Well done everyone!
Fourteen community, business and public sector leaders from Carlow attended the Irish College Leuven recently.
The trip was part of the Carlow County Council, European Institute of Communications Postgraduate Diploma in European Studies held from November 12-14.
The purpose of the visit was to support community groups, business development groups, education and research bodies to gain a better insight into European affairs and understand the various funding mechanisms available.
The aim is to create a more effective network in Carlow of skilled personnel adept at leading and becoming part of EU funding applications.
Participants included County Carlow Sports Partnership, St Catherine's Community Services, County Carlow Chamber, Polish Community Groups, Private Enterprise, Develop Tullow Association and local authority staff.
During the visit, the group visited the EU Parliament and the Committee of the Regions while also attending lectures at the Irish College Leuven.
Speakers included Michael O’Conchuir, Committee of the Regions, Eva Nussmueller from European Commission, Professor Annabel Sels, KU Faculty of Economics, Han Vloeberghs, Economic Policy Advisor , Strad Leuven, Frank Turley, Professional Training Centre of Excellence.
Eberhard Lueder and Ms Kewan Middred from Social Services Europe all of whom imparted their expertise about how County Carlow can benefit most from being part of EU Projects.
The visit also included briefings from Sean Kelly MEP, Matt Carty MEP and Grace O’Sullivan MEP during a visit to the EU Parliament.
Speaking about the programme, chief executive of Carlow County Council, Kathleen Holohan, said: "We in Carlow County Council understand that the nature of public funding has changed and that Europe represents a significant opportunity for groups to further leverage funding and resources for key projects that align with European Policy which will benefit County Carlow.
"The importance of having a network of individuals in various organisations who understand the opportunities and processes in order to seek the potential of funding is essential and we are delighted to be to work with the European Institute of Public Relations and Leuven Institute in order to delivery this programme."
The programme is delivered by the Leuven Institute & European Institute of Public Relations and hosted by the Carlow County Council's Local Enterprise Office.
Kieran Comerford, Head of Enterprise at the LEO, said "We understand we have deeply passionate and dedicated groups of volunteers in our business and community groups all of whom dedicate their time to make Carlow the best place to live, work, learn and play and we are delighted to present this opportunity for self-development and group development in County Carlow."
He added: "The engagement in Europe provided a hands on experience for the participants to live and learn EU policy which is the foundation for EU opportunities.
"In early 2020, we will be organising a EU funding event for current and previous participants to help map out the future strategic opportunities for Carlow."