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This is Europe
Stories of collaboration and cooperation from across the European Union, brought to you by the Interreg community.
Oct 6, 2021
Feeding Our Future Generations
In Sweden, a food revolution has been going on for some time. Consumers are increasingly demanding local produce of superior quality. We hear how meat farmer Agnetha Björnsdotter Berglund has capitalised on the trend, transforming her business by going local thanks to an Interreg programme linking small producers to national supermarkets. Meanwhile, perched a few miles from the French riviera, the small town of Mouans-Sartoux has held out against the advances of property developers to build a farm feeding its schoolchildren organic food. The town’s deputy mayor, Gilles Pérole, tells us why he’s on a mission to get his citizens ‘thinking globally and acting locally.’ In Eastern Europe, another Interreg initiative is helping micro producers grow their businesses by linking them directly to local consumers through a platform many had never used before - the internet. Tomislav Katančić, project manager at Croatian e-commerce portal eCeker, explains the “0km” philosophy that has driven his work with the project and invigorated the local food economy. In addition, we hear from Matt Reynolds, Science Editor at WIRED magazine, about the challenges the world faces in sustainably feeding a population set to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Participating programmes: North Sea Region, Urbact and Mediterranean Powered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Presented by Shahidha Bari. Produced by Max Bower. A Tempo & Talker production.
Oct 4, 2021
The Power of Social Inclusion
Following a flight from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, Bruno Tot, from the Croatian Blind Union, is ready to inspect the work of a project helping blind and visually impaired people to travel independently. Visually impaired himself, Bruno tells us of the challenges involved in travelling Europe today and how the programme is improving accessibility for people like him. Meanwhile in Lebanon, amidst one of the worst crises in the country’s history, Interreg is funding work developing a drastically new model of care and inclusion for the nation’s elderly. Psychiatrist and project partner Dr Georges Karam explains how it’s all focused on a subject still very much taboo in Lebanese society - mental health. Participating programmes: Danube and Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme (ENI CBC) Powered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Produced by Max Bower. A Tempo & Talker production.
Sep 29, 2021
Shahidha Bari hears from refugees that have fled violence for the continent and the Interreg funded projects helping them to integrate into their new lives. In the Italian city of Parma, the ‘Wonderful House’ is providing refugees with accommodation, visa application support, language training and other resources to help them become fully fledged citizens of their new home. Pedro Apollos, Wonderful House manager and former refugee, tells us about his incredible story. Meanwhile, in the Limburg region of Belgium and the Netherlands, an innovative project has helped many refugees gain meaningful full-time work and even national citizenship. Syrian refugee Yayha Al Ghazali tells us how it has changed everything, providing him and his family with a new life and hope for the future. Also, we hear from Alex Betts, Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs at the University of Oxford, about the complicated interplay between the political, social and economic aspects of refugees seeking a new home in Europe. Participating programmes: Euregio Meuse-Rhine and Central Europe Powered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Presented by Shahidha Bari. Produced by Max Bower. A Tempo & Talker production.
Sep 22, 2021
Culture in crisis
From the northern Italian city of Bologna, Interreg has funded an innovative pilot programme helping artists build their connections across the continent, finding new work opportunities and broadening their creative community. Musician Guido Manfrini tells us about his work with the project and how the industry has coped with performance venues being shut for over a year. Meanwhile, in the far south western corner of Europe, two Portuguese towns have teamed up with their Spanish neighbour across the Guadiana river to create a “EuroCity”, bringing their events programmes together into a joint cultural agenda across the area. Superstar Portuguese singer Susana Travassos reveals how the project helped her get over the effects of isolation - and why it's so important for the region. On the Croatian-Serbian border, a group of daring musicians managed to play on throughout the pandemic in 2020. Mirko Boch, director of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, tells us how he kept the show on the road, while also bringing communities together who historically have had a difficult relationship. Participating programmes: Mediterranean, España-Portugal (POCTEP) and Croatia-Serbia Powered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Presented by Shahidha Bari. Produced by Max Bower. A Tempo & Talker production.
Sep 1, 2021
Welcome to This is Europe - Season 2
There are 27 countries which make up the European Union, a union whose official motto is, ‘United in Diversity’. But how exactly do you cultivate unity across a region with such a diverse mix of culture, language and heritage? In the second series of This Is Europe, broadcaster Shahidha Bari talks to the Europeans whose lives have been transformed by Interreg - a community that was created in a spirit of knowledge-sharing and collaborative thinking both within the EU and beyond to help create a peaceful and prosperous union. Across the series you’ll hear how the Interreg community works with everyone from refugees to reuse pioneers, musicians to doctors, forging stronger bonds across borders, tackling pressing issues such as food sustainability and green mobility. Join us on our journey across this great continent. This is Europe - an Interreg podcast. Powered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Oct 12, 2020
What now for Europe?
Shahidha Bari convenes a panel of European thinkers for a conversation about the future of cooperation on the continent. Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist and the author of ‘A Short History of Europe: From Pericles to Putin’. Birte Wassenberg is Professor in Contemporary History at the University of Strasbourg. Reinier Zweers works with Interreg as Coordinator of European Cooperation in the Gelderland province. Together, they tackle the big questions facing Europe – from populist politics to the climate crisis – and ask how the continent might survive and thrive now and after the global pandemic. Recorded remotely, across three different countries, this episode marks the 18th European Week of Regions and Cities - and dives into the role that Interreg can play at a decisive moment in the history of Europe. Powered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). A Tempo & Talker production.
