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MAXIMIZING COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGES OF THE BORDER REGIONS

Priority axis: Economic and Social Development - Economic development and social cohesion by joint identification and enhancement of the area’s comparative advantages.

Key area of intervention: Support for cross-border business cooperation and promotion of a regional image and identity

Indicative operation: Promotion of co-operation between universities research institutes and businesses in the field of R&D and innovation

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JUSTIFYING THE NECESSITY OF IMPLEMENTING THE PROJECT

According to the SWOT analysis of the Romania-Bulgaria Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013, the demographic indicators raise challenges for the long- term sustainability of both border regions with development tendencies influenced by peripheral localized economies, agricultural based economy, hardly existing labor supply, and the quality of life as a whole.
The same analysis points out the inexistence of the Research and Development Academic Centers (the only exception in Giurgiu) hosted by Universities and that may contribute to the exchange of know- how, cultural links and boost innovation for economic development; to quote, “the Region [the cross border one]has not got sufficient capacity to cover the gaps in the regional innovation system, hence, it is a great need to set up new centers for innovation and applied research” (Revised version of the Romania- Bulgaria CBC programme pp.37). As a consequence and cause at the same time, the limited academic collaboration in the border regions has limited the capacity of the regions to generate innovation and quality of labor force.
Moreover, as a consequence the structural deficit in terms of human capital in the local communities has had so far negative side effects on the efforts made by both regions administrations to capitalize on the benefits of the European Union Integration. In effect, critical issues such as good governance, sustainable development, funds absorption, EU cooperation, social inclusion, equal opportunities have been blatantly kept aside from daily institutional preoccupation.
In direct relation, all that has been impacted on the local administration and other local stakeholders have been mostly overloaded with daily administration hardly able to develop a public agenda, a localized trans-sectorial and multi-stakeholder strategy to capitalize on the border regions opportunities.
In the context of the EU goals to develop a knowledge based economy throughout the whole territories of the Community, the current project aims to prompt efforst for the continous re-adaptation and creation of tailor made academic programmes to meet the labor market needs, and the cross-border innovation capacity to drive the new economies of scale and facilitate the creation of the cross border branding.
The current partnership has the necessary institutional capacity and is meant to bring on the academic agenda the cross border collaboration on R & D. moreover, the achievements of the project are having a long-lasting impact from its final results. more →

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

GENERAL OBJECTIVE: Promotion of co-operation between universities research institutes and businesses in the field of R&D and innovation.
The overall action of the project is in line with the programme objectives as it aims.
All specific objectives of the project look at boosting the collaboration and join planning and development in R & D in between the two Universities from the border regions. It creates also synergies across sectors and it builds on the culture of learning the partnership, both locally and cross border. Basically, the whole research and capacity building activities of the project hit at exploring comparative advantages of both regions and plan accordingly strategic.
PURPOSE: First objective: to increase the R & D organizational capacity of both Universities .
By setting up the Centers for Cross Border Studies, designing Manuals for the Capacity Building programme, assembling the Scientific Group for cross border planning and development, designing the strategic and operationl planning for R & D, and the institutional partnership as a basis for academic collaboration on R & D, the current project builds the overall R& D capacity of both Universities to substantially embark on reforms, policy formulation and development programmes that are expected to prompt the EU integration efforts both of Veliko Turnovo and Dolj and of the Community as a whole. more →

TARGET GROUPS AND BENEFICIARIES

1. University staff
The staff from both Universities is to be the key group to ensure the quality and the continuation of the current project.
Even though no action is targeting directly the staff, the whole process in the project creates bonds and linkages amongst the staffers that is expected to provide momentum and sustainability for the R& D cross border strategy.
2. Public servants
As the public sector is by far the main actor involved in the process of European Integration, and on the other hand expected to promote cross border collaboration and back up to other community initiatives, it is very important that public servants on both sides are taking part in the capacity building programme- Training Modules.
3. School managers
As schools are one of the main actor in providing social cohesion and community bondage it is important to involve schools managers as building them to act as change agents by means of educational process.
4. Private companies’ managers
As there is a big economic potential that can be capitalized from both sides, attracting the private companies mangers in actions that aim at prompting cross border collaboration and the European Integration process is highly relevant.
5. NGOs leaders
Recognized as social innovators, and active in great numbers on both regions, the project aims to attract the NGOs in the cross border collaboration efforts
6. Rroma representatives
As they are the biggest minority in both border regions it is part of the commitments and policies on both countries and also of both Universities to ensure equal access to participation for minorities. Part from that, they are both victims and perpetrators of the European integration process- here, a special attention has to be given to less opportunity groups.
7. Women
It is part of the whole project rationale (regarding also the team) to promote the participation of women in any kind of form of entrepreneurship and social development. Moreover, the project complies with the requirements of the CBC programme that demands special treatment for women participation. more →

