Closing session of the seminar on European funding for local governments

Some thirty experts and 200 students took part in the programme over the course of three months

Around 200 people working at town and city councils, county councils, provincial councils and other local authorities have spent three months learning about European funds and funding programmes to ensure they are all set for the new generation of European funds 2021-2027. They did so at the Seminar on European funds: tools and funding opportunities for local entities, arranged by DIPLOCAT and the two municipal organisations which are members of the consortium, the Catalan Association of Municipalities (ACM) and the Federation of Municipalities of Catalonia (FMC), with the support of the Catalan Government's Ministry of Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency.

The closing session was attended by Eli Nebreda, Secretary for Foreign Action and the EU; Susanna Mérida, Deputy Secretary General of the FMC; Joana Ortega, Secretary General of the ACM; and Laura Foraster, Secretary General of DIPLOCAT. They all agreed that registration and attendance on the programme had been a resounding success.

Laura Foraster pointed out that DIPLOCAT has three main work strands - connecting, planning and training - and that the seminar is a prime example of the consortium's capacity-building role. The seminar has enabled local entity staff to enhance their knowledge and increase the chances of successfully unlocking European funding opportunities.

The seminar helped to deepen understanding of the European dimension and was attended by more than thirty experts, including officials from the European Commission, university lecturers, Catalan government specialists tasked with handling European funds, officers from the Catalan Government delegation in Brussels and specialists from local councils which have secured European funding. They provided an overview of the range of funds and the specific tools and instruments which Europe makes available to local authorities.

A key factor in the seminar's success was the outstanding cooperation between the organisers, the ACM, the FMC and DIPLOCAT, closely supported by the European Funds Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency.

The last session included a practical workshop in which the students were able to put into practice the theoretical concepts they had learned over the previous few months.