The Municipalities of Georgios Karaiskakis and Dropolis (Dropull Municipality) located within the eligible for the programme cross-border area, despite their location in different countries have common characteristics and problems. In particular the two extensively mountainous areas, are characterized by delayed development, depopulation, low level of infrastructure and geographical isolation due to inadequate transportation infrastructure. The economic sector is dominated by dispersed traditional agricultural and livestock establishments and limited-capacity agritourist businesses. They feature a low level of competitiveness, without participation in the strengthening of GDP of their respective Regions, a high poverty ratio, social exclusion and premature school discontinuation. They are not tourist destinations, despite the available natural and man-made assets. The two Municipalities as it is shown on in their business plans have included extroversion as a key lever for development. A key concern, thus, is to upgrade the accessibility infrastructure that will enable the life quality improvement for the residents, the primary sector products distribution, the access to the abundant natural and cultural assets and the activation of the tertiary sector.
The common objectives of the two municipalities were confirmed and the possible cooperation was discussed to promote and finance the upgrading of the transport infrastructure, during meetings on information days and visits from both sides. A working group was created consisting of two administrative members from each municipality, who established preparatory steps: 1. Definition of the project idea, the terms it should meet, the objectives and the expected results to be achieved, 2. Designation of the work packages, the proposed operations and deliverables, 3. Budget definition and distribution among the partners, 4. Preparation, documentation and drafting the application and 5. Final assessment of the proposal. The common features of the two municipalities with the abundant natural and cultural heritage and the superior quality of the primary sector products, can define new types of evolution for the existing entrepreneurship and for the development within the Experience Economy (Experience Economy 1999 B. Joseph Pine & James H . Gilmore). The Experience Economy represents the next economy, following the agrarian after the industrial and -the most recent- service economy. The fundamental economic trend of the 21st century describes that, as the world economy proceeded from the goods to the service economy, today the service economy progresses to the experience economy.
The experience is thus not static, but it involves the space where the user meets the product or service. One of the extrovert development pathways is upgrading accessibility infrastructure of the various regions as a means of easy approach by the public, increasing capacity and traffic, removing isolation, developing existing entrepreneurship, improving the quality of life and retaining the population. The abovementioned are determined in the SWOT analysis of the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the program, setting as a specific objective to promote the upgrading of transport infrastructure. This project through the two municipalities cooperation is able to obtain funding in order to deal with common challenges through joint interventions. The inflexible requirements that determine the necessity of the project relate to the service of: i) the local population ii) entrepreneurship iii) visitors iv) national, regional and municipal authorities.
This proposal is expected in times of recession to give a note of encouragement that can bring about a change of the current situation in the neglected municipal areas and is fully consistent with the specific objective 1.1 Increase the capacity of CB infrastructure in transport, water & waste management, where the main interventions relate to planning, construction and rehabilitation of road network.