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Programme annual event: Co-operation Conference and HURO FEST

Over 700 people from Hungary and Romania attended the Hungary-Romania Programme’s annual event “Co-operation Conference and HURO-FEST” that was organized on 21 September 2011 in Debrecen, Hungary.

This day represented an excellent opportunity to look back on the past years of the Programme, while giving an insight into future strategies. While the first part of the event adopted a more professional tone, gathering relevant stakeholders of the Programme in order to offer a joint platform for sharing knowledge, results and future perspectives, the second part was rather focused on showcasing hands-on results, involving project partners, media representatives and the general public.

Mid-term achievement and future co-operation perspectives
The professional conference held during the first part of the day was a great opportunity to present the overall assessment of the mid-term results and progress registered so far, while giving an insight into future co-operation opportunities represented by the recently launched 5th Call for Proposals.
The event was attended by Kypros Kyprianou, representative of the Directorate General for Regional Development of the European Commission is certain of the practical importance of cross-border cooperation and projects financed by the European Union in the field of regional development in improving the daily life of inhabitants of the border area.

Balázs Simó, Head of the Managing Authority within the Hungarian National Development Agency, added that "from now on, the success of the programme will depend on the way we will be as effective as possible, because we must demonstrate to both the European Union and the inhabitants of counties in the border area, that we can generate added value through the financed projects." He also highlighted the opportunities foreseen for this period, and emphasised the recently launched Call for Proposals for infrastructure projects open until 31 January 2011. The concrete opportunities were then presented by Mrs. Magdolna Kalapáti, the Head of the JTS, who brought up a collection of good practice examples.

Iuliu Bara, Director of the Romanian National Authority within the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism, reminded that one of the most important efforts in the last 20 years has been to establish and give substance to cross-border cooperation on economic, social and cultural levels, and the “Hungary-Romania Cross-Border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013 supports these very objectives, strengthening cooperation among the counties in the region."

HURO-FEST – It’s all about co-operation
During the afternoon Project Market more than 20 projects presented themselves in the thematic tents set up in the main square of Debrecen via photos, videos, concrete outputs and interactive activities. The event offered a good opportunity not only for sharing experiences but also for browsing for new ideas and letting the wider audience get a closer look at what has been achieved.
Participants had a possibility to get familiar with each of the projects with the help of the two moderators, who not only visited all of the tents but took active part in demonstrating the interactive and sometimes even useful activities available, encouraging simple bystanders to take part in them with the help of competitions, quizzes and prizes.

In the traffic tent project HuRoBike30 introduced the bicycle route to be developed between Békéscsaba-Doboz-Sarkad-Méhkeréki border crossing-Salonta. Visitors to the tent could test a few of the bicycles purchased within the ACTIVE TOURS project and the tandem bicycle for 7 persons unique in Hungary. Besides these, several road-development projects were presented as well aiming to reduce distances and seclusion of different settlements from the border area.

The Communication without Borders PLUS project it\'s all about cross-border communication in the Hajdú-Bihar and Bihor regions. The Communication tent was also livened by a Giant Ludo game, episodes of the TV series Home from Home edited within the project and a Memory game – coupling Hungarian and Romanian words and the TÍR-Hír project.

The Business and Tourism tent featured, besides others the AB-EXPO project, present with the 3-d simulation of the New EXPO under development in Békés County, while project ROUTE OF CHURCHES, CASTELLUM, PLUM TOURISM and RENEWABLE ENERGY all presented themselves with the help of publications and project movies. Here visitors were invited to piece together the puzzle of the Programme area map and to browse through the many interesting and colourful tourism-related publications aiming to commonly advertise the attractions of the border region.

The Environment and Research tent was also very active, here nature activists could test their creativity by designing artwork from waste, complete tests regarding the protection of environment or find out more about the potential geothermal water and solar energy in the border area with the help of the CLEAN RIVERS, WATERMAN, FENNREHAB, EGSL.

The Education, labour market, health tent hosted several useful activities, here project ROMA EMPLOYMENT offered labour market advice, and also exposed outcomes of their complex.

Project eHealthhuro provided free blood sugar and pressure measurements, while providing practical advice on how to avoid apoplectic stroke. FiReMan and EMESE projects exhibited their project results.

The Cooperation between communities was filled by a bunch of enthusiastic beneficiaries, some presenting cultural traditions (SAMCULT, DANCE AND MUSIC, and CRADDLE OF FOLCLORIC CULTURE), and some other ventures in different areas, such as encouragement of joint entrepreneurship culture for youth (JOINTEC).

In addition, several panel discussions were held by the Romanian Association for Business Promotion and the Hajdú-Bihar County Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the active involvement of several experts and of the JTS, about the economic potential and tourism opportunities, similarities and differences in taxation and labour market, or useful information on the establishment and functioning of EGTC-s in the HURO area.

Meanwhile, the stage set up in the main square featured several live entertainment programmes. The event was opened by the “Extravaganza” brass quartet, interpreting a uniquely orchestrated version of Béla Bartók - Romanian Folk Dances merging authentic Hungarian and Romanian classical music with modern interpretation techniques. Their one of a kind performance was part of the DANCE AND MUSIC project. The entertainment was then sustained by a young group of 47 dancers from the settlements of Elek-Sântana and Grăniceri,,who performed folk dances reflecting their rich cultural diversity and heritage. The dance routine was created and presented as part of the CRADDLE OF FOLCLORIC CULTURE project implemented by the three abovementioned settlements.

The day was topped by the concert of ‘Persona’ from Timişoara, and later the performance of ‘Magashegyi Underground’, who’s lead singer is also originally from Romania.

For a taste of what happened in Debrecen, watch the event highlights.

Click here to view the pictures from the event.