Editorial: Behind the scenes of Interreg IVC – a field report by Steffi Hänig

Hallo, Bonjour, Halo, Hej, Hola,

I have been involved in the PraTLA project (Practical Training in Local Authorities) almost from the beginning and I have known the program from two sides: as a student and as a project coordinator.

In April 2011 I started my trip to Sweden for an internship and practical training at Energikontor Sydost – the Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden, made possible by PraTLA. On my way I stopped in Växjö and participated in the 1st interregional symposium of EnercitEE dealing with Energy Efficient heat/power generation & distribution and subsequently drove further to Oskarshamn. I was cordially received by Roger Gunnarsson. From that moment all my fears were flown away and I was sure: I will have a good time in Sweden and ESS. Any time I could ask co-workers for any kind of help, and during my placement I felt as part of the company. I learned a lot due to this exchange – on the professional and on the personal level. Every person and every single impression made my stay unforgettable. The local support is really important when students are in a foreign country for their first time as well as when they take their first steps in business life. Not only due to the stay abroad I have felt very strongly about the PraTLA project, but also because of the idea to support energy efficient projects in municipalities with the help of students.

I was really pleased about the opportunity to continue working in PraTLA. The transition to the project coordinator was a smooth one. In February 2012 I met the other project partners for the first time. Right from the start our cooperation was based on sympathy and mutual respect. The European cooperation with my PraTLA partners and the other EnercitEE project partners enabled me to get first-hand information from representatives from other countries in a short time, I got to know myself better, and I felt enriched by the method of working from the others and so it expanded my personal horizon immensely. Therefore it was even more difficult to say good bye after the third and last interregional meeting at 21st September 2012 in Zittau/Saxony.

The INTERREG IVC Miniprogram EnercitEE not only gave me the chance to let my dream come true, but also to get in touch with lovely people, learn from them and exchange experience with European partners as well as establish networks for the future business.

                                              Steffi Hänig, Project coordinator PraTLA