EGWA jointly promoted, with the University of Milan, a new project application for the Single Market Programme (SMP), formerly COSME programme, to widely improve the sustainability of the greenways ecosystem, in particular of SMEs around greenways.

The proposal is framed in the call Transitioning to a more sustainable and resilient ecosystem – empowering tourism SMEs (SMP-COSME-2023-TOURSME-01).

The Project is called IMPRESSME – IMPRoving Sustainability for greenways-linked SMEs, and has as objective to develop and implement a support system in the greenways ecosystem to greatly advance towards the sustainability of the entire ecosystem (SMEs & territories).

It will be carried out through a huge and continued awareness-raising actions on the importance of advancing on the pathway of the sustainability, through the:

  1. collection and dissemination of best practices (BP) of reference for policy makers, stakeholders and SMEs;
  2. training and capacity building of stakeholders and SMEs;
  3. personalized advice to SMEs linked to greenways regarding sustainability (environmental, social, governance), that will help them to carry out an action plan for their transformation;
  4. direct aid for the implementation of collaborative plans that improve the competitiveness and positioning of those SMEs in the market, on the basis of sustainability, resilience and capacity of adaptation to changing contexts, based on private and public-private collaboration.

The ultimate goal is the transformation of the greenway’s ecosystem into a sustainable destinations, businesses and territories.

The project, if approved, will be coordinated by the University of Milan, thanks to the direct action of the president of the EGWA Giulio Senes; the EGWA will overall support the coordination, in addition to coordinating the work package related to BPs and communication.

Project partners are great majority EGWA members involved previously in proposal with a similar objective; that have allowed to meet the demanding requirements set out in the call for applications, and which are as follows:

  1. University of Milan. Coordinating Partner – Italy
  2. European Greenways Association – Belgium
  3. Foundation of the Spanish Railways – Spain
  4. Chietti Chamber of Commerce – Italy
  5. Latvian Greenways Association – Latvia
  6. Tourismusagentur Ostbelgien – Belgium
  7. Experiential Tourism – Spain
  8. Minho Intermunicipal Community – Portugal

The proposal itself is already part of the EGWA pledges to promote concrete actions for the co-implementation of the Transition Pathway for Tourism. The response is expected before summer.  It would be great news if the IMPRESSME project could be approved; all the members of the EGWA and greenways globally will benefit from this project.


Mercedes Muñoz Zamora
European Greenways Association, Director