This was my fifth month as Interreg Reporter at the SUDOE Joint Secretariat....it's been quite hectic lately and time really flies.
In the last weeks we got a lot going on in the office. The results of the second call for proposals are finally out and the preparation for the next one has already started. But most importantly, we have finally launched the two capitalisation surveys I worked on during these months. The launch was a little bit delayed but I'm pretty satisfied with the responses we have received. Indeed, I can clearly see now how Interreg SUDOE supported great project ideas throughout the years. I discovered, among other things, that the project REPPARP, funded during the first SUDOE programming period, led to the recognition of a European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe for the prehistoric sites in the region. I also got to know that a lot of networks and partnerships promoted through the programme in the territory kept on developing. Moreover, I had the chance to interview some enthusiastic project leaders who explained to me in detail the major achievements of their respective projects. In parallel, the survey addressed to the key actors of the SUDOE area, revealed that most respondents are clearly interested in knowing and making good use of the results achieved by the programme during these years.
Apart from the launch of the surveys, another remarkable moment of the last few weeks was certainly the webinar on the IVY initiative, organised in collaboration with the communication team and Interreg Reporter of the POCTEFA Secretariat, Sophie. The webinar - actually the two webinars, one in French and the other in Spanish - counted on the participation of around 50 attendants, including both young people interested in joining the initiative and potential IVY hosting organisations. The two webinars also saw the participations of Gianluca Comuniello, from the European Commission (DG REGIO), and Martín Guillermo Ramírez, from the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), who gave two interesting presentations on the initiative. Following their speeches and the presentations of the two programmes, POCTEFA and SUDOE, Sophie and I had the opportunity to give our insights into our personal experience as Interreg Reporters. The event raised a lot of interest on IVY and Interreg; we got several questions from the audience and at the SUDOE Secretariat we also received some further requests for information straight after the end of the webinars. Following this, the team of the project “SUDOE Stop CO2” has also decided to get a young European through IVY! :)
It has been an outstanding experience!
My dear readers, I have more news for you: this is going to be my very last post for the Diary section. My experience at the Interreg SUDOE Secretariat is coming to an end in a few days, a little bit earlier than what planned, and I'm indeed very sad to leave this great team and place. The good news is that I will continue my adventure in the Interreg world, since I'm soon starting to work as Project Manager at the Secretariat of another programme, the Interreg Italy-France Maritime! :)
I cannot express how thankful I am to the amazing people I met during these months here in Santander, who helped me grow and supported my personal and professional development throughout my IVY. It would have not been the same without them, and my future path – whatever it will be – will deeply benefit from this incredible experience.
I wish any young European interested in cooperation across borders had a similar opportunity in order to really understand what the added value of all this is!