The creation of economic opportunities across the European borders is one of the biggest challenges facedby cross-border cooperation. Projects seek to foster business and to help people improve their skills, with benefits for all communities on both sides of the European frontier.
“Tourism is not just about history, gloss and glamour: it is a service that companies provide.Many small enterprises manage their business notbased on knowledge, but at the call of their hearts,which does not always have a positive impact on the quality of services provided by tourism companies.”
George Stampoulis, Head of the consortium of project implementers (Greece)
“Entrepreneurs will be able to put into practice the concept of circular economy in a textile and clothing sector in need of new sustainable business models. STAND Up! knots together the shores of the Mediterranean, connecting knowledge, innovation, traditions and habits.”
Anna Ibañez de Arolas, Project Manager – STAND Up! Coordinator (Spain)
Roses, oregano, asparagus and capers…these are indigenous species in the Sicilian and Tunisian territories, they grow naturally in marginal lands, they do not require chemical inputs and do not demand much water. In addition, they have lots of nutritional and medicinal properties. Why then not grow them more profitably and sustainably? What if we transformed them and created other products? Creams, essential oils, perfumes… This is exactly what the ESPAS project is pursuing. Funded by the Italy-Tunisia ENI CBC programme, this partnership wants to revalorise autochthonous species in Sicily and Tunisia, to diversify their uses and to provide farmers and enterprises with more business opportunities. But how? Keep reading!
From fossil to bio-based plastic to reduce carbon dioxide emission, ensure sustainable sources and increase recycling. This change is crucial for ending plastic waste and heading towards circular economy. It is a joint effort – regardless of borders and ideologies – where every single action counts. The BioStyrene project, funded by the Estonia-Russia CBC programme, has its own innovative recipe for contributing to the global fight against fossil-based plastics…
Deadwood may seem damp, sterile, an unhygienic source of infection, something to be removed. However, the reality could not be more different. Decaying wood logs, dead and old trees host multiple microorganisms, they help the forest to better resist diseases, they increase its resilience to climate change. They also capture carbon emissions and conserve biodiversity. For these reasons, keeping the deadwood in the forest can bring multiple benefits. The RESFOR project, an initiative co-funded by the Romania-Ukraine ENI CBC programme, is raising knowledge and promoting good practices in “deadwood management”. A novel concept, very little explored in the forestry sector of the cross-border region, but yet very important for the resilience of the forests, some of which represent one of the last old-growth forest reserves in Europe, and have been included as such in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
What can university students do to contribute to your business development? This is what Peter Fischer, BRIDGE project manager, asked companies and small businesses in the neighbourhood, and the answer was clear: students can use their knowledge to help us resolve small problems, and we can provide them with real working life experiences. This is how the initiative BRIDGE came up: a cross-border network of five universities where students and businesses cooperate with a two-fold objective. On one hand, increasing the hands-on skills of the university graduates, and on the other, helping small businesses to further develop. BRIDGE is a project funded by Kolarctic CBC programme.
White brined cheese from Bulgaria, berries from the Republic of Moldova, Greek virgin olive oil, tomatoes from Romania, Turkish strawberries and honey from Ukraine. What do these products have in common? Are they the main ingredients to a crazy recipe? Not at all! These are all special traditional agricultural products grown by local farmers all around the Black Sea basin. Apart from being delicious, they have immense potential for regional branding and international trading. This is exactly what AGRITRADENET is about: supporting and empowering local farmers so that they become part of a business network and can trade across borders with top-quality products. This initiative is funded under the ENI CBC Black Sea Basin programme.
Pottery, wood carving, smithcraft, loom weaving, leathercraft… This is far not the full list of skills mastered by the craftsmen from the border regions of Latvia and Russia. They create amazing, unique hand-made products which, however, do not always reach potential buyers. How can an EU-funded project help artisans to turn their passion into a successful business? And can old crafts boost tourism potential of the cross-border area? The “Craftmanship without borders” project, co-funded by Latvia-Russia CBC programme, has got the answers.
Do you produce fabrics for health use? Are you looking for masks, protective gloves, medical aprons? As the COVID-19 pandemic is still ravaging, there is a relentless worldwide demand of supplies: if you are a textile or a manufacturing company, here is a database that could help you out to find the right destination for your products. A “who-is-doing-what” catalogue has been created to put in touch those who offer the production of an item or a service, with those who are looking for it.
A unique breed of sheep was brought by Sicilians to the North of Tunisia in the 18th century. Two centuries after, it united the researchers, local farmers and dairy producers from both shores of the Mediterranean in the Hilftrad project under the ENPI CBC Programme Italy-Tunisia. They have come together to optimize this type of sheep farming and to give added value to the milk and cheese produced as a result. Watch in our videos how export to Tunisia of the Sicilian experience in cheese certification, and promotion of traditional Sicilian cheeses among tourists and consumers, made important contributions to the local economies.
What about going “bat viewing” at night? Sitting quietly in Luznava manor, experiencing the speed, the flying skills, the whizzing of the wings enhanced by the silence, and the waves produced by these very special nightly creatures…
What to do with grape waste? Can wine-litter become a resource, and eventually be turned into cosmetics? An EU-funded project is working to make it happen, with the final goal to create work opportunities in countries stricken by economic crises. It is called BESTMEDGRAPE, and it’s a project implemented by Italy, Tunisia, France, Lebanon and Jordan, under the Mediterranean Sea Basin ENI CBC Programme.
How can u improve your fishing techniques and protect your family’s income if you are a traditional fisherman? And how can you link your work to the growing opportunities offered by an upward sector like tourism? These were the challenges faced by the ENPI cross-border project “Club Bleu Artisanal” implemented by Sicily (Italy) and Tunisia.