After a challenging yet highly insightful interregional policy learning period spanning the past three years, it is a pleasure to announce the action plans of the partners are formulated. The partnership has remained strong and committed in reaching the project goals. The final formal meeting of the partners took place on 16th September 2019 during the action plan workshop/ wrap up meeting of phase I in Palma de Mallorca, where the aim of refining and concretizing the regional action plans was achieved.

The mid-term review took place on 19.9.2019. The action plans were presented and discussed; improvement recommendations were made. In addition, the final meeting’s peer review and the advisory partner’s detailed review offered both content and structure-based improvement recommendations for all partner’s action plans.

As a result, all of the regional action plans were improved according to the recommendations and discussions, with the latest drafts ready by the end December 2019. Partner regions conducted the final Regional stakeholder meetings of phase I in Q3 and Q4 2019, marking the formal approval of the action plans by the relevant Managing Authorities (MAs) or Intermediate Bodies (IBs).

All of the partner’s action plans are linked to the Managing authorities, each region is uniquely constrained by relevant deadlines and funds availability.

From 1.1.2020, STOB regions project enters the phase II, during such each region begins the implementation and monitoring of its action plan and mobilization of relevant stakeholders, aimed at improving regional policy instruments regarding BT.

High-level recognition of STOB regions' impact was marked by formal gratitude and acknowledgment by the European Commission's DG for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs  for the project's valuable contribution towards the SME Assembly in 2019, where 89% of delegates attending the session found it both relevant and useful.

To summarize the achievements made over the past three years, an overview of STOB regions phase I; including methodology, outputs and results can be found in the attached presentation here.

The STOB regions partnership wishes to thank all stakeholder, participants, interest groups and contributors during the intensely collaborative process of phase I, as we look forward to implementation and strengthening policy supporting BT across Europe during the second phase of the project.