Congratulations to the BLUEMED Project for having won two prizes @European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels

In the week 8-11 October, during the #EUREGIONSWEEK2018, the BLUEMED Project represented the Sustainable Tourism Community in a great way by winning the 3rd place prize and the social media prize, both earned in the Interact “Project Slam”. The event has been a great chance to make visible cooperation projects, with huge success of public. About 6000 visitors participated to the 4 days convention, having the chance to learn more about our community.

(Rome, 18 Oct 2018) The European Week of Regions and Cities is the yearly convention, happening since 2003, pointing the spotlight on the local entities, making-up the EU from another level and a different perspective: our regions and cities. The Interreg MED Programme was there, as others Interreg Transnational Cooperation programmes- TNC-, to bring the voice of our Mediterranean communities. They brought the angle of a huge community involving 800 members, representing 13 countries from the Northern shore of the Mediterranean and 90 projects, engaged in promoting a sustainable growth through innovative concepts, practices, a reasonable use of resources, more support to social integration with an holistic and territorially-based cooperation approach.

On the behalf of the Sustainable Tourism Community, the BLUEMED project, has not only succeeded on this representative mission but has even returned home with great satisfaction, after being recognized for the great added value of the activities realised, and earned two prizes. BLUEMED is a project co-financed by the Interreg MED Programme, specifically in thematic field of Sustainable Tourism, that plans, tests and coordinates the “Underwater Museums, Diving Parks and Knowledge Awareness Centres”. The project - in the words of the projects partners- aims to support competent government authorities to develop strategies, plans and policies for local coastal and island economies of the Mediterranean region in adopting a sustainable and responsible model for tourism development. This will be achieved by planning, testing and coordinating Underwater Museums, Diving Parks and Knowledge Awareness Centres (KACs).

The project slam, a Luxembourgish tradition, was brought into the #EURegionsWeek2018 by the INTERACT Programme, another of the EU sponsored Programme participating to the event. Six finalists, including BLUEMED, competed on stage along three categories "Climate change adaptation", "Inclusive Growth including migrants’ integration" and "Cultural Heritage", to convince the voting audience about the positive impact of their project. The contest named "Interreg Talks: 6 projects, 1 slam!", in the case of BLUEMED mobilised 15.000 users on social medias, that with their likes, helped to win the social media prize and award the third place prize.

This great success of public, in social channels confirmed the relevance of the projects co-funded by European Regional Development Fund ERDF through the Interreg MED Programme, their actuality and how much people care about the need to look for sustainable solutions in promoting the growth of our Mediterranean region. Some of the BLUEMED partners, Region of Thessaly and University of Patras, attended the final ceremony while Mr. Konstantinos Agorastos, Regional Governor of Thessaly, received the award.

Apart from this deserved success for the Interreg MED programme,it is worthy to remember the relevance of the participation of BLUEMED (Sustainable Tourism) and Locations (Urban Transports) projects at the recent edition of #EURegionsWeek2018, in the joint stand #MadeWithInterreg, with projects from other TNC programmes as North Sea, Baltic Sea and Balkan-MED, on behalf of nine other Interreg TNC programmes (Danube, Central Europe, ADRION, Alpine Space, Balkan-MED, Atlantic Area, Northern Periphery and the Arctic, SUDOE and Northwest Europe). An honour to be there the entire week, with meetings, presentations, thematic cluster, exhibitions and much more, with the alternance of the 12 programmes, 24 stories from the projects to interact with the public, with objects and live demonstration of their activities and results.

The most abstract result of the presence of the two projects of the Interreg MED Programme Community at this European event, where not only EU officials and representatives take part, is giving a concrete confirmation of how transnational cooperation is a strong arm in EU cohesion policy, by providing tangible benefits on the ground of cooperation projects like BLUEMED and Locations.