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Improving skills in border regions: Stories of cooperation told by IVY volunteers

In June a new magazine of the “Stories of European Cooperation” was published by Interact in collaboration with AEBR. The articles are written by young participants in the Interreg Volunteer Youth (IVY) programme to showcase Interreg’s impact on our daily lives thanks to cooperation from their own perspectives.

This year’s first issue follows the European Year of Skills and IVY volunteers Thanos, Adriana, Sara, Silvia and Clara chose Interreg projects in the field of the acquisition of new skills.

Through their articles, the IVY volunteers exhibit the achievements of cooperation, making the outcomes of each Interreg project visible and tangible. With projects ranging from the cross-border area between Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia and Italy and Croatia, remote regions like the Caribbean Islands but also from transnational areas like Central Europe and the Mediterranean, the Stories indicates how cooperation gives tools to every region to improve citizens’ competences that are relevant for the local development.

“This year is the European Year of Skills. That is why we focus on giving young people new skills through cooperation. Initiatives such as the Interreg Volunteer Youth (IVY) are essential for this purpose as they turn neighbours into friends across EU internal and external borders”, points out Slawomir Tokarski, Director for the European Territorial Cooperation, Macro-regions, Interreg and Programmes Implementation at DG REGIO in the introduction to the Stories.

In an interview to the IVY team, Laura Belenguer, communications manager at Interact Valencia and curator of the magazine, stressed the great contribution of Interreg to help individuals acquire new skills, and the importance to make this contribution visible: “Interreg has been (and is!) working on that through thousands of projects all over Europe. During the last programming period only, 1,600 Interreg projects have been carried out where, in one way or another, actions aimed at improving people’s skills in the labour market. And so far, in the current period 2021-2027, a total of 27 projects have been or are being developed in this field. With these data, we see that Interreg does have an impact on the ground with this horizontal topic and we need to communicate these examples and put a name and surname to these thousands of beneficiaries”, told us Laura.

Thanks to the five volunteers involved in the making of the Stories, Interact and AEBR participate in the goal of making the success of cooperation better known.

Read the Stories of European Cooperation here.


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