The multi-year project “Cross-border coordinated flood risk reduction 2.2 – Construction measures in the Mura River basin” (FRISCO 2.2) was concluded with a final conference in Sveti Martin na Muri in Croatia, where all phases and results were presented. The conference was organized by project partners, the Water Agency of the Republic of Slovenia as the lead partner and Hrvatske vode as the partner in charge of project implementation in the Republic of Croatia.
FRISCO 2.2 is a strategic project implemented within the Interreg VA Slovenia-Croatia 2014-2020 cooperation program with the aim of implementing structural measures to reduce the risk of floods in the Mura River basin, namely the reconstruction of the Sveti Martin na Muri embankment on the Croatian side of the river and the embankment upgrade. near Benica on the Slovenian side of the Mura.
The project started in September 2018 and ended in August 2021. The value amounted to EUR 2,995,195.19, of which 85% was financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the remaining 15% was financed by project partners from their own funds.
Due to its exceptional biodiversity, the Mura River is one of the richest ecosystems in Central Europe, but in its history, this river has also frequently flooded the areas through which it flows, changing the landscape and causing great damage. The restored embankments will protect their local communities from the high waters of the Mura River, and its construction will enable them to adapt to expected climate change and improve the general living conditions in the area. Extremely high-water levels of the Mura River have been recorded twice recently, in 2005 and 2014, and due to the expected climate change, even higher water levels are expected in the future, so the flood protection system had to be improved.
The participants of the conference were greeted by the Mayor of Međimurje County Matija Posavec, and before the conference the Croatian participants, led by the General Manager of Hrvatske vode Zoran Đuroković, visited the Slovenian part of the project, which was implemented in Benica.
At the conference, speakers emphasized that the implemented FRISCO 2.2 project will greatly contribute to the regional development of the region and enable the expansion of tourism infrastructure and tourism, strengthening the local economy and job creation. The protection of this area also opens space for innovative tourist facilities, cycle paths and other activities, as well as for various international events due to the proximity of the border crossing between Croatia and Slovenia.
The implementation of the FRISCO 2.2 project and the increase in safety also reduce the need for active flood protection measures, in which, in addition to Hrvatske vode and the Water Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, other stakeholders, such as civil protection and fire brigades, participate.