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EGTCs and people to people projects and INTERACT training  

The CoR's EGTC Platform organised a conference on the involvement of EGTCs and Euroregions in people to people project. The EGTC is an essential instrument to increase cooperation on the European stage, it is enshrined in European law and continues to create, strengthen and maintain cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation within and beyond the EU borders. People-to-people projects (P2P) and small scale projects play a crucial role in building trust and involving numerous partners in the view for a cohesive Europe.

Programme manager in the European Commission’s DG REGIO, Dorota Witoldson highlighted the importance of the EGTCs saying “There is a European Character of the EGTCs – which is of particular value especially at borders with a difficult history, at borders with political instability… “once it’s there you can have a stable, European cross-border structure, which is there over many years.” 

The acting director of the Euroregion Nisa, Ondřej Havlíček shared his experience from the first Euroregion created in Central and Eastern Europe encompassing German regions and Czech and Polish municipalities. Project manager of the Small Project Fund, Via Carpathia, Veronika Mohňanská underlined the “importance of the cross-border aspect and sustainability of the projects" that EGTC provides in cross-border cooperation. She presented the work of her EGTCs which is one of the prime examples of management of P2P projects by an EGTC.

Jaroslav Štefek, the director of the neighbouring cross-border region of Glacensis emphasised that over 5,000 successful projects have been carried out. This is the first Euroregion to manage small P2P with the aim to enhance economic and social coheresion and provide advisory-consulting services for regional development.

Following the debates and sharing of experiences, an interactive workshop, organized by INTERACT, ensued, exploring some of the more technical aspects of cooperation and the increasing involvement of management in P2P by exchange of best practices to ensure quality implementation.