“Foggy morning, sunny afternoon”. More or less, the Spanish popular saying goes like this. And even if when looking at the weather we can use the saying daily during the month of November, it is also a general metaphor which reminds us that – no matter the mist along the way sometimes – there is always a bright future ahead. And all signals so far show that the implementation of ENI CBC programmes will be a big success.
Slowly but steadily, the end of the year approaches and we must all be ready for the changes that 2019 will bring: project implementation in full swing throughout the community, first project reports on the table, first audits…But while keeping an eye on the future, TESIM continues the provision of services scheduled to take place still in 2018. October was a very hectic month indeed, and prospects indicate that this trend will stretch to November and December. One step at a time…
October as a TESIM synecdoche
Yes, somehow October condensed well what TESIM is about, with activities covering all our strands of intervention.
Support to programme bodies focused on a brand new target group: Control Contact Points. As project implementation gains momentum in the different programmes, the intervention of this body will become a recurring feature, and it is of utmost important that its role is properly understood. For this, TESIM has delivered a training for the newly established Control Contact Point in Ukraine and has supported the Poland-Belarus-Ukraine Programme in the workshop held for all three participating countries in Warsaw on 30 and 31 October. And in order to increase the efficiency of programme processes, TESIM has also issued this month a factsheet on contracting, one of the core tasks being faced by Managing Authorities and Joint Technical Secretariats these months. The factsheet gathers not only regulatory requirements on the matter, but also examples of solutions applied by many programmes in order to render the process smooth. It also provides indicative contents for the grant contracts and the partnership agreements, highlighting some regional specificities, in particular those related to the involvement of the Russian Federation. The guidance can be downloaded from the library section of our website. And in order to increase synergies with other funding instruments, TESIM has actively participated at two events organised by Interact this month, one on indicators for post-2020 and one on how to properly link communication and capitalisation. All the relevant information and best practices identified therein will be duly incorporated to our tools and forthcoming networking events, which will resume in early 2019. During this month we also attended the closing conference of the Romania-Ukraine-Republic of Moldova ENPI CBC Programme; facts and figures, lessons learned and best practices to capitalise upon.
Increasing the capacities of eligible organisations in order to successfully apply for funding has always been one of our key aims and the shores of the Black Sea Basin are one of our top destinations. This month we have supported the organisation and delivery of five project preparation workshops in Armenia, Turkey and Ukraine which counted on the participation of nearly 200 representatives from national, regional and local authorities as well as from the non-profit private sector. This shows that the interest in the second (and last) call for this programme remains at highest level. But time has also come to support the project implementation phase, and the project preparation workshops in each country were followed by trainings for beneficiaries of projects approved in the first call. Naturally, programme requirements, national rules, public procurement and State aid were covered by the training agenda. Most important, the events brought closer the programme and the project levels, setting the grounds for a friendly collaboration in the years to come. Additional support to beneficiaries took place in the framework of the Poland-Belarus-Ukraine Programme, which held events in the three participating countries, with TESIM being actively involved in the one held in Lviv (Ukraine) on 18 October.
Always in the framework of the Black Sea Basin Programme, a very successful Partner forum was held in Yerevan (Armenia) on 23 October, which counted on the participation of institutions from all eight participating countries. Indeed, cross-border cooperation heavily relies in the creation of solid and meaningful partnerships. For this purpose, a specific Guide has been issued by TESIM as well. Check out how many practical tips it contains by visiting our website library. And learn the story about how Anna, Boris and Carla met and became partners by watching the video tutorial available on our online platform www.goforenicbc.eu
And you already know from our newsflash of 24 October how hard we worked this month to increase the visibility of ENI CBC at the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities 2018.
Definitely! October speaks clearly about who we are and what we do to support the ENI CBC community.
November and December are traditionally months for holding Joint Monitoring Committee meetings. Up to eight of these meetings will be held from North to East to South before the end of the year and for many programmes they will mean that additional projects will be approved, boosting the number of cross-border initiatives which will see the light. We cannot wait to see how many projects this will represent and, obviously, which common challenges and opportunities they address. For other programmes, decisions will be taken in early 2019 and TESIM will accompany a number of Project Selection Committee meetings as well. We will join the Interact thematic network on transport and maritime issues, showcasing what ENPI and ENI CBC have achieved in these specific fields. We will wrap up the capacity building events of the Black Sea Basin Programme heading not only to Georgia, but maybe also to Bulgaria and Greece. And we will exchange with the Turkish national authorities about specificities related to project implementation in the country.
But if there is something that we are keen about is to know directly from you how best we can address your needs. That’s why during the month of November we will carry out our yearly needs assessment with programme bodies and national authorities. TESIM experts will be soon in contact with those of you covered by this exercise and we hope that the outcome will be as exhaustive as the one received last year. Please don’t be shy, and also think out of the box. Let’s work together for an even more dynamic and innovative CBC community! While ensuring continuity, we would really like to diversify our support services for 2019 as much as possible.
The next months will be key, not only for the current programmes, but also concerning the future programming period. And for TESIM itself, actually. The future ahead is exciting and, whistling together with Monty Python, let’s always look on the bright side of life!