Activities of the EU-Representation Office
For almost 25 years, the EU-Representation Office has been representing Carinthia's interests at the European level. Receiving early information on current EU projects as well as building and maintaining strong networks and alliances with the European Commission - both at Commissioner and cabinet level and with the Directorates-General - and with the European Parliament, are crucial to this. Among the means by which Carinthia's voice is heard in EU policy, are bilateral and multilateral meetings, speeches at conferences of the European Commission and other expert groups, as well as the presentation of Carinthian points of view in public hearings. Furthermore, bilateral contacts with EU institutions, in particular with the European Commission, but also with the Council of the EU, representations, regional offices, EU associations etc., which have been established over many years, are part of the daily business. The EU-Representation Office of Carinthia is also a member of numerous working groups, in which representatives of the Austrian and German federal governments meet regularly to exchange views on current topics in European policies (such as EU regional policy, EU agricultural policy or EU environmental policy).
The EU-Representation Office also has an important communicative role, which is particularly important in times of change and permanent negotiations (free trade agreements, the refugee crisis, etc.). Through the Brussels office, not only general information about the EU and how it works, but also important first-hand, up-to-date information, can be communicated to Carinthia at an early stage in order to act in Carinthia's interests on site. The EU-Representation Office therefore is Carinthia's eye and ear to EU affairs, on the one hand, and the extended arm and voice of all members of the Carinthian government, on the other. The EU-Representation Office of Carinthia is also the point of contact for all other EU institutions, representations or lobbying offices, which are in regular contact with the region of Carinthia. In this way, the EU-Representation Office can provide concrete up-to-date information on Carinthia-specific EU issues, identify the need for action at an early stage and form coalitions.
The Baltic-Adriatic axis can be highlighted as a particular success of the Carinthian EU-Representation Office. Thanks to the intensive efforts of Carinthia and other participating regions since 2004, the Baltic-Adriatic Axis, with the Koralm Railway (Ger.: Koralmbahn) at its heart, has become one of the most important European transport corridors in the core network of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T), and thus, became part of European legislation. With the adoption of the new EU regulations at the end of 2013, EU financing from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) became possible for the expansion of the Koralm Railway.