Stories of collaboration and cooperation from across the European Union, brought to you by the Interreg community.
The Drive for Green Mobility
24:58In the German city of Bremen, the local government has worked with an Interreg project encouraging locals to ditch their own cars for simply hiring one when they need it. Counting over 20,000 users so far, project coordinator Rebecca Karbaumer tells us how the scheme has managed to remove over 6,000 privately owned cars from the city’s streets, lowering its carbon footprint while improving locals’ quality of life.Meanwhile, in the Austrian town of Graz, local Mayor Jakob Frey has been encouraging his citizens to go car free for years. He explains how, thanks to a recent Interreg project, his efforts have now gone further, building ‘multimodal mobility hubs’ for residents where they can bike, bus or car-share wherever they need to go.Also, we hear from Philipp Rode, Executive Director of LSE Cities, about what city mayors, town planners and urban citizens need to do to bring our cities into the 21st century as hubs of high quality, sustainable living.Participating programmes: North Sea Region and Central EuropePowered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Produced by Max Bower. A Tempo & Talker production.
Recycling is Silver, Reuse is Gold
26:39Across the sparse landscapes of the far north of Europe, scientists have collaborated with master beer brewer Mattias Bergström to show how much can be done with waste wheat leftover from the beer making process. Mattias tells us how important the support of Interreg is in getting this ‘circular’ economy up and running in Europe, and of the commercial opportunities it could eventually present across the continent.Meanwhile in Austria, an industrious network of Reuse advocates have come together to create ‘Smart Parks’ offering upcycling masterclasses, repair cafes and reuse collection points. Johannes Münsch, upcycling expert and project manager, explains the role reuse can play in helping the continent achieve Zero Waste.Also, we hear from Kate Raworth, author of the bestselling book Doughnut Economics, on why economies need to be reinvented for the 21st century and how governments can go about it.Participating programmes: Central Europe and Northern Periphery and Arctic ProgrammePowered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Produced by Max Bower. A Tempo & Talker production.
The Power of Social Inclusion
23:28Following 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.
Feeding Our Future Generations
25:42In 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 MediterraneanPowered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Presented by Shahidha Bari. Produced by Max Bower. A Tempo & Talker production.
26:49Shahidha 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 EuropePowered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Presented by Shahidha Bari. Produced by Max Bower. A Tempo & Talker production.
Culture in crisis
30:16From 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.
Welcome to This is Europe - Season 2
2:10There 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).
What now for Europe?
44:23Shahidha 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.
The Next Generation of Europeans
44:59For 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 - BelarusPowered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Produced by Frank Lockyer Palmer. A Tempo & Talker production.
37:42In 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 RhinePowered by Interact. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Presented by Shahidha Bari. Produced by Frank Lockyer Palmer. A Tempo & Talker production.