Smaller dissection of greater success

Face-to-face meeting participants
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Report on Face-to-face meeting of Czech and Austrian twinning partners

We looked preliminarily into the kitchen of the regional model of the green energetics by our neighbours (10th July 2012, Waldviertler Kernland - Ottenschlag).

It was the very first meeting of projects representatives from both countries, which were established as twinning partners (the CR as a learning country and Austria as an experienced one). Austrian project team was evaluating its first very successful technical workshop and started to plan a program of a study travel (ST) for Czech municipality representatives. It wanted to know generally, what is going on in the field of green energetics at its northern neighbour and what are Czech expectation regarding experience inspiration of Austrian partners’ region.
The Czech partner wanted to know key arguments for co-operation of municipalities of Lower Austria on their way towards energy sufficiency, which he will be able to adapt in the CR for involving people into the ST and the project at all. He aimed at contacts with the most competent region movers, which could effectively interest still dubious potential project participants in the CR.
Czechs and Austrians were discussing deeply motivation, contexts, work methods and arguments of people from the Waldviertler Kernland region, which brought them such a success and could inspire a Czech learning region.

Karel Merhaut and Dalibor Strasky from the LEA (Czech project subcontractor responsible for organizing and public relation activities) were involved in the meeting. On the other side was a broader host team:

  • Georg Carl Priesner – project leader from Vienna Climate Alliance office, which is a national project co-ordinator of the project “100%-RES-communities”
  • Dieter Holzer – chairman of (big) LEADER region “Südliches Waldviertel Nibelungengau”, chairman of (small) model climate-region Waldviertler Kernland and deputy mayor of Ottenschlag village (in the opinion of all people an initiator and an engine of all activities, who is able to usurp municipalities of the big and the small regions towards common activities).
  • Thomas Waldhans – dipl. engineer, who is an energetic and edifying manager of the model region.
  • (plus other representatives of both regions and partly municipalities and project representatives)

Mr. Priesner said, that they really look forward to co-operation with the CR. He presented the big LEADER region as well as the small region. Its 13 municipalities have co-operated since 2001 but since 2011 only, when they accepted status of model “climate and energy region”, have they employed energetic specialist.
Mr. Holzer explained a key role of energy commissioners, who were established thanks money from different subsidiary programs from Lower Austria, Austria or Europe. They act independently of residential companies, which is their big advantage. These commissioners are educated by energy specialists from Climate Alliance (e.g.). Then they work gratis. They arrange professional communication between energy specialists and municipality representatives and help to find specialists for particular work.

Delicious lunch in Mohndorf village was a final point of the first cognitive meeting, which discussed the coming ST too. Everything came from poppy seed here – a soup, a sauce, deserts, an ice cream, lemonade, a liqueur, souvenirs, books, mills, a huge billboard even a festival. All should be tasted, seen and experienced. As well as confidence of mayors, that anything could be done together easily, even in the field of the green energetics.

Author: Karel Merhaut