How HELIOS is facing the COVID-19 emergency: some suggestions and possible solutions


Since last March, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has shocked the whole world, forcing many governments to lockdown their countries, with very serious economic and social consequences.

The crisis affected many countries in the Mediterranean basin, especially those in Europe such as Spain, Italy and France, pushing to a reinvention of the international cooperation.

In this scenario, HELIOS faced some new challenges in carrying out the planned activities. However the partnership decided to move on.

But how is it possible to implement an international cooperation project during a world pandemic? 

Let's see some suggestions and possible solutions followed by the HELIOS partnership in the last months.

1.    Use e-tools and monitor the situation day by day
Responding to the declarations given by several Governments of the Mediterranean partner countries, HELIOS as many other ENI CBC MED projects, decided to establish a smart working system approach to ensure the continuity of project Implementation andto protect at the same time the health of the people and professionals involved. 

The use of e-tools such as Skype or Zoom is therefore essential to organize meetings between the partners. It is also important to constantly monitor the situation in each country involved in the project and to verify the impact of the pandemic on the implementation of the planned activities.

2.    Follow the instructions and suggestions of the Managing Authority

To help the projects in this difficult situation, the Managing Authority prepared a guide which contains recommendations for a safe project implementation. It contains also contingency measures to be adopted in case the project activities become excessively difficult to carry out as initially planned.

3.    Evaluate, together with the Partners, the risks related to the pandemic emergency on the project activities and identify all possible actions to mitigate the risks.

In Thursday 23 April 2020, the HELIOS partnership met through a ZOOM meeting
, to discuss the progress made in the activities of the first semester.

It was an opportunity to plan together the activities of the second semester, to focus on the possible impact of the COVID-19 emergency and to identify the possible actions for the mitigationof the risks.
Representatives of the Managing Authority/Joint Technical Secretariat of ENI CBC Med Programme attended the meeting and contributed by feeding a creative dialogue and answering questions from HELIOS partners.
This kind of meeting was fundamental to gather proposals and useful contributions and to propose solutions to fight the crisis.

4.    Exchange experience, knowledge and best practices with other projects
Another important step is to stay in contact with the projects of the same priority.
Monday 27 April 2020, the Joint Technical Secretariat of ENI CBC Med Programme organized a cluster meeting with HELIOS and the following ENI CBC MED funded projects: TEC-MED, Morethanajob, Innovagrowomed, Resmyle and MedTOWN
This online event was precious to make a strategic brainstorming among the projects of the priorities A.3.1 and A.3.2 and to capitalize and to exchange experiences, knowledges, best practies gained in the first months of the projects. It was a good opportunity to find togheter solutions to face the COVID-19 emergency.

5.    Face  together the challenges!
Today, more than ever, the Mediterranean countries have to face a multitude of common challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Acting together to cope these challenges and to improve the lives of people across the Mediterranean region, is the mission of the ENI CBC MED Programme and its projects. Even in this framework of emergency, cooperation remains the best solution.
Unity is strength, #GOMED!


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