1 March 2023
Celebrating 25 years of the Programme!
Written by Anna Gałyga
All roads lead to Interreg
All in all, 130 people worked in the Secretariat over the past 25 years. At the very beginning, there was a small team of five people who launched ‘the Interreg II C for the Baltic Sea Region’ from the Rostock office. Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland were the first Programme countries. The Rostock office was opened in February 1998 to work hand in hand with the office in Karlskrona, Sweden.
Those who remember the times recall building the Programme from scratch and the lack of technical equipment that we take for granted today. The pioneers emphasise the enthusiasm and the fantastic projects we co-financed. They also highlight a big moment for the Programme when it welcomed new EU Member States: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Interestingly enough, many of those former colleagues kept their connection to Interreg in this way or another. But, as they say: ‘Once Interreg, always Interreg…’
A lot has happened since then: evolving concepts for the Programme, new EU Member States and non-EU states, new office in Riga, changing names and visual identity, changing thematic priorities and technical setup for projects… What has not changed is that the Programme keeps connecting organisations from around the Baltic Sea so they could work together as if there were no borders.
Time to celebrate cooperation!
We start the celebration time of 25 years of the Programme now! We would like to thank those who have shaped and implemented the Programme over the years: former and present members of the Monitoring Committee as well as the staff of the Secretariat. We would like to thank those who helped our Programme gain political recognition for bringing European cohesion in the Baltic Sea region forward. Last but not least, we would like to say a big thanks to our project partners for all these years: you are the heart of the Programme; you prove the value of European cooperation on the ground!
We are proud and happy to have such a wonderful Interreg community: we have done great things together, and we will keep doing great things together, for our beloved Baltic Sea region!
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