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The General Assembly 2007 adopted the strategy for 2007-2009 that was proposed by the board. As overall
objectives for the network the strategy defines two driving themes; sustainable local/ regional growth and
sustainable social inclusion. As pointed out in the strategy, the board shall develop guidelines for how the
activities can contribute to the added value for the members of the network. The following guidelines are
needed for the development a more consistent working method and to clarify the role of each actor in the
process of collaboration. Thereby we are creating common methods to simplify project development and
project follow –up.


Participation is an essential element of a successful network. To be a member means to participate actively
to the statutory bodies, meetings and activities of the network.

The members have the main responsibility to initiate and develop projects and activities within the
network. The members are the lead actors in charge of driving the process of collaboration. Translation and
other technical support needed in projects and other activities is a responsibility for the members.

The members can also give input about the development of new areas of collaboration to be discussed and
approved by the board in their ambition of realizing the overall vision of the network.

Executive Board

The members of the Board have the duty to attend all its meetings.

The Executive Board has the responsibility to implement the strategic guidelines approved by the General
Assembly and organize the work within the network. The Board shall:

1) promote new work in the existing areas;
2) approve the creation of new priority areas;
3) abandon areas that do not contribute to the achievement of objectives set out in the strategy.

To ensure the implementation of the strategy of the network the board shall identify the areas towards
which priority should be given and stimulate and support the creation of meeting places. As a result of that,
priorities identified by the board will affect the work of the secretariat.

Further, the Board shall regularly follow the work carried out by the members within the five priority areas.
For each priority area the Board shall appoint among its members two Rapporteurs (one Swedish and one
Italian). The Rapporteurs will be assisted by the secretariat and project groups coordinators, and shall
report to the Board twice a year about the progress made within each priority area.


The Secretariat shall assist the members in the development of cooperation processes stemming from the
elements outlined above. The Secretariat shall initially coordinate the various activities developed by its
members. The role of Secretariat is to: 1) gather proposals for development of new project groups and
support the creation of these groups in the phases pointed out below ; 2) support the members in the
initial phases of collaboration (See project development); 3) provide initial contacts between Swedish and
Italian members; 4) establish meeting places in the context of the network. Finally the Secretariat shall
support the Board members appointed as rapporteurs in following up the activities and projects developed
in the thematic areas.

Priority themes/areas

The priority areas of collaboration (environment, welfare, entrepreneurship, tourism and education) shall
support the achievement of the overall objectives and driving themes - sustainable local and regional
growth and sustainable social inclusion.

Forms of Collaboration/ activities

The collaboration within the Network can be of different nature:

       Exchange of information, experiences, knowledge, best practices, people exchanges, learning

       Projects financed by its members

       Projects financed by external funds such as national and/or EU funding

       Business to business

Project Groups

The project groups should be understood as a strategic process of collaboration between a number of
members on a specific theme. Depending on the proposed activities the group shall be adjusted to a
suitable number of participants. The process could involve several types of activities such as described
above. Once established each group shall identify a coordinator both in Sweden and Italy. These
coordinators plan and lead the activities. One of the organizations to which the coordinators belong shall
be appointed as the lead partner in case of an application at EU level. Where translation support is needed
for the work, it should be provided by the participants own organizations (e.g. by international relations
officers, SERN referents). The contact person has the responsibility to evaluate and report within the group
and to the secretariat that will further the information to the rapporteurs.

The bilateral essence of the network should be given priority in the development of the project groups.
The involvement of third country partners is therefore restricted to the participation in such EU programs,
where this is required.

Project Development

The cooperation in the network shall take place increasingly through direct contacts among the members.
As stated above the Secretariat shall facilitate the contacts mainly in the early stages.
Partner searches shall be carried through the platform both for EU projects and other activities. In case of
EU projects the partner searches shall be circulates at least 6 weeks before the deadline for submission.

The development of PROJECT GROUPS shall follow certain steps. The following process can be adopted by
members as the standard methodology for the development of activities.

As stated above the project coordinators shall evaluate each project/activity and present the strengths,
weaknesses and results of the project. The evaluation shall be forwarded to the secretariat and to the
respective Rapporteurs. The Rapporteurs shall brief the Board on the overall achievements in each priority
area and discuss whether the activities contribute to sustainable regional/local growth and social inclusion,
and recommend the members to take action if deemed necessary.

On a yearly basis, a number of quantitative and qualitative indicators should be produced, such as:


       Total number of projects/activities

       Number of externally financed projects (including EU financed)

       Number of business activities

       Number of members involved in activities (per nationality)

       Number of people involved in exchange (per nationality)

       Activity on the platform


       Describe the projects/activities within the areas of collaboration and the achieved results towards
        the background of the two overall objectives of the network

By reporting the results of each project developed through SERN to the secretariat it is possible to create a
project database. This database can be used for the development of new projects and as a framework for
“benchmarking” and finding “best practices” within SERN. This database should enable the SERN network
to develop high quality projects and to help the strengthening contacts amongst its members and improve
the circulation of information.


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