Bildung in der Grenzregion – BIG AT-CZ/ BIG SK-AT/ BIG AT-HU

Educational Cooperation in Border Regions

Photocredits: Lichtbild Sinawehl

Language and intercultural skills are essential factors in positive development in border regions, such as border regions of Lower Austria with Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. On the one hand, they make social encounters easier and on the other hand, they lay a key foundation for a common, innovative labour market in the future.

The three projects BIG AT-CZ, BIG SK-AT and BIG AT-HU  ( BIG stands for Bildung in der Grenzregion”) are cofinanced by ERDF in the framework of INTERREG and have the aim to introduce children to the language (German, Czech, Slovak and Hungarian) and culture of neighbouring regions from nursery age right through to school. This gives participating children and young people the opportunity to recognise and exploit the regions’ potential beyond national borders, to establish and maintain contacts, and to network and develop the wide range of cultural, economic and social opportunities.

Representatives of politics and administration and the general population (in particular parents) are being involved more closely into intercultural exchange through the BIG-projects. BIG-projects have brought together nursery and school management bodies and training institutions.

This activities increase acceptance of the languages of the neighbouring regions and of multilingualism in everyday society and business throughout the project area: the Austrian federal provinces Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Vienna and Burgenland, the Czech counties Southern Bohemia, Vysocina and Southern Moravia, the Slovak Capital City Bratislava and Bratislava county and the Hungarian counties Györ-Moson-Sopron, Vas and Zala.

Lead Partner:   Office of the Lower Austrian Federal Government, Department Nurseries and Schools

Project video:

Field of action: Education

Geographical coverage: Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary

Link to the website:


About Lower Austria

Lower Austria is located in the north-eastern part of Austria. It is the largest federal state of Austria by its surface and the second-largest by its population with 1.67 million inhabitants.

Lower Austria has an eventful history and an exceedingly rich cultural heritage. The palette ranged from small and old, like the Venus from Willendorf, to big and modern, like the Landhausviertel and the cultural district in St. Pölten, the newest capital city in Europe.

Challenges related to economic dynamism, infrastructure, a growing population and Vienna’s proximity are important, as are those from being neighbours to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Cohesion policy drives development in Lower Austria

Since Lower Austrias EU-accession in 1995 its economic growth has increased twice and over 11 billion Euro from different EU-Funds were invested in the country. In the past 25 years Lower Austria has changed from an agricultural country to a leading economic performer among the regions in Europe and was able to benefit more than average from EU regional funding.

Cohesion Funds allow Lower Austria to deal with many of challenges and implement numerous projects in spatial development, environmental protection and conservation, research, development and new technologies. The region’s economy also benefits from Cohesion Policy support for business modernisation and new business sites. The resulting economic development has improved employment in Lower Austria.

Regional investments in cross-border projects with Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary allow Lower Austria to convey the idea of a common Europe to citizens.

Find out more:

Dürnstein, Lower Austria – Photocredits: NLK

For more stories about Lower Austria projects, please see here and here!

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