ACTIVITIES IN THE PROJECT

1. Project preparation
2. Kick off working meeting: The objectives of the activity are to establish the Project Joint Steering Committee (PJSC), settle down project technicalities, finances management, deadlines, and monitoring and evaluation methodology;
3. Scientific working meeting: All project experts will be working on defining the research methodology for tracking evolving side effects on UE integration and set up the reaserch areas teams;
4. Cross Border Research: The current activity aims at exploring, describing and predicting factors, processes and circumstantialities that may affect the cross border communities on the convergence objective roadmap that they are part of.
5. Setting up the appropriate infrastructure for R & D- Logistics for both sides are to be procured and the task forces for both Centers are to be assembled.
6. Scientific working meeting: All experts involved in the study will be meeting for discussing and analyzing the data collected.
7. Reaching out: An open call will be launched in October to select 40 participants for the Training Modules
8. European Conference: "The Impact of the EU Integration on Border Regions". The aim is to make publicly the findings of the Studies. more →

Activity 1 - Project preparation During this activity both partners have established responsibilities and have made steps to fulfill all the contractual obligations so that the contract can be signed.

Activity 2 - Kick off working meeting (7th of February – 9th of February 2011) (see photos)

The objectives of the activity was to establish the Project Joint Steering Committee (PJSC), settle down project technicalities, finances management, deadlines, and monitoring and evaluation methodology and reconfirm roles and responsibilities. The activity took place in Craiova, Romania. At this meeting participated all team members (both in charge with management and research).

Day 1- 7th, February Participants arrived at 12.00 PM in Craiova and checked in at the hotel. After having a quick lunch till 02.30 PM, the Bulgarian and Romanian members of the delegations made acquaintance and organized a session on settling issues regarding the activities agenda for the meeting. The two teams picked up on upcoming responsibilities and formed specific micro working groups accordingly. The closing session of the day focused on briefings provided by the management team, relating to administrative details. The wellcoming dinner was at 07.00PM and after the dinner, the delegations had a free evening.

Day 2- 8th, February The delegation met at the University at 09.30 AM where the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences together with the Prorector of the University of Craiova and the Dean of the University St. Cyril & St. Methodius of Veliko Tarnovo had a wellcoming speech. After that, the working meeting began by introducing the programme for the meetings. The management team, especially Florin Pasatoiu, the project manger, presented the project rationale focusing on fears and expectations of the collaboration(see ppt presentation- Project rationale). Both teams assumed the responsibility of going over the calendar activities for further discussion and in view of setting deadlines for the activities. To this end, all the members of the teams were provided with a comprehensive set of documents on the project. After lunch, the guests were invited at the Day of the Faculty of Social Sciences by the Dean. On this occasion, the Bulgarian team was introduced to the head of the University of Craiova (the Rector and the Prorectors), the Vicedeans of the Faculty, the heads of Departments and the professors. Several propositions regarding the expansion of partnership relations between the two Universities for potential future projects. This event benefited from media coverage; the project “Maximizing Comparative Advantages in Cross Border Regions” was therefore presented as being part of a wider programe of interinstitution cooperation. The guests enjoyed an intercultural environment with Romanian and Bulgarian music. Lunch was followed by a second visit to the University where the bulgarian team was presented the technical and material resources of the University of Craiova. After the dinner the Bulgarian group was shown the downtown area of Craiova.

Day 3- 9th, February At 09.30 AM the first session of the day began with the following presentations made by the project management teams: the aim and objectives (ppt presentation- aim and objective) and action planning (ppt presentation- action planning). The financial details and project technicalities were also discussed. The teams made a table with the activities’ deadlines. Each team set up a list of fears and expectations regarding the implementation of project activities which were there discussed in a plenary session (see: One working document from the Romanian part, One working document from the Bulgarian part). As a result, a common list was drafted including several propositions for risk prevention and correction. (see: The merged document) During the meeting it was established the Project Joint Steering Committee (PJSC). As part of the meeting, activities in relation to mass media (writing and distributing press releases, holding press conferences, sending articles to the media channels to be delivered to the general public, holding interviews about the project on TV or radio etc.) were developed. The responsibility for this activity was shared by all partners. Lunch was served at the hotel. After that, both teams discussed details regarding project administration regarding the financial aspects and methods of reporting. Cristina Pasatoiu made 4 ppt presentation regarding the financial aspects. Dinner was served at a traditional Romanian restaurant.

