URDE - ( Center for Urban and Regional Development and Environment )

Hermes Project / 2007 / Izmir - Turkey

Harnessing Employment, Regional Mobility and Entrepreneurship in South - Eastern Europe


The HERMES project aims to contribute to the targets of increased competitiveness, territorial socio-economic cohesion and sustainable development in four (4) frontier regions of Greece (Kentriki Makedonia, Anatoliki Makedonia-Thraki, Noteio Aigaio, Voreio Aigaio) ahead of the anticipated impact to be borne on border regional labour markets by the imminent European enlargement. It is based on the realized need to address in an effective and combined strategy the challenges of qualification enhancement and active labour market policy promotion, especially when addressing under/unemployed population groups, and endeavours to encourage the process of lifelong qualifications/skills building, the geographical and professional mobility of workers and the development of entrepreneurship amongst beneficiaries resident in those regions. In parallel, HERMES will proactively connect the Greek regions to their cross-border accession countries in an endeavour to establish sustainable institutional structures, bridges and cross-cultural links that shall help ensure its viable endurance beyond 2006.  
HERMES highlights the particular geopolitical and socio-political case of south-eastern Europe ahead of a phased enlargement by focusing on Greece and its neighbouring countries Cyprus, Bulgaria, Turkey, as these enter a phased enlargement process across three (3) consecutive waves of accession bearing a respective phased, multi-faceted and diversified impact on the wider region. The beneficiaries in HERMES are young women and men (aged 16-24 years old), and local SMEs’ employees and workers across thefour regions, whereas the specific sectors of tourismfood/beverages and trade and commerce are centred on, as they either embody the regional comparative advantage or expect to be directly/indirectly affected by EU enlargement. HERMES intends to deliver integrated results in the form of:
·         Cross-Border Studies recording the impact of enlargement in regional labour markets and suggesting appropriate policy/sectoral focus and employment strategy development;
·         An Integrated Methodology for the Incorporation of the Youth & Gender dimensions in regional proactive employment strategies;
·         A “Strategic Manual: Setting up Vocational Training Programmes/Centres”, Job-Matching andSkills Measurement Tools, Social Skills Development Tool, Job Orientation Tool ;
·         Eight (8) Vocational Training Pilot Programmes (VTPPs) in labour intensive sectors mainstreaming the cross-cutting gender and youth dimensions and the ethnic element;
·         Intra-, Inter-Regional and Cross-Border Networking and Cluster Development;
·         Cycle of Cross-Border Field Visits by Chamber of Commerce officials;
·         Training-the-Trainers Distance E-learning Training Courses;
·         Training-the-SME’s Employees Distance E-learning Training Courses;
·         Creation of for (4) Regional Information Structures;
·         Short-term pilot work placements (15) in the accession countries’ labour markets
·         Public Information & Dissemination Strategy over the positive impact of enlargement at the local level and the impact-mitigation mechanisms in place.
Overall Objectives


Specific Objectives 



 Partners: UEHR, EGE Foundation, URDE.