My name is Aroa, and I’ve been an IVY Volunteer for almost 2 months. I am doing this experience in the Interreg Program of the Upper Rhine Region in the Swiss city of Basel.
I think my experience is a bit different from other volunteers who are hosted by partners involved in an Interreg project, as I am not only in a project, but I am working at the program level. Volunteering in an Interreg program is interesting, as I am getting to know many different projects and people. This experience is also helping me to better understand how Interreg works and how the EU funds different projects.
For me, the best thing is to see how a project materializes and to be involved in all stages of the process, such as attending Interreg meetings where projects are accepted or rejected, talking to prospective partners, and much more.
As I said, I am volunteering in Switzerland, a country that is not part of the EU. Many of you may wonder how this is possible. And the answer is that, as you know, Switzerland is a country located in the center of Europe that has several EU countries as border partners.
Therefore, especially the Swiss border regions, such as Basel and Ticino, are constantly influenced and affected by the movements of bordering countries such as France and Italy.
That is why the inclusion of Switzerland as a partner in Interreg projects is part of the main objective of Interreg to promote cooperation in border regions and thus contribute to improving the lives of their inhabitants. However, Switzerland is not supported by the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF). Interreg projects with Swiss participation are partly financed by the Swiss Confederation and the cantons involved.
– Aroa, IVY Reporter at the Regio Basilensis – RCP Interreg Upper-Rhine