On February 19, Bioazul and the Jean Monnet Chair of the University of Malaga organized the 8th APRORED Conference: “Opportunities for European programs for economic recovery and local development in times of pandemic”.
APRORED, the Provincial Classroom for Permanent Training in European Resources for Loca Development, currently within the framework of activities of the UMA-JMCE, was born in 2006 as a result of the Collaboration Framework Agreement on community issues, between the Malaga Provincial Council (Office Provincial of European Information – EUROPE DIRECT), the Jean Monnet Chair of the University of Malaga, the Europa SA project Grupo Banesto (Euro Info Center), and the BIC-Euronova S.A. (European Center for Business and Innovation of Malaga), in order to provide the actors involved in the local development of the Province of Malaga with the knowledge, skills and operational mechanisms necessary for the design, management and implementation of projects subject to funding of European Union funds.
The current crisis caused by COVID-19 makes it more necessary than ever to take advantage of and manage public actions in the different areas of European administrations for the design of public policies related to health, food, mobility or the supply of energy, among other essential services, as well as those that favor a vigorous, equitable and resilient recovery.
To help repair the economic and social damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, initiate the European recovery and create jobs, the European Commission proposed on May 26 a major recovery plan for Europe based on harnessing the full potential of the budget of the EU.
The aim of the 8th APRORED Conference was to address the opportunities that this and other initiatives offer development agents in the arduous task of recovering for optimal local development.
The conference was opened by Pablo Podadera, professor of Applied Economics and director of the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence at the University of Malaga, and by Antonia Lorenzo, CEO of Bioazul, who welcomed the more than 50 participants who joined this online event.
The first of the presentations was given by Esteban Pelayo, director of EURADA (European Association of Development Agencies). EURADA is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote economic and regional development through dialogue, the exchange of good practices, the transnational cooperation of its members and the promotion of the concept of a regional development agency. Esteban spoke about the economic development mission that these agencies have and presented the opportunities that the European Union offers for them. One of the next events organized by this entity is the Brokerage Event on March 25 where it will bring together experts in the field of innovation to share best practices, find new partners for ongoing proposals and learn from each other.
After this intervention, it was the turn of Marina Martínez, head of the Specialization Program for Managers in the European field SOST-CDTI, National Contact Point for Secure Societies – Framework Program, CDTI – SOST Office (Spanish Office for Science and Technology). Marina gave some keys to participate in European projects and presented Next Generation-EU, the recovery plan that the European Union has launched to help member states due to the COVID-19 crisis. She highlighted the 3 main axes on this plan is based: recovery and resilience mechanisms such as grants and loans, measures to boost private investment and reinforcement of key programs of the European Union such as Horizon Europe.
The last speaker of the day was Mª Antonia Cobacho, Head of the International Relations Department of the Agricultural and Fisheries Management Agency (AGAPA) of the Junta de Andalucía. Mª Antonia presented the AGAPA agency and her experience to achieve European projects. In her presentation, she highlighted the most relevant aspects to take into account when preparing a European proposal, the benefits of participating in cooperation projects and the opportunities for collaboration that these offer between the actors in the value chain.
The day ended with a debate where the speakers and event participants were able to share their concerns and doubts.