Before we get too deep into 2019, it is worth stopping for a moment to look back and take stock of what happened last year.

For us, 2018 goes down in the books as a year of 'firsts'. How? Let us illustrate with 5 points.

First action plans

The first action plans of our projects have been prepared. And there are 133 of them, to be precise. This is a very tangible outcome from the exchange of experiences and interregional policy learning between partners in projects, and a promising step towards further implementation of new actions. See for instance how the action plan of Sibiu County Tourism Association from CHRISTA project looks, or have a look at how Fundao’s action plan is building on lessons learned from OSIRIS project.

And if you are still working on your action plan and need more inspiration, check our tips for action plans and join our webinar on 24 January.

First pilot actions

Indeed, on the list of 'firsts', we are also happy to have the first pilot actions approved. No less than 13 pilot actions have already been approved. For example, CISMOB is promoting real-time information systems on public transport and developing a prototype of a bus tracking system which will be tested in Centro Region in Portugal. The panels will be installed in early 2019 and preparatory works are already well on their way – see the latest updates here.

These will surely be followed by others in 2019 and beyond, but so far 13 sounds like a lucky number!

First results reported by the projects

Going from plans and pilots to even more concrete results, 2018 marks also the first results reported by our projects. And quite an impressive start, even if we say so ourselves: 58 policy changes achieved (out of which 42 are related to Structural Funds). Let’s see how far we get by the end of this year!

First peer review

The Policy Learning Platform carried out the first peer review. This first pilot Peer Review was carried out in October, hosted by Hauts-de-France on energy efficiency in social housing and public buildings. Have a look at this article and video for more information. We also ran the first peer review call, which brought in 13 applications (as said above, a lucky number!). The results will be announced very, very soon.

First above 80% eligibility rate

We had our fourth call for project proposals in 2018. After hundreds of project applications over the years, some might think that by now we have seen it all. Quite the opposite; there is one very pleasant 'first' in this category as well. For the first time, more than 80% of applications are eligible to a call - our highest rate ever! While we are still working hard to finalise the assessment, from a set like this, we can only look forward to an exciting new batch of projects to be launched later this year.

This list is going to be difficult to top, but we are already eagerly looking forward to seeing what kind of novelties 2019 holds. Join our community and subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest developments and let's make 2019 yet another year to remember!