TAIEX-REGIO Study Visit between Oradea & Brno

Knowledge Exchange on Metropolitan Development between Oradea and Brno

2023 has started with exciting activities for Oradea and Brno Metropolitan Areas. Between January 9–13 2023, Oradea Metropolitan Area (RO) hosted a visit dedicated to “Smart governance for sustainable metropolitan development” from representatives of the Brno Metropolitan Area (CZ). The visit was financed through the TAIEX Peer2Peer instrument, within the framework of the Functional Areas in the EU project implemented by the World Bank and DG Regio.

TAIEX (the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument of the European Commission)  supports the sharing of EU best practices between public administrations. Particularly, the TAIEX-REGIO Peer2Peer schemes helps organise short-term exchanges with one or more peers from other EU countries to meet specific learning needs.

A first study visit was facilitated through our project, coming from a request of the Brno Metropolitan Area to better understand the institutional and operational framework which has allowed Oradea Metropolitan Area to implement large-scale projects at the metropolitan level. The three participants in the exchange were representatives of the Brno Department of Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI) and Metropolitan Cooperation Management management and the Department of Strategic Development and Cooperation.

A key topic of interest for the Brno MA was to enhance the institutionalization of metropolitan cooperation, governance and planning beyond financial impulses provided by EU funding frameworks. As the genesis of metropolitan cooperation was based on the ITI framework and the Czech Republic does not have a law on Metropolitan Areas, the participants shared that the new Integrated Development Strategy for the Brno Metropolitan Area 21+ clearly emphasizes the need to go beyond the specific available funding and to establish cooperation as a normal practice.

Therefore, the Oradea MA was of particular interest for the Brno representatives because of its innovative approach in  supporting member localities in their planning, preparation and implementation efforts (including accessing of EU funds). Since its establishment as a voluntary association in 2005, the OMA has successfully undertaken major inter-jurisdictional projects, even in the absence of dedicated national legislation on metropolitan areas, which has just been approved in 2022.

Over the course of five days, the three representatives from Brno took part in a number of workshops and discussions organized by the Oradea Metropolitan Area. These discussions included the participation of key stakeholders such as the Oradea Local Development Agency, the Metropolitan Transport Authority (Transregio), the Oradea Local Transport Company, as well as the Oradea and Region Tourism Promotion Association and the Oradea Community Foundation. The agenda covered a variety of subjects, starting from setting up the institutional structure, to metropolitan-level strategic and spatial planning, attracting EU funds and major implemented projects, extending public transportation at the metropolitan level and developing new infrastructure (including a train-tram line), attracting private investments, supporting community-based initiatives, as well as promoting urban-rural linkages.

To complete the learning process, several on-site visits were conducted to present major public investment projects implemented at the metropolitan level, such as the direct road to connect Oradea to the A3 Highway, and other investments connecting the city to localities in the metropolitan area, which were possible through the various forms of partnerships and association presented during the working sessions.

The study visit undertaken by Brno Metropolitan Area representatives to their Oradea Metropolitan Area counterparts is the first out of a series of exchanges facilitated through the Functional Areas in the EU project. We are excited to share with you updates from the next visit!