“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.” American author Jenny Han is somehow right, and it cannot be denied that the summer period brings a different flair to our lives. But why limit good and magical things to such a short period of time?
TESIM experts will gradually enjoy their well-deserved holidays, but TESIM never really closes office in full. As we already informed you in our previous bulletin, lots of things have happened during the month of June. And, just like you all, we already have a packed agenda for the end of summer and early autumn. Let’s take a look at both!
The 3rd meeting of the ENI CBC Consultation and Coordination Group took place in Brussels on 12 June. DG NEAR and the ENI CBC programmes discussed the action plan through which the findings and recommendations of the ex-post evaluation of ENPI CBC 2007-2013 will be addressed. Lessons were drawn from the first full set of annual implementation reports and the best practices included in them were highlighted. As a very practical outcome, a template for the monitoring and evaluation plans joins the ranks of the tools available for programmes in order to better address the measurement of their performance. And we all welcomed the presence of DG REGIO to this event, providing its first-hand insights on the future of external cooperation under the European territorial cooperation goal.
Speaking of this, DG NEAR, several ENI CBC Managing and National Authorities and TESIM itself participated at the Interreg annual event 2018 that was held in Brussels on 18 and 19 June. We all learned about the latest state of play of Interreg programmes, including facts and figures. But the event was also an occasion to put cross-border cooperation under a historical perspective and to discuss its future orientations, including simplification, further thematic concentration and the vision of cross-border programmes as centres of strategic planning rather than distributors of funds. As anticipated in our previous bulletin, one of the workshops actually focused on cooperation along the external borders of the Union. Opposite to the long-running history of Interreg, stretching over 25 years, the quick pace of change of external cooperation was highlighted, with programme and national actors running an extra-mile to catch up with its CBC peers. The foundations for a sound integration of the external cooperation component under Interreg are there though, and lots can be done already now, in parallel to the current implementation of ENI CBC. This will be of particular importance for CBC Partner Countries too, so that their equal footing with Member States continues under the new generation of programmes.
We should not forget about the 2nd meeting of the financial network of ENI CBC programmes, which was organised on 13 and14 June. One and a half day of intense exchange on – speaking of summer – some of hottest topics in the current moment of the programme implementation cycle. Likewise, collaboration with Interact continues and TESIM attended their workshop on capitalisation organised in Alicante on the very same days than our finance network. In order to transfer experiences in his field to the ENI CBC world, TESIM will join the working group in charge of developing during the second semester of 2018 a capitalisation toolkit.
In the pipeline
We will quickly start action with the organisation of the second meeting of the network cluster of Northern programmes, which will take place in Tartu on 22-23 August, hosted by the colleagues of Estonia-Russia. Many interesting topics to be discussed, with a clear focus on regional specificities. A good laboratory of ideas for the rest of the community and a recipe that, why not, could be exported to other geographic areas.
This will be followed soon afterwards by the second meeting of the network of ENI CBC Audit Authorities, hosted by the Romanian Court of Auditors, in Bucharest on 19-20 September. The main objective of the meeting is to continue the exchanges initiated last year by Audit Authorities, focusing this time on the work already done and planned for 2019, such as the experience after completion of the designation process, the preparation for the first system audits and the setting up of the Group of auditors.
This will likely be the last fully-fledged networking event of the year. Time to draw conclusions and come up with stimulating ideas for the future in this field of activities. In the meantime, lots of activities supporting programme implementation will take place, ensuring in particular the availability of written guidance. We invite you to visit our project website regularly to discover the latest entries in the library section.
A whole range of support services will encompass the launching of the second call for proposals of the Black Sea Basin Programme. This will include two partner fora in Chisinau (Moldova) and in Yerevan (Armenia), plus a sound number of capacity building events for applicants to be carried out in all five Partner Countries. Being the last call for this programme, no efforts will be saved. We will contribute also to the running and future calls of other programmes, as will be the case for Italy-Tunisia and Kolarctic.
And knock, knock…the annual conference is calling. More about this after the summer break, though. Let’s keep some news for then!
In the long run
Not a minor thing, right after summer holidays TESIM will start working on the conditions for an extended duration until October 2022 so that we can, on one hand, continue delivering our support to ENI CBC programme bodies and national authorities and, on the other, contribute to a soft landing of external cooperation in the Interreg family.
Sure, we are all extremely receptive to what the summer brings. New places, new friends, even a summer love! Continuing our common collaboration would certainly be for TESIM the best and most magical thing of all, no matter if it takes place in summer or in the bleak mid-winter. With this great expectation in mind, TESIM wishes you all a nice summer season!