The reality of cross-border cooperation under the European Neighbourhood Instrument is quite composite, and programmes and countries have a different degree of experience with this type of cooperation. Programme bodies in the North can count on a long-term institutional knowledge in the management of CBC programmes. They can also rely on highly qualified staff in spite of an excess of turnover. They know their business and they are mostly interested in knowing how others cope with certain issues in order to improve their own procedures.
That’s why TESIM’s networking events are a perfect platform for a transfer of know-how and exchange of information amongst programmes. If nothing else, they make you realise that other options exist and, whether you use them in the end or not, it is always positive to confront yourself with other approaches. And, without any need for benchmarking, programmes can assess their own performance by seeing where the others stand. At the end of the day, this should all translate into an increased efficiency of programme management. But this is not enough. There is a need to ensure also the quality of the submitted projects and, as a result, of those selected for funding. By supporting both the programme and the project implementation TESIM can foster a dialogue between the two levels. The overall success will heavily rely on a proper integration of these: programmes need to provide the most flexible environment possible to projects, but projects also need to understand that funding does not come without clear requirements.
So far, two meetings of the cluster of Northern CBC programmes, involving seven out of fifteen ENI CBC programmes, have taken place.
The second one was held in Tartu in August 2018. It was hosted by the Estonia-Russia Programme and gathered over 50 participants representing managing authorities, secretariats and branch offices. Many interesting topics were discussed, with a clear focus on regional specificities. This is a good laboratory of ideas for the rest of the community and a recipe that, why not, could be exported to other geographic areas.
With the precious contribution of all stakeholders, TESIM does its best to identify excellence and make it circulate within the community.
TESIM Team leader