Strengthening the initiative “Interreg Volunteer Youth”:



 

The initiative “Interreg Volunteer Youth” (IVY) continues successfully with about 300 young Europeans who have been volunteering for Interreg Programmes and Projects so far. The geographical scope of IVY has been extended to Programmes and Projects from EFTA and IPA partner countries, who can now host volunteers. Also young people from these countries can volunteer in IVY. Volunteers can also organise local events addressing citizens to raise awareness of Cohesion policy (Citizens Engagement Activities) to promote European Territorial Cooperation. Also connected to communication, AEBR has collaborated with Interact to publish two editions entitled “Stories of European Cooperation”, written by IVY volunteers. IVY was also at the 8th Summit of Regions and Cities in Bucharest on 14-15 March, and at the European Youth Week on 29-30 April, and in the Open Doors Day organised by the European institutions on 4 May. An exhibition of twelve photos of IVY volunteers has been displayed at the Berlaymont building of the European Commission in Brussels for over a month, have been displayed, showing the enthusiasm of young Europeans to participate in the European project.

The initiative “Interreg Volunteer Youth” (IVY) continues successfully. About 300 young Europeans have been volunteering for Interreg Programmes and Projects so far, supporting its implementation and promoting its achievements. In the meantime, AEBR has had many occasions to spread information about the volunteers’ activities in the last two months and important novelties have been introduced.

DG Regio and AEBR extended the geographical scope of IVY, as well as expanded the possibilities for volunteers: from now on, also CBC Programmes and Projects from EFTA and IPA partner countries can host volunteers, namely Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Serbia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and Turkey. Similarly, also young people from these countries can volunteer for Interreg. Territorial cooperation is enhancing cohesion and development opportunities also outside of the EU, and such efforts deserve more visibility.

Additionally, IVY volunteers are now given the chance to organise local events addressing citizens to raise awareness of Cohesion Policy, so called “Citizens Engagement Activities”. The aim of such events is to promote European Territorial Cooperation and to tell citizens what, thanks to Interreg, has been implemented in the region to enhance local development. Volunteers have already started seizing this opportunity and the first events entirely planned by them will take place in June. Check all of them here.

New occasions to showcase IVY have risen too: in collaboration with AEBR, Interact has published two editions entitled “Stories of European Cooperation” and written by IVY volunteers. Interact has invited the volunteers to write articles about projects with a strong social dimension, where the benefit to the local communities is particularly evident. The first issue focused on Central Europe while the second comprised projects implemented in the regions of Italy, together with their neighbours. The volunteers inform about projects they found relevant, allowing for perceiving cooperation in Europe from the perspective of younger generations.

Along with volunteers, the team of AEBR has also attended several events to promote the IVY initiative and territorial cooperation more in general. On 14th and 15th of March 2019, some IVY volunteers attended the 8th Summit of Regions and Cities in Bucharest, the event organised by the European Committee of the Regions and the Romanian EU Council Presidency to gather EU, national, local and regional leaders from across Europe to discuss the future of the European Union. The volunteers participated in the debates on how to involve citizens more effectively in the European project – and they had the occasion to meet AEBR’s Vice-president Pavel Branda. Here and here are some articles written by the volunteers on this experience.

On 29th and 30th April, AEBR and some volunteers attended the European Youth Week, taking part in a workshop illustrating the many possibilities to volunteer thanks to programmes put at disposal by the European Commission.

On 4th May, the IVY team took also part, together with DG Regio and IVY volunteers, in the Open Doors Day organised by the European institutions. It exchanged information with the many visitors at the Berlaymont building and showed the achievements of the volunteers – encouraging others to engage for Europe, too.  On this occasion, volunteers and AEBR also strived to raise awareness about Cohesion Policy and Interreg. The IVY volunteer Theodora Chatzipanteli took advantage of the opportunity to also organise an event in the framework of the Citizens’ Engagement Activities: she promoted Cohesion Policy while telling about her experience as an IVY volunteer at Euroregion Baltic.

In addition to all of this, DG Regio has arranged an exhibition of photos of IVY volunteers at the Berlaymont building of the European Commission in Brussels. For over a month, twelve pictures of IVY volunteers have been displayed, showing the enthusiasm of young Europeans to participate in the European project.

<< back