My experience at the Danube Transnational Programme started in May 2019. When I received the news I have been taken for the traineeship, I was really happy, not only because I love Budapest, but also because the internship was combining three main issues, which were the main driver behind my application:
- The work in communication: a field I always wanted to explore and which could give me the chance of learning also a lot of IT expertise.
- The development projects financed in the EU framework; this gave me the chance of understanding the dynamics of the EU Transnational Cooperation and project financing.
- The area. The Danube region always covered a special role in my interests and thanks to this organisation I could keep working on relevant topics related to region.
This is a perfect combination for working in a dynamic and structured organization deployed on the field, dealing directly with locally based projects. Furthermore, after working for five months here, I can affirm that all my expectations have been fulfilled and I learned even more than expected.
The Programme, beyond its transnationality, is involving not just EU member states, but states which are part of the EU Enlargement Strategy and also of the Eastern Partnership. In this way, the EU performs a non-hierarchical way of bringing development, facilitating the knowledge sharing, and the ideas exchange.
I also attended one of the DTP trainings related to the 2nd PAC Call for Proposals, held here in Budapest. During the seminar, I could deepen my knowledge on how the calls for proposals work: what the Subsidy contracts entails, how to manage the financial planning and the intervention logic required for presenting a good project.
On the other side, I asked my colleagues who deal with project proposals to train me on how to rank and evaluate the ones they received for the 3rd Call. It has been really interesting to see the procedures and the different steps of the call, as far as to participate in the debate on the proposals.
At the very end of my traineeship, one of our projects, CityWalk, received a visit from the European Commission RoadTrip project, involving four young travelers crossing Europe and visiting transnational projects. I went to Nyíregyháza (Hungary), where I had a firsthand experience on the project results and achievements meeting both the CityWalk founding fathers (miklos and Bela) and the RoadTrip backpackers. We walkshopped around the city discovering the installations (smart benches with plugs for bikes and smartphones, solar panels, modern pedestrian crossing) and then we discussed new ideas for improving the walkability and the safety of the city. Miklos and Bela also organized a folkloristic event for the evening where we experienced typical Hungarian music and dance. Through this mission, I understood how much European transnational cooperation in general and the DTP in particular, are doing for sustainable development and for shortening the gaps from region to region.