For the past five months, we have been part of the Functional Areas in the EU project, in which we work with the European Commission and the World Bank. The Brno metropolitan area was selected as the only representative of the Czech Republic. The aim of the project is to strengthen the ability of functional areas to plan and finance investments and services beyond their boundaries.
European Commission and World Bank are jointly working to strengthen the approach for functional areas in the EU to better promote the benefits of this approach that remain untapped. Functional areas in the EU, which cross administrative boundaries, are extremely important for the future of territorial development. European Commission and World bank support addressing key development challenges in preparation for the 2021-2027 programming period; disseminating key lessons, tools and approaches developed in the project to other functional areas; developing a toolbox that other functional areas could use to strengthen their territorial approaches; and organising knowledge exchange events to transfer lessons and solutions to other interested functional areas in the EU.
The Brno Metropolitan Area became part of the project in May 2022. Subsequently, a kick-off meeting was held on 17 June, during which the project, its timeline and a list of key areas and interventions were presented. All this was done by experts from the World Bank after an analysis of the functioning of the metropolitan area. This meeting was attended by stakeholders in the area, the World Bank project team and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy.
During the following months, the World Bank also prepared a video presenting the Brno Metropolitan Area. The aim of the video is to highlight the achievements and challenges of the Brno Metropolitan Area and at the same time to send a message to the European institutions and the national government to strengthen the development of the issue. Watch it below.
The next step was to draw up an action plan for BMO. The action plan is divided into the challenges the metropolitan area is facing. These challenges include: strengthening metropolitan governance, improving strategic planning capacity at the metropolitan level, strengthening spatial planning capacity at the metropolitan level, and improving the approach towards ensuring sustainability. Each challenge includes specific action steps, their priority, potential barriers, output and deadline. The action plan can be downloaded here. For example, an analysis to identify development areas within Brno Metropolitan Area based on data is currently being carried out.
As a next step, each functional area will form a working group to continue the implementation of the Action Plan and to monitor and evaluate the results of the cooperation with the European Commission and the World Bank. The project is expected to be completed in May 2023.