Activity 3 - Scientific working meeting 1 (10th of February – 13th of February 2011) (see photos) 4 days in Craiova, all project experts worked on defining the research methodology for tracking evolving side effects on EU integration, and set up the research areas teams; particular indicators have been established.

Day 1- 10th, February The fist session of the day focused on monitoring and evaluation methodology. Aspects regarding the European Conference “The Impact of the EU Integration on Border Regions” were established such as: building the organizing committee, conference objectives, target groups, conference agenda, translation of the conference documents, conference website, scientific committee, publication of the articles, conference sessions, open call, deadlines for sending the abstracts and articles, accomodation, keynote speakers, press conference, conference dinner and the publication of the conference volume (see draft agenda- European Conference). Lunch was served at the hotel. The following session reconfirmed roles and responsabilities assumed by the participants which set up the premises for forming the specific research microgroups. Research areas were established such as: good governance - participation of civil society in local governance, local economic development, modernization of public institutions, european policies and institutions, labour market, gender equalit, minority rights. Dinner was served at the hotel.

Day 2- 11th, February The working day began with attending the press conference at the Casa Universitarilor location; the event registered participans from the two Universities, the Media, students, professionals and NGO’s representatives. The Prorector, the Deans of the two Faculties delivered speaches on the perspectives of the project and responded to the press questions. Interviews were arranged for both newspapers and TV stations. The project manager offered the insight on project activities and rationale. Lunch was served at the hotel. We then continued with a round table onto the research concept and methodology regarding each area of expertise. We then went back to the University for a meeting with the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences where we debated research methodology specifics. Dinner was served at the hotel

Day 3- 12th, February The first session of the day was dedicated to establishing research indicators on thematic areas for tracking evolving side effects on EU integration. This concluded the roundtable onto the research concept and methodology. During the plenary session a research action plan was drafted. Lunch was served at the hotel. A plan for the reaching out activity was made.(see Reaching out- draft plan) The experts groups on thematic research revisited the prerequisites for further analysis. Risk assessment sesions followed and several correction strategies were designed. Dinner was served at the hotel.

Day 4- 13th, February The morning session was a recap activity for dealing with remaining questions. Each member of the group expressed her/his point of view regarding the progress so far and the anticipated results. A communication protocol between the two sides was established (an Yahoo group for the project members was created). Final observations were made and conclusions were drawn. Lunched was served at the hotel. After lunch the participants made preparations for their departure.

Activity 4 - Cross border research Current activity aims at exploring, describing and predicting factors, processes and circumstantialities that may affect the cross border communities on the convergence objective roadmap that they are part of. The research comprised questionnaire applied via field operators, focus groups and interviews are in the making. There is a also analysis in terms of secondary data on both sides.

Activity 5 - Setting up the appropriate infrastructure for R & D Both management teams have been heavily involved in purchasing logistics, ensuring the space and arrange the office for the Centre for Cross Border Studies.

Activity 6 - Scientific working meeting 2 (13th of April- 17th of April 2011) (see photos) The working meeting gathered in Romania for 4 days all experts involved in the study and research for discussing and analyzing the data collected. Also, the structure of the Study was established and the final details of European conference and reaching out for the Capacity Building Program were discussed.

Day 1- 13th, April The participants from Bulgaria arrived aroud 4 and they check in the hotel . After that discussion were held with the romanian parteners concerning the project activities. At seven, dinner was served at the hotel.

Day 2 – 14th , April The delegation met at the University at 09.30 AM. The working meeting began by introducing the programme for the scientific working meeting 2. After that the teams from bouth countries presented the results from the field research until 13.30, with a coffee breack from 11.30 to 12.00. Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences together with the Prorector of the University of Craiova presented the field research for Romania and Mr. Vihren Bouzov and Mrs. Teodora Kaleynska presented the results for Bulgaria. From 13.30 to 15.00 Lunch was served at the Hotel. In the following session from 15.30 to 17.30 the aim and the structure of the study “Maximizing comparative advantages of the Border Regions” were discussed. From 17.30 the Bulgarian team visited the center and the Romanescu park of Craiova. Dinner was served at the Restaurant “Casa Universitarilor”.

