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Cross-border cooperation - an alternative for remote border regions? Case study of fire protection in Olomouc Region, CZE


MOLAK Maciej STRUK Michal

Rok publikování 2021
Druh Článek ve sborníku
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Ekonomicko-správní fakulta

Klíčová slova Cross-border cooperation, fire protection, borderland, local public services, effectiveness, public policy
Popis The size of municipalities and their geographical location are often closely related to the economics of their operation, the efficiency of provided administrative activities, the need to provide ever higher quality and availability of public services, the creation of optimal conditions for local / regional development, and statebuilding aspects associated with gradual transformation for multilevel governance. Remote border regions represent a specific case, for which cross-border cooperation with varying intensity of its institutionalization can become a viable alternative to multilevel governance. Current research focuses on the effectiveness of providing local public services in alternative ways, typically utilizing inter-municipal cooperation or the privatization of these services. A less known alternative within the EU is cross-border provision of local public services (ESPON). The aim of this paper is to identify and examine the main factors influencing the effectiveness of cross-border cooperation as an alternative of local public services provision using example of fire protection. According to the analysis of data for this case study, it is clear that this is not a very common way of providing basic fire protection, but it is mainly an increase in the level of ability to react. The main goal of this paper is to consider the importance of border municipalities, cross-border cooperation is in fire protection provision as an efficient alternative to the inland-based expansion of coverage. In this research, we also dealt with identifications of factors are likely to determine the efficiency of ensuring cross-border fire protection in comparison with national organization. For the purposes of this paper, we chose reference territory of the northern Olomouc Region in the Czech Republic with a total of 102 municipalities and directly adjacent Opole Region in Poland and statistical data about fire brigades interventions in the area during 2015–19, including response times and standardized costs. The data were processed using set theory and data structuring. Analysed region represent an area relatively distant to the regional centre with low population density, making it problematic to ensure sufficient coverage by inland fire protection. As a reaction to these conditions, the crossborder cooperation of fire protection units with both common and emergency incidents occurring in border areas has been gradually developing. However, so far there has been rather little attention paid to this alternative service provision model. Results of the analysis show that for municipalities located directly on the borders, cross-border cooperation of fire brigades represents an effective alternative for ensuring fire protection with Shorter time of arrival coming up as the key factor of added value of cross-border assistance. Utilization of cross-border assistance proved efficient also in financial terms.

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