Interreg? My Europe of regions

From a cooperative Alpine ecosystem to a cohesive regional Europe. My experience with the European Solidarity Corps as Interreg Project Partner in Torino, supporting the implementation of the project Scale(up)Alps in the context of the Interreg Alpine Space programme. A bridge between private actors, public institutions and civil society in the Alpine region.

As part of the Interreg Volunteer Youth (IVY) initiative within the European Solidarity Corps, I was deployed at the EU projects & innovation department of the Torino Chamber of Commerce. Together with the University of Turin I contribute to the implementation of Scale(up)Alps, a ERDF co-funded project aimed at strengthening the Alpine Space as a regional ecosystem through the share of best practices and business models to support start-up companies in their scaling up process towards SMEs.

As communication and partnership management responsible, my main tasks revolved around the project promotion through websites updates, media contents advertise and general communication relations between the Chamber as the project’s lead partner and the 11 project partners belonging to 6 different countries of the Alpine region. By collaborating with the University and the Chamber of Commerce of a strong industrial centre as the city of Turin, I however also had the chance to get insights on a broad range of other activities organized within the municipality: examples are the event Torino Design of the City 2017, to which I participated as media reporter with the University of Turin and the several services offered to local enterprises and promoted by the consortium ALPS Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) of which the Chamber is an active member.

This IVY placement offered me the possibility to experience working with EU project management in a field towards which I feel especially sensitive, which is EU regional policy and transnational cooperation. At the same time, working on a project centred on the sustainable development of the Alps in the wider European regional framework allowed me to make my small contribution towards a more cohesive Europe, while upholding my sense of belonging to my local reality which is that of the Alpine region.

I believe that providing youngersters with the opportunity to promote EU solidarity projects in the territorial context to which they belong, and whose characteristics and problematics they therefore well know of, is a crucial tool that the EU has to show the concrete value it provides to its citizens. And even more importantly, to increase young people’s engagement and participation in an European and global reality that more and more requires people to value the core-heart importance of multilevel citizenship.

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