Directions for the new Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme were laid out and discussed at the Pre-Launch Event in Ostend, Flanders, on the 21-22 of March. In light of the many significant differences between the current IIIB Programme and the new Interreg IVB Programme, the aim of the event was to change the Interreg mindset and focus on new types of projects for the Interreg IVB Programme.
A number of presentations and speeches where delivered under the headlines: The New Interreg Framework, New Directions, Making it Happen, Changing the Mindset and What comes next?
Elisabeth Helander of DG Regional Policy talked about Strategic Project Partnerships in the light of delivering Regional Policy in the new programme period, one of the key issues of concern for the future. The plenary session also included national perspectives as well as concrete examples of projects with a strategic approach.
On the second day, the 220 participants actively took part in the workshop sessions on the 4 new priorities, by this contributing to a better understanding of the new programme.
The event featured a strong focus on the new areas of attention, i.e. policy level connection, good quality project focus and financial aspects such as the private-public partnerships, an issue of growing interest.
The Pre-Launch Event will be followed by the Annual Conference on 20-22 of June in Brunstad, Norway, where the new programme will be formally launched and where a partner search forum will provide opportunities to discuss future projects.