European Cultural Partnerships Initiatives

Local authorities, together with European partners, may take part in projects that explore and strengthen their local identities and develop a better understanding of the cultural and historic links between them.

Carlow County Council has a variety of European Partnership Initiatives including the following projects:

Craft Hub

Craft Hub is a European project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme focused on Craft in the context of cultural heritage and its continuing relevance in contemporary practice.

The project activities involve investigating and documenting craft skills and processes; their differing application in creative practice across Europe; and questions of cultural specificity & individual motivations of practitioners. This will be addressed through a comprehensive and exciting program to allow the creation of new craft work/experimental investigations into process and material supported by 42 transnational maker residencies, 305 days of outreach work, 1 festival, 7 exhibitions and 2 conferences.

Further information:

Enterprise Europe Network

The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) helps businesses innovate and grow on an international scale. It is the world’s largest support network for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with international ambitions.

The Network is active worldwide. It brings together experts from member organisations that are renowned for their excellence in business support.

Member organisations include:

  • chambers of commerce and industry
  • regional development organisations
  • universities and research institutes
  • innovation agencies

Further information: Enterprise Europe Network | Enterprise Europe Network (

InnoCom – Interreg Europe

Administrative barriers can keep SMEs from gaining full benefits of EU funding opportunities intended to help elevate their competitiveness, so city and regional authorities must improve their governance and regulatory framework to reduce barriers, improve messaging and increase the visibility of support and EU funding opportunities. These actions will benefit SMEs and the reputation of institutions delivering the services and support programmes.

Recent global events (COVID-19, War in Ukraine, etc.) have made it even more crucial to support SMEs’ development and competitiveness. European cities and regions can respond by making funding more accessible, so businesses can expand or innovate, export within and beyond the single market, undertake energy-saving upgrades, hire from traditionally disadvantaged groups, increase digitalisation, etc. Communication of these opportunities must be better targeted, digitally accessible, interactive, equally distributed and clearly presented, reducing bureaucratic jargon as much as possible.

Building on existing practices and informed by interregional learning, InnoCom will improve local policy instruments to introduce innovative models, digital tools, and services, reduce obstacles, and make other changes for better and more user-friendly interaction with businesses. In follow-up, it will monitor the expected outcome: SMEs empowered to raise their game through access to public services, finance, and other support.

Partners from a balanced mix of regions and cities in Italy, Romania, France, Latvia, Slovenia and Ireland will work together with the University of Latvia (Advisory partner) to identify weaknesses, seek solutions and exchange good practices and ideas through the interregional learning process. Stakeholders will have an active role providing feedback, co-designing, and participating in interregional learning.

The expected results are 6 improved regional policies, reduced barriers, and increased visibility of EU funding.

Further information: INNOVATING COMMUNICATION TARGETED TO SMEs | Interreg Europe - Sharing solutions for better policy