“EcoPiriDay” has been organised by the IVY volunteers Simona di Costanzo, Clémentine Zill and Hélène Champloy in Jaca, Spain. It has been centred on ecology, recycling and inclusion in the Pyrenees and showcased five projects taking place in the region thanks to the support of the Interreg programme POCTEFA.
The event has gathered many local citizens and successfully informed them about topics like the protection of natural resources or how to limit climate change, while exploring how innovation and inclusion keep bringing sustainable development in the Prenees.
The attendants have also had the chance to taste local products and to contribute to ecology in the town and learn about the many initiatives realised by local actors from Spain, Andorra and France to improve the environment together.
"Camino de Swingtiago" has been a genuine initiative to dive into the authentic Northwestern Spanish culture. It has combined the spirit of the Camino with music and movement. Held between the 8th and the 9th of June, Ithe event has been organized by the ex IVY volunteer Maria Trinidad Giner and it has been an occasion to discover the city of Lugo, but also to learn what has been done at a local and regional level thanks to European funds.
Cohesion Policy has helped improve the city's architectural, historical and cultural life. With quizzes and games, "Camino di Swingtiago" has informed about the use of Cohesion Policy's funds and accompanied participants along the primitive path of St. James' way. The event has also included discussions, excursions in the nature, and, of course, swing dance sessions.
Naujoji Akmenė goes global!
This year, the city of Naujoji Akmenė celebrated its 70th birthday! Since its foundation, the city has greatly changed in a positive way throughout the years, especially thanks to the support of the EU Cohesion policy.
To mark this milestone, engage people and showcase the positive impact of the EU, from the 12th to the 15th of August a "birthday-week" celebration accompanied the local citizens in an immersive experience throughout the city's history and its tranformations.
Sport competitions, youth engagement activities and public discussions, "world caffee" meetings and concerts, helped to display what has been done at a local level thanks to European funds...in an interactive and fun way!
DisCoVeR – Discovering and canoeing on the Venta river
On Tuesday 13th August 2019, the Venta Regional Park was the venue of a fantastic event dedicated to disadvantaged people of different nationalities: citizens from Latvia and Lithuania, indeed, had the chance to canoeing together on the Venta river, discovering its hidden treasures and learning more about the importance of the Latvian-Lithuanian joint management of its ecosystem and natural resources.
The final stop of the river-tour is set in the Lithuanian village of Santekliai, where a public talk about cooperation between the two countries and the benefits of EU Cohesion policy took place.
Special attention was dedicated to the youth and employment opportunities for the local citizens.
“DisCoVer-Discovering and canoeing on the Venta river” was a perfect occasion to unite different people, enjoy the natural wonders and get to know better what the European Union does at a local level!
The goal of WILDArt Majella was to promote European cooperation by bringing together local communities and artists from all over Europe to promote cultural exchange and enhance local development in the Italian region of Abruzzo.
Through art, it was shown to people how valuable local nature and rural areas are and how the European Union and a wide variety of Interreg projects are supporting their way of living.
Through workshops, presentations, craft stations, a vernissage and local food tasting, people was introduced to the wonders of Majella National Park and discovered more on the benefits of EU Cohesion Policy.
This innovative event took place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The organisers informed about the possibilities to encourage development in the Canary Islands which are promoted by the Programme INTERREG MAC.
The Interreg project “MACAROFOOD“ served as an example to illustrate how cooperation among local producers and entrepreneurs has helped promote typical products, creating chances for to better access labour market to the local population.
The event offered a platform to share ideas, learn about opportunities and start new entrepreneurial projects. Let’s share experiences, get inspiration and motivation for future projects - this is a great opportunity to build new collaboration
A European Corner
Every year the “European Cooperation Day” is celebrated all over Europe on the 21st of September.
Is there a better opportunity to talk about solidarity and cooperation? During the main event organised by the Interreg V-A Italy-Slovenia Programme in Divača, a real “European corner” was set up by a team of four IVYs.
There, families and children met to discover more about the benefits of the EU Cohesion Policy in the cross-border area...in a funny way! In fact, they had the chance to take instant photos with a European frame and get some gadgets while exchanging ideas on the real meaning of cooperation.
It was a two-day event to discover inspiring cooperation projects about the Baltic Sea and become a real protagonist of the sustainable development of this region. Participants came to the conference organised by our IVY volunteer Barbara Favaro and they got to know cross-border and transnational projects around the Baltic Sea;
- They watched “A Plastic Ocean” film and got aware of the marine litter issue;
- They explored “A Deeper Dive” art project, which with they got inspired by the sounds of the sea and found out what was their impact;
- They took Action and participated in a beach clean-up!
