Volunteering at the Eurodistrict SaarMoselle

I am currently studying European Project Management in France after obtaining a franco - german cross-border communication and cooperation Bachelor. Driven by my experiences and my interests in a cross-border region, I decided to take part in an IVY experience at the Eurodistrict SaarMoselle.

The Eurodistrict SaarMoselle is a great place to truly experience and take part in cross-border projects. As it is a cross border regional authority and a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, which is located at the border between the Saar, a German Land, and Lorraine, a French region. The structure is involved in different INTERREG Projects in various fields: transport, training, multilingualism. I, myself was supporting the project SESAM’GR.

SESAM’GR is dealing with multilingualism, interculturality and employability, which are also the three main lines of the project. It takes place in the Greater Region that is to say the former French region Lorraine, the German Länder Saar and Rheinland-Pfalz, Luxembourg, parts of Wallonia and the German and French communities of Belgium. The lead partner is the department Moselle where another IVY volunteer, Mareen Mater is working on the same project as I was.

The main goal relies on promoting multilingualism, training and mobility for various age groups starting very young and up until the children become teenagers. We aim on developing the language skills in order to enhance and support the cross-border labour phenomenon. It targets both the young and the staff who is dealing with young people at school but also out of school hours. SESAM’GR gathers 14 partners, which is why it can be overwhelming but it really helps understanding the other countries and regions. During my placement, I had the chance to meet another IVY and it was a great opportunity to learn what other IVYs are working on.

What am I doing in this project? For SESAM’GR, the Eurodistrict SaarMoselle has to organise a meeting for youth actors in order to establish cross-border projects out of school hours at a local level. Most of the associations just don’t know how to get in touch with similar structures on the other side of the border. It is why the Eurodistrict SaarMoselle is organising this event. It will help local youth actors to first meet other actors and to carry out projects together. We want to develop a sort of partnership search facility where actors can easily find a partner for a cross-border project. I was supporting the implementation of the very first event with help of my colleagues. The Eurodistrict SaarMoselle has to carry out two other auction floors with the same purpose but at a larger level. It will have to target all youth actors around the Greater Region. The first Auction Floor will take place on March, 14th in Sarreguemines, a French city at the border. I was in charge of finding actors, preparing the invitations and helping with the coordination of the event.

I had the great opportunity to do a lot by myself and I had the chance to have my say: I volunteered with an amazing team, who was always ready to explain and take time for me. I totally felt as a member of the team. This IVY placement offered me the possibility to experience European project management, which is what I would like to do in the future. It has been a rewarding experience for both my personal and professional life.

I believe it is only by involving young people in EU project, as SESAM’GR is doing, that the young people’s engagement in the EU will increase. Moreover, the EU needs to be closer to its citizen and I really think that INTERREG projects can make a real difference.

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