East Border Region Committee

Conference "Cross-Border Cooperation: Best Practice and Future Opportunities from across the European Union" held on 13 June 2013 in Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland:



 
Pictured at the Conference are, Lorraine McCourt (Director Joint Technical Secretariat SEEUPB), Christian Gsodam (Advisor to the Secretary General, Committee of the Regions), Ray Butler TD, Jackie Maguire (County Manager Meath County Council), Cllr John Farrelly (Meath Council), Cllr Alan McDowell (Ards Borough Council), Pamela Arthurs (CEO East Border Region), Wolfgang Streitenberger (Senior Advisor, Directorate-General for Regional Policy and Urban Development, European Commission), Ann-Sofi Backgren (1st Chair Association of European Border Regions) and Martin Guillermo (Secretary General, Association of European Border Regions), Source of the photo: East Border Region.

On 13 June 2013, East Border Region Ltd, a local authority led cross-border organisation across the Irish-Northern Irish border, in conjunction with the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), hosted a Conference in Trim, County Meath, Ireland, in order to check the current situation of the European Territorial Cooperation objective, to look at best practices and to strengthen our European network. More than 150 participants, 50 of which were from border regions across Europe, took part in this event, which was part funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IV A Programme. 

Mr Ray Butler, Teachta Dála (TD) for Meath West County and Cllr Alan McDowell, Vice Chair of East Border Region welcomed the participants and opened the meeting.

Mr Wolfgang Streitenberger, Senior Advisor at the Directorate-General for Regional Policy and Urban Development (European Commission) and Mr Christian Gsodam (Committee of the Regions) opened the first round table on ‘Future Opportunities and Challenges for Cross Border Cooperation’. Other speakers included Ms Lorraine McCourt, Director of the Joint Technical Secretariat of the Special EU Programmes Body, which is the Managing Authority for INTERREG programme for Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as the PEACE Programme, and Ms Ann-Sofi Backgren, Ostrobotnia (FI), 1st Vice Chair of the AEBR. The Secretary General of the AEBR, Mr Martín Guillermo Ramírez,replica watches moderated this session.

Ann-Sofi Backgren, 1st Vice-Chair of AEBR (Source of the photo: East Border Region).

Under the title of ‘INTERREG: Promoting Cross Border Economic Development’, Mr Aidan Gough, Strategy and Policy Director of IntertradeIreland chaired a very interesting round table to present the promotion of cross-border economic development between Sweden and Norway (Mr. Paul Nemes, Acting Head of the International Secretariat in Värmland, Sweden) and a project on mechatronics at the German-Dutch border area, include some other innovative cross-border developments for SMEs (Mr Jan Oostenbrink, Deputy Director of EUREGIO). The iconic Narrow Water Bridge Project which will form the first physical link between Ireland and Northern Ireland was presented by Ms Pamela Arthurs, CEO of East Border Region. This bridge will provide a perfect example of a genuinely cross border project. Ms Sharon Daly, Programme Coordinator, presented the Aspire Project.

Martín Guillermo Ramírez, Secretary General of AEBR (Source of the photo: East Border Region).

The final session was moderated by Mr Declan Meally, Head of the Dept. of Emerging Sectors at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and dealt with ‘Low Carbon Solutions for a New Cross Border Environment’. It was examined how the INTERREG Programme is addressing the issue of low carbon solutions for a new cross border environment. Three case studies were presented from the Ireland/Northern Ireland border region: Ms Catherine McCloskey, Chair of the Smart Eco Hub Project; Mr Joseph Birth, Co-Chair of the Energy Efficiency and Micro Generation Project; and Mr Stuart Thompson, Professor at the Universtiy of Ulster in Belfast, who presented the Natural Energy Efficient and Sustainable Project. Ms Gabriella Rigoni, from the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, presented several related projects implemented in their area.

The conference concluded with a summation of main recommendations and the highlight of the best practices presented, by Ms Lorraine McCourt. Mr Damien English, Teachta Dála (TD) for Meath West closed the meeting and invited the participants to a networking event. 

Further information:

 Links to the projects presented during the conference:

  • Aspire Project (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)
  • Narrow Water Bridge Project (Ireland/Northern Ireland) (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)
  • Promoting Cross-border Economic Development Between Sweden and Norway (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)
  • The Mechatronics Project. Innovative cross-border developments for SMEs (Germany/The Netherlands) (Presentation available as PDF)
  • Smart Eco Hub Project (Ireland/Northern Ireland) (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)
  • Energy Efficiency and Mirco Generation Project (Ireland/Northern Ireland) (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)
  • NEES (Natural Energy Efficient and Sustainable) (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)
  • CBC in the Field of Sustainable Energy in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Border Area (Italy/Slovenia) (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)

Other interesting projects in the field of energy efficiency:

 



9.30 a.m.

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME

Registration and Refreshments
 

10.00 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Mr Ray ButlerTeachta Dála (TD) for Meath West

Cllr Alan McDowellVice Chair, East Border Region
 

10.15 a.m.

Future Opportunities and Challenges for Cross Border Cooperation

Moderator – Mr Martin Guillermo, Association of European Border Regions

Speakers

Mr Wolfgang Streitenberger, Senior Advisor, Directorate-General for Regional Policy and Urban Development, European Commission: "Cross-Border Cooperation in the New European Territorial Cooperation ETC"

Mr Christian Gsodam, Advisor to the Secretary General, Committee of the Regions

Ms Ann-Sofi Backgren, Ostrobotnia (FI), 1st Vice Chair, AEBR

Ms Lorraine McCourt, Director, Joint Technical Secretariat, Special EU Programmes Body: "European Territorial Cooperation Programmes 2014-2020 - NI, Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland"

Question and Answer Session
 

11.45 a.m.

Break and Refreshments

12 Noon

INTERREG: Promoting Cross Border Economic Development

Moderator – Mr Aidan Gough, Strategy and Policy Director, InterTradeIreland

Case Studies

Mrs Sharon Daly, Programme Coordinator, Aspire Project (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)

Ms Pamela Arthurs, CEO, East Border Region, Narrow Water Bridge Project (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)

Mr Paul Nemes, Acting Head, International Secretariat, Värmland (Sweden), Promoting Cross-border Economic Development Between Sweden and Norway (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)

Mr Jan Oostenbrink, Deputy Director, EUREGIO (Germany-Netherlands) The Mechatronics Project. Innovative cross-border developments for SMEs  (Presentation available as PDF)

Question and Answer Session
 

1.30 p.m.

Lunch

2.30 p.m.

Low Carbon Solutions for a New Cross Border Environment

Moderator – Mr Declan Meally, Head Dept, Emerging Sectors, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Case Studies

Ms Catherine McCloskey, Chair, Smart Eco Hub Project  (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)

Mr Joseph Birt, Co-Chair, Energy Efficiency and Micro Generation Project (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)

Mr Stuart Thompson, University of Ulster, NEES (Natural Energy Efficient and Sustainable) Project (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)

Ms Gabriella Rigoni, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia (Italy), CBC in the Field of Sustainable Energy in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Border Area  (Presentation available as PDF or PPT)

Question and Answer Session
 

4.00 p.m.

Summation and Close

Ms Lorraine McCourt, Director, Joint Technical Secretariat, Special EU Programmes Body

Mr. Damien English, Teachta Dála (TD) for Meath West

4.30 p.m.

Networking Opportunity
 

7.00 p.m.

Pre-Dinner Reception  - Swifts Bar – Courtesy of Meath County Council 

7.30 p.m.

Conference Dinner - Barbican Suite 2 

After Dinner Entertainment provided in The Terrace Lounge


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