. The values indicated that levels on car-free day were much lower than those on a normal high-traffic day. Drivers were sobered by a thought-provoking car-wreck exhibition by the Budapest Police Force. Public transport companies like Hungarian Railways (MÁV) and Budapest Transport Company (BKV) also presented their exhibits, while in Bicycle Town, one could navigate an obstacle course, visit the service station for repairs, receive advice and view a museum of antique bicycles. In cooperation with the Day of Hungarian Drama, this was the first time that theaters occupied the car-free Andrássy promenade. The Budapest public could enjoy excerpts from the most successful performances of 40 permanent and alternative theatres and special installations as well as meet some stars. Photo: City of Budapest Monday: European car-free day The last day of the Mobility Week started in the spirit of bicycle riding. Ride your bike to work was the competition call by the Ministry of Transport, Telecommunication and Energy for which almost 7,000 people registered. The goal was to convince as many people as possible to ride their bicycles to work during the competition and Budapest joined in to promote positive changes to people s lifestyle. On the European Car-Free Day, the city organised a one-day event a contest for Budapest residents to make this day really car-free. Entry and registration could be made individually and in teams of two to five members. 785 organisations registered and powered the pedals of their bicycles. The Budapest Transport System hopes to make bicycle riding five percent of all commutes by In the evening, tens of thousands of people rode their bikes during the famous Critical Mass demonstration. This movement started in San Francisco as a regular parade of cyclists demanding more space on public roads. Within the past five years Budapest Critical Mass marches grew from 5,000 to 50,000 participants, thus the biggest such event worldwide. By now, there are more bicycles than cars in Budapest, and 30 percent of residents ride them at least occasionally. Reflecting to the growing demand for measures supporting bicycle traffic in Budapest, bikers are now able to travel on safe bicycle lanes for over 190 kilometers of urban roads. The new stations of the M4 metroline under construction also will provide facilities for the bicycle storage. During all road and bridge renewal projects, the city management keeps in mind the viewpoints of bicycle traffic and builds a bicycle road within the framework of the project wherever possible. Following the success of such a programme in Paris, ideas to set up a bicycle rental system in various parts of the city may be carried out in cooperation between the city and a private partner. The first phase is primarily meant for tourists but it will also be available to local residents. In addition, once Margaret Bridge is refurbished, it will have a permanent bicycle path. The most important task is to secure that one can get safely from any point to any other point in the city just like with the other transport means. The Mobility Week and the Car-free Day have begun to call attention to thinking together to solve common problems, to the universal and global responsibility of all travelers, as well as to forms of transport that put less burden on the environment. The series of events, held in several big cities in Europe simultaneously in 2008, is the largest forum for international and domestic public thinking to spread sustainable traffic solutions

17 regioprofiles The implementation of the innovative energy concept set off a sustainable regional development process, which transformed the formerly dying region into a region with a high living standard and an excellent quality of life within 15 years. Following a formula for success Güssing in Austria followed a model that allowed the region to produce more energy from renewable sources than the town actually uses. P h oto : Gernot K r au t b e r g e r /foto l i a.co m The flagship and most important innovation of the Güssing model is the biomass plant, which uses a special fluidised bed steam gasification technology. Güssing is the capital of a district with approximately 27,000 inhabitants and is situated in the Austrian region of Burgenland. According to statistics from 1988, this region was one of the poorest in Austria. On account of a geographically unfavourable location near the Hungarian border, neither major trade nor industrial businesses existed at that time and the whole district lacked transportation infrastructure - neither railroads nor highways. This resulted in a scarcity of jobs, 70 percent of the working-age population commuting from the district to work, and a high rate of migration to other regions. In addition, there was the problem of substantial capital outflow from the region, primarily due to energy sources (oil, power, fuels) purchased from outside the region, while existing resources (e.g., 45 percent forest land) remained largely unused. In 1990, experts developed a model based on the total abandonment of fossil fuels. The first objective was to supply the town of Güssing, and later the whole district, with regionally available renewable energy sources, thus providing the region with new forms of added value. The model comprises three aspects: heat generation, fuels and electric power. The first step toward implementation consisted of targeted energy-saving