Six European regions come together in Next2Met, an innovative interregional exchange project co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Europe Programme and led by the Regional Council of Päijät-Häme (Finland).

Partners from Päijät-Häme, Lower Austria (Austria), Barcelona Provincial Council (Spain), Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (Ireland), Podlaskie Voivodship (Poland), and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) held the project kick-off meeting on 9 September 2019 in Brussels. Next2Met will run for three and a half years, during which partners will work together to support the involved regions in fully exploiting their potential by improving policy instruments through interregional learning processes.

The project focuses on attracting and keeping qualified people and small and medium-sized enterprises in regions surrounding metropolitan areas by means of soft digitalisation measures. The foreseen outcomes of the project will also, among other impacts, strengthen the capacity of priority sectors of these ‘next to met’ areas.

The first interregional policy learning event will take place in Lahti (Finland) in January 2020. This will be the occasion to bring together regional stakeholders and Next2Met partners to share and gather further knowledge.