“It’s a long, long while from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September”. Kurt Weill’s “September Song”, melancholic as the late summer weather, is based on a metaphor comparing a year to a person’s life span. With barely three months left for TESIM to accomplish its targets for 2018, the next weeks will be key to ensuring success.
The first two weeks of September have already given a right flair of how busy the approaching autumn will be. This is for us a clear sign that TESIM services are well appreciated and we can only be satisfied about it. But no way that we sleep on our laurels! Further efforts are necessary and we are working hard on the provision of services to the full ENI CBC community.
So far, so good…or should we say excellent?
It all started with the Joint Monitoring Committee of the South-East Finland-Russia Programme, held in Savonlinna (Finland) at the very beginning of the month, and continued with the organisation of a long-awaited meeting with Belarusian national authorities in Minsk (Belarus), attended also by representatives of the Poland-Belarus-Ukraine and Latvia-Lithuania-Belarus Programmes. Then, direction Istanbul to co-deliver the training for 62 project beneficiaries of the first call of the Black Sea Basin Programme, institutions which saw their eleven project ideas selected for funding and will now phase the exciting challenge of making it become a reality on the ground.
While we write, the second meeting of the network of ENI CBC Audit Authorities, hosted by the Romanian Court of Auditors, is being held in Bucharest. 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. The meeting will see for the first time the involvement of Ukrainian and Moldovan audit bodies, and this fills us with sincere joy.
In parallel to the Bucharest networking event, TESIM experts are delivering two trainings for 60 Tunisian applicants and partners of 20 preselected projects (out of 51) under the first call for proposals of Italy-Tunisia. Still a long way until the full applications are submitted and the final list of approved projects is known, but figures are very encouraging in terms of participation of Tunisian organisations, also as lead applicants.
Chisinau and Sicily calling
What a week it will be! Up to five events will take place in the capital of the Republic of Moldova between 25 and 28 September. They will also mark the official launch of the second call for proposals of the Black Sea Basin Programme. Among them, we would like to highlight the organisation of the first of the two partner fora which will be held in the framework of this call. TESIM has supported the participation of 30 organisations from Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine at this forum, so as to increase their chances of building new partnerships not only with Moldovan institutions, but mostly with those from Member States. This funding scheme has proved very successful in the first call, with 15% of the institutions receiving TESIM support being involved in approved projects, thus doubling the average success rate of the call. We are confident that such positive trend will continue.
And after achieving positive results in Tunis, time has come to disembark in Sicily and contribute to the delivery of three trainings for Italian applicants and partners of preselected projects under the first call for proposals of Italy-Tunisia. This is actually one of the rare cases which will see TESIM providing direct training at project level in Member States, so we are very eager to participate.
Behind the scenes
You know that, in addition to being as present as possible on the ground, we give high relevance to consolidating all the existing knowledge generated by CBC stakeholders and to providing them with tools, tips and recommendations which can contribute to better managing programmes and projects. Quite recently, a brand new series of TESIM guidance documents on procurement in CBC Partner Countries participating in the Black Sea Basin Programme has been issued and is available on our website library, as well as on that of the programme. Work on this field will be extended to cover all other CBC Partner Countries from October until February 2019. Additional guidance on contracting and on the support to the creation of partnerships will see the light soon. And, of course, our video tutorials on project preparation and implementation keep a constant pace of production, with a focus on the Arabic version at the moment.
One final word on our website: a new page with ‘Questions and Answers’ has been created. It includes so far issues related to the closure of ENPI CBC programmes, on financial management and on large infrastructure projects. This is only a start. The page will be fed regularly with new topics, new questions and new answers. Keep track!
“When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame, one hasn’t got time for the waiting game”. Neither have we, dear Kurt! October will see TESIM delivering additional nine events for Black Sea, organising a workshop in EWRC 2018, attending three programme events, gaining useful knowledge on communication, capitalisation and indicators post-2020 and issuing new video tutorials. Other than waiting…