The move to cooperation
As early as the 1960s, Gorizia and Nova Gorica were conducting significant cultural projects, thus becoming a laboratory for thinking about how to overcome the “division of Europe.” Paradoxically, the end of communism also marked a decrease of intensity in cross-border cooperation between the two towns.
Today, while the municipalities have undertaken cooperation initiatives in different fields (tourism, the environment, infrastructure), few of these initiatives have given tangible results. In 2002, the opening of a bus route between the stations of the two cities did not attract as many passengers as hoped, as reasons for crossing the border are rare in daily life.
Nevertheless, cross-border cooperation is very present in the discourse of the Italian and Slovenian authorities, and has been heard in the neighbouring municipalities, in particular “Šempeter–Vrtojba”. The status of European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), adopted by the three municipalities (Gorizia, Nova-Gorica and Šempeter–Vrtojba) in September 2011, formalises the cooperation and makes it permanent, by endowing the cross-border conurbation with a stable legal framework. The first meeting of the “GO EGTC” was held on 3 February 2012.