measures in Güssing. As a result of the optimisation of the energy efficiency of all buildings in the town center, expenditure on energy was reduced by almost 50 percent. Then, the demonstration of numerous energy plants in the town and the region helped to promote the implementation of the model step by step. Examples include the successful installation of a biodiesel plant using rapeseed oil, the realisation of two small-scale biomass district heating systems for some parts of Güssing, and finally a district heating system based on wood fuel supplying the town of Güssing. Energy self-sufficiency finally was realised in 2001 when the biomass plant was installed in Güssing; it relies on a newly developed biomass-steam gasification technology. More energy produced than needed At present, Güssing produces more energy (heat, fuels and electric power) from renewable resources than is consumed in the town on an annual basis. This benefits the region with an added value of EUR 13 million (calculation based on 2005 figures) per year. The implementation of the innovative energy concept set off a sustainable regional development process, which transformed the formerly dying region into a region with a high living standard and an excellent quality of life within 15 years. More recently, Güssing has been awarded honours as the environmentally most friendly town and most innovative municipality in Austria. One of the first infrastructure improvements, i.e., the installation of the district heating system in Güssing (1996), made this border town an interesting location for businesses. 33

18 regioprofiles A special scheme promoting the establishment of enterprises in the area brought 50 new enterprises to the region, with more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in the renewable energy sector. Güssing since has developed into an important location in the fields of hardwood floor production, hardwood drying and environmental technologies. Research projects The realisation of the biomass plant in Güssing and the establishment of RENET Austria (Renewable Energy Network Austria) gave rise to the launching of numerous national and international renewable energy research projects in Güssing. The European Center for Renewable Energy (Europäisches Zentrum für Erneuerbare Energie EEE) coordinates all demonstration plants, projects and research as well as programs for training and further education in this field. Many research activities also have contributed to the attractiveness of the region and to the creation of additional high-quality jobs. Work within the Energy Systems of Tomorrow subprogram aims to further disseminate this successful model. The objective consists in the further development of the strategies and technologies tried out in the Güssing and in applying them to the whole district. By 2010, this area also should have attained self-sufficient energy supply, and thus numerous concomitant positive effects for the economy in the region. Visiting the European Center for Renewable Energy, the Commissioner for Regional Development, Mrs. Danuta Hübner, declared her favorable impression of the development of the region and said: The example of Güssing shows that cooperation between masterminds of the region, the province of Burgenland and the appropriate authorities at EU-level was very successful. She congratulated all responsible bodies and assured that this very important part of renewable energies will be further supported, in Güssing as well. Sustainable energy concepts based on regional, renewable resources The flagship and most important innovation of the Güssing model is the biomass plant, which uses a special fluidised bed steam gasification technology. Developed at the Vienna University of Technology by Univ. Prof. Dr. Hofbauer, the process offers some advantages compared to conventional combustion processes, especially in combined heat and power applications. For the realisation of the project several partners cooperated within the RENET competence network: REPOTEC plant technology, Vienna University of Technology, EVN (Energie Versorgung Niederösterreich) and the Güssing district heating utility. The plant, which started operation in 2001, has a rated fuel capacity of 8 MW and produces 2,000 kwh of electric power as well as 4,500 kwh of heat for district heating at a feed rate of 2,300 kilograms of wood per hour. The plant currently operates for 8,000 hours per year. On account of the favourable properties of the product gas (no nitrogen, high hydrogen content), there is a broad range of possible uses, such as the generation of fuel gas, synthetic gas, gasoline and diesel, methanol as well as hydrogen. In addition to these accomplishments, current research projects being conducted in Güssing address topics like the generation of hydrogen, fuel cells, the production of methane and fuels, cooling and district heating systems and aim to test and implement new technologies. To meet demand in the region, the overall objective has been to develop energy centers that are able to produce heat, electricity, and gaseous and liquid energy from a variety of energy-rich biogenic raw materials and residue using an approach called polygeneration. The quantities of the various resources produced depend on the needs and size of the respective region. One possible disadvantage is that the relative proportion of the various by-products cannot be changed infinitely, but