The Director’s Editorial – October 2023 Issue


Dear Family, 

I started to think about this editorial when coming back from Warsaw, where we organised our 2023 Annual Seminar. First, thanks to all the participants: it was gratifying to see you so united and interested in the topics proposed. It was clear and obvious how much we can really talk about a Family today. In our first meetings, already few years ago, the Projects – despite the common challenges – didn’t know each other as deeply as I understood a few weeks ago. 

I have seen and felt your interaction, the desire to exchange and the interest in discussing and – perhaps – join together in different activities to amplify the achievement of a goal and the consequent effects. It’s as if it was a gift for us, and this means that we have really built a great group and, above all, we have really contributed to a common cause, joining together the Fund for Youth Employment and the Fund for Regional Cooperation. 

So, again, thank you very much and I invite you all to read Tom’s contribution, our Master of Ceremony, his ‘Signposts for the Future’. 

And also thanks a lot to these “magic” colleagues that took on board all my provided hints, organising cluster and non-cluster activities, simply networking synergies events!, thank you a lot: we also have a WhatsApp group now!

Talking about future, I am experiencing some strange sensations. Indeed, I am participating in various ceremonies and events, some of which are moments representing the end of some Projects, and this sometimes makes me a little melancholy. But it is equally important, every time, to realise what has been done. Each conference, even if it is a closing one, reading the titles of the sessions or the contributions of the various experts, is really a confirmation of your great and constant commitment. For every flight I take to reach you (I’m sorry I can’t always be at each of your events), I know that I will return with some ‘extra added value’, that my baggage will be enriched of. For example, I just came back from Athens, were I participated to the BLUE-GREENWAY Capitalisation Event – The Youth Role in the Era of Blue and Green Economy, hosted by EPLO. Another excellent project with impressive results as we could hear. Let’s see if, in the next months, we will be able to read into our Mag some interviews about the Interreg Volunteer Youth Initiative. Lat but not least, considering the next edition of 15thof December, we will be waiting and, in case, welcome, any inputs coming from the Annual Seminar’s group exercises to which we could dedicate a special space!

And, again, we will see how RC and YE Projects are made to work together!!!

With respect to these activities, you will find in our pages some of the agenda we have received, or at least some dates about the next conferences or events organised by our Projects, for sure we will dedicate them a space in our next edition. You will read about SEPAL final conference, the Policy Forum about Anti-Corruption, Democratic Resilience and Economic Security, the Final event of the project Uncorking WINE & CIDER typicality, and we will be waiting for more details about other Projects that sent us recently some ‘save the date!” (most probably the Projects RAISE Youth and Stay-On). I hope I am not forgetting any other!

I know that we will always have new challenges ahead of us, but I know that each of the Projects has done something concrete. We can simply scroll through these pages and read the ‘theme of the month’ to understand it. I see, as always, some profound reflections and true stories. Allow me, in this case, to remind you of the new #ourstories campaign: it is an invitation to all of you so that, by contributing, we can enrich the dissemination process of EEA & Norway Grants with real stories of successes achieved and real benefits. Reading one of the contributions, we tried to think of a story that could be suitable for this campaign. What do you think? I am sure there will be many more examples like Sara’s story.

And, speaking of challenges, it’s really interesting to read your words about ‘challenges in 2024’. You will read about Climate Neutrality, OPEN AI, ChatGPT and the consequences, changes in healthcare, transportation, education, and other reflections on cybersecurity, Skills mismatches, digital divide, etc. 

And I really liked that real opportunities are proposed into this ‘shifting landscape’ as our SEPAL Project titled its contribution, or to say with L.I.K.E ‘Transforming Challenges into Triumphs’. It is, after all, a very changing (and I would add as well demanding) landscape. But, again quoting our Project, we have to be proud of our Triumphs: each of you, in these years, has created and achieved several. 

With respect to that, I can’t help but mention a new tool that was created by one of our Projects, the ‘Youth Employment Monitor’ platform by YOUTHShare. Please have a look to that: I am sure you will see how much this tool can be important for research activities. It is, really, a great source and, in particular, a legacy. 

You all created important legacies. It is like this Family is a puzzle made up of different, but fundamental, inheritances created by a group of (not so very different!) Projects, which contributed positively to several lives. 

We are creating a legacy, and this is why I strongly renew the invitation included in one of our latest messages: why not show your practices, in a single edition, so that they can all remain there, together, within everyone’s reach, exploiting digital resources?

I think this is the minimum we can do, for future Projects, people, entities and institutions working in our same field and with similar purposes. 

With this inspiration, I leave you to read our pages, with our Family Picture at the beginning, starting with Tom and his ‘Road from Warsaw’. 

Gian Luca Bombarda 
The Fund Director

Hoopps : please do not forget the 3rdof December: the International Day of Persons with Disabilities! It is a Sunday, but please try to celebrate this day with the best of your family participation! Here in Italy, the Special Olympics had already organised a flashmob dance, with “What a Feeling” from Flashdance movie, have a look at it : Il FlashMob 2023 è FlashDance | Special Olympics Italia


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