From transport to student exchanges, from agriculture to trade, from culture to health care; many things of everyday life are decided at the European level. For this reason, it is important to be present in the very centre of the European Union where major decisions are adopted.

The Autonomous Province of Trento has had a liaison office with the European institutions in Brussels since 1995. Yesterday, the office took stock of what has been achieved in the previous years, while discussing the challenges for the next European programming period starting from 2021. Invited guests included representatives of the Province of Trento and relevant stakeholders such as FBK, FEM, HIT, Trentino Sviluppo, Federazione della Cooperazione, Università, Associazione Artigiani, Consorzio dei Comuni, Camera di Commercio and ConfServizi-Cispel Trentino Alto Adige.


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The president of the Province Ugo Rossi stressed the necessity to further enhance the effort of the Brussels Office. “We have to raise awareness on the importance of this activity and improve the exchange of experience among all actors involved.” Rossi therefore suggested to implement a system of report that would help to better understand the meaning of commitment at the European level. He called it a sort of “return” that will contribute to counter the negative perception of Europe that many citizens have. Rossi maintained “During the previous years, an important change has occurred because we were used to consider the European resources as something additional. Now, we are obligated to think about them as integral parts of the provincial budget.” According to Rossi this is no minor change. It is therefore necessary to strengthen the programming and coordination tools, avoiding fragmentation to maximize the use of communitarian resources. Rossi concluded: “We must all undertake additional efforts to improve the logic and effectiveness of the system as well as improve our project skills.

The current European budget amounts to approx. EUR 964 billion, corresponding to approx. 1% of the total GDP of the 28 Member States and only approx. 2% of the European Union public expenditure. The exit of the United Kingdom will certainly have an impact on the total amount of the available finances by 2021. In the current budget framework, the Province of Trento benefits from European funding of the structural funds, corresponding approximately to 2.7% of the provincial budget. “During the period 2014-2017, Trentino, a land historically in favour of research and innovation, delivered an impressive performance on the framework program for research and innovation Horizon 2020” - recalled Valeria Liverini, director of the Brussels Office. In September 2017, the funding obtained by provincial stakeholders amounted to approximately EUR 66 million. The success rate of the stakeholders is in line with the European average. Liverini concluded: “The next post 2020 European Programming will put more emphasis on direct management programs with particular attention to the development of synergies between the structural funds and the thematic programs directly managed by the Commission.”

To support this activity, the Brussels Office has undergone a complete change in the last years, becoming a real “hub” not only for the offices of “Gruppo Provincia” but also for the several local stakeholders, for which it offers a series of specialised services.