All of these sound way too official and formal… Don’t they? There is a 7 year budget plan, billions of Euros behind it, people in suits discussing and deciding for new stuff all the time, official journal of the EU, etc…
However, every now and then when I witness European cooperation in practice I think that maybe they are those to thank to… ‘Cause all the options are there, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be involved in any of these.
So, here’s the story: After the first time we wrote and submitted a project for the then Youth in Action programme, it was my natural reaction and without too much thinking I wrote to all partners, thanking for their flawless cooperation, that regardless of the results, I felt like the project has already started. And it was true, everything that we wrote about in the application form was already there, exchange of ideas, mutual support, planning and planning of what we were going to do… The proposal was announced a Runner up and never took place. (So far…) Then I cooled down and realized that there is so much more stuff necessary to happen for doing a project together, most of all to be among the best!
Now, almost two years have gone, and I again feel the need to share that what is a real cooperation and probably has a sustainable impact is truly the intense period before the deadline. A great deal of communication: e-mails exchange, hopes, efforts to persuade, planning, sharing, reviewing, editing, again planning… All of the above mostly happen together. Not together at the same time, but together with the others, with your partners and potential partners.
For this 1 Oct deadline I was coordinating the Networks of three separate projects, and I couldn’t help but shout: “This is what I call European cooperation!” A lot of communication, a lot of new names, a lot of exchange… A hope that this is all going somewhere, that all of the projects are going to be approved and will pace the ground for a peaceful co-existence… And yet, this is the real prospect, when there is no benefit thus far, when you are only hoping and trying to be as good as you can!
Impressive and inspiring, I am looking forward not to the announcement of results, but to the next deadline!