Jun 25, 2020
The Next Generation of Europeans
For the third edition of This Is Europe, Shahidha Bari journeys to the outer perimeters of the European Union – and beyond – in search of the stories that are shaping the future of life on the continent. In a small village in rural Saxony, proximity to the Czech and Polish borders provides an excellent starting point for the most European of educations. Primary school teacher, Kamil Prisching, brings us along for a border-hopping school day, as his young German pupils travel to their partner school in the Czech Republic, and receive a crash course education on everything from the traditional practice of sheep-rearing to robotics – all in two languages, of course. Meanwhile, on the border of Lithuania and Belarus, an imaginative new outreach project seeks to reclaim the infrastructure of ex-Soviet art schools, and make it available to the most vulnerable children in the region – with staggering results. Dalia Semeska is the artist, critic, and teacher behind a fairytale story of creativity, community, and adventure. Dotted across the far corners of the Northern Periphery, an energetic network of young entrepreneurs are bucking trends of depopulation in their respective rural communities – and finding companionship in each others’ stories. Three of these renegade young business owners come together to revisit the Interreg program that helped them get started. Participating programmes: Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, Programme of Cooperation Free State of Saxony - Czech Republic and Latvia - Lithuania - Belarus Powered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Produced by Frank Lockyer Palmer. A Tempo & Talker production.
May 11, 2020
In the second edition of This is Europe, Shahidha Bari hears from members of the Interreg community who are working together, across borders, to shape the future of the EU, and establish meaningful connections with their European neighbours. A new tram line connects the French city of Strasbourg to Kehl, its German neighbour. Cathy Gebhart-Levy, a mobility planner for Strasbourg, takes us on a ride over the river Rhine, to explore the ways the new tram has strengthened a relationship with a long and complex history. Plus, we hear from the locals on either side of the border who have benefited from the Interreg co-funded initiative, as opportunities for employment, housing, and culture spring up beside the newly created tracks. In some of the harder-to-reach pockets of Europe, opportunities for neighbourly connection require a little bit of imagination. Andrej Medved is the head of Šmarje, a village in rural Slovenia, where he is turning the tide on a familiar story of depopulation with bold and innovative projects that bring the opportunities of Europe directly into the heart of his small community. Shahidha hears about one of those initiatives, the Interreg funded Smart Villages, which gives rural communities access to impressive digital infrastructure, boosting the reach of local businesses. On the coastlines of Europe, communities built around the ancient practice of fishing are adapting to new regulations and environmental targets. As a consequence, it has never been more difficult for small-scale fishing operations to meaningfully profit from their work, but one Interreg initiative is shining a light on a possible path into the future of this cherished industry. We head to a small coastal town in Spain, where one fisherman has identified an opportunity at the intersection of tradition and innovation. Join us for a day out on a trawler, as intrepid tourists gain perspective-altering insight into a world that is all too often unseen. Participating programmes: Interreg Alpine Space, Interreg MED and Interreg Upper Rhine Powered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Presented by Shahidha Bari. Produced by Frank Lockyer Palmer. A Tempo & Talker production.
Mar 16, 2020
A Green Europe
In the first edition of This is Europe, Shahidha Bari hears from members of the Interreg community who are creating a greener Europe. Shahidha hops on her bike to take a tour of Steffen Nozon’s hometown of Rostock in northern Germany. Steffen, an avid cyclist, is a mobility manager transforming his local area into green, car-free ‘living streets’. Meeting local residents on her bike ride, Shahidha also hears from Stefanie Maack, communications officer for Interreg, who explains that Rostock is just one of 10 cities working together to reimagine transport networks in their respective communities. To meet the EU’s 2050 target of carbon neutrality, millions of homes need to be renovated to be greener, smarter and more energy efficient. Thanks to Interreg, small housing associations across the EU are working together to achieve this ambitious goal. To find out more, Shahidha speaks to Rutger Vrielink, manager of strategy and innovation at the Domijn housing association in Enschede, Netherlands. John Drysdale is an arable farmer on the Balgonie estate in Fife, Scotland. As a self-described shooter, forester and conservationist, John has always been interested in biodiversity. Taking us on a tour of his land, John explains what motivates him to work with Interreg and 10 other farms in five countries to encourage the grey partridge to thrive - a bird which is seen as a reliable indicator of biodiversity. Working with John is Fiona Torrance, from the Game and Wildlife Trust, who has developed a novel way to count the partridges - armed with a mobile phone and a bluetooth speaker. Participating programmes: Interreg Baltic Sea Region, and Interreg North-Sea Region Powered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Produced by Frank Lockyer Palmer. A Tempo & Talker production.
Mar 11, 2020
Welcome to This is Europe
There are 27 countries which make up the European Union, a union whose official motto is, ‘United in Diversity’. But how exactly do you cultivate unity across a region with such a diverse mix of culture, language and heritage? In this brand new podcast, broadcaster Shahidha Bari talks to the Europeans whose lives have been transformed by Interreg. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, Interreg was created in a spirit of knowledge-sharing and collaborative thinking both within the EU and beyond to help create a peaceful and prosperous union. Across the series you’ll hear how the Interreg community works with everyone from fisherman to farmers, city planners to entrepreneurs, forging stronger bonds across borders, tackling pressing issues such as climate change and investing in young Europeans. Join us on our journey across this great continent. This is Europe - an Interreg podcast. Coming soon to all platforms. Powered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).