modifications should be possible within certain limits. The experience gained in the biomass plant in Güssing has given rise to a number of research projects that were realised in cooperation with various Austrian and international partners in the fields of science and industry (e.g., Volkswagen, Daimler Chrysler, Volvo, EDF, and BP). Some of the projects have already been realised in Güssing; others are at the stage of planning or on the verge of implementation. The strategy for the period between 2007 and 2013 aims to implement the concept of polygeneration. Selected research projects Bio-SNG (Biological Synthetic Natural Gas) Research on the generation of methane has been conducted in cooperation with PSI (Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland). The first step in this process consists in separating part of the synthetic gas (CO+H2) generated by means of fluidised steam gasification. In a second step, methane is synthesised from this Bio-SNG. The methanation reactor itself is a stationary fluidised bed operating in a pressure range from 1 to 10 bar. A 1 MW demonstration plant producing up to 100 m 3 of Bio-SNG per hour will be directly attached to the Biomass CHP plant in Güssing. Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis This technology for the production of diesel fuel and gasoline from biomass is being tested in a research coordinated by Volkswagen Company and involves more than 30 international partners; the program focuses on the synthesis of vehicle fuels from biomass gasification processes. In the fluidised bed gasification process at the Güssing CHP plant, part of the gas stream is separated, further processed and fed into a Fischer-Tropsch reactor. This reactor was designed for a rated output of approx. 0.5 to 1 L/h; the pilot plant has been operating since This research is being supported by the EU s RENEW project. For further information, please see online: Mixing Wood Gas and Biogas Bio-Fuel Production At present, other researchers at Güssing are investigating the possible combination of thermal and biological gasification. They aim to develop a concept for the installation of a biogas plant with a pipeline to the existing thermal gasifier; they also work on the fundamentals for the requisite cleaning and mixing plants with the goal to develop marketable products (gas, gasoline and diesel fuel). P h oto : berndt k r ö g e r /foto l i a.co m P h oto : EEE GmbH Optimisation and Further Development of Biomass CHP Plants Research in the biomass plant in Güssing also includes the further development of feedstock conveyance, the variation of the bed material, and the use of additives for targeted control of gas quality. Other goals consist in extending the range of usable feedstock, simplifying gas cleaning, and the optimisation of the gas engine in order to reduce capital and operating costs. This research is being supported by the EU s Big Power project. Fuel Cell Technology On account of its low nitrogen and high hydrogen content, the product gas generated in the process used in Güssing is very well suited for the use in fuel cells. Currently, researchers concentrate on gas cleaning processes and have already performed the first tests with fuel cells. These tests are being realised in cooperation with the Austrian Bioenergy Center and the University of Trondheim, Norway

19 CENTRAL projects In many European countries there still exists a wide gap between expectations concerning groundwater quality and the technical, as well as the economic feasibility of groundwater cleanup. In many industrial areas, even large invested European funds do not ensure the improvement of the groundwater quality. Therefore, some innovative technical and administrative tools for groundwater management at industrially contaminated areas should be provided. The FOKS project will concentrate on Grzegorz Gzyl Central Mining Institute, Lead Partner FOKS P h oto : Gzyl FOKS: Tackling the down-to-earth issue of groundwater By addressing the needs of degraded areas, this project seeks to improve management, mitigation and remediation of pollution that impacts soil and groundwater. Clean drinking water and fertile soil are the basic prerequisites for the future life on earth. The protection of the water sources and keeping its pollution at the very minimum level is an important part of the environmental agenda of every European country nowadays. A strategic source of water represents the groundwater that is a specific environmental medium due to the fact that its degradation occurs many years after the contamination of the soil has started. The Central Europe project Focus on Key Sources of Environmental Risks (FOKS) deals with management of groundwater pollution, with the specific focus on industrial pollutants. Its objective is to demonstrate and to apply innovative tools for integral groundwater risk management on degraded areas, such as contaminated sites and brown field areas. Moreover the project intends to prioritise mitigation measures on key sources of groundwater and soil contamination as well to propose and to implement pilot applications of successful concepts for source remediation activities. The protection measures of surface waters and groundwaters in the EU are laid down by the Water Framework Directive and the Groundwater Directive. The Member States are requested to prepare River Basin Management Plans and Programmes of