Another AI-NURECC event was successfully held in Mostar (Bosnia Herzegovina) as part of the AI-NURECC Skills Development action.

Last 16 and 17 July 2019, the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion organised a training event aimed at promoting access to EU programme and funds and addressed to local stakeholders such as actors responsible for implementing sustainable development strategies including local institutions, educational institutions, intermediate bodies, freelancers, small economic operators, associations and NGOs as well as young people, students and young professionals.

  

The two-days event was held at Mostar (Bosnia Herzegovina) and was attended by AIE’s member Nerevta-Herzegovina Canton, represented by its Prime Minister, Mr. Nevenko Herceg, as well as by the Mayor of Mostar, Mr. Ljubo Bešlić, who provided their institutional opening speeches. Then, the AI-NURECC Initiative was introduced by Mr Stavros Kalognomos, representative of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), AI-NURECC Coordinator. The seminar in Mostar was an occasion to illustrate the initiative’s main objectives and the results achieved so far in terms of stimulating a greater role of local and regional actors in the implementation of the EUSAIR as well as their ownership of both the Strategy and its pillars. To this end, Mr Thanos Smanis, Blue Economy and Environmental expert, provided an overview of the WestMED Assistance Mechanism, a sub-region initiative that promotes access to EU funds with relevance to the pillars of the WestMED Roadmap.

      

Participants were then introduced with the opportunities, synergies and good practices for sustainable development and youth cooperation at regional and cross-regional level. This session was animated by the Minister of Agriculture, Water-Management and Forestry of HNC, Mr. Donko Jović, who explained the development strategies, priorities and currently running EU-funded projects under the 2014-2020 Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro. Following, representatives of youth organisations gave an overview of their initiatives: Ms. Berina Bukva from the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), Mr. Ismail Šehić from the Bosnian Representative Association for Valuable Opportunities (BRAVO) and Mr. Ismail Ćidić, from the Bosnian Advocacy Centre, who illustrated the work of the Western Balkans Alumni Association.

After this general and introductory session, a very practice-oriented and interactive training took place, focusing on models of participatory project-design and management such as the Community-Led Local Development (CLLD), which, among the currently available tools, fits the sustainable developmental needs of rural areas such as the Nerevta-Herzegovina region and most of the Western Balkan area.

The training was led by experts (Ms Milena Rosa, Mr Andrea Jakova and Ms Caterina Palombo) and focused on presentations of case studies and good practices such as projects implemented by AIE’s Albanian member, Shkodra Region, and the Stewardship model as CLLD approach applied to sustainable environmental management. The CCLD was also explored as a possible approach to promote the access to EU, national and regional programmes/funds/calls and develop youth-related and rural development initiatives in the area. All existing EU funding opportunities in which Bosnia Herzegovina is an eligible country were presented, including EU funds, Territorial Cooperation and direct management programmes, available grant opportunities from international entities as well as connected EU funding and tender search engines and platforms. Participants were then stimulated to take stock of all information and tips provided, and, by working in groups, created their own CLLD-based project proposal.

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