“Tell us what you did, and we will be happy to tell others, also to the European community far beyond the Baltic Sea region" - this is a motto at the Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat of Interreg Baltic Sea Region. It is not easy to catch the attention of decision-makers when talking about achievements of transnational cooperation. You have to try, and we will try with you. At events. In e-mails. On social media. For the current issue of DG REGIO's Panorama magazine, Interreg Baltic Sea Region’s Joint Secretariat took the responsibility to coordinate a joint contribution of twelve transnational Interreg Programmes. And so the work began.
Interreg needs friends inside the Commission
During a meeting of the transnational Interreg communication people in late January 2019 in Brussels, an important supporter joined us: Astrid Aulnette, communication officer at the Commission’s DG Regional Policy (REGIO). Astrid is eager to promote Interreg, an off side topic among the numerous themes of DG REGIO. The starting points for content of this article were the “Five investment priorities beyond 2020” and our joint brochure “10 things to know about Transnational Cooperation“.
Only tangible results can convince
All programmes strongly committed themselves and identified projects with tangible results, drafted clear texts, and sourced strong images. It is always hard to pin down tangible results when projects are still ongoing, but we managed in a joint exercise. And this led us to the three final topics covered in the article: biodiversity and risk management, energy and mobility, competitiveness and new opportunities. “After this meeting, we had all we needed to move forward: a promising destination and passionate co-travellers,” says Charis Loupasi, who joined Interreg Baltic Sea Region in 2019 and took on the coordination of this Panorama article.
Topics, projects, stories, go!
For a period of two months, the coordinators of each topic worked on merging different project results into a common narrative. ‘Trying to find the ‘glue’ to link projects through common challenges and related results, needs more than interesting raw material – it also needs creative thinking, meaningful quotes and telling images’, explains Anna Gałyga, our communication officer of Interreg Baltic Sea Region. Numerous drafts and critical reviews later and using all means of communication technology, we finalised the article in time and with quality content.
12 Programmes, 16 projects, 8 pages and 1 winner: Cooperation
“All of us know that you need a strong motivation and be convinced that together we do better when coordinating among programmes” , Susanne Scherrer summarises the Panorama article preparation work. ”We will use more opportunities to prove together that Interreg cooperation helps reduce regional disparities and thus, strengthens the EU Cohesion Policy.” So, be prepared for more Interreg spirit in action!
Speak up for transnational Interreg cooperation
20 people filling eight pages with Interreg achievements that are easy to grasp doesn’t happen overnight. It helped us in the Secretariat to put ourselves into the shoes of our project people who are dealing with challenges of cooperation every day. Writing this article was not a project, it was only a communication activity. And those who are out there working together to create real change in the Baltic Sea region deserve our greatest respect for their efforts. We promise to keep on doing our best to make your projects happen and to spread the word about what they achieve effectively.
Read the articles on the most recent Panorama issue #69, pages 10 and following. And if you plan to participate in the European Week of Regions and Cities 2019, visit our joint Interreg workshop to discuss with the heroes of the projects covered in the article.
Article by Charis Loupasi and Stefanie Maack (Interreg Baltic Sea Region Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat).