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Short description / Current status and future steps / Lessons learned:
= Case description =
In 2008, the Békés County Government decided to act proactively to reduce the effects of the crisis affecting Hungary, including the Békés County. Its objectives were to promote sustainable development of the county’s economy, enhance competitiveness and the number of addedvalue producing jobs and to increase the quality of life. One of the means is the Growth-oriented Economy Development Programme of Békés County (NGP). Cooperation, partnership, collaboration, advocacy and enforcement of interest are essentials for the implementation of this Programme, thereby alleviating problems caused by the crisis to municipalities, economic actors and interest representation organisations. Békés County Board of Representatives has allocated a total of HUF 633,375,000 to the implementation of the NGP, entailing the activities of working groups whose tasks consist in elaborating proposals which are affecting certain areas of expertise, serving the implementation of NGP, proposals about instruments and means to achieve goals, activities and required resources.
The working groups and their tasks are: Local government preinvestments: to prepare the advanced realisation of the Békés County Government’s investments (from own source); Vocational training, adult training, trades in lack: to reform the previous practice and methods of vocational and adult training; Cost-effectiveness, institutional profit-making activities: to examine a more effective organisation and performance of some ‘complementary’ activities providing institutional professional services; Common procurements: to enhance cooperation and to centrally acquire services for the operation of the county institutional network; Interest representation and coordination: to prepare proposals and initiatives belonging to the scope of Békés County Government and, in every issue relevant to the county, to report on EU support system documents; Communication and marketing: to strengthen the marketing strategies of Békés County Government and its institutions, to provide for a better availability of products, services, properties, plants and labour force in Békés County, to widen their market opportunities, and to elaborate a complex marketing programme based on tourism marketing. Its tasks have been broadened with greater emphasis on strengthening the presence of the county, development of attractions, event marketing, to enhance the neighbourhood policy; Innovation, knowledge-based development, clusters: to mobilise the innovative capacities of Békés County Government institutions. Areas of innovation and improvement have been defined along such development directions and research areas which are determined and approved as such by the European Union (EU-FP7 programme) and also refer to potential development directions for Hungary; Support of civil organisations: the role of various NGOs participating in the public services performed by local governments has been even more appreciated amidst the global crisis; Support to entrant graduates: help them find their first jobs and acquire labour experience in Békés County. The NGP contains both, the County Council’s tasks related to the own task management (cost-effectiveness, improvement of sustainability, expanding profitable operations) and further actions to get out of the crisis (e.g. legislation, initiatives to change various central regulations). Special attention goes to those areas of task management (vocational training, health and social services, health tourism, etc.) that have a direct effect on the growth-oriented development of the economy.