The JASPERS Networking Platform annual meeting was held in Brussels on May 20th 2014.
The meeting was attended by 80 participants from Member States' authorities, representatives of the European Commission and JASPERS partners.
The JASPERS Networking Platform was created to complement JASPERS project advisory operations by implementing knowledge sharing and targeted capacity building activities, as well as fostering dissemination of good practices and exchange of experiences among JASPERS Stakeholders.
Participation to the activities of the Networking Platform is open to JASPERS partners and relevant public authorities from all EU member states and pre-accession countries.
The annual meeting brought together representatives from EU institutions, JASPERS partners and EU Members States and provided the opportunity to network and discuss past activities, lessons learned and topics of general interest for the programming period 2014-2020.
The meeting was opened by Mr. Rudolf Niessler, Director for Policy in the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission, by Mr. Eckart Tronnier, Head of Division in JASPERS and by Mr. Alexander Auboeck, Executive Counsellor for Policy at the EBRD and member of the JASPERS Steering Committee.
Mr. Niessler emphasised in its opening the important role of the JASPERS Networking Platform in leveraging the impact of JASPERS by making the considerable body of knowledge and experience built over the last seven years more widely available and in a more structured way. He praised the activities successfully performed in the first year of operations and the high quality of its deliverables, stressing that the European Commission supports the expansion of its scope and outreach during the 2014-2020 financial perspective.
He concluded by encouraging all member states, including those that have not yet benefited from JASPERS support, to take advantage of the possibility to actively participate in future Networking Platform activities.
Mr. Tronnier welcomed the participants on behalf of the Head of JASPERS, Mr. Auria, who could not attend the meeting, and recalled that JASPERS is a knowledge-driven initiative, building on the know-how of its experts and on substantial experience acquired across 17 countries in hundreds of successful operations.
He remarked once again that the Networking Platform is now open to authorities in all EU member states and pre-accession countries, and it will continue as an important function for JASPERS, as knowledge sharing and capacity building are an essential complement to its project advisory operations.
He concluded by thanking Mr. Massimo Marra, JASPERS senior officer responsible for the Networking Platform, for ensuring a smooth start-up and successfully implement the first year of activities.
Mr. Auboeck reiterated EBRD's support for the activities of the JASPERS Networking Platform, highlighting its importance in providing know-how and support also for the preparation of small scale investment projects, and praising the fact that its operations are open to authorities in pre-accession countries.
The meeting was the occasion to present the 2014 programme for knowledge sharing and capacity building activities as well as launching a new dedicated web portal, which will allow for further collaborative and interactive features, an enhanced knowledge repository and a dedicated members’ area accessible only to registered users.
The Networking Platform 2013 Annual Report was also made available.
The afternoon focused around three thematic sessions, addressing lessons learned and topics of general interest that will be dealt with during 2014 JASPERS Networking Platform activities:
- Climate change adaptation and risk management;
- State aid modernisation and its implications for the 2014-2020 programming period;
- Fulfilment of ex-ante conditionalities in transport.
Each session was followed by an exchange of practical experience among participants, including questions and answers.