The goal of the activity was to show the benefits and the good results achieved thanks to territorial cooperation in the German-Danish border regions and in the broader South Baltic Sea Region in regard to environmental protection and sustainable development of the Baltic Sea coastal areas.
Insect Respect, organised by our IVY volunteer Helena Hieke, provided the opportunity to get hands-on experience about how to contribute to keeping insect biodiversity in our focus!
Participants learned how important insects are for our everyday life and how we can protect them. Everybody built their own insect hotel, which they could take with them to provide the insects in their garden with a home! All the information was provided, also regarding information about EU funded projects on nature conservation.
Respect Nature, organised by our IVY volunteer Hanna Ollos, brought locals in the countryside of Austria together with organisations that were, with support of the Cohesion Policy, actively helping to protect local nature. Nature is a constant source of inspiration for us all.
"Respect Nature" inspired and motivated participants to actively engage in preserving the environment. After presentations and interactive workshop exercises to lay the groundwork, the team went on a field trip to put things directly into practice. At the end of the activity, each participant had a better understanding of why it is important to treat nature respectfully, and how to do it.
Whispering of the trees
In “Whispering of the trees”, organised by our IVY volunteer Helena Hieke, students attended workshops and a field trip into one of the most valuable UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany, the Grumsin forest.
Participants delved deep into how to open all their senses and be present in nature and how to develop a story based upon personal impressions in this ancient forest. They also learned how the EU Cohesion Policy supports its protection through various projects currently under implementation in the region.
This CEA, brought local communities, nature specialists and outdoor enthusiasts from different regions of Europe together in Bulgaria to promote local development, solidarity and support the safeguarding of local nature and in this case with wild rivers. Goals of the European Cohesion Policy is to support social inclusion, better education and training, alongside combating climate change and nature protection.
With this CEA, Hanna Ollos wanted to contribute to these goals, by creating a Nature Experience Workshop for the exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge on nature conservation both in an indoor and outdoor environment between locals, experts and nature enthusiasts, while also highlighting the different ways in which the European Cohesion Policy is contributing to this.
Franco-German Forum of Strasbourg
The trade fair specializing in Franco-German higher education, brings together more than 120 exhibitors each year in a single venue, including around 100 higher education institutions, institutions and companies, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria in particular.
Jules Stiffler, an IVY volunteers attended it and provided everyone with an insight into the benefits of the EU Cohesion Policy with pleasure!
Una Europa Infinita
In the framework of the European Cooperation Day, our IVY volunteer Sara Pettinelli together with Interreg Sudeo organised this event in Cantabria University, where the participants discussed how to improve communication of European projects and later, those debates were the subject of a paper which was circulated among EU stakeholders.
Hornad Wild River Cleaning
This CEA organised by our IVY volunteers Jonas Sommer and Hanna Ollos, displayed a free environmental film, followed by a bilingual discussion (Slovakian and English) about sustainable waste management, the value of Hornad river and the importance of clean rivers.
Participants learned more about the European Cohesion Policy, how it is supporting local development and what projects are helping to improve their lives.
Discover Beech Symposium
Our volunteer Rebecca Hollely organised an interactive symposium around the theme of beech forests, with local speakers from several EU environmental projects, and international guest speakers from the European Beech Forest Network. There were workshops and open dialogue about the current situation of beech forests, and case studies from many European regions. They shared stories, experiences, good practices, and solutions to real problems faced in the forests, and engage in lively discussions about the future of beech forest and the role that cohesion policy plays in its continuance.
On the second day, they visited the beech forest Grumsin, which is an internationally important forest. They were guided through the forest and had the opportunity to reinforce and experience everything they discussed during the first day.
They finished informed and inspired to make positive changes for beech forests!
Beyond Borders: A Transnational Climate Activism Workshop for European Youth
Young people came from Slovenia and its surrounding countries (Hungary, Croatia, Italy, and Austria), representing not only themselves, but also the movements and organizations with which they are associated, to share ideas, successes, failures, and gaps of knowledge, as well as problem solve and build lasting connections for future collaboration.
The goal of the workshop was first and foremost to inform participants about the long-term commitment and investment the EU has made towards environment and climate change, specifically through the lens of past and current projects, like Interreg and LIFE Programme for Environment and Climate Action.
A second goal was to inform participants about the relevancy and importance of forestry in the mitigation of climate change.
The third and final goal was to provide participants, specifically those from youth movements and organizations, with the opportunity to develop their potential and success as environmental advocates.
