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Fresh from the field

CBC NEXT: the voices of Partner Countries were heard

Since the draft regulatory package was made available back in 2018, extensive exchanges have taken place not only at the level of the European institutions, but also among Member States and programme representatives. What about CBC Partner Countries though? During the months of May and June, with the support of DG REGIO and the concerned Managing Authorities, TESIM has organised eight info-sessions addressed to the national authorities of twelve non-EU countries involved in neighbourhood cross-border cooperation in order to share with them the main novelties that the new regulatory framework brings and to collect their views on which elements, notably those of change, could pose a bigger challenge to them.    

Bridging the gap between students and businesses

What can university students do to contribute to your business development? This is what Peter Fischer, BRIDGE project manager, asked companies and small businesses in the neighbourhood, and the answer was clear: students can use their knowledge to help us resolve small problems, and we can provide them with real working life experiences. This is how the initiative BRIDGE came up: a cross-border network of five universities where students and businesses cooperate with a two-fold objective. On one hand, increasing the hands-on skills of the university graduates, and on the other, helping small businesses to further develop. BRIDGE is a project funded by Kolarctic CBC programme.

The green economy potential to engage marginalised youth

In recent years, the transition from education to work has become more prolonged and unpredictable. In fact, due to different and successive crises, many young people find themselves neither in employment nor in education and training (NEET).  And youth with little or no education is highly marginalised, and increasingly far from jobs. At the same time, there is still an unexploited potential in green economy: environment protection can provide the base for new work opportunities. Combining these two fields – the social and the environmental – is the purpose of the RESMYLE project, which aims at the socio-professional integration of young people into the job market.

A new anti-fraud website to help practitioners prevent corruption

A new tool for anti-fraud practitioners. In cooperation with OLAF, DG REGIO has developed the new Anti-Fraud Knowledge and Resource center.  

The European Commission and the EU Member States share responsibility to prevent fraud and any other illegal activities affecting the EU’s financial interests, and ensure that EU Funds are spent well to achieve the best impact on citizens’ lives. The new knowledge tool for anti-fraud practitioners on prevention and detection of fraud in the EU Funds implementation provides MS practitioners with resources to improve their administrative capacity in area of anti-fraud and anti-corruption. The website:

 •           gives concrete examples from Member states;

•            presents tools that have proven to be effective;

•            explains how to reproduce and apply good practices;

•            share knowledge and connects practitioners.

Visit: https://ec.europa.eu/antifraud-knowledge-centre/index_en

Less money for heating bills: the eco-renovation of public universities

“Nobody doubts the rationality of investing in energy efficiency. But experience and funds are limited and the  interventions are costly and complex. While national initiatives and international donor programmes are available, they have one drawback; you work alone. This is where ENI CBC MED comes in: it is a fantastic programme as it is not only a theoretical one, it is more of a concrete programme, enabling the delivery of real change. This is its main added value, compared to others”

Dr Imad Ibrik from the An-Najah University in Palestine

When a lake builds communities’ life

Lake Peipsi is a unique water body. It is the biggest transboundary lake in Europe shared by Estonia and Russia. For more than a decade this natural resource has been a focal point for any cross-border initiative between the two countries. Can one single CBC project improve lake water quality, boost local businesses, empower neighbouring communities and even set milestones for re-establishing water connections between two countries? Yes, it can! Meet the project “Common Peipsi” co-funded by Estonia-Russia CBC programme.

A single tool to answer all questions from science to politics for the sake of the Gulf of Finland

“I observed that the scientific information available often is not used by the decision makers. They tend to look at things from a wider perspective, and science is often perceived as too complicated. In order to bring policy makers and scientists closer, I wanted to create an umbrella tool that would facilitate their communication”

Jonne Kotta, Estonian Marine Institute (EMI), University of Tartu

What’s new for NEXT!

During the month of April, a final recap on the now stable version of the draft Interreg Regulation has taken place thanks to a series of events organised by Interact and by TESIM. An intense recap indeed, starting from the requirements which are common to the full Interreg family, moving to those which apply specifically to all external cooperation programmes and ending only this week with a practical workshop on what’s new for our Interreg NEXT community. Let’s take a look at the final event of the series and learn about the opinions from practitioners on the changes that the new regulatory framework brings in comparison to ENI CBC.  

Turning city rivers into sunbathing beaches

Riversides cleaned, with lighting system, bins, benches installed, and even a place to sunbathe.  “When a place is attractive, it becomes like glue, it sticks you to the territory and that is what we want to do, attract visitors and glue them to our cities”. Sticky Urban Areas is the name and the main idea behind the project funded by Latvia-Russia CBC programme, with the objective to transform natural resources into attractive areas for inhabitants and visitors. Two municipal administrations – Rēzekne City Council in Latvia (LV) and Ostrov District Administration in Russia (RU) – are very concerned about the situation in their cities. Rēzekne is far away from the capital, and not being a seaside city does not help; and Ostrov – located in the eastern part of a huge country like Russia – is often forgotten when it comes to hauling financial resources and attracting businesses. Yet, both places have immense potential, and an untapped opportunity for businesses to thrive and to get tourists moving: their natural resources, especially, their rivers.

Green and sustainable buildings to save energy and challenge the high north

“Life in the north is not always easy, and our regions are not always the most hospitable. From the distance everything looks like snow and skiing, but the urban environment is a totally different matter. The quality of buildings and housing is crucial for quality of life in our latitude”.

Bjørn R Sørensen, professor at the Arctic University of Norway.

ENI CBC Programmes

A total of 16 programmes will be implemented under ENI CBC. They cover 12 land borders, one sea crossing and three sea basins, stretching from Finland and Russia in the north, to countries like Hungary and the Ukraine in the east, and Italy, Northern Africa and the Middle East in the south.
Here you will find news and information on each programme, including the programme strategy and participating countries.

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