Day 3- 15th, April The first session of the day was dedicated to establishing the common elements for the elaboration of the educational tools. Experts from both team have established for each area of expertise the essential elements that must be treated in the books. Session ended at 13.30. After the lunch, that was served at the hotel, the discussion focused on the European Conference “The Impact of the EU Integration on Border Regions”. Were established important aspects such as: building the organizing and scientific committee, conference agenda, translation of the conference documents, conference website, terms for publication of the articles, conference sessions, open call, deadlines for sending the abstracts and articles, correction of the articles, deadlines for sending photos and bio of the Bulgarian team for the site, accomodation, keynote speakers, press conference, conference dinner and the publication of the conference volume. From19.00 dinner was served at the hotel.

Day 4- 16th, April The morning session began at 9.30 and till 11.30 was a discussion dealing with the reaching out activity for the capacity building programme. The profile for the target group was discussed, also the territories to focus on for recruiting the students, deadlines for reaching out activity, objectives and Methodology for the Capacity Building programme, , the important aspects for organizing the Capacity Building Programme. After the coffee break , a new session started from 12.00 to 13.30 and the project action plan was discussed. The updates for roles, responsibility and agenda were made. Lunched was served at the hotel. After lunch both teams made a trip to visit the townsDrobeta Turnu- Severin, Orsova, St. Ana Monastery and Dubova. The participants arrived back at the hotel at 20.30 and served the dinner.

Day5- 17th, April Breakfast was served at the hotel and then the participants made preparations for their departure

Activity 7 - Reaching out An open call was lunched in April to select 40 participants for the Training Modules (public servants, NGOs leaders, private companies’ managers, educational managers); 20 students will be recruited both from Veliko Turnovo and 20 selected from Dolj. The description of the training modules, conditions of participating, application forms and project website was advertised so that potential students can sign up for. The successful candidates will be notified by official letter issued by both Universities. The Secretariat for students enrolment is performed by both Centers for Cross Border Studies in conjunction with the University Enrolment Offices at both Universities. Preliminary meetings are to be established with the recruited students by both Centers when all technicalities related to the studying are to be cleared up for all. The Reaching Out activity started from April by posting ads in public institutions, by sending brochures and by sending emails and faxes to ONG’s, schools, firms, public institutions and also by editing a press release on a regional newspaper – Gazeta de Sud on 31st of May 2011. Because only 7 persons from Romania applied until the end of May for the Programme the faxes and emails were sent once again in June. After the Scientific meeting 3, in July, the Romanian and Bulgarian teams decided to modify the methodology for the Capacity Building Programme. In the methodology the residential classes had to take place on a daily basis for two weeks at University of Craiova and for two weeks at University St. Cyril and St. Methodius of Veliko Turnovo. Because most of the interested participants expressed the incapacity to leave their jobs for 1 month, the teams decided to make the residential classes for one week in Craiova and one week in Veliko-Turnovo, combined with one week distance learning classes supported by Romanian experts and one week distance learning classes supported by Bulgarian experts. The open-call with the new methodology was launched and the candidates were recruited.

Activity 8 - European Conference- The Impact of European Integration on Border Regions, 29 -30, June 2011 (see photos) True the European Conference “The Impact of the EU Integration on Border Regions” the project partners expanded the network of interested stakeholders and breed the ground for best practices exchanges from other institutions from both regions. On top of that, the aim was to make publicly the findings of the research and studies made in both regions: Dolj and Veliko Turnovo.The event took place in Craiova, and lasted for 2 days, 29 and 30 oj June 2011 and it gathered over 100 participants from both border regions,from Serbia and Albania. A special email (cbc@sociologiecraiova.ro) were created and open calls launched via international mail groups and newsletters were organised. Particular attention was given to Universities from border regions from all over the EU- in this sense, special invitations were sended to them. As part of the meeting, were developed activities in relation to mass media (writing and distributing press releases, press conferences, sending articles to the media channels to be delivered to the general public, holding interviews about the project on TV or radio etc.). During this activity the press conference took place on 29th of June 2011, at Blue Room – University of Craiova. After this event 2 TV news were broadcast (TVR- 30.06.2011 / TELEU – 30.06.2011) Also there was several 2 TV shows on which colleagues from the project team were invited to present the project activities TVR- 28.06.2011 / TV-Oltenia – 30.00.2011 Also 1 press release and 3 newspapers articles were published : -press release- Gazeta de Sud- 28.06.2011 -3 newspaper articles- Gazeta de Sud – 29.06.2011 Gazeta de Sud- 01.07.2011 Cuvantul Libertatii – 30.06.2011

