Let's cooperate is organised by Interreg Europe in order to connect regional authorities and projects stakeholders. SILVER SMEs attended the 5th interregional cooperation forum on April 10, 2019 to learn more about the Interreg Europe programme and to discover other projects.
Why does interregional cooperation matters?
The day was opened by a plenary session highlighting the importance of interregional cooperation. Giannantonio Ballette, Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy, stressed the usefulness of the “only pan-European programme involving all regions with a bottom-up approach”. Interventions from the audience made on thing clear: Interreg Europe helps local and regional authorities in implementing policies by cooperating with other regions and discovering new initiatives. More than only cooperation, Interreg Europe is a way to “keep political and cultural exchange between European regions”, said Marie-Antoinette Maupertuis, CoR rapporteur and Executive member of the Corsican regional authority.
Interesting facts and figures about the programme also demonstrated its large scope importance:
- 700 good practices are already validated in the Policy Learning Platform
- 35 policy were published recently
- All EU regions are now registered in the platform and are ready to cooperate and share ideas
- 147 recent action plans created leading to 108 policy changes at local level
How can regional cooperation bring policy change?
Changing policies through regional cooperation, there is Interreg Europe’s goal. In this respect, regional stakeholders shared their experiences and successes. Diane Smith, from the Town & Country Planning Association, traced the history of her involvement in various Interreg Europe projects and how some of them led to inspirational policy change. In Slovakia, she explained, managing authorities built on the programme’s knowledge to make green infrastructures their priority.
Other stakeholders shared their experiences in changing SMEs competitiveness policies. The PURE COSMOS project (Public authorities Role Enhancing Competitiveness of SMEs) aimed at supporting SMEs by reducing the weight of public administration. The project resulted in the use of Regional Action Plans as a tool for partners. The OSS project (One Stop Shop towards competitive SMEs) focused on the development of an attractive tailor-made ecosystem for start-ups. In Catalonia, the project led to the adoption of a simplification law, enabling entrepreneurs to have a central administrative interlocutor.
As for SILVER SMEs, the project aims at implementing regional policies to take advantage the silver economy. As a growing market, silver economy can answer the needs of elderly persons, in particular in rural areas, and is also an opportunity to engage SMEs in local growth. To achieve this goal, project partners are currently identifying and collecting good practices across the EU in the fields of housing, health, wellbeing, robotics, and ICT.
Interreg Europe’s event was an inspiration source for SILVER SMEs through its thematic session and networking activities. For more information on the event, please use the following ressources:
- Interreg Europe’s website,
- presentations from speakers
- video recordings of the plenary sessions
- photo gallery of the event