At the 2015 EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government, the European Union Member States and the Latin American countries committed themselves to reinforcing the existing strategic partnership between the European Union and Latin America. Meanwhile, there is a call for putting EU regional policy into a stronger international context and for more cooperation with third countries.
One of the objectives of INNOVACT is to promote a transfer of experience and knowledge from European Regions to Latin-American border areas about territorial cohesion through innovation-based approaches to regional development.
INNOVACT identified 4 EU cross-border areas that are suitable and interested in participating in the platform for knowledge exchange and transfer of good practices on the specific thematic areas and value chains that are relevant to the Latin-American border areas. The selection process of the three EU cross-border areas was based on their territorial and economic features and existing good practices on (cross-border) projects or actions on innovation, the promotion of clusters and the development of SMEs that are thematically or conceptually in line with the thematic areas and value chain developments in the LATAM border areas identified by INNOVACT.
The four EU-cross border areas selected for the Study Visit are:
- European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation Galicia-Norte de Portugal (GNP-AECT) (Portugal) and Xunta de Galicia (Spain)
- Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region (Italy) and Podravje Energy Agency and Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (Slovenia)
- Region Midtjylland (Central Denmark)
- Campus Iberus (Aragón, Spain) and Working Group of the Pyrénées (Midi Pyrénées, France)
The INNOVACT study visit started with a kick-off two-day seminar in Brussels, gathering all members of the delegation from Latin American cross border regions. Guest speakers at the Brussels Conference 4-5 June 2018 include:
- Ramón López, European Commission, DG Regional and Urban policy, Unit Urban and Territorial Development, Inclusive Growth, International Relations
- Javier Octavio Raúl Lossio Olavarría, Specialised in Border Integration (Direccion de Desarollo e Integracion Fronteriza, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Peru)
- Jean Peyrony, General Director Transfrontier Operational Mission (MOT) France
- Martín Guillermo, Secretary General Association of European Border Regions (AEBR)
- Javier Gómez Prieto, JRC European Commission, S3 Platform, Expert in Energy, European Territorial Integration y S3 worldwide
- Dani Blasco, Network of European Regions for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism NECSTOUR
- Thomas Högman (Östergötland) and Theo Neyenhuis (Regio FoodValley), Value Chain Agriculture/Agri-food
- Anna Laven, Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) Amsterdam