Union Is Strength


The stories


Extinguish or evacuate? The dilemma of north Euboea in the face of a fiery nightmare

Can the EU provide solutions as natural disasters multiply in the midst of a climate crisis?

Efflam Sionneau (FR) / Romanos Gkotzos (EL)


Rail Baltica in the shadow of an aggressive Russia

Rail Baltica is said to be the biggest project in the Baltic region in the last century. Planning started almost a decade ago. The war in Ukraine has not only damaged the world's economy and food systems and put NATO on the agenda. It has also undermined this regional transport development project.

Juliette Ovigneur (FR) / Kristiana Nitisa (LV)


Our next pandemic might be dementia and we are not ready

The number of people with dementia in France will increase by 82% between 2019 and 2050. Action plans are being put in place, but a number of medical and societal questions remain unanswered. Where do we stand today and are we prepared for what lies ahead?

Juliette Ovigneur (FR) / Kristiana Nitisa (LV)


Can EU funds help Martinique catch up economically with mainland France?

Badly hit by the current economic situation, the French island of Martinique is benefiting from REACT-EU (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe). This aid programme was created to help less developed EU regions catch up economically. It may be a means of bridging the gap between Martinique and mainland France.

Efflam Sionneau (FR) / Romanos Gkotzos (EL)


Greek agriculture and climate crisis

One of the areas most vulnerable to the effects of climate change is currently undergoing major disturbances and changes.

Elena Lébely (FR) / Andriana Theochari (EL)


In the Pyrenees, a project for the future of young unaccompanied migrants

On both sides of the Spanish-French border, the AVENIR project has set out to train young unaccompanied migrants in a new profession and to better integrate them into a rural area that has suffered neglect and depopulation. Financed by the European Union, the project has set out to give a helping hand to these young people and to revitalise the region.

Margaux Liagre (FR) / Asimina Doumanis (EL)


Refugees in Greece: Life in a shelter and Europe as a "promised land"

In the heart of central Greece, just outside a tourist resort, is the Thermopylae refugee and migrant shelter. The centre is already six years old, having opened in February 2016. Located near the Athens-Lamia road, it occupies what were once hotels near some thermal baths.

Margaux Liagre (FR) / Asimina Doumanis (EL)


Wellbeing tourism as balm for a pandemic world

The Covid-19 pandemic and other crises have changed the way Europeans view tourism and leisure. A project called SB WELL is helping a growing number of people in the Baltic countries to take wellbeing-focused local holidays.

Rachel Notteau (FR) / Maria Lipińska (PL)


A training course in market gardening for more sustainable food

For the past six years, Forem Secteurs Verts in Ath, Belgium, has been offering training in small-scale organic vegetable-growing. Each year, a dozen or so trainees choose this course in order to start new careers in contact with nature.

Dakota Gizard (FR) / Adeline Thollot (BE)


Virtual reality is helping "invisible" young people into jobs

In France’s Hauts-de-France region, a charity is helping young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods to take their first steps in the world of work – by using virtual reality!

Dakota Gizard (FR) / Adeline Thollot (BE)


When public buildings and works try to woo women

In France, training centres for public buildings and works have been trying to attract more women. To that end, they integrated the European “Women Can Build” project, financed by the Erasmus+ program in 2017, to make the sector more open to women, who tend to be less inclined towards such career paths than men.

Rachel Notteau (FR) / Maria Lipinska (PL)


Egalipro workshops, an oasis of trust for women in Marseille

Since 2018, the CIDFF (Information Centre on Women's and Families' Rights) in Marseille, France, has been running workshops for female jobseekers. The goal is to give them the keys to (re)joining the working world.

Elena Lébely (FR) / Andriana Theochari (EL)


In South Tyrol, a European project is giving dusty photos a new lease of life

A cross-border project organised by Austrian Tyrol and Italian South Tyrol is bringing historical photos out of the archives and giving them a second life, through digitisation, sharing, virtual exhibitions and an app.

Clarisse Portevin (FR) / Claudia Chieppa (IT)


In France’s Creuse, a heritage of 19th-century painters is revitalising a rural region

The villages of Crozant and Fresselines are at the heart of the "Valley of the Painters" in France's Creuse département. Local authorities are working to revive this forgotten rural region, but there are many obstacles to becoming a serious tourist destination.

Clarisse Portevin (FR) / Claudia Chieppa (IT)


How easy is it to integrate refugees in a European country?

When Mohamed came from Syria to Athens in 2019, he was one of 10,856 of his compatriots who applied for asylum in Greece that year. But it was after receiving asylum that the real difficulties began. He had to find housing and work in an unfamiliar country.

Guillaume Amouret (FR) / Eleftheria Tsaliki (EL)


In Nantes, an experiment in rehabilitating the homeless

It is the only project of its kind in Europe. Located in Nantes (western France), the 5Ponts Solidarity Village is a homeless shelter that also offers social reintegration. Situated in the heart of a residential area, it aims to create contact with local residents. But a year after its launch, many obstacles remain.

Guillaume Amouret (FR) / Eleftheria Tsaliki (EL)


In Caen, an association is bringing an industrial wasteland back to life, one meal at a time

At the heart of Caen’s industrial peninsula, a collective of sustainability-hungry citizens are among the first settlers of a neighborhood destined for gentrification. Through collaborative workshops and shared meals, La Maison hopes to recreate the link between the field and the plate and make healthy food accessible to all.

Luca Matteucci (FR) / Gábor Ratkovics (HU)


The Hungarian town of Szombathely revitalises its forgotten military base with URBACT

In 2015, the Hungarian town of Szombathely and its 80,000 residents joined the EU-funded URBACT MAPS network with the objective to engage its community in the revitalisation of the notable Hussar barracks, a 22-hectare abandoned military facility near the centre of the town. Since then, a local collective has developed an impactful action plan to create a new green community space on the site.

Luca Matteucci (FR) / Gábor Ratkovics (HU)


Eu Amo SAC: A second family and a safe home for the community

Since 2010, the program has welcomed dozens of young people every week and offered them academic support, advice, sports and artistic activities. All in order to keep them away from the dangers of the streets.

Jules Bigot (FR) / Afonso Morango (PT)


In Rivesaltes, a haven of humanism and solidarity for migrants

The town's Training Center for Craft Trades has set itself the task of helping newcomers with their integration by teaching them French.

Jules Bigot (FR) / Afonso Morango (PT)


"Where food meets IT" – smart food technology comes to Lemgo

In Germany, the Smart Food Factory, financed by a European fund, will aim to improve the management of available food, in particular by scrutinizing foods and their production methods.

Marion Durand (FR) / Gunnar Hollweg (DE)


In Chamonix, green science tourism on the side of Mont Blanc

In this mountain town, one in three people make their living from tourism. Faced with the rapid change in the Alpine ecosystem, local actors are thinking about more eco-responsible initiatives.

Emma Challat (FR) / Klara Širovnik (SI)


In Lozère, a generation of farmers passes the baton

In a department where 10% of the population lives from agriculture, the replacement of retiring farmers is particularly crucial.

Marion Durand (FR) / Gunnar Hollweg (DE)


Fighting a forest pandemic: hope sprouts again in the Czech woods

The bark-beetle epidemic has wiped out a large part of Czechia's forests in recent years, causing the collapse of the local forestry market. Now forest owners are planning a reforestation. The Czech National Restoration Plan, subsidised by the European Union, is intended to help them.

Marie Ramaugé (FR) / Filip Brychta (CZ)


Create social cohesion by urban renovation: Macrolotto Zero project

In Italy, a former industrial district is changing. Metropolitan market and urban jungles replace wastelands and idle factories, to improve the daily life of the inhabitants and allow them to live better together.

Joséphine Boone (FR) / Giulia Napolitano (IT)


France’s Créatrices d'Avenir prize: giving women a taste for entrepreneurship

Each year, the competition rewards six female French business creators, with the aim of highlighting female entrepreneurship and achieving parity in an environment that has long been reserved for men.

Joséphine Boone (FR) / Giulia Napolitano (IT)


Up north were the corons

Anor, a small town in Nord-pas-de-calais, had five factories and a dolphinarium. All have closed, and the municipality is trying to restore the old buildings left to decay. A tale of the Verrerie district, from a decrepit coron to an eco-neighbourhood.

Marie Ramaugé (FR) / Filip Brychta (CZ)


In Slovenia, father-and-son teams are defying mass tourism

In the Slovenian Alps, tourism has long been a mainstay of the local economy. In recent years, however, local people have been offering a calmer, slower kind of holiday.

Emma Challat (FR) / Klara Širovnik (SI)


Power Plays: What can a lignite village teach us about Just Transition?

In Mavropigi (Western Macedonia), the expropriated inhabitants count on it to be compensated.

Aude Cazorla (FR) / Rania Zokou (EL)


Biogas in New Aquitaine: finding the right price

Small biogas plants are flourishing in New Aquitaine, a region of southwest France. In the fields in Saint-Antoine-de-Breuilh, another one has just been inaugurated. But while methanisation obviously has a role to play in the ecological transition, its role in France’s energy mix still needs to be settled.

Aude Cazorla (FR) / Rania Zokou (EL)


In Poland, a cooperative is the key to social integration

A place to live, a community, a job: for ten years, the Polish social cooperative Arte has offered help and structure to the most vulnerable.

Hélène Bienvenu (FR)


Sustainable tourism on the island of Gozo

Located in the Maltese archipelago, the island of Gozo has become a laboratory of eco-tourism, which seeks to make the link between the inhabitants, the traditional arts and the travelers passing through.

Hugo Coignard (FR) / Alexandra Edelsbrunner (MT)


How to reconcile tourism and simplicity? Ecotourism in action

Solar energy, shared accommodation, local materials... Everything has been carefully planned to enable basic tourism in a coastal refuge at the heart of a regional nature reserve.

Hugo Coignard (FR) / Alexandra Edelsbrunner (MT)


In remote Molise, fast internet is still a mirage

Thanks to investments by the Italian state and the European Regional Development Fund, tens of thousands of people in the most urban and industrial areas of Molise can now surf the net very quickly. But in inland areas, it’s another story.

Julie Bourdin (FR) / Viola Stefanello (IT)


"Firefighters without borders": breaking down national barriers in the Greater Region

INTER’RED, a project funded by the European Union, is encouraging collaboration between the emergency services of Moselle, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium.

Julie Bourdin (FR) / Viola Stefanello (IT)


The young migrants brought in to save a rural community from depopulation

The Avenir project provides housing and training for young migrants in an ageing area of the Catalan Pyrenees, helping them to find work and regenerate the area.

Baptiste Langlois (FR) / Jaime Sevilla Lorenzo (ES)


Coding in the Valley: Rural Revitalisation through Digital Technology

Labo.VE, a partner of social enterprise Simplon, provides vocational web-related training for people in the Ardèche who either want to retrain or are currently unemployed. And the Ardèche town of Le Cheylard is banking on digital technology to attract business and prove that enterprise and rurality are not mutually incompatible.

Baptiste Langlois (FR) / Jaime Sevilla Lorenzo (ES)


In Spain, COMPTEM tests self-consumption on a city scale

Crevillente, a town of 30,000 inhabitants, is testing the feasibility of using a network of solar panels to produce 50% of its electricity. A pioneer in the field, this project is attempting to move self-consumption from the individual to the collective level.

Alban Elkaïm (FR)


In Moulins, where stage costumes make the show

More than 10,000 theatre, opera and ballet costumes are kept at the France’s National Stage Costume Center (Centre national du costume de scène in Moulins). Far from being frozen in time, this unique museum strives to bring these works of art to life.

Robin Tutenges (FR)


No qualifications and no job: portrait of an invisible youth

In Toulouse and Rodez, in France’s Occitania region, “Second Chance Schools” are offering dropouts a place to rebuild their lives.

Léa Polverini (FR)