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08.12.06
Unique Partnership showcased to Europe

Barbara Piotrowska of DG Regio and Mark Yeoman, Deputy Director of the Objective One Partnership OfficeEuropean investment successes in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been highlighted to more than 100 communications experts from all over Europe.

The delegates, from every European Union member state – apart from Denmark and Ireland – as well as Romania and Bulgaria, enjoyed the presentation at a communications conference that took place in Brussels on Tuesday (December 5th).

The SFIT (Structural Funds Information Team) conference was attended for the first time by Graham Meadows, Director General of the Directorate General Regional Policy. Mr Meadows himself acknowledged the importance and challenges of communication in explaining the EU's aims.

The conference, organised by DG Regio, comes at a time when the European Commission (EC) is strengthening communications regulations. SFIT members are searching for good examples from all member states to plan communications plans for Convergence and other structural funds.

Mark Yeoman, Deputy Director of the Objective One Partnership, explained the Partnership's uniqueness and successes in communication during the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Objective One Programme. His presentation was one of three delivered featuring 'best practice' in structural funds communication. Apart from Partnership achievements it also contained details of how partners in this region have worked together and how receptive regional media has been to Objective One stories.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, explained: "Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is becoming well known throughout the EU for its project successes and partnership working. This presentation is one of several we have been invited to by representatives of various member states in 2006.

"Projects including the Combined Universities in Cornwall and actnow are acknowledged by the EC as leaders in the field of economic regeneration. We are keen to share the benefits of these projects and Mark also took this opportunity to emphasise the benefits of communication between partners, projects and the media."

Mr Yeoman added: "The European Commission (EC) is placing a stronger emphasis on communicating structural funds and the Partnership Office is keen to share its own methods as well as keep up with changing regulations. As Convergence programmes are about to begin across Europe, EU members see many areas of success and best practice in this region."

The conference was also attended by members of the South West UK Brussels Office. It included a survey about media coverage of structural funds and a run down, from Barbara Piotrowska, of DG Regio (Directorate General Regional Policy), on some of the upcoming changes in EC communications. The Partnership team has now been invited to participate in future EC think tanks.

The current informal network, the Structural Funds Information Team (SFIT), was set up in 2002. After four years of activities it comprises almost 100 members who have met eight times. The following concrete outcomes can be mentioned: The Practical Guide to Communication on the Structural Funds 2000-2006 developed jointly by the Information and Communication Unit DG REGIO and the network, a large part of which will be still used in the next period; informal consultations for the Commission implementing regulation for 2007-2013 period; collection of over 160 different information tools on the dedicated Inforegio website - www.ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/index_en.htm.

For further information please contact Clare Morgan, Media Relations Manager for the Objective One Partnership on 01872 223439 or email cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

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Editor's notes:

 

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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