Day 1 - 29th, June The first day began with the registration of the participans at the “Blue Room” Hallway, University of Craiova from 16.00 to 18.00. From 18.00 to 20.00 it was a press conference and welcoming notes and Conference opening speeches were held. Speeches were held in the following order: Address: Nicolae Panea, Prof. PhD, Vicerector, University of Craiova Address: Bogdan Muşat, Deputy Chief, Technical Secretariat Calarasi, CrossBorder Cooperation between Romania and Bulgaria Programme, 2007-2013- Regional Office Calarasi, Romania Address: Vihren Bouzov, Prof. PhD., Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria Address: Population’s Opinions on the Effects of the Romania’s Integration in European Union, Dumitru Otovescu, Prof. PhD., Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Craiova, Romania Address: Theoretical controversies – in between tradition and modernism, Ljubiša Mitrović, Prof. PhD, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, Serbia Address: National minority and globalization of the culture, Ion Deaconescu, Prof. PhD, vicedean Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Craiova, Romania In the same time at the Hotel Flormag starting from 12.00 the participans were accomdated. From 20.30 a formal reception was held at the restaurant Flormang.

Day 2 - 30, June The day began with the registration of participants for the 3 thematic session from 09.00 to 10.00 in the Blue Room Hallway. From 10.00 to 11.00 , two speeches were held: Address: EU membership as Factor for Institutional change, Prof. PhD, Rumiana Kalarova, University of Sofia Address: Introduction to the research results “Maximizing comparative advantages of the border regions “, Florin Păsătoiu, Lect. PhD, University of Craiova From 11.00 to 15.00 the 3 thematic sessions were organized at University of Craiova, room 005 and Blue Room. In this sessions 43 persons, proffesors and phd. Students from different universities from Romania and Bulgaria, presented their articles. For the first Session - “Good Governance and the Modernization of Local Public Administration Institutions”, the panel moderators were Angelina Markovska, Lecturer, PhD, “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University in Veliko Tarnovo and Eugenia Udangiu, Senior Lecturer, PhD, University of Craiova. In this session 17 persons presented their articles. For the second session “Human Rights, Gender Equality, Labor Market and Migration”, the panel moderators were Violeta Petrova Georgieva-Stoicheva, PhD, “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria and Eugenia Udangiu, Associate Professor, PhD, University of Craiova. In this session 23 persons presented their articles. For the third Session –“ Economic Development and EU Institutions and Policies” the panel Moderators were Pencho Penchev, Professor, “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Teodora Ivanova Kaleynska, PhD, “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria and Cristina Pasatoiu, PhD Candidate, University of Craiova. In this session 13 persons presented their articles. At the same time at the Conference room fron Hotel Flormang, The Froum - Cross Border Cooperation - in a quest for local and regional development, took place. The participants registration was made from 11.00 to 11.30 and the discussion lasted till 15.00 At this Forum participated mayors, schools representatives, business representatives, local authorities group, NGO’s representatives, experts from Dolj and Veliko Turnovo. Here the problems of the two border regions were discussed and the participants tried to find solutions for getting a better cooperation for border regions. From 15.30 to 17.00 lunch was served and a part of the participants from the Forum and from the attended From 19.30 the closing gala dinner took place at Flormang restaurant.

Avtivity 9 - Elaborating educationals tools According to the methodology, all project experts, worked on constructing the curricula for the Training Modules and on the elaboration of the joint teaching materials (books) to be used for the training modules in bilingual editions. Six training manuals were created: - Good governance - Radu Petcu / Bayko Baykov - Local development - Cristina Otovescu Frasie / Nedko Minchev , Pencho Penchev - Gender equality, minorities - Nicolae Panea / Violeta Stoycheva - Modernization of public institutions - Cristina Pasatoiu, Paul Rinderiu / Angelina Markovska , Bayko Baykov - Labor market - Cristina Ilie, Alexandra Sandu / Venka Kuteva - Cvetkova - European policies and institutions - Paul Rinderiu , Cristina Pasatoiu / Teodora Kaleynska

Activity 10 - Scientific working meeting 3, 15th -17th of July, 2011 (see photos) The meeting gathered all project experts from Bulgarian team and potential team members of the Romanian team to discuss the final shape of the curricula and the format of the Manuals. The meeting took place in Veliko Turnovo in 15th -17th of July 2011.

