TESIM is a technical assistance project which provides support and guidance to the implementation and management of the seven Interreg NEXT programmes, as well as to the closure of the 15 ENI CBC programmes. It is financed by the European Commission and is managed by DG REGIO – Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy, acting as Contracting Authority. The project is implemented by a consortium led by Particip GmbH.
SUPPORTING MANAGEMENT STRUCTURES
The objective of TESIM’s support in this field is to improve the management and implementation quality of the ENI CBC/Interreg NEXT programmes, enhancing also the cooperation between EU member states and neighbouring countries.
Under this component, TESIM has six main aims:
- Improving the efficiency of programme management and project monitoring
- Increasing the effectiveness of programme delivery
- Providing interpretation, advice and guidance on the closure of programmes and projects
- Facilitating the transfer of know-how and the exchange of information amongst programmes
- Increasing coordination among ENI CBC/Interreg NEXT programmes established in the same region and between ENI CBC/Interreg NEXT programmes and other instruments (Interreg, IPA CBC, macro-regional strategies, Eastern Partnership, other donors support, etc)
- Increasing the visibility of the ENI CBC/Interreg NEXT instrument as a whole.
Networking Promoting exchange platforms among peers, in particular networking events, is one of the key pillars at the heart of the services and resources provided by TESIM for exchanging good practices and knowledge. Our network meetings also allow for conveying the most updated EC guidance on specific issues. Most important, they can be the basis for identifying and developing innovative solutions for addressing concrete aspects within particular fields of intervention.
Capacity building Our customized capacity building activities for programme and national bodies follow the different stages of the programme cycle and are timed according to the ‘state of play’ for each programme so that the right support can be delivered at the right time. All trainings are based on the needs analyses and include the collection of relevant experiences from 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 programmes. Through these activities we aim at supporting our clientele to develop so that it can successfully achieve its strategic objectives.
Coordination and synergies Interreg NEXT does not operate in isolation but within a dense network of actions and EU funded initiatives that crosses both European and neighbourhood countries. TESIM develops mechanisms and tools for increasing coordination and synergies: 1) among ENI CBC/Interreg NEXT programmes themselves, 2) among them and Interreg programmes, including Interreg IPA, and EU macro-regional strategies and 3) other funding instruments, such as the Eastern Partnership, the Northern Dimension and the Union for the Mediterranean. Priority will be given also to bilateral instruments in Partner Countries in close coordination with the EU Delegations. Once approved, we will also increase the cross-fertilisation between projects selected by different programmes in similar fields.
Advisory services Building on the sense of community, our experts ensure an on-going liaison with programme management bodies and national authorities. These on-going contacts allow the team to be alert to implementation difficulties by either anticipating them before they arise or by reacting as they emerge. Our team provides also on-going feedback to all types of programme and national documents. Ad-hoc support is likewise provided directly to the European Commission by multiple means and covering a wide array of demand-driven services.
Information resources Information materials and tools are a key pillar of our work. These materials have a value as stand-alone products, but they also represent a key ingredient for many other services of ours, as is the case for networking and capacity building. This includes studies, surveys, handbooks, communication brochures, training materials, conference reports and web resources such as e-fora and searchable databases.
Increased visibility TESIM contributes to support the on-going visibility of ENI CBC and Interreg NEXT projects and programmes through our website and social media. We also issue bimonthly bulletins and News from the regions, gathering information relevant for the community and beyond. This is complemented with other tools, including our virtual exhibition of projects. Ensuring the presence of neighbourhood cross-border cooperation in events such as the European Week of Regions and Cities, Interreg Annual Event and European Cooperation Day is also high in our agenda.
Specific support will be devoted to the closure of ENI CBC programmes. Based on the lessons drawn of this process from ENPI CBC, the foundations for a smooth closure of ENI CBC shall be laid. This includes the creation of ad-hoc templates and written guidance, as well as tailor-made support services to programmes and the Commission.
SUPPORTING PROJECT PRACTITIONERS
Strengthening the project development and management capacity of eligible organisations in the CBC Partner Countries is the second main component of TESIM support. By doing so, TESIM will contribute to establishing a project pipeline consisting of a sufficient number of good quality projects in order to increase the absorption capacity in the targeted regions to implement the Interreg NEXT programmes.
Under this component, TESIM provides various forms of support:
Awareness raising TESIM will carry out awareness raising actions on the possibilities of cross-border and regional cooperation in the beneficiary regions, improve the knowledge on the European territorial cooperation and increase the number of potential applicants for the Interreg NEXT projects in the eligible regions.
Continued capacity building In close cooperation with programme management bodies and National Authorities in the CBC Partner Countries, TESIM offers trainings, tools and resources in a wide range of languages to strengthen the capacity of project applicants and beneficiaries in all aspects of project identification, development and implementation.
Partnership building Partnership is at the heart of cross-border cooperation. Finding partners and having a successful partnership are two issues identified again and again as success factors in evaluation, reports and studies on CBC overall. TESIM will take a two-pronged approach to the issue of partnership in Interreg NEXT: support for finding partners and for building effective partnerships for the successful implementation of Interreg NEXT projects.
Paving the way to accession The framework provided by cross-border and transnational cooperation programmes can be the perfect environment for taking the first steps towards the proper use of cohesion policy instruments by Ukraine, The Republic of Moldova and Georgia, transferring to them the knowledge of Member States managing neighbourhood cross-border cooperation programmes, many of which joined the EU in 2004 or 2007. This support will address topics such as the general context of the cohesion policy, governance, strategic planning, programming, monitoring, evaluation, financial management and audit. Particular attention will be provided to the key principles for effective implementation, experiences and lessons learned from Member States and IPA countries in order to enhance coordination and harmonisation of approaches and mechanisms, in line with EU frameworks and guidelines in the area of territorial cooperation.