“Friendship is essentially a partnership”, said Aristotle many many centuries ago. We are sure that the Greek philosopher would not mind if we turn his quote around and say that “Partnership is essentially a friendship”. Like the one that TESIM builds with all ENI CBC stakeholders on a daily basis.
Cross-border cooperation is a haven of multilevel-partnership. National authorities, programme bodies and project practitioners work together in order to ensure that the goals of the programme strategy are met. This partnership extends to the European Commission, with its accompanying oversight role. And, glad to be part of the picture, it also involves TESIM.
Partnership with programme practitioners
This week we will meet with programme practitioners in Brussels for the networking meeting on monitoring and evaluation.
After a full year of programme implementation, with a large majority of programmes having approved the first round of project proposals, it remains to be seen how ENI CBC programmes and project beneficiaries will cope with the new monitoring and evaluation set up. In parallel, the programmes should check how far the first selected projects are expected to contribute to the programme indicators target values and, where needed, use the outcomes of these checks to take appropriate decisions for further calls. A special focus during the meeting will be put on the practices adopted by the programmes in drafting their own monitoring and evaluation plans, and how they cope with result-oriented monitoring at project and programme level and risk management.
And dates are confirmed for the ENI CBC networking meeting of communication managers, which will take place also in Brussels on 9-10 May. We will take a close look to all communication achievements so far and analyse what has worked well, what can be improved and which are the challenges ahead. We will receive news from Interact colleagues on the latest communication tools they have prepared and we will learn also how to build a strong digital presence for the ENI CBC community. Besides the traditional agenda, communication managers will have the opportunity to attend the « Next Generation, Please! » event proposed by the Center of Fine arts in Brussels, BOZAR. They will all have the possibility to visit the exhibition on « Crossing borders » proposed by IHECS students, as well as to discover the documentary about their travels in 2017 to the border areas of three CBC programmes. A debate will also be organised for the occasion.
But not everything is about networking. Our partnership with programme bodies is built also through single-programme activities. Trainings for assessors, briefings to staff of Managing Authorities, attendance at Joint Monitoring Committee meetings, support to Project Selection Committees…every activity is a good opportunity to strengthen the ties between TESIM and the CBC community.
Partnership with project promoters
Time spent together on the road is a test for any friendship, and success is not always ensured; quite the opposite. TESIM experts have travelled quite a lot in March together with the Joint Technical Secretariats of the Romania-Republic of Moldova and Romania-Ukraine Programmes. Four cities and more than 600 km covered: a total of five capacity building events and one partner forum took place in the Republic of Moldova, attracting more than 260 participants. Interest in the region was so high that an extra event had to be organised in Chisinau…on a Saturday! On their side, events in Ukraine attracted nearly 450 participants in four different locations, and included a Congress of project initiatives – organised by the Odessa Regional State Administration – aiming at identifying the regional priorities related to cross-border cooperation and increasing the capacity of all interested eligible organisations from the territory. These are all promising prospects for a successful outcome of the calls in both programmes!
And fresh from last week is the networking forum of South-East Finland-Russia, which took place in Saint Petersburg on 5 April. The event gathered 70 participants: NGOs, universities and research institutes, local and regional authorities, chambers of commerce…all key types of institutions were represented. Particular to this event is the fact that about half of the participants were newcomers to CBC, and this is something TESIM is very happy to contribute to. More ideas…and more friends!
Partnership with DG NEAR
Even if we are a technical assistance project, our relation with the European Commission exceeds the contractor-contracted dialectics. And we cannot close this article in a different way than thanking our project manager Anna Repullo-Grau for her precious support and friendly collaboration during the last months. We wish her all the best in her new endeavour!
More contemporary than Aristotle, a famous American businesswoman said that “The attitude of giving a full commitment to the partnership will usually result in getting the same commitment in return”. TESIM is fully committed towards the ENI CBC community, and throughout our activities we are happy to realise that our counterparts count on our contribution towards the overall success of the instrument.
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