Three volunteers in Interreg Italy-Slovenia

Carmen, Francesca, and Riccardo: IVY Reporters for Interreg V-A Italy-Slovenia 2014-2020

From the end of November 2020, we were welcomed into Interreg V-A Italy - Slovenia as IVY Reporters. For the second time in the history of the Program, we are volunteering remotely with the rest of the team. Learning and experiencing the programme remotely has been a challenge we were happy to take on, as we are all strong believers in the power of regional cooperation in Europe. It is also a unique opportunity for us, we are contributing to the transition from the 2014-2020 programme to the 2021-2027 programme.

As very few and fortunate young Europeans become IVYs, we are well aware that this experience will be an important training ground for our future and our professional aspirations. We are extremely interested in the convergence between European policies and the territory where they apply. We think that often the media talk about Europe, but there is a gap between what the EU is and does and what the citizens intend it to be and do. Our task is to communicate but above all to educate our peers and citizens on how the European Project is spent on improving all areas of the Union, starting with the areas of interest of Interreg Italy - Slovenia.

In the first month volunteering as IVYs at Interreg V-A Italy-Slovenia, we saw how the European Union creates opportunities all over the continent, and how it fosters development and innovation. Our duties range from doing data research on the Programme area to managing social media, from updating the Programme website regularly to participating in meetings with a range of stakeholders. As IVY Reporters, we can curate communications and convey to the public the importance of each project supported by our Programme. Some of these projects were presented during our Annual Programme Event, they represent two of the four focus areas and their realization is a testament to the regional cooperation promoted within the EU. NUVOLAK2 offers innovative marketing tools for the global competitiveness of SMEs in the cross-border area; CAB is a cross-border business accelerator for Smart Specialisation Strategies; BioApp is a trans-regional platform for the transfer of technological biopolymers from the research sector to the market; last but not least RETRACKING is making strides towards achieving a circular economy by employing the traceability of manufactured products made from Fibre-Reinforced Composites (FRC).

Discovering the amazing project ideas funded by the programme and being able to communicate them to citizens in Italy and Slovenia is a privilege and to do so in such complicated times allows us to further acknowledge the strength of cooperation among EU countries. Positive outcomes on one side of the border can be applied on the other side too, and this is especially important as we are embarking on the EU-wide effort that is the European Green Deal. In the following months, our contribution to regional cooperation will continue: we are slated to release a video on the projects done by Interreg V-A Italy-Slovenia and we are also developing a Citizen Engagement Activity.

The 2021-2027 Programme is crucial for us young Europeans and the generations to come, and we are so happy to be IVYs and have taken on this challenge!

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