A border as an opportunity: being an Interreg Reporter between Italy and Slovenia

Ciao! Živijo!

Let me first introduce myself: I am Giovanna and I come from a little town in the North East of Italy, 5 minutes from the border with Slovenia. I lived in different countries overseas, but I have returned here because these are my roots and this is the place I love the most. I have always been fascinated by the fact that I live on a border which I do not feel as a limit, but rather an opportunity. To me, sharing different cultures and traditions since I was little has always been an added value. That is the reason why I have graduated in Diplomacy and International Cooperation.

You can easily understand why I was delighted when I was selected to be an IVY Reporter for the Interreg Programme V-A Italia- Slovenija 2014-2020. I was curious to learn more about cross-border cooperation and to understand how so many different projects are managed and implemented.

How does cooperation work? How can EU funds improve it on a cross-border level? How can I be an active part of this? These were few of the questions that came to my mind at the beginning of my experience as an Interreg Reporter.

After one month at the Managing Authority of the Programme, I have surely learnt a lot and I have started getting some replies to all my questions (curiosity is key to growth I guess?)

The Interreg V-A Italia-Slovenija Programme manages 55 different projects: from health and sport, to sustainability and biodiversity. It is fascinating to see how so many different topics can be addressed thanks to EU funds and how this can help people locally in finding common solutions across the border. The Programme also works actively to communicate all its activities and to support the projects in spreading their own results.

As a “reporter” I was able to support the Communication Team in the organization of Programme events for the 2021 European Cooperation Day. I have learnt a lot and had fun giving out gadgets and explaining how the Programme works to attendees. I hope I will be able to do the same for the oncoming European Week of Regions and Cities.

This has been my first month as an IVY and I am thankful for this great opportunity. The IVY team has always been very supportive and attentive to their volunteers.

I am looking forward to get even more involved in cross-border cooperation!

Giovanna Colautti, IVY Reporter at Interreg Programme V-A Italia-Slovenija 2014-2020

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