A new survey suggests that many of the 1.8 million inhabitants of the Swiss-Italian area of Regio Insubrica have never even heard of it. The entity was set up in 1995 as an association aimed at fostering cross-border cooperation.
Many of the inhabitants of the Regio Insubrica area, which brings together the Swiss canton of Ticino and the Italian provinces of Como, Varese and Verbano, have never even heard of it. That is according to a survey of 2,000 people carried out by the Lugano Institute for Economic Research and published in Milan.
More than three quarters of the Italians questioned did not know about Regio Insubrica, compared to 55 per cent of people in Ticino. However, there was a strong sense of belonging to the area, both on the Italian and the Swiss side.
The survey revealed a very different perception of the importance of cross-border economic relations. Sixty per cent of people in canton Ticino said that they believed their future economic growth was dependent on ties with their Italian neighbours. But 60 per cent of the Italians quizzed saw their economic future more closely linked to other Italian regions.
Most of those who took part in the survey agreed that ties should be strengthened, with only 30 per cent confident that synergies were being fully exploited. Regio Insubrica officials are studying the findings to decide on measures to boost public awareness.
Regio Insubria was set up five years ago to foster cross-border cooperation, but has no legal competence. It presents projects to the competent Swiss and Italain organisations and works towards removing bureaucratic obstacles. The name Regio Insubrica comes from the Insubri, a Celtic people who lived in the area during the fifth century BC.
By Michael Mullane
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