Measures, designed to prevent deterioration of aquatic ecosystems and to achieve at least good ecological and chemical status for surface waters and ground waters. Key sources of large groundwater contaminations FOKS projects will concentrate its efforts on implementation of these two Directives at the national, regional and local level. It also aims to downscale the cornerstones of EU Groundwater Directive to the scale of contaminated sites and brown fields. New principles on larger areas and water bodies require new and innovative implementation strategies. The FOKS concept is to focus remediation efforts on the key sources of large groundwater contaminations and it fits perfectly with this European strategy. FOKS therefore provides the required technical strategies and decision-making tools for the local implementation of the new principles. Due to partnerships with the local, regional and national levels, a balanced procedure and a common understanding can be achieved. In many European countries there still exists a wide gap between expectations concerning groundwater quality and the technical, as well as the economic feasibility of groundwater cleanup. Some EU countries have problems with the identification, assessment and management of contaminated groundwater bodies. Development, application and demonstration of series of innovative transnational tools for the assessment of large-scale groundwater contamination at industrial areas. The core output will be a Toolbox for identification of key sources of groundwater contamination ; Elaboration of remediation concepts for key sources of groundwater contamination and performance of pilot remediation. The core output will be Transnational guidelines for implementing innovative tools for remediation ; Development of a decision support system and transnational strategic framework for administrators and decision-makers dealing with large-scale groundwater contamination. The core output will be a Strategic framework for the groundwater risk management and a Decision support system for local and regional bodies. Of common interest to all partners is to make the steps towards clean groundwater in industrial areas within CENTRAL EUROPE space. All partners will have opportunity to exchange their know-how in the project s thematic field and to implement pilot actions in their regions. Partners also will have the opportunity to exchange their experiences implementing pilot projects. From the beginning, the FOKS project will work on transnational project outputs and results like a set of guidelines to help implement the EU Groundwater Directive. KEY FACTS Lead partner: Central Mining Institute (PL) Project partners: Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas (PL), Municipality of Jaworzno (PL), Municipality of Stuttgart (DE), Municipality of Milan (IT), Province of Treviso (IT), Institute of Public Health (CZ) Duration: November 2008 October 2011 Total budget: Elimination of groundwater contamination sources requires innovative scientific and technological knowledge CE: Environment and innovation must be interlinked in all the projects approved by the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme. What is the innovative element in your case? Gzyl: Mitigation measures within the FOKS project are going to focus on key sources of groundwater pollution. This is an innovative approach, as until now most mitigation actions are undertaken without such a well-established focus on the sources most relevant for groundwater pollution on a larger scale. Moreover, FOKS will develop and apply a set of innovative tools for groundwater investigation and remediation. CE: Groundwater pollution is the central topic of your project. What is the actual situation in the CENTRAL EUROPE area regarding this issue? Gzyl: As required by the Water Framework Directive and Groundwater Directive, significant upward trends of contamination of groundwater bodies have to be reversed by Therefore, prioritisation of contaminant sources and remedial actions is urgently needed. FOKS aims at bringing together the tools for such prioritisation. CE: You will focus your work on pollution coming from industry. What is the reason for that? Will you also consider other sources of pollution? Gzyl: Most of groundwater bodies with poor groundwater status are those on degraded areas where pollution comes mainly from industry. Elimination of groundwater contamination sources at such areas requires innovative scientific and technological knowledge that is provided by FOKS partners representing scientific institutions. Other sources of pollution (e.g., diffuse sources) may be tackled more easily from the political and administration level and require different approaches and partnerships than ours. CE: Which challenges will you have to tackle in coming months and what do you expect as first outcomes of your project? Gzyl: During our kick-off conference in Treviso, Italy (1 2 April 2009), we invited key actors from previous projects, experts and national practitioners to an open workshop to discuss with them the relevance of our concepts and tools that we want to develop and apply in the FOKS project. The first outcome will be a report from that workshop that will give us good state-of-the-art knowledge on the scope of our project

