Project SWARE was represented in the event by the Lead Partner, Association Regio Water (NL), and Vidzeme Planning Region (LV), responsible for communication in the project.

Active contribution of administrators is important for stakeholders

The active contribution of public administrators is essential for successful involvement of the community in a fruitful implementation of projects in the public space. These projects in the field of cultural historical heritage, recreation and tourism, mobility, employment, sustainability or participation are more likely to succeed when there is an active involvement of both public administrators and volunteers. Among others, this was one of the conclusions during the Interreg Europe event #ExperienceFair in Sofia on the 24th and 25th of April. One of the themes discussed during this event was the important role of stakeholders in the projects and how to involve and mobilize them more sufficiently. 

Wise involvement of stakeholders

During one of the workgroup sessions, Manita Koop, managing director of Association Regio Water, Lead Partner in the SWARE project, asked which stakeholders should most definitely be involved. To which the answer was: ‘Always the Mayor’. The Mayor plays, in most regions, an important role. For the outside world he or she is the most recognizable person. Projects in the public space also very often, if not always, require integral and long-term commitment, which a Mayor can provide. Depending on the national, regional and local situation, it is also important to involve chosen administrators. After all, it is them who’ll have to give direction and set goals on what to achieve. This principle has to be applied in any situation of stakeholders’ involvement from different kind of organizations – the most influential person should be identified and invited to join the stakeholder pool, as he or she will be the one making decisions.

Celebrating the success

Another important element that arose during the Interreg Europe event was the importance to broadcast your successes. Celebrate them with as many as possible. An important task for public administrators is to safeguard the long-term vision and the shared common goal. Celebrating successes and the challenge within the process itself can stimulate the involvement of the community. Short term successes are thus necessary for the long-term success of integral projects in the public space.

The SWARE project is implemented with the support of the European Regional Development (ERDF) Fund and the INTERREG Europe Programme 2014–2020. This publication reflects the author’s views only and the INTERREG Europe programme authorities are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.