Nova Gorica wins development breakthrough award

Nova Gorica, Trg Evrope. Meja med Slovenijo in Italijo. Mejnik.

Nova Gorica – Nova Gorica won the Golden Stone award for the biggest development breakthrough among Slovenia’s 212 municipalities at an online event that heard President Borut Pahor note the border city’s unique opportunity to link with its Italian counterpart into a single city.

Nova Gorica was honoured for its culture of cooperation and dynamic development with the organisers of the Golden Stone Conference noting its successful bid for the 2025 European Capital of Culture and other cross-border projects implemented with Gorizia.

Accepting the award at the conclusion of the 10th annual Golden Stone conference on Friday, Nova Gorica Mayor Klemen Miklavič said he understood the honour as responsibility for them seize the opportunities of cross-border cooperation and European integration.

He would like it to be an inspiration to everyone they work with and will work with in the future, while the city’s results prove what Europe can bring and point to a new chapter of European integration where the EU “is happening at the level of everyday life”.

Presenting the award in person to Miklavič, Pahor noted that Nova Gorica and Gorizia on the Italian side emerged as separate urban centres, but after Slovenia’s joining the EU and the Schengen zone they got a unique opportunity to combine into one city.

It is an asset that no other city in Slovenia has and there is no such example along the former divide between the East and West from the Baltic to the Adriatic, said Pahor, who comes from the Nova Gorica area himself.

Pahor pledged his support for Nova Gorica in its further development and cross-border cooperation, expressing the hope that he would be able to visit the twin cities along with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella as early as this year.

The Golden Stone award has been awarded since 2012. The first winner, Idrija, also won the award last year as the only municipality to win twice.

The Golden Stone Conference is the leading event focusing on local government, brining together the most senior representatives of local and national government and business.

Held online for a week, this year’s conference focused on preparations for the EU’s new multi-annual budget period and cooperation to make best use of the available funding.