Moreover, in the framework of this Citizens' Engagement Activity (CEA), the participants created a powerful manifesto, urging people and institutions all over Europe to sensitize and take actions against climate change. You can access the manifesto here.
If you want to support this manifesto with your signature, please contact us at and we are happy to put you in touch with Laura Schubert, the organiser of the CEA.
Bridging the gap
Through ‘Bridging the gap’ our IVY volunteer Leona Herrmann invited the rural agricultural and urban communities to meet and develop ideas together to find better and long-lasting ways to cooperate, becoming inspired by leading examples of support from the European Cohesion Policy.
Caribbean Cocoa Celebration (or “Journée Cacao Caribéen - projet RECAVACA” in French) has been organised to celebrate the achievements of the EU funded project RECAVACA.
It was also an opportunity to show the public what the EU Regional Cohesion Policy has allowed the association, Association Guadeloupe Equitable et Durable, to do in Guadeloupe and Haiti and invite new people to get involved in the development of cocoa in the Caribbean.
Furthermore, they launched the next phase of the project.
Capturing Beech Forests
Our IVY Cristina Lemo organised a photo collection and exhibition about beech forests to show the biodiversity around Europe and how this diversity is connected thanks to European Cohesion Policy.
The vernissage of the exhibition included an open discussion and gathering between experts and citizens about the importance of collaboration, the threats and the actual situation of beech forests in Europe.
Through ‘Wildlife tracking with locals’ our IVY volunteer Hanna Ollos, invited local citizens to join us for the active outdoor wildlife tracking workshop and learn about the different projects that contribute to nature conservation in the Triglav region through the support from the European Cohesion Policy
Youth for Future
Representatives from 20 different youth organizations from Lithuania and Latvia took part in this workshop in Balsiai Summer Camp to create a network of youth who will become ambassadors of Interreg in Akmene District and in Latvia Auce District.
Children and youth from Angermünde gathered together to raise their awareness of their unique natural environment and understand its importance in an active and inspiring way
Bringer Europe Closer to Nature
The goal of this activity was to spread the message of the EU Cohesion Policy in the areas of nature and wildlife citizens passionate about nature and local schools. The quiz covered topics such as nature conservation projects funded by the EU, protected species under the Habitats Directive, and ways citizens can get involved with environmental issues in the EU, e.g. Freiwillige Ökologisches Jahr (Voluntary Ecological Year). The goal of the quiz was to make people aware of the role of the Cohesion Policy in projects that combat climate change, protect nature, and promote biodiversity.
Check it out here
Cooperation as a driver for sustainable development
Our former volunteer Giuseppe Macca presented this CEA with the idea of promoting the concept of territorial cooperation and its Interreg programs and link it with the idea of a sustainable future, not only from an environmental perspective but also from a social one. The event was thought to be blended physical and digital to reach the local community and the global one.
SDGs represent a pillar of present and future development, becoming a trending topic also to the for-profit sector. How are cohesion policies related to SDGs? How do these programs foster international development and what impact do they have?
This event had the goal to answer these questions and spread them to a wide public rather them constraining them to a niche.
Giuseppe created this structure setting up monthly events, hosting different IVYs around Europe to share their story and their contents.
Following the frame of “Craft & Art” project Interreg MAC Cooperation Program, our former IVY volunteer Marion Charret, created “ActivArte 2.0“project, an original concept proposing a continuity of the previous CEA event “ActivArte” (held in Gran Canaria in August 2019).
In this edition Marion gathered different artists and handcrafters to propose a photo serial with colors paint and artistic chocolate illustrating cohesion, solidarity and cooperation.
With the hands, arms of models, colors and accessories; the serial showed the power of cohesion, collaboration and union. The paint made the union between the different members. The creative chocolate also represented things that we share; some of them material, others invisible; but all of them useful to grew up and build new projects together.
After networking in “ActivArte” and create synergies; this was a new concrete action.
This project is unique and propose an original result that boosted each professional and created network. As a a follow up, it has a strong cooperation impact. The team counted with European persons from UK, France, Spain.
There was space for creativity and new techniques, collaboration teamwork and communication skills.
Online Interreg Treasure Hunt
In this 4-days online event, participants had to solve puzzles, complete creative tasks and correctly answer questions about Cohesion Policy in Europe, Interreg projects in Klaipeda, and other topics. These questions encouraged people to search for information about Cohesion Policy online.
The winners were selected according to the speed, the accuracy and originality of the answers. Gintare created a zoom event where she explained a little bit more about the EU, Cohesion policy and Interreg projects. There was time dedicated for questions and discussion with the participants. At the end of this online award ceremony, winners were announced.