Questions, always questions. Even if nowadays it is often not perceived positively, scepticism has been one of the motors boosting the creation of knowledge throughout history. From ancient Greek times to Descartes: doubt as a method to reach a certain degree of truth. Far away from philosophical approaches, TESIM needs its dose of scepticism too in order to progress in the quest for the most accurate answers to the many ENI CBC management and implementation questions currently on the table.
In a world where “knowers” abound, we privilege being “learners”. And, together with CBC stakeholders, we learn something new every single day when implementing our activities.
Finding answers through networking events
We started the year learning really lots during the cluster meeting of Northern programmes in Riga on 23-24 January. 46 participants from 8 ENI CBC programmes exchanged experience on many different aspects, drawing conclusions from the first round of selection processes, in particular when it comes to ensuring an efficient results-oriented approach and a higher cross-border aspect of the submitted proposals. They also tried to anticipate solutions to the most imminent implementation issues, including the role of Control Contact Points and the improvement in the expenditure verification procedures. Likewise, they proposed ideas on how to better communicate and capitalise on results. All in all, a very fruitful meeting. Even if related to a geographic area sharing many specificities of its own, we are certain that the outcome will be of interest to the entire community. Meeting proceedings are in the making and will be shared on our website in the days to come.
Project officers will soon be informed about the dates of the networking meeting on project implementation and monitoring, scheduled to take place in late March. Same goes for the networking meeting of communication managers, which will be held a little bit later, most probably the second week of May.
New calls, new projects, new needs
For the programmes which are busy with the first call, TESIM keeps providing support in order to reach all potential applicants and promote a good understanding on how to build successful project proposals. This will be the case for Lithuania-Russia and the capacity building event that will take place in Kaliningrad on 8 February, where TESIM will contribute with expertise on how to design a meaningful logical framework.
But for programmes that have already launched or even concluded the first call, a question arises: how do we ensure that all eligible regions have chances of being equally involved in successful project proposals? Indeed, the choice between addressing only experienced partnerships or promoting a wider platform of CBC practitioners is one that many programmes will be confronted too. Following the second option, TESIM will support the Estonia-Russia and South East Finland-Russia in the capacity building of eligible project actors in the Leningrad Oblast later in February.
And in order to address queries on project implementation the list of new e-modules is now settled. TESIM experts will soon be again face to the camera to run through a number of key challenges related to project management and monitoring, financial management and communication & capitalisation. But we would like to go a little beyond: can it be that not everything on the financial side depends on project beneficiaries? Well, we have given ourselves an answer to this question and, as a result, one of the e-modules will have the project auditors as target group. Not a piece of cake, but sounds like necessary. Until the new modules are ready, keep visiting our online capacity building platform (www.goforenicbc.eu) for regular feeds of video tutorials and written guidance on project preparation.
Ten years ago there was a feeling that we all somehow moved on shaky ground. With the progress in CBC implementation, the more and more answers exist. And most of these answers come now from the CBC environment itself. TESIM activities are like roundabouts where this knowledge enters, circulates and exists in the right direction. And to keep the circle rotating, we will keep asking ourselves questions.
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