5 years of Interreg Volunteer Youth

2022, a milestone for Interreg Volunteer Youth

Launched in 2017, Interreg Volunteer Youth (IVY) has successfully given the opportunity to 790 young people to get involved and contribute to European Territorial Cooperation either within Interreg Programmes or Interreg Projects.

To celebrate its fifth anniversary, we have reached out to previous IVY volunteers, mentors and host organisations to share with us their experience and the impact that Interreg Volunteer Youth had on them and in their regions. 

Through the eyes of those who already took part, together we aspire to broaden our reach.

Valentina, Khouloud, Alina and Jules have shared with us their view on what European Territorial Cooperation mean for them after being an IVY volunteer.

To me, working together means to have the chance to learn from our common experiences and support each other – and this allows us to create stronger relationships and networks. For example, the Alpine region includes eight states: It would be counterproductive to have separate views on how we want to shape our future. Therefore, I find cooperation very important.”

Valentina, IVY Project Partner Interreg IT-CH project VerdeVale

The common aspect I witnessed was progress, and many creative ideas being implemented. Territorial cooperation contributes to building a sense of solidarity and harmony in difference. It’s about cooperation, and it helps to blur out borders and therefore bring people together. In short, it’s about creating a better quality of live for everyone, in all regions.

Khouloud, IVY Reporter Joint Secretariat Greece-Bulgaria

“Cooperation ignites and strengthens a sense of family among border regions, nurturing curiosity and praising diversity”

Jules, IVY Project Partner Interreg Upper Rhine project INTER-RELIGIO

Cooperation is crucial to safeguard the world’s biodiversity and ecosystems. It is the only way forward. Nature knows no political boundaries and therefore its conservation is the collective responsibility of all.

Alina, IVY Project Partner for the Interreg Med project MBPC

Interreg Volunteer Youth not only enriches the lives of those who volunteer, it has also a direct impact on the region in which the volunteers are being deployed. We have asked the local actors of cooperation what is their view on young people’s participation and contributions. 

Giving youth that sense of involvement strengthens their sense of responsibility and in return makes them more eager to contribute to the future. You also get to witness the dialogue and actions that are necessary to cooperate.

Daniela Cavini from TESIM, the technical support project for the implementation and management of the ENI CBC programmes cooperating with countries neighbouring the EU

Every year, dozens of Interreg cross-border projects are carried out in the German-French-Swiss Upper Rhine area, and the new programming period that is now beginning will offer even more opportunities for young volunteers. We are looking forward to helping young people discover the richness and diversity of cross-border cooperation in a very practical way.

Thomas Köhler, Programme Manager Interreg Upper Rhine

We would like the Euregio to be a Euregio of young people because investing in the new generations represents an investment in the future. Young people are the future of Euregio and of Europe

Maurizio Fugatti, President of Euregio Tirolo-Alto Adige-Trentino

Young people are undoubtedly more committed to Green Europe and certainly have more digital skills than people from previous generations. Thanks to initiatives like IVY we can learn from them in these areas every day.

Jean-Louis Valls, Director of the Working Community of the Pyrenees - Managing Authority Interreg POCTEFA

As we celebrate our fifth anniversary, 2022 has also been the European Year of Youth, bringing the focus on young people and their potential. 

Those at the heart of the initiative have taken a moment to reflect on our common accomplishments and look towards our future. 

If I think of you – Interreg volunteers and mentors – I feel hopeful for a Europe that is based on solidarity and commitment to cooperation.

Karl-Heinz Lambertz,
President of AEBR

Young people are the future, cooperation is the only future for Europe. IVY makes this real.

Nathalie Verschelde,
European Commission

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