Interreg Reporter for POCTEFA

It's been almost a month and a half since I arrived in Jaca in the Spanish Pyrenees to begin my mission as Interreg Reporter for the Working Community of the Pyrenees within the Interreg POCTEFA program. This is the moment to make a first assessment of my experience, of the knowledge I have acquired, and of my achievements.

Let's start with the basics. What is the POCTEFA program? It is a European program of cross-border cooperation between Spain, France and Andorra, created to promote the sustainable development of the Pyrenean territory. With the support of the European Regional Development Fund, POCTEFA co-finances cross-border cooperation projects designed and managed by actors on both sides of the Pyrenees.

These projects are based on 5 axes:

  1. Innovation and competitiveness;

  2. Adaptation to climate change and risk prevention and management;

  3. Protection, development and use of local resources;

  4. Mobility of goods and people;

  5. The strengthening of skills and inclusion within the territories.

During the 2014-2020 period, the POCTEFA has approved 173 projects. If the monitoring of these projects is fundamental, so is the communication around them. This is the work of the Interreg Reporter. In collaboration with the communication department of the POCTEFA program, I carry out many missions to communicate on the actions and results of the funded projects.

My main assignments are the update of the website and the feeding of the social networks of the program. It is also necessary to manage relations with the press. In this respect, the POCTEFA program has launched a project in partnership with the EFE press agency entitled "Cross-border history" to highlight trans-Pyrenean cooperation projects. My work also consists of updating the POCTEFA project capitalization tool whose objective is to decompartmentalize the projects in order to create synergies between them and with future funded projects.

Beyond the professional missions of the Interreg Reporter, it is important to underline that if the volunteer is there to learn about European cooperation, he is also there to discover the specificities of a new region. I left France with the objective of strengthening my Spanish. It is already done and I intend to continue on this path.

In addition, outside of my working hours, during long hikes, I discover the incredible variety of the Pyrenean landscapes and their immense biological diversity. Being an IVY volunteer is also about getting out of your comfort zone, discovering a new world, meeting new people, and making new connections. It will soon be two months since I left my home town, and I did not see the time pass. I still have so much to discover, to learn and to share.

Maxime Berri, Interreg Reporter at Interreg POCTEFA (Spain – France – Andorra)

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