Bout Ye! Natalia's experience at the Special EU Programmes Body in Belfast

Hello Everyone! Bout Ye!

My name is Natalia, I am Polish, however, I studied in Scotland and I have been living in many different countries since 2015. In May I started my new adventure with the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) in Belfast. I decided to take this opportunity because I do believe that regions play a crucial role in bringing EU policies closer to citizens.

Nowadays, we need cooperation between EU institutions and regional and local authorities to fight Euroscepticism. There is a need to show European citizens how many benefits the European projects have to offer and that they truly change lives. I am proud to be part of it and in the future posts, I am hoping to present you some cool projects coordinated by the SEUPB. But first of all, let me explain what the SEUPB is.

The role of SEUPB is to help facilitate the positive impact that European Regional Development Funding will have on the lives of people living across Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland. The SEUPB is responsible for the implementation of the EU’s PEACE IV (€270m) and INTERREG VA (€283m) Programmes. The INTERREG VA Programme is one of over 60 funding programmes across the European Union that have been established to address problems that arise from the existence of borders. PEACE IV Programme is a unique cross-border initiative designed to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties of Ireland.

Ok, so that was an official part:) One of the best things about moving to another country is exploring new places, people, food and customs. So what about Belfast- a city marked by the Titanic disaster, the violence and suffering during The Troubles in the later part of the 20th century, when communities were separated by a wall up to six metres high?

Well, today the streets are quiet, sounds of gunshots or bombs silenced and through the eyes of an outsider, Belfast looks like a really cool place!

Nowadays, Belfast is growing rapidly and offers the famous Titanic Quarter, breathtaking street murals (they are well-known worldwide), cool pubs, nice restaurants, interesting museums, and stunning Victorian buildings as well as countless outdoors attractions-including beautiful parks, hills walks and green walkways. All these things attract many tourists each month.

What is more, over the last few years Belfast, and Northern Ireland as a whole, has become famous because of the main filming locations for Game of Thrones (BUT come on, this fact deserves a special post, doesn’t it? Soooo any Game of Thrones fans here? Yes? Great! Visit the blog soon then for my Game of Thrones tour!

Some interesting facts I found out about Belfast:

1. Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stair Way to Heaven’ was first played live in the Ulster Hall in March 1971

2. C.S Lewis was born here, and the nearby countryside helped inspire ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’

3. John Wood Dunlop invented the pneumatic tyre in Belfast in 1887

4. Belfast has the world’s largest dry dock

5. Belfast’s famous cranes are called Samson and Goliath, still the biggest free-standing cranes anywhere in the world. They have been classified as official historical monuments

6. Actor Liam Neeson had his stage premiere at Belfast's Lyric Theatre

7. Women could hold any office at Queen’s University in Belfast, twelve years before they could study at Oxford

8. Belfast contains 3,000 acres of parks and they are absolutely beautiful!

That is it for today. I hope you enjoyed reading my introduction and you are hungry for more! :)

See you soon!

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