"We don´t want more Brexits. Therefore, we need to work much closer together!
Anders Bergström, HA Capacity and PA Education coordinator expressed his clear opinion at the start of the very first Participation Day within the EUSBSR. The words are consistent with the purpose of Participation Day: a chance for stakeholders from the region to meet other, already experienced stakeholders and create new connections.
Anne Quart, State Secretary for Europe and Consumer Protection, Brandenburg, also emphasized the importance of regional cooperation as a way of building a common peaceful future.
"Participation Day is a good day if it contributes to better understanding, dialogue and work against protectionism," she said.
Anders Bergström talked about the structure of work within macro-regional cooperation and the importance of defining added value of the cooperation, that is, what wouldn´t be possible to achieve if the work is limited to local or strictly national levels. Following the choice of what societal challenge should be dealt with, a stakeholder analysis is made, where stakeholders are identified who can bring about real change through policy impact. Stakeholders are invited to start building flagships, i.e. transnational development processes, with knowledge platforms and project chains.
(More on working methods in macro-regional strategies can be found in the presentation “EUSBSR_Introduction”, see link below.)
Three themes in focus
Three themes were in focus during the Participation Day: "Sustainable Tourism Development", "Education, Research, Employability and Integration of Refugees" and, finally, "Involvment and Cooperation". The participants split into workshops to discuss ideas and cooperation initiatives.
Workshop 2, "Education, research, employability and integration of refugees", covered ideas within four policy areas, parts of Policy Area Education:
- reducing the rates of early school leaving;
- improving the quality of vocational education and training, VET, and higher education;
- a labour market for all;
- easing the way for newly arrived refugees.
Here are some of the projects and ideas that were discussed: (links lead partly to PA Education)