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Newsletters > December 2011 > Summary of Final Report on PEOPLE Project
16/12/11
The INTERREG IVC co-funded PEOPLE project aimed to explore opportunities for new forms of employment and for improving well-being and cohesion in the context of demographic and societal changes in Europe.

Seven European regions cooperated under the following six sub-objectives: Reconciliation of work and private life, E-healthand Independence, Silver economy, Social and e-inclusion, Social entrepreneurship, and Civil society empowerment. In the framework of these 6 sub-objectives, seven sub-projects were funded under the PEOPLE project, generating an added value not only at partner level but also at European level. In other words, PEOPLE Sub-projects (DIVERSIA, TCares, Silver Academy, HOME04, ShareIT, CIBUS5 and PEPA) strived for EU-wide relevance and contributed to the enrichment of the general and specific objectives of the PEOPLE project.
 
In the last three years, the seven PEOPLE partners (Andalusia, South East England, Stockholm Region, Province of Noord-Brabant, Malopolska Region, Venice Region and Timis County Council), experts and other stakeholders shared experiences to propose solutions in order to preserve the European social model, which is changing in view of the demographic and economic challenge faced by Europe. This process of exchange, discussion, debate and learning was realised through a wide range of activities: international conferences, study visits, sub-projects and the selection of best practices.

Throughout the project, six International Conferences were organized, each focusing on a specific PEOPLE Sub-objective. These conferences gathered the best international experts and national and regional stakeholders. The conferences have been a successful way to connect public officials, stakeholders, experts and policy makers with each other, and also served as a forum for European regions to cooperate and learn from each other about the project activities and outcomes.

In addition to the International Conferences, seven Study visits were organized (one in each participating region). During these Study Visits, the Best Practices of the corresponding regions were visited to comprehend an exchange of experiences between the hosting region and the participants. These Study Visits were a type of field trip with an informal feel to it. So apart from exchanging experiences, it was also a day full of exchange of information and catching up between the participants.

In line with the aims of INTERREG IVC, PEOPLE focused on the identification, analysis and dissemination of best practices in order to improve the effectiveness of regional and local policies. The core element in interregional cooperation is the exchange of experiences at policy level. TwentyBest Practices[1] taking place in the seven regions of the PEOPLE Partnership were selected across the PEOPLE networkas representing innovative experiences toaddress some of the consequence of the demographic changes in Europe.

As the PEOPLE Project aimed to explore solutions to social issues in an innovative manner, a communication plan was set up. Its main objective was the use of new and traditional means to disseminate the activities, sub-projects and findings of PEOPLE in order to engage and reach policy makers and experts in the regions and EU to disseminate the recommendations and best practices produced by the project, thereby catalysing region exchange through exchange of best practices through influencing regional policy. This dissemination was realised through a broad information system involving the project's website (http://www.peopleproject.eu/) as the core of the PEOPLE network; the PEOPLE Wiki (www.peopleprogramme.wikispaces.net/) as a reference library housing documents and reports on the six themes; PEOPLE policy forum (peopepolicyforum.ning.com) bringing together project partners, experts and other stakeholders from PEOPLE regions; PEOPLE´s You Tube channel (www.youtube.com/peopleprogramme) representing the adaptability of the project to harness available tools to exchange material and ideas; PEOPLE Twitter account (http://twitter.com/#!/people_eu) proven to be an excellent device to provoke comment and real time thoughts on discussions and speakers at the conferences and the periodically elaborated and disseminated PEOPLE Newsletters.

The main result of 3 years of collaboration in the framework of PEOPLE Project -in which many experts, policy makers and stakeholders were involved- is a set of 16 top policy recommendations, presented on November 10th during the Final Conference in Brussels. In general, the policy recommendations will be used in the long-term process of change, raising awareness and agenda setting at all levels. They will feed the internal and public debates and of course might be an inspiration for new partnerships at European level.



[1] In the context of the INTERREG IVC, a good practice is defined as an initiative (e.g. methodologies, projects, processes and techniques) undertaken in one of the programme's thematic priorities which has already proved successful and which has the potential to be transferred to a different geographic area. Proved successful is where the good practice has already provided tangible and measurable results in achieving a specific objective.