Day 1 - 15th, July The participants from Romania arrived aroud 14.00 and they check in the Hotel Premier Veliko Turnovo. After lunch, at 16 o’ clock an opening cemony took place. The Governor of Veliko Turnovo was invited. After the ceremony, the working meeting began by introducing the programme for the scientific working meeting 3 and discussion were held concerning the final shape of the curricula and the format of the Manuals. From 17.30 to 18.00 is was a Coffee Break. From 18.00 to 20.00 the discussion continued on agreeing on training module methodology . From 20.30 to 21.30 dinner was served at the hotel.

Day 2 – 16th, July After breakfast, the delegation met at the University, Building of the Faculty of Philosophy, K5, hall 601 at 09.00 AM. The teams discussed about the the Capacity Building Program Agenda, and established the dates for this activity. After the coffee break, from 12 o’ clock the teams went to an organized trip to the village of Arbanassi were free discussion on the cultural heritage of the border regions took palce. Lunch was served at Mehana Izvora, Arbanassi. In the following session from 16.00 to 20.00, the teams returned to the University and here the last observations on the empirical study – recommendations, conclusions were made. From 20.00 dinner was served at the Hotel.

Day3 - 17th, June Breakfast was served at the hotel and then from 9.00 the participants went to faculty -K5, Hall 601 for the final discussion of the Scientific Working Meeting 3: conclusions and plans were made. At 12.00 o’clock the Romanian team made preparations for their dep

Activity 11 - Mid –term evaluation meeting (18th of December – 20th of December 2011) (see photos) The meeting gathered all project management and experts teams from Bulgaria and Romania to discuss the final shape of the curricula and the format of the Manuals, to discuss the methodology changes and redefine the calendar of the project. Olso, the tasks and responsabilities were redefined. A special attention was given also to the discussion on the financial check and balances. The meeting took place in Veliko Turnovo in 18th -20th of December 2012.

Day 1- 18th, December The participants from Romania arrived aroud 20.00 and they checked in the Yantra Grand Hotel. - Veliko Turnovo. From 21.00 to 22.00 o’clock a discussion on the financial check and balances took place. From 20.00 dinner was served at the hotel.

Day 2 – 19th, December After breakfast, the delegation met at the Yantra Grand Hotel conference room. The teams discussed about the methodology changes and redefine the calendar of the project . After the coffee break, from 11.00 to 11.30, - working groups in thematic themes were created. The experts discussed about the final shape of the curricula and the format of the Manuals. Lunch was served from 14.00 at the restaurant of the Hotel . From 16.30 to 17.00 a plenary took place at the hotel conference room. Recommendations, conclusions were made. From 19.00 dinner was served at the Hotel.

Day3 - 20th, December Breakfast was served at the hotel from 09.00 to 10.00 o’ clock. At 11.00 o’clock the Romanian team made preparations for their departure.

Activity 12 - Capacity Building Programme The goals of the Capacity Building program were to capitalize on the research findings and work on increasing the quality of human capital in the cross border regions. The training modules (2X 20 students from Romania and Bulgaria) were designed to take place both in the format of residential classes (1 week in Bulgaria and 1 week in Romania) and distance learning classes.

1 )Residential Classes in Bulgaria (01-08.04.2012) (see photos) From 1st of April 2012 until 8th of April 2012 all 40 students participated at the first part of Capacity Building Programme, which was held in Veliko Tarnovo. They attended the lectures delivered to them by Bulgarian and Romanian experts. Students were accommodated at Hotel Premier from Veliko Tarnovo.

