Vision and development strategy for municipalities on the basis of values and permanent participation of citizens
The model “Vision and Strategy” (VIS) for municipalities consists of the following activities:
- Semi-structured in-depth interviews with city representatives and committed citizens
- Public opinion polls
- Analysis of strategic development documents (national strategies, regional development programs, strategic technology program)
- Definition of the framework for vision and strategy models,
- Introduction of a five-pillar model for strategic economic planning,
- Introduction of indicator systems.
In defining and assessing the five pillars (economy, transport and communication, education, environment, quality of life) in a ‘vision and strategy’ model (VIS), we pay particular attention to a balanced approach as an example of what can be done in each of the five areas.
The “vision and strategy” model (VIS) for a city is developed by analysing strategic development documents, designing a framework for the vision and strategy model, defining a five-pillar model for strategic planning, establishing a consistent system of economic indicators and semi-structured in-depth interviews with city representatives and urban competitiveness experts. The framework of the “Vision and Strategy Model” is shown in the following figure.
Liaison projects between municipalities - Establishment of functional regions
The product was created on the basis of the needs that the region and its towns and cities – in particular the largest city – should represent a functional economic region, with the following aspects in mind: labor movements, shopping, supply chains, attractiveness for foreign direct investment, attractiveness for visitors (tourist flows), logistics (establishment of supply chains), etc. We define a functional economic region as the area in which markets function, which leads to agglomeration advantages and thus to the establishment of the following processes Networking, competition, cooperation, innovation, creation of new opportunities.
In this context, we have developed a product of establishing functional regions with which municipalities can cooperate in providing common services and rationalizing administrative activities in the fields of economic development, culture, education, sport, infrastructure, etc.
By establishing functional regions, municipalities will achieve the following benefits:
- lower costs,
- better use of resources,
- Extension of intermunicipal cooperation to other areas,
- Increase the satisfaction of citizens,
- increased visibility.
Functional regions of interconnected municipalities enable the implementation of the concept of “regional economy”, which treats the individual sectors of industry, energy, agriculture and forestry, tourism, marketing, services and crafts in an integrated rather than independent manner. In the functional region, different and independent policies for agriculture, business, crafts and tourism are combined into a single policy for the regional economy. In the context of a regional economy, living space is equated with economic life, without ever forgetting nature, which is the basis of all activities. This is also reflected in the lifestyle of the region’s inhabitants, which is closely linked to nature, sustainable development, quality (organic) products and mutual cooperation.
For this reason, the selection of indicators to measure the self-sufficiency of the established functional region is an important element of the product of establishing a functional region, as it can constantly supplement and improve the cooperation of municipalities in areas where it is necessary to create wealth independently from their own endogenous sources.
Series of projects for EU funds at local and regional level
Based on the priorities and development goals of a community and in accordance with the existing project experience, a Project Idea Pool – is PIP developed. It PIP consists of approximately 2-page short summaries of project ideas based on a standardized format. It contains the following relevant information for each project idea:
- General data (possible EU funding program(s), if applicable call number, funding rate, Approximate Project Duration)
- Possible partners or types of partners that are needed or eligible
- A short project description and justification
- Draft of the project objective(s)
- A brief overview of results and outcomes
- Main activities foreseen
The project ideas developed in this way are geared to the thematic priorities of current municipal project and development activities such as energy, transport, culture, tourism, etc.
The individual project ideas are developed by Palemid experts on the basis of the following 7-step methodology:
- General analysis of the portfolio of thematic expertise in community projects and development activities
- Selection of the most relevant thematic areas for the city based on customer requests, document analysis and future development trends and taking into account the available financial resources
- Expert brainstorming to develop innovative ideas and concepts for each project
- Desk research for each idea on international best practice in relation to the relevant thematic area, the funding program, possible open or planned calls and possible partners or partner types
- Development of individual project objectives and targets
- Preparation of project results and necessary main activities
- Preparation of a structured summary of the project idea on approx. 2 pages per idea
Preparation of a comprehensive project application for the corresponding EU program/call
Palemid offers the preparation of a complete project application to a suitable EU funding program and calls for relevant topics in close cooperation with the project office of the city administration.
The proposal, based on the state of the art and following high quality criteria, consists of the following main components:
- Technical sections including Project Goals, justification, results, work plan, methodology of implementation, etc.
- Financial sections including the project budget
- Administrative documents and formal components
The detailed structure and content depends on the specific program chosen for the application.
In setting up the partnership for the project and the key strategic directions of the project (objectives, main activities and results, budget, etc.), there will be close cooperation between Palemid and the Municipal Project Office and feedback will be integrated. The active involvement of the client in these areas is essential to ensure high quality output in line with the client’s organizational objectives. In addition, auxiliary activities are included in this offer:
- Joint selection of the call on the basis of proposals from Palemid
- Regular updates and communication with the customer
- Feedback meetings during the entire start-up phase.
- Concluding session after the preparation of the proposal to safeguard the lessons of the past
On the basis of the following approximate work plan, the activities to prepare the project proposal will be carried out. However, the exact timeframe depends on the specific request chosen and possible adjustments according to customer requirements. Updates of the schedule will be provided upon request by the customer in case of changes.
Constant communication between the client and the service provider by e-mail and personal meetings ensure that the offer is adapted to the client’s organizational development objectives. In addition, the integral feedback and approval loops implemented in the above work plan ensure a step-by-step progress control by the customer.
