The usual question that an association like the Union of Cyprus Municipalities (UCM) or the Assembly of European Regions (AER) receives from its members concerning town twinning is: “I have this project idea. Can I finance it through town twinning and how?”
Pro-I3T will aim to reply to that question in a structured and detailed way, with up-to-date information, written in a simple way that can be easily understood by every municipal or regional officer or even simple citizens. Pro-I3T consists of two main components:
1. The production of 15 comprehensive thematic guides. In addition to these guides, the already existing “Guide to EU funding” will be updated and translated in English. This comprehensive brochure has proven to be extremely useful for Cypriot local authorities, and its translation into English will give all European local authorities the possibility to use it. All information guides will be in a form of a CD Rom. This will permit to small local authorities that do not have access to IT, to get access to the information material. The guides will also be uploaded on a website in order to make them available to the totality of local and regional authorities in the EU and beyond.
2. The organising of two training sessions (one in Cyprus and one in Brussels) which will aim to teach local and regional practitioners how to use the provided information material (CD-Roms, websites etc) and therefore how to improve the quality and the implementation procedures of their activities. The first training session will take place in September 2012 in Cyprus and it will take the form of an AER “training academy”. This training method has been repeatedly implemented by the AER, a fact that guarantees the quality of the event. The second one will take place in October 2012 in Brussels, in the premises of the Committee of the Regions of the EU. This event will be open for participation to all European local and regional authorities and civil society stakeholders, not only members of the UCM and the AER.
In both sessions (Nicosia and Brussels), participants will have the possibility to share their experiences in working with European programmes and the Europe for Citizens programme and will explore the possibilities for twinnings among their members and with Municipalities from the rest of the EU. They will also be trained upon the use of the information tools of Pro-I3T as well as online partner search tools and the application procedures for the Europe for Citizens programme. Finally, they will have the possibility to discuss on the advantages and realities of multilevel-governance, the need for regional and local planning of actions, and of course on the EU itself.