2 )Residential Classes in Romania (22-29.04.2012) (see photos) From 22nd of April 2012 until 29th of April 2012, all 40 students attended the second part of the Capacity Building Programme, which was held in Craiova. They attended the lectures delivered to them by Bulgarian and Romanian experts. Students were accommodated at Hotel Flormang from Craiova. During this activity, 2 press conference were held. 3)Distance Learning Classes (24th of May – 7th of June 2012) From 24th of May 2012 to 7th of June 2012, students attended the third part of the Capacity Building Programme, Distance Learning Classes. A group was created on social networking platform Facebook – “crossbgroborder”. Students and experts were enrolled in this closed group, and here were held the on-line classed. (See schedule for distance learning)

Activity 13 - Strategic planning meeting (20th of May – 23rd of May 2012) The meeting took place in Craiova from 20th of May 2012 to 23rd of May 2012. As one of the main goal of the project was to promote and strengthen collaboration in between the two Universities and to project an R & D joint agenda as to ensure the continuation of the project, a particular attention was given to this goal in the strategic planning meeting .

Day 1- 20th of May 2012 The participants from Bulgaria arrived aroud 19.00 and they checked in the Flormang Hotel -Craiova. From 20.30 to 21.30 o’clock a discussion on project activities took place. From 22.00 dinner was served at the hotel.

Day 2 - 21st of May 2012 After breakfast, the delegation met at the Hotel Flormang conference room. The teams discussed about the Strategic Development Plan for research and development. After the coffee break, from 13.00 to 13.30, - a meeting at the Office of the Deputy rector for International Affairs took place at University of Craiova. Lunch was served from 14.00 at the restaurant of the Hotel . From 16.30 to 17.00 the first workshop on research and development plan took place, with participation of the head of the County library, the director of the Department for History and International Relations, the head of the Regional Development office at the Regional Development Agency & project experts. From 19.00 dinner was served at the Hotel.

Day 3 - 22nd of May 2012 Breakfast was served at the hotel from 09.00 to 10.00 o’ clock From 10 to 11 o’clock a discussion on updates in the project were held. From 11.30 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 16.30 the second and the third workshops on research and development plan took place and from from 16.30 to 17.00 a planary took place. From 19.00 dinner was served at the Hotel.

Day 4 - 23rd of May 2012 After breakfast, from 10 o’clock a session of Conclusions on Strategic development plan and operational plan for research and development has been held. After lunch, from 14.00 o’clock the Bulgarian team made preparations for their departure

Activity 14 - Close in conference (12th of June 2012) (see photos) At this Conference all beneficiaries of the Training Modules participated. The Conference has as objectives: to hand in the Diplomas for all graduates and to publicly announce the results of the project. It was hosted by University St. Cyril and St. Methodius of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria. Various stakeholders both from Romania and Bulgaria were invited.

At 8.00 o’clock the Romanian team arrived in Bulgaria and were accommodated at the Hotel Premier- Veliko Tarnovo. At 9.30 the first conference panel started. After the coffee break, the press conference was held at the Press-Club of BTA. From 14.15 to 15.15 the Lunch was served at the Hotel Premier Restaurant. Form 15.30 to 16.30 the Plennary session took place. From 17.00 to 18.30 the second conference panel was held and from 18.45 to 19.45 the panel discussion of the experts team of the project took place and the diplomas were handed to the persons that graduated the Capacity Building Programme. From 20.00 dinner was served at the Hotel Premier Restaurant

Activity 15 - Final evaluation meeting (13th – 14th of June 2012) (see photos) Right after the Close in Conference, the whole project team had the final evaluation meeting in Veliko Turnovo. During the meeting all performance and financial indicators have been analyzed and the final technical conclusions have been drawn.

Day 1 - 13th of June 2012 After breakfast a trip was organized to the Ethnographic Musem ‘Etar’ and the Dryanovo Monastery. Here, free discussion on the cultural heritage of the border regions were held. From 14.30 to 15.30 lunch was served at Hotel Dryanovo. From 16.30 to 17.30 at Hotel Premier conference room, discussion on the project results: indicators, publications, achievements were held. After the coffee break the discussion took into account the methodological conclusions. From 20.30 dinner was served at Hotel Premier.

Day 2 - 14th of June 2012 Breakfast was served at the hotel from 08.00 to 09.30 o’ clock From 10.00 to 14.30 final discussion on the conclusions took place and plans for the future were made. After Lunch the team had free time in Veliko Tarnovo.and from 20.30 dinner was served at Hotel Premier

Day 3 - 15th of June 2012 After breakfast , the Romanian team made preparations for their departure

Activity 16 - Public relations campaign Both teams have been involved in promoting and disseminating information and knowledge about the project; press release, press conferences were organised by both partners

Activity 17 - Monitoring

Activity 18 - Reporting

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