It is a real pleasure to announce that our new platform for the exchange of good practices between national officials involved in the management of EU funds is already bringing concrete results on the ground.
Yesterday's peer 2 peer workshop in Sofia was aimed at strengthening the managerial skills of the Bulgarian participants to successfully implement financial instruments under the European Structural and Investment Funds. Four experts coming from the UK, Germany, Slovenia and Poland shared hands-on experience on setting up and implementing financial instruments in the areas of environment, urban development, support to SMEs and entrepreneurship.
In June, an expert from Slovenia went to Croatia to exchange knowledge with civil servants within the Ministry for Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure on the application of state aid in the transport sector. This is another issue of crucial importance for the sound management of the European Structural and Investment Funds.
Those two events show that the REGIO PEER 2 PEER Platform represents a real added value of working together in the EU. The initiative helps to identify common problems and share common solutions.
I am pleased to announce that two other study visits will soon take place: one in Croatia and another in the Lubelskie Region of Poland, respectively on the management of transport projects and financial instruments. The French Region Ile de France will also welcome experts experienced in setting up financial instruments in the field of energy efficiency, renovation and support to SMEs. An expert mission on public procurement is currently being organised in close cooperation with the Slovak Government.
I warmly congratulate the participants in those first exchanges and I look very much forward to the results of the next events. I am convinced that PEER 2 PEER will continue to help public administrations to deliver our policy through top-quality management at all stages.