When you say connection, you say cohesion. When you say cohesion policy you say regional policy. When you say regions you say the Assembly of European Regions. That’s the short way to say that one of the core reasons that led to the setting up of our network is to advocate the principles of regional cohesion at European level. This is how the action started and continues, as like in any complex narrative, challenges take the most interesting place.
Background of the project
Given that cohesion policy is a key EU’s investment tool to foster the development in Europe, regions could benefit of it in order to improve citizens’ quality life through job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth and sustainable development. Despite all that, the Eurobarometer surveys prove that there is a big discrepancy in the way citizens acknowledge the existence and the benefits of cohesion policy from one region to another all over Europe. The European Institutions along with different organisations have been constantly developing actions to improve this situation, but apparently there is still room to work on it.
Together for Cohesion: let’s rEUnite!
In this context the Assembly of European Regions designed the ambitious project “Together for Cohesion: let’s rEUnite!”, conceived as a communication campaign that aims to raise awareness about the importance of programmes, projects and services funded by the cohesion policy funds in terms of benefits on citizens’ life as well as to turn citizens and stakeholders in active players regarding the future debate on cohesion policy. At the heart of it, there is a bottom-up approach that leads regions, citizens and stakeholders to become main protagonists of the action. The campaign will mainly focus on 5 European countries: Croatia, Hungary, Romania Italy and Spain, while some projects initiatives will be also open to interested actors outside this geographical scope. The campaign is based on the stories of locals in each of these countries as focal points to convey the positive impact of cohesion policy in people’s everyday life.
Kick-off meeting & mc Group
The project “Together for Cohesion: let’s rEUnite!”, funded by DG REGIO (European Commission-Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy), officially started on 1st of April 2019 and will last for 12 months. In line with the European spirt of its consortium, we celebrated the 9th May – Europe Day – in a significant way, by having in Brussels the kick-off meeting of the project with our consortium partner: “media consultant International Holding AG” (mc Group). As a full-service international integrated communication agency network, mc Group is the top-ranked German public relations agency and ranked third among advertising agencies in Germany. With offices in all 28 EU member states and 82 countries globally, mc Group will play a key role in order to successfully reach the project’s objective and to provide professional expertise on communication and dissemination to the actors involved at different levels into the project.
The kick-off meeting has been a fruitful occasion to strengthen the cooperation among the project partners, to agree on the project’s values and objectives and to elaborate the detailed action plan of the forthcoming activities.
Stay tuned to follow the next initiatives…
The first project activity is the Call for Engagement launched by AER on the 8th May. This call stands as an official invitation for the AER regions within the 5 target countries that sent us letters of support in the preparation phase of the project, thus expressing their interest in being directly involved in the campaign. Therefore, the very first step of our project is “Regions on board!”. The regions that will reply positively to the Call for Engagement will be the direct beneficiaries of a diverse typology of actions to foster the perception of cohesion policy in their territories. Nevertheless, other regions within AER network and beyond will benefit from the events and the outputs of the project.
The next step of the “Regions on board!” is the Call for Action. This is a public invitation for all AER members as well as other organisations not strictly in our network yet, in order to share with us information regarding:
- communication campaigns developed in the regions related to any kind of activity (projects, programmes, etc) funded by the cohesion policy funds. The best 10 practices will then be selected and included in an on-line catalogue which will be widely disseminated
- pre-existing local initiatives and events related to cohesion policy that are going to be included in the “European Cohesion Calendar” which could be linked and fostered by the project activities.
The initial mapping of good regional practices represents a crucial step in developing our communication campaign: giving us the state of art of the already existing and successful campaigns at local level which we are willing to scale up with innovate ways of communication in order to better reach the citizens and stakeholder in the regions.
Launching of the communication campaign on cohesion policy
The launching of the “Together for Cohesion: let’s rEUnite” campaign will take place on 5th June 2019 on occasion of the AER General Assembly in Larnaca (Cyprus). Anyone interested in joining us and eager to feel the enthusiasm of the moment, is more than welcome!
Given that this project will last for 12 months, the activities are intense but nice and we are happy to keep you posted very soon on the next steps of this Let’s rEUnite adventure!
See you in Larnaca!
photo by pexels
Agnese PantaloniPhone: +32 2 400 10 52 E-mail: a.pantaloni(at)aer.eu Skype ID: agnesepanta Languages: it, en, pt Articles by Agnese
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