A dual control principle is applied in the definition of content, financial calculation and completion of the respective administrative departments, whereby checklists and required annexes to the respective project application form are run through to ensure maximum quality standards.
Senior Consultants will be involved in the preparation of the technical sections as well as the budget of the application and will bring several years of experience in applying for EU funding as well as in the management of large international projects.
Establishment of an 'Impulse Center for EU Funding PASS' (project analysis and support service)
Based on the existing initiatives at regional level in Scandinavia, the following adapted and improved model is offered to support regional EU project ideas and initiatives
a) Establishment of a regional impulse center for EU funds and projects which Project Analysis and Support Service (PASS)
The PASS Impulse Center is dedicated to providing advice and support to the main actors in regional development (i) the public sector including local authorities and (ii) private and public companies and organizations. The aim is to promote the use of EU funds in the region by all relevant actors; more specifically, to examine whether EU funding can contribute to the development of the regional focal sectors. In order to achieve an optimal result, PASS clients are involved in all steps of the consulting process. Together PASS, the short-, medium- and long-term financing possibilities for the selected areas are examined.
From the outset, the PASS Impulse Center strives to integrate itself into existing regional initiatives from the level of policy-making to implementation at grassroots level. The key to the success of the PASS Impulse Center is the active cooperation and use of synergies with existing regional development agencies, whereby the Impulse PASS Center expands the regional support capacities in certain fields of activity of the regional agencies. The services of the PASS Impulse Center are a direct complement to the work of the regional agencies. The PASS services ensure the actual implementation of regional economic development policy on the ground in organizations and enterprises in the region through coordinated EU projects. This will further strengthen the development potential and increase financial flows to the region by raising additional European funds.
b) Continuous management of the Impulse Center and provision of the following activities and services:
- Active promotion of the Impulse Center and its services
- Consulting meetings with customers
- Joint generation of ideas
- Aligning projects in the region with the regional development strategy
- Expert analysis and feedback on project ideas
- Expert analysis and feedback on project proposals
The offer provides for an initial phase of two years, the first year being the founding year of the Impulse Center, which is dedicated to setting up facilities, staff and processes, as well as promoting existing services and providing the PASS services. The second year is dedicated to the full provision of operational services. The service can then be expanded following external and customer evaluation and on an annual basis.
Attracting foreign direct investment to the region and the city
Many regions seeking foreign direct investment often waste time and resources in the following ways;
– They pursue a wide range of sectors and industries rather than defining excellence in the region and focusing on niche opportunities.
– They do not recognize the value that local companies offer in the form of potential partnerships and outsourcing opportunities for international companies interested in the region and do not see the potential for research cooperation with local universities.
– They are not supported by local stakeholders, whose cooperation is the key to the FDI’s success.
– They lack detailed data and cost models that show the region’s clear advantages over the competition in hard facts.
– They focus on the level of financial assistance they can offer, but do not deliver what international investors really want:
- Proof that the region offers long-term cost and quality advantages for your business
- A simple purchase and engagement process
- Easily access to high-quality real estate/infrastructure at low cost in years 1 and 2
- Support for recruitment and training of employees
- Easier access to the local business community
- An investor-friendly business climate
Our methodology, therefore, provides a model that addresses all these issues. It is proven, effective, low-risk and will deliver tangible results.
We understand that Slovenia as a country already undertakes FDI activities through SPIRIT, while the city administration is trying to define itself as an attractive region for FDI and promote investments for the specific benefit of its citizens and businesses.
We are accustomed to providing FDI services in the format shown below:
Use of local renewable energies in communities
The European Union places renewable energies in the context of the fight against climate change. The positive effects of renewable energy are reflected in economic growth, increased employment, greater energy diversity, increased technology exports, the accumulation of new knowledge and a reduction in the country’s energy dependency.
At the EU Member State level, there are still some differences in the development of renewable energy. These are the result of different natural conditions and starting points in energy policy, different international commitments, political differences, differences in planning, environmental awareness and technologies. Nevertheless, it is possible to transfer good practices from comparable countries and municipalities, which are much more developed in this field than the Slovenian ones, and to transfer them into a new concept adapted to the Slovenian market.
To limit environmental destruction and increase positive energy awareness, Palemid, therefore, offers a product based on the already developed Local Energy Concept. The main objective of the product is to improve and reduce the overall development of local communities and to provide environmentally friendly energy services in households, businesses and public institutions by creating positive energy awareness.
Development and introduction of a city brand
Research and practice show that few cities find enough energy to develop their brand. They are even less successful in forming their own identity. Of course, the identity of the city means not only a formally defined and recognized logo, but above all a communication sign that reflects the personality of the city. The reason why this is not happening on a larger scale is that few cities take enough time to analyze the following fundamental questions: What makes the city special and different from others and what can we offer that could be successfully marketed. The corporate identity of the city with its trademark is particularly important for the development of tourism as one of the largest industries in the world.
Palemid has helped communities increase their visibility and performance worldwide by designing a product of “brand development” and launch. With the brand, the municipality identifies its vision, goals and values. On the other hand, the brand is also a reflection of the image of the citizens and is unique, includes specific sights and plays an important role in the creation of the corporate identity. When designing a brand, the focus with the community is on the features that attract the attention of others and will be retained in the long term. Prior to this, the city administration must have a formulated vision and consider and develop strategic points that include historical events, architecture and buildings, cultural facilities, various events, exhibitions, events, sports teams, environment and climate, demographic structure, customs and culture, global connections. Cooperation between the community and companies, speed of communication, flexibility and attractiveness for people, companies and capital.