The EU macroregional strategies conference on Media and Communication »Know thy neighbor« that was held between 20 and 22 September 2017 in Portorož, Slovenia, addressed key issues that stakeholders are facing at their daily work. That is especially how to improve the visibility of macro-regional strategies in the public sphere and how to strengthen the media support to macro-regional endeavors. For the first time in the history of macro-regions, communication officers of all 4 macro-regions (Baltic, Danube, Adriatic-Ionian and Alpine) joined to discuss the synergies they could all benefit from and how to overcome the common obstacles in reaching out to general public.
Conference brought together over 160 representatives of media, practicians, academia, general public and interested stakeholders from the four EU macroregional strategies to discuss the topics, platforms, tools and process that would improve connectivity within the macro-regions and contribute to visibility of their work and projects. The emergence of macro-regional strategies (MRS) has been driven by a number of EU countries and regions as a complement to traditional national policies on territorial management. The aim of a macro-regional strategy is to mobilise new projects and initiatives thereby creating a sense of common responsibility.
Prominent and experiences professionals from the world of communication shared their views and opinions, suggested concrete steps for consolidation of the communication, improved communication channels and added an important view of journalists on the outputs and functioning of the macro-regions. During the workshops and joint efforts participants contributed their experiences as each macro-region has its own approach for coordination of the activities and involvement of media and wider public.
Participants by the end of the gathering agreed that a single horizontal pillar for all 4 EU macro-regional strategies is needed as it would be of help in creating sufficient visibility for macro-regional strategies’ joint endeavors and understanding, and support for the exchange of ways of thinking and acting within the MRS.