Regions and eRegion portal

The cross-border regions are important.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia hosted the eCommerce think-tank on March 9, 2004. That was an informative meeting with the economic counsellors of the Embassies of Central and South Eastern European countries, the USA, China and the delegation of the European Commission to Slovenia. The Foreign Ministry organised the meeting in cooperation with the eCommerce Center of the University of Maribor’s Faculty of Organizational Sciences. The purpose of the meeting was to present the initiative to develop an eRegion in the area of Central and South Eastern Europe and to promote the 17th International eCommerce Conference, “eGlobal – A Network for the Development of an eRegion”, to be held at Bled, Slovenia, from 21-23 June 2004. As it seems, the term »eRegion« was publically used in that meeting for the first time.

There is a significant attention given to the cross-border (macro) regions in the European Union in recent years. In the East and South Europe that means the Danube, the Adriatic & Ionian, and the Alpine regions. Several countries are on the New eSilk Road proposed by the China’s initiative named “16+1”, meaning 16 Central & East European countries + China. The Baltic eRegion is on the  New eAmber Road.

Since the first summit in Dubrovnik in 2016, Slovenia is a member of the Three Seas Initiative with twelve EU member states along a north-south axis from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The eRegion as a research and development area has been a component of the annual Bled eConference (since 1988) and various events organized in Slovenia, as well as in the neighboring countries since 2000. An important contributor to the achievements was ALpe Adria Danube universities Initiative – ALADIN. The 4th Danube eRegion Conference – DeRC 2014: Cross-border eSolutions & eServices Prototypes Development gathered over 200 participants from 14 countries in Ljubljana in September 2014.

The eRegion development is a component of the European Union’s Digital Single Market strategy . The borderless nature of digital technologies means it no longer makes sense for each EU country to have its own rules for telecommunications services, copyright, data protection, or the management of radio spectrum. By fostering a Digital Single Market, the EU can create up to €340 billion in additional growth, hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and a vibrant knowledge-based society.

Boosting regional innovation in order to achieve economic growth and prosperity, by enabling regions to focus on their strengths is a goal of smart specialization. Smart specialization is a new EU innovation policy concept designed to promote the efficient and effective use of public investment in research. Spreading investment too thinly across several frontier technology fields risks limiting the impact in any one area.

The eRegion development is a possible smart specialization of all macro regions. Specializing in a certain aspect of the eRegion development can build upon the region’s comparative advantages. Interoperability of the eRegions being a common problem of all regions, may be a shared focus of specialization of any type in all eRegions involved.

The eRegion portal is opened since December 15, 2014. The key words are: Cross-border (macro) region, eRegion, eMunicipality, initiative, open innovation, prototype, actor, activity area, action, eRegions interoperability. At this point in time, the portal is considered a prototype, a model of possible ways of presenting easy-to-use links to the existing portals/websites in English language related to the cross-border eCollaboration in a macro region. The portal users are kindly invited to contribute to its content and usability improvement by emailing their suggestions. The website editors in the organztations having interest in the matter are invited to consider links to, and from eRegion portal. The links in both directions may be contributing to a creation of an eCollaboration environment.

The eRegion portal is designed to support the cross-border eCollaboration. It is powered by SRC d.o.o. Ljubljana. Organizations having interest in being linked are invited to propose links to be published at eRegions, Countries, Actors.

By exploiting eTechnologies, the eRegion portal may be useful in several aspects: by contributing to increased efficiency of current business processes, by supporting new business creation, by assisting in bringing together researchers and developers sharing interest in solving cross-border related problems.