On the 26th of April run a seminar about European interaction as a part of the project Green Initiatives in Rural Areas, GIRA.
The seminar had two experts to give knowledge and inspiration about possibilities with common projects in Europe.
Staffan Nilsson, a former member of EU:s Economical and Social committee, EESK, chairman of the organization Rural Sweden and also former chairman of European Rural Communities Alliance talked about what has been done and can be done for local development when you come together in European collaboration. Staffan gave examples from out of Europe including the start of “Rural Europe” which is a gathering that now has been done 4 times.
Karsten Lucke, vice chairman of European Network for Education and Training, EUNET, working at the Europahaus Marienberg and leader of many EU projects talked about different projects that he and EUNET has been involved in. For example, he mentioned a youth project called Camp Democracy which gave young people from Germany, Romania, Greece and Sweden a possibility to meet and discuss their ideas for the future. Another project he mentioned was READ IT, a project regarding rural development where engaged adults from 6 countries had meetings and learned from each other. Karsten gave focus on the possible of personal development you have as a participant in projects but also the organizational development that comes with collaborating in European project.
The seminar in April had 14 participants and Europahuset Gävleborg will run a second seminar at the end of May. That seminar will include knowledge about the work within the Committé of Regions in EU and about new possibilities in the framework of EU-funded projects and Swedish national funding of projects.
The GIRA partner in Sweden is delving deeper in rural European cooperation touching also the Green Deal as the focal point of our strategic partnership. The webinar is meant to work in more detail on the basics of rural European cooperation to sensitize local citizens who are not familiar with European collaboration.
Good to see that things are going more concrete even though the pandemic is still under way.
The pandemic is still blocking a lot of our planned activities in GIRA and is holding us back to dig deeper into the topic. But European education collaboration can be creative. The steering committee again came together to check on ongoing activities and planned new ones.
There was recently an online conference on the “Future of Food” that was attended by project partners. Another event is being planned in Poland. Local activities are underway in many project countries even though still with reduced speed. In Sweden a webinar is planned just for the end of April on local European cooperation and Green Deal. We hope we can still bring all these activities soon in physical meetings together.
Moreover the committee decided to have another deepening kick-off into the topic of the “European Green Deal”. A Zoom conference with an expert form the EU Commission speaker team “TEAM Europe” is planned for mid-May.
Also the design work on the final logo is coming to en end. Different versions are now produced for the future dissemination of the project.
The pandemic is still under way and blocks a lot of activities of our strategic partnership – mostly of course the face-to-face meetings and encounters. But Europeans are creative.
The local partners established first bond in their rural community and kicked-off the dealing with the European Green Deal. Moreover, digital events and meetings are planned and shared expertise is getting even more concrete shape without traveling.
The steering committee of the project brought all the pieces together that has been developed so far to do the next concrete and more deep step into this strategic partnership. The coming events will be mostly online and a project database for green initiatives in rural areas has been set up. This will be filled throughout the project duration to share and learn from each other.
We’re getting more speed into the project wich is good after months of lockdown. Stay tuned…
The pandemic is still a huge challenge for all educational partners in the project GIRA. Many from us are in lockdown or have to face other restrictions that make it pretty challenging to move forward. But we do. Today the steering committee came together digitally for another meeting to recheck where we stand, what are the next steps and how the progress of the project is doing.
We all started locally and delved into the topic. That works fine even though here pandemic hurdles keep it more difficult. In addition, we developed good ideas for the coming weeks and networked on crucial issues of the overall project. Only transnational meetings remain a big problem. This needs to be checked early in 2021 again. But we started already a “Pool of Resources” on GIRA here on the webpage, a good new development and an ongoing process that has now been established very early in the project.
We all feel strongly committed to the project and are eager to keep on working. But now it’s Xmas time, so work will slow down a bit. But we are back early jn 2021 full of motivation an “on fire”. Stay tuned….
In Sweden GIRA is already disseminated on a broad scale. A first newsletter was send out after some local meetings and preparations. Especially in pandemic times this is a heartwarming and encouraging move to open up this European project to a broader public alraedy in this very early phase of the strategic parnership.
You can read the newsletter in two ways:
Here the original newsletter as PDF download. (Swedish language)
And here also an English summary newsletter as PDF download .
After the tremendous success of READ IT we got together in the old partnership and evaluated what was thrilling but not answered to the final end in the last READ IT project. As climate change and sustainable living are one of the hottest issues of our times, we focussed on this policy area. We got in contact already with some issues during READ IT, now we want to focus in our next 30 months round purely on this area in rural areas.
“GIRA – Green Initiatives in Rural Areas” is our current Strategic partnership running from September 2020 to March 2023. As it will be a more specific area in rural development, we reconnect to READ IT and will use website, Instagram, FB-Page etc. as a up-to-date progress in rural areas. The previous project is still available and can be accessed on the right side of the webpage in the old menu structure.
Stay tuned. Even though the pandemic slowed the kick-off process of GIRA a bit, we are already in online collaboration and will, continue until we can have hopefully the first face-to-face meeting in early 2021.
Our Startegic Partnership comes slowly to an end. The steering committee had almost its final Skype conference to coordinate the final report for ERASMUS+ but also discussed how we can proceed with the topic of rural areas. And many ideas are already on the agenda. It turned out that rural development is really a hot topic in Europe and there are so many creative ways of fighting the challenges. But its still a lot to do and develop. We keep on going and commit ourselves to rural development in the future.