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11-12 December: strengthening access to EU Programmes in OCTs

13 December 2019

11-12 December: strengthening access to EU Programmes in OCTs

On December 11 and 12, the Association of the Overseas Territories and Countries (OCTA) and the Representation of Greenland to the EU welcomed more than seventy participants from 18 OCTs to attend the EU Programmes Workshop in Brussels.

Public and private entities in the OCTs are eligible to apply for funding from EU programmes; however, access to some of these instruments remains a challenge. The EU Programmes Workshop aimed at reinforcing the capacities of the public authorities and relevant organisations based in the OCTs to successfully access the current horizontal programmes of the European Union by raising awareness about EU-funded opportunities and providing a platform to create networks and to share best practices.

During the workshop, participants had the chance to engage directly with officials from the European Commission and deepen their knowledge of European programmes related to youth and partnership instruments (Erasmus+ & Erasmus+ Sport, European Solidarity Corps), research and innovation (Horizon 2020, Enhanced European Innovation Council Pilot), competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (Europe Enterprise Network) and audiovisual and culture (Creative Europe).

Attendees also had the opportunity to share experiences and success stories with other OCT members to inspire action. Contact points between OCTs and National Agencies were reinforced, and participants engaged with each other to pave the way for increased cooperation and networks among islands. Among the recommendations provided, participants suggested the creation of a platform to share opportunities, best practices and receive more specialized technical assistance in order to keep updated, gain further expertise on EU programmes and reinforce the networks that were created during the workshops. The relevant ideas and feedback received from attendees will be part of the future strategy of the Association that will be discussed in the following months.

OCTA actively supports all Overseas Countries and Territories in identifying and accessing EU-funded opportunities. This workshop has illustrated that there is much scope for further action, and OCTA looks forward to playing a pivotal role in the future to serve the interests of OCTs within the EU. OCTA organized the workshop in close cooperation with the Greenland Representation to the EU.