Progetto Europa is the office of the City of Modena dedicated to European policies and the international promotion of the city. It was founded at the end of 1995 with two main aims:
As a matter of fact, the European Commission runs a series of funding programmes aimed at local, regional and national authorities in a range of different areas: from the environment to culture, from social work to education, from the information society to equal opportunities. Yet while several European Countries have worked hard to create train people in the professional skills needed to submit and develop European projects within the public administration, Italy has been somewhat left behind and has not been able to exploit many of the opportunities on offer. This delay is evidently due to the fact that there is often no professional figure within public organisations able to quickly access the necessary information on possible project funding, to draw up a project, to maintain a channel of communication with the European Commission, and to manage the proposals that are financed on a day-to-day basis.
Over the last few years, our cities have been experiencing ever higher levels of competition. In Europe, this has become particularly clear ever since the early ‘90s in the light of the project to create the new single market.
Today, this competition has gone global, calling for an ever greater ability to internationalise, and to play an ever wider role. Even cities at an advanced level of development find themselves having to update their own means and policies when in order to face the rest of the world, both in terms of learning the best practices developed in other contexts, as well as in terms of transferring their own innovative know-how elsewhere.
Progetto Europa belongs to a number of City Networks, as well as those of Local authorities interested in exchanging good practice experiences, developing new projects, and examining specific themes linked to the formation of urban policies. They carry out a key role in encouraging the comparison between the various urban policies of both European and non-European local authorities. These are: Energie-Cités (www.energie-cites.org), Eurodesk (www.eurodesk.org), The European Forum on Urban Safety (www.fesu.org), The European Youth Observatory (www.diba.es/eyo), (Reves (www.revesnetwork.net), Telecities (http://www.eurocities.org/telecities/index.html)