Cooperating & Corona

17 September 2020 - Published by Deirdre Buist
On 16th September the Stronghouse partners met once again - for the second time online. The North Sea Region Programme, celebrating 30 years of European cooperation this year, asks:What does European cooperation look like in 2020? Well, you can see that from different perspectives.



Just as the current challenges - such as Covid-19 and Brexit - are impacting cooperation on all levels across Europe, our Interreg partnership has not yet had the opportunity to have a physical meeting. The Stronghouse ambition is stronger than ever, our focus is fixed and we are working well. Great steps have been taken by all in terms of engaging and enabling homeowners and neighbourhoods to invest in energy renovation, the interaction with SMEs in the market and data analyses.

Personal perspective

However, despite a series of ‘ Meet the Partners’ introductions on this website, it’s not easy getting to know each other from a more personal perspective, when adhering diligently to the dogmas of digital conferencing. Traditionally, when attending transnational meetings there is time for a chat during coffee breaks, lunch or a study trip in the region. Adapting means we now have to deal with the limitations and improvise more.

With the good guidance of Project Coordinator Hein Braaksma, some nudging and communicative creativity, we managed to connect more on a personal level this time. During a day packed with professional presentations, progress updates, reporting reminders and management musts, the partners were also asked to share their current ‘perspective’…in the broadest sense of the word. Besides a great diversity of #workingfromhome situations, this also provided some humourful hints as to whom our transnational colleagues are.




It’s nice getting to know each other more – and it’s a fundamental (and fun!) part of transnational cooperation. At the end of the day the Stronghouse consortium had a fine selection of group photos with a difference. Next time we hope to share more social moments…even if it is a ‘bring your own’ online.

If you would like to reflect more on the questions around adapting to transnational cooperation in the current circumstances – and also celebrate the European Cooperation Day, the Joint Secretariat will host a webinar "European Cooperation in a Changing World: Covid-19, Brexit and Climate Change" on 25 September, 10-11 am.