The European Commission has approved an award of ECU 11.85 million for a programme aimed at furthering cross-border cooperation between Austria and Italy. Under the programme, Austria will receive ECU 4.57 million and Italy ECU 7.28 million. The programme is being funded as part of the Community's INTERREG II initiative concerning border development, cross-border cooperation and selected energy networks (1994-1999). Taking part in the programme will be the Austrian Bundesländer Carinthia, Tyrol and Salzburg and, on the Italian side, the autonomous province of Bolzano (Südtirol), the region of Veneto and the autonomous region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The programme aims at improving natural, agricultural and forestry resources, increasing economic cooperation and the development of tourism. The following priorities have been set: - Improved access to the common historical and cultural heritage; - Improving natural, agricultural and forestry resources by protecting and conserving Alpine ecosystems and countryside; - Increasing economic cooperation and improving the economic framework for small and medium-sized enterprises and for vocational and continuing education (with particular emphasis on tourism). The total cost of the programme amounts to ECU 27.43 million, with ECU 11.85 million coming from EU development funds, ECU 10.01 million from national sources and ECU 3.56 million from private investment.