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Stakeholder groups

What is a stakeholder group?

It is a group of all relevant organisations that play a role in the design and implementation of the policy addressed by the project in a given region.

Policy-making process is complex and involves a variety of organisations beyond the one responsible for the policy. The chance of achieving a policy improvement can increase if all these organisations get involved in the interregional learning process.

So, project partners should create a stakeholder group in their region with all the relevant organisations involved. Some of them may be implementing later on certain measures of the action plan.

From the start of the cooperation - already at the application stage - the partners have to describe who they envisage to be involved in these groups. Examples of how to select and involve stakeholders are provided in the programme manual, section 4.4.1 on partnership composition.

Should the stakeholder group be constituted per policy instrument or per region?

One stakeholder group should be set up for each policy instrument addressed.

How to select the right stakeholders to involve?

You should look for the organisations involved in the policy-making process in your region for the specific topic tackled by your project. Just as an example, these could be chambers of commerce, universities, development agencies, energy agencies, SMEs and so on. Only the name of the organisations (and not names of persons) should be listed in the application form.

How many members shall I have in the stakeholder group?

There is no recommendation regarding the number of members in a stakeholder group. It depends on the topic considered, on the local context and on the involvement strategy of this group.

To get inspiration on setting up a stakeholder group, projects can refer to a toolkit prepared by the URBACT programme which is potentially of relevance and interest to Interreg Europe projects (especially the part related to how to engage and to work with local stakeholders).

Shall the body responsible for a policy instrument be involved in a stakeholder group if it is not a partner in the project?

Yes, this is required by the programme. If the policy responsible body for the policy instrument addressed is not a project partner, that body has to be listed as a member of the stakeholder group in the application form.

Can I involve people from outside my region in my stakeholder group?

Since this group is related to a policy instrument, it should include bodies that have a role to play in shaping, managing and/ or implementing the policy instrument addressed. In principle, these bodies are therefore from the region concerned by this policy instrument.

In case bodies from outside the region are involved, their participation and role in the policy making process should be clearly justified in the application form.

Should stakeholders provide a written commitment of participation?

There is no requirement regarding how project partners have to work with their stakeholder groups. It is up to each project to decide on how to collaborate with stakeholders.

To get inspiration, projects can refer to a toolkit prepared by the URBACT programme and which is potentially of relevance and interest to Interreg Europe projects (especially the part related to how to engage and to work with local stakeholders).

Should stakeholders participate in interregional meetings?

It is possible for stakeholders to take part in interregional meetings. However, learning at the interregional level should primarily take place among project partners.

Considering that members of the stakeholder groups are not paid for the time they spend on the project and also for practical reasons (e.g. language issues), projects should pay close attention to the overall number of participants at interregional meetings to ensure that an effective meeting can still take place.

Do members of the stakeholder groups in each region receive funds?

Stakeholder group members do not receive direct ERDF funding. But their travel and accommodation costs can be taken over by the project partners.

Is it possible to pay the stakeholder group members for their time?

Only the people employed by the project partner institutions listed in the application form can claim their time.

But the travel and accommodation costs of the stakeholder group members are eligible as long as they are paid by the project partners.