On 24-25 April, Interreg Europe project partners met in Sofia, Bulgaria to exchange experience about the implementation and progress of projects. 

The Experience Fair, organised by the Joint Secretariat, aimed to share tips, tools and tricks among projects to inspire those involved with new projects, or projects at earlier stages of implementation. 

The most inspirational BID-REX experience shared during the event was how the Basque Government is engaging with its local stakeholders. They took advantage of the "White paper on participatory democracy", approved in 2014, to guarantee the long-term continuation of the Basque stakeholders group. This whitepaper foresaw a stakeholders group to discuss environmental issues and policies. The BID-REX project provided the perfect framework to create this group which is now focusing on BID-REX, but will continue after the project to discuss other issues related to the Basque environment and natural heritage. This ensures that the Basque stakeholders are heavily involved during the first two phases of the project and the implementation of the Action Plan.

Lorenzo Federiconi from the Marche Region and Núria Pou from the Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia represented BID-REX at the event, and to get inspiration from projects that have recently finished their Action Plans, or are working on them. They also shared their own experiences of implementing BID-REX during sessions on stakeholder engagement, project management and template use. 

This event was also a good opportunity to meet people from the Joint Secretariat and to learn more about, and find synergies with, Policy Learning Platforms. 

We are looking forward to hearing more about the next platform event on environmental issues in the autumn. 

More information about the event is available here