It’s an emotion to announce that this is the last episode that I produce of the “Stories from the regions” series. After 42 stories, I’ll leave the production to my team who will continue it in DG REGIO, the Regional and Urban Policy department of the European Commission.
I imagined this series a couple of years ago, before the pandemic, as a pure internal communication initiative. My aim was to make my colleagues aware of what they contribute to every day with their work on EU funds and make them proud of it. This is how I asked them to become mobile journalists for me:
- To collect with a normal mobile phone the human stories of the beneficiaries of EU funds in the field during their professional trips to the regions of Europe.
- To record testimonials on how co-funded projects have had an impact on people’s lives.
With the trainees who were directly involved in the initiative and the colleagues, my team created these short videos from the collected material on the ground. Often with extremely variable quality because none of my colleagues are cameramen or journalists.
The goal was not perfection, but the authenticity of the testimonies in the stories.
Over time, the videos proved to carry a message that could also interest people outside our offices, and so we began to publish the video stories on Youtube and share them on the @EUinmyRegion social networks. The success of the episodes on social media is still modest, but the primary objective is not there. The series is primarily an internal communication tool and as such we have mobilised dozens of colleagues around it. They derived recognition, pride for what they do, and were able to better understand the purpose of their work.
All of this would never have been possible without the unconditional support and help of Agnès MONFRET who believed in the series from the start. She encouraged me, and pushed me, to make it evolve. Merci infiniment Agnès! The support of Marc Lemaître, Director-General in DG REGIO, with his motto “communication is everyone’s business” was also an important element in involving our colleagues in the initiative. Thank you Marc.
Thank you to Viktoriia Hladii, Ramona M Vasile and Marie Stotz the Bluebook trainees who supervised the Stories from the regions initiative during their traineeship in my team, to Corinne Wenner Manuele Franci Miruna Cugler Yves Durinck Alain Vanden Borre and many other colleagues for their support. Thank you to all other colleagues and bluebook trainees in DG REGIO who collaborated on the series.
And finally, A huge thank you and a special mention for my colleague Marc Rodrigues, my Steven Spielberg!
I wish you’ll the best and to continue the series. I will continue to follow you closely.
The series playlist on Youtube, with the new episodes produced since first of March 2022: