“Cooperation moves mountains”. That was the first phrase I read as I entered the building where I volunteered for the last three months. The Joint Secretariat of Interreg POCTEFA is in Jaca, on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. The Programme provides co-financing for regional and local institutions from the North of Spain, the South of France, and Andorra.

As an Interreg Reporter, I supported the project managers with translations, social media, and other administrative tasks. Nevertheless, the IVY learning experience has not just been about what I did, but also about the opportunities I got to take part in and develop. While preparing the news for the website and attending consortium meetings, I was able to better understand how the region is directly benefiting from Cohesion Policy.

I had the chance to learn from projects that are connecting both sides of the Pyrenees through sustainable mobility opportunities, and projects that are bridging the gap between knowledge transfer in topics such as medicine or nature conservation.

I became aware that those who benefit the most from cross-border cooperation are citizens. Thanks to the work of Interreg POCTEFA, the people living in the Euroregion Baiona-Donostia can now travel around the territory in an electric bus, and it’s easier for meteorological agencies to exchange data on climate change in the Pyrenees.

Regional cooperation is blurring the physical borders inside Europe, and, through IVY, young people are starting to play an active role in the process. They’re the ones bringing forward brave ideas and moving mountains to pave the way for a greener and more inclusive Europe.

Alexandra, IVY Reporter at the Joint Secretariat Interreg POCTEFA

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