The European Week of Regions and Cities (#EURegionsWeek) is the largest annual Brussels-based event dedicated to cohesion policy and took place this year from 11-14 October 2021.
Northern Ireland featured in some great events for #EURegionsWeek. Unable to host a “live” event due to the current pandemic, the Brussels Office worked alongside European Partners from regions in Vojvodina, France, Spain, Poland, Greece and Italy to present a virtual event in the main programme. The theme for the workshop was ‘Cohesion and IPA policy for the twin transitions: lessons from regional and local authorities’ exploring how local and regional authorities have used EU funds, within cohesion policy, to deliver projects that make real and significant difference to citizens’ lives.
The Northern Ireland contribution featured an impressive video outlining the success of the North West Multimodal Transport Hub completed as a result of £27 million investment, with funding received from the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Additional funding was provided by the Department of Infrastructure, Department of Transport in the Republic of Ireland, as well as support from Derry City and Strabane District Council, Donegal City Council and Sustrans.
At the event Ms Jackie Robinson, Director of Public Transport for NI, took part in the discussion and Q&A explaining the lessons learned from the project and how it contributes to the green and digital agenda. The NW Transport Hub project has also been nominated for the EU RegioStars Awards and has received resounding support from Minister for Infrastructure, Nicola Mallon.
You can vote online at www.regiostarsawards.eu by clicking the heart on the upper right corner of the project description (which can be located within the category entitled ‘Topic of the Year’).
Northern Ireland was also represented in an #EURegionsWeek workshop titled How the Northern Periphery responded to COVID-19: a success story of cohesive working. Dr Joan Condell from Ulster University was one of the speakers during the session which showcased a hugely successful cohesive and collaborative approach to tackling a major health and social issue. The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA) COVID-19 response group included over 130 experts from across the nine partner countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland) as well as the USA, Canada and New Zealand.