20 CENTRAL projects All developments along Central Europe s rivers face a high potential of flood risk. This also is influenced by changing impacts of climate change. LABEL: Coordinated flood control facilitates development This project targets the Elbe River basin, which has been hit by dramatic flooding in recent years. It seeks to control the problem by encouraging better joint planning for flood control by transnational authorities from several related fields. P h oto : Fritz Schnabel The Elbe River (Labe is the Czech name for the river) is characterised by many different conditions like other rivers in Central Europe: near-natural river landscapes, economic development along the river in various sectors, economic potential, e.g., in the tourism and the transport sectors, and an attractive living environment with attractive settlements. However, all developments along Central Europe s rivers face a high potential of flood risk. This also is influenced by changing impacts of climate change. The LABEL project partners are situated in the heart of the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme area. Their joint efforts are aimed at the effective management of flood risks as a prerequisite for economic development along the Elbe River. It also integrates many different sectors, has tangible impacts on economic fields like tourism and shipping transport and contributes to risk assessment and mitigation in relation to European directives. From ELLA to LABEL From 2003 to 2006, the EU-funded INTERREG III B project ELLA Elbe-Labe preventive flood management measures by transnational spatial planning created an important basis for transnational cooperation between spatial planning and water management authorities. The ELLA project developed overviews of hazard spots and a basic action plan for the future of the Elbe River Basin was agreed upon. The political representatives of the partners signed a joint declaration for long-term cooperation on 6 December 2006 at the end of the project. This declaration formed the foundation for the LABEL project. Since 2006, LABEL has aimed at developing and improving a transnational risk management strategy, implemented actions of high priority and brought risk reduction to the Elbe and neighbouring rivers a big step forward. Areas at further risk of flooding in the Elbe River Basin were increasingly obvious after the 2002 flood and the public was alerted to the need for coordinated action. Now, risk information has been embedded in the instruments of spatial planning that will serve as basis for sustainable development along the Elbe. Here, protection from floods plays a decisive role. Besides new risk-preventive requirements for spatial planning, today s land-use planning must be adapted to flood risk. With the provision of risk information and its implementation in the relevant planning at the regional level, attractive and sustainable development can be assured. Areas at further risk of flooding in the Elbe River Basin were increasingly obvious after the 2002 flood and the public was alerted to the need for coordinated action. Project objectives and planned activities Core elements of LABEL project are the cooperation of spatial planning and water management authorities in flood risk management, the development of strategies and measures for flood risk and a development of a comprehensive communication strategy. This joint transnational project supports long-term risk precaution and the improvement of flood risk management. The joint efforts of LABEL project partners will result in: elaboration of a Joint strategy for risk management systems and tools; linking of risk management methods and tools in a transnational approach (forecast, information, risk management system); production of risk maps for participating countries; testing and harmonisation of methods (also for Danube and Tisza River Basin); adaptation of usages to reduce flood risk in exemplary fields that were not the subject of former strategies but that are of high priority (tourism, water transport); elaboration of solutions for the integration of economic development and flood risk management; reflection of relevant European Directives on flood and water management. Moreover the projects activities are also targeted at elaboration of flood risk management plans, interactive user-oriented mapping, implementation guides for spatial planning and catalogue of requirements for risk and climate adapted development. KEY FACTS Lead partner: Saxon State Ministry of the Interior (DE) Project partners: Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dpt. of Forestry, Environment and Water Management (AT), Ústi Region (CZ), Region of South Bohemia (CZ), Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic (CZ), Pilsen Region (CZ), Hradec Králové Region (CZ), Central Bohemia Region (CZ), Liberec Region (CZ), Pardubice Region (CZ), Elbe River Basin Authority (CZ), Vltava River Basin Authority (CZ), Ministry of Regional Development and Transport of Saxony-Anhalt (DE), Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Preservation and Environment of the Free State of Thuringia (DE), Saxon State Agency for Environment and Geology (DE), Saxon State Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture (DE), German Federal Institute for Hydrology (DE), Association for Housing, Urban and Spatial Development e.v. (DE), Middle-Tisza District Environment and Water Directorate (HU) Duration: September 2008 February 2012 Total budget: EUR 38 39

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