The project contributes to the overall objective of the INTERREG IVC programme, by improving the effectiveness of local/regional development policies in the area of culture, heritage, tourism and sustainable development, as well as by contributing to the economic growth, cohesion & increased competitiveness of the regions. The exchange, sharing and transfer of policy experience, knowledge and Good Practices are contribute to achieving this objective, while regional & local authorities will use interregional cooperation as a means of enhancing their development through learning from the experiences of others. This way, the successful experiences gained in the different regions can spread throughout Europe.
The Project is well in line with EU policy for tourism. The Commission’s Communication "A renewed tourism EU policy: towards a stronger partnership for European Tourism" COM (2006) 134, stresses the role of tourism in regional development, emphasising the need to improve the attractiveness of regions and the importance of environmentally friendly practices and policies. In addition to support sustainable tourism, the EC identified an improved understanding and visibility of European tourism and support for the promotion of European destinations as key themes. The particular importance of cultural tourism is acknowledged. The emphasis is on the protection of the cultural heritage and on the importance of certain cultural events.
The Policy for sustainable tourism has been further consolidated in the Communication "Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European Tourism" COM (2007) 621. That Agenda stressed the sustainable management of destinations, the integration of sustainability concerns by businesses and the importance of raising tourists’ awareness of sustainability issues. The sustainable management of tourism destinations was also the focus of the European Tourism Forum, in which "Management and conservation of the natural and cultural heritage" was a main theme. In COM621, culture is mainly treated as "cultural distinctiveness" which needs to be protected as a resource. The IVC Operational Programme reflects this emphasis on the protection of cultural assets.
The Communication "A European agenda for culture in a globalizing world" COM(2007) 242, sets out objectives for "the promotion of culture as a catalyst for creativity in the framework of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs", stressing creative industries, the scale of employment in the cultural sector and the role of culture in fostering innovation. It calls for the promotion of capacity building in the cultural sector by supporting: training, entrepreneurship, knowledge of the European dimension/market activities and developing innovative sources of funding, including sponsorship, and improved access, as well as the development of partnerships between the cultural sector and other sectors to reinforce the social and economic impact of investments in culture and creativity, with regard to the promotion of growth and jobs and the development and attractiveness of regions and cities.
The recent Communication "Europe, the world's No 1 tourist destination - a new political framework for tourism in Europe" COM(2010) 352 stresses the extraordinary cultural wealth of Europe, the likely impact of climate change on destinations, the link of tourism policy to Europe 2020 strategy, the protection of and capitalisation on cultural heritage, promotion of cultural itineraries, contemporary culture and cultural tourism, with actions planned capitalising on common heritage and creating a European heritage label.
The project is in line with the Renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy, climate change, clean energy, transport, conservation and management of natural resources. In the Green Paper Adaption to Climate Change tourism impact is mentioned as one the most affected.
The project working towards all of the above strategies and seeking to influence them.