Today is Tuesday, 2024.06.18

The Programme took part in the 10th Anniversary International Cross-border Cooperation Conference in St.Petersburg

10th jubilee Conference hosted by the St. Petersburg City Administration was organised by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the authorities responsible for the border regions of the Russian Federation and ANO “Northwest Development and Investment Agency”. This year Estonia-Latvia-Russia CBC Programme financially supported organization of the Conference as it is a great platform to promote cross-border cooperation and to exchange best practices and experience in preparation, implementation and assessment of cooperation programmes and projects.

The main purpose of this annual international event was to present state and prospects of the CBC development of the Russian Federation, EU and Norway, accumulate lessons of the programme period 2007-2013 and provide recommendations for the future CBC of the Russian Federation.

Joint Exhibition of CBC Programmes was traditionally offered to the attention of the conference participants. Info-tables of all 5 CBC ENPI Programmes involving Russia including Estonia-Latvia-Russia, South-East Finland-Russia, Karelia, Kolarctic and Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI CBC Programmes were open for observation. Info-tables were equipped with brochures, booklets, posters, promotional items and souvenirs and video presentations and introduced general statistics of Programmes results and projects achievements.


Additionally, photo exhibition of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia CBC Programme was installed in the Conference hall. It presented all 18 projects financed by the Estonia-Latvia-Russia CBC Programme involving partners and participants from the Leningrad Region. These projects demonstrate support of the Programme in wide range of relevant subjects – from art-school cooperation and sport competitions to border-crossing and infrastructure development.

At the opening of the Conference participants were greeted among others by Assistant of Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the North-West Federal District, Mr Sergey Zimin and Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg, Mr Evgeniy Grigoriev.
Key issues of cooperation between EU, RF and Norway were discussed in several plenary sessions and summed up in a joint discussion on recommendations for the programme period 2014-2020.

At the first plenary session state of play of cross-border and territorial cooperation was dwelt upon among others by Mr Petri Haapalainen, Advisor of the Ministry of Employment and Economic Development of Finnland, Mr Igor Kapyrin, Deputy Director of Department for European Cooperation of MFA of the Russian Federation, Ms Edita Mieliene, Director of Department for Regional Development of the Ministry of the Interior of Lithuanian Republic.

Igor Kapyrin gave the audience greetings of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and stated that the Ministry takes active part in preparation of the programmes of the next financial period and works hard on creating all necessary conditions for making them more effective taking into consideration lessons and experience of ENPI 2007-2013.

In several presentations of this session it was noted that territorial cooperation gradually develops from implementation of separate projects to cohesion of programme priorities and development strategies of cooperating regions on both sides of borders.

The importance of big infrastructure as well as soft people-to-people projects was underlined, and it is necessary to note that in both categories the projects of Estonia-Latvia-Russia CBC Programme were not once mentioned as examples of best practices.

At the Plenary session devoted to the lessons of the ENPI 2007-2013 the floor was given to the representatives of all 5 CBC Programmes with participation of Russia - South-East Finland – Russia, Karelia, Kolarctic, Estonia-Latvia-Russia and Lithuania-Poland-Russia.

Ms Svetlana Bibichkova, the Head of Department for Development of Cross-border Cooperation of the Ministry for Regional Development of RF, stated that the main remarkable result of the ENPI-2007-2013 is fostering of neighbourly relations between participating countries. During the previous and current year the Ministry elaborated regulations and legal grounds for the next period of programmes. Ms Svetlana Bibichkova expressed hope that new programmes will be timely launched.

The experience of Estonia-Latvia-Russia Programme was presented by the Head of the Cross-Border Cooperation Programs unit of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia and Deputy Head of the Joint Managing Authority of the Programme Ms Zanda Mangule.

Ms Zanda Mangule introduced the audience with the most important lessons of Estonia-Latvia-Russia Programme on such issues as projects selection and assessment, programme management and preparation of the next period programmes. The importance of joint approach to the programme management, true international character of programme team, importance of training of programme and project staff and support “on-the-spot” through Branch Offices and on-spot visits were stated by Ms Zanda Mangule and supported in the presentations of other programmes’ representatives.

Other important lessons were necessity of close cooperation with National and Regional Authorities, timely planning, especially with regard to Large-scale projects, visibility and recognisability of programmes etc.

Plenary session “From separate projects to complex development of border regions” invited representatives of partner bordering regions and associations to share opinions and know-how on many years of cooperation and joint work. The Head of the Government of Murmansk Region of RF Mr Vladimir Losev, Director of the Ministerial Commission on Cross-Border Cooperation Mr Jan Peironi, Consultant of the Department for External Relations of the Committee for Economy and Investment Policy of Pskov Region Administration Ms Maria Bulatova, Director of the Union of Baltic Cities Mr Mikko Lohikoski, Director of Info Buro of the Nordic Council of Ministers in St. Petersburg Mr Mika Boedeker, The Head of the Outpost of Chamber of Commerce of Hamburg in St. Petersburg Ms Gabriele Kotschau were the speakers of this session.

Experience in realisation of cooperation projects in one of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia Programme active regions – Pskov Region was introduced by Ms Maria Bulatova. She expressed the opinion, supported by other speakers, that CBC is one of the important instruments of regional development. The results of cooperation projects’ work are noticeable in Pskov Region as 70% of projects have strong infrastructure component.

The Estonia-Latvia-Russia Programme was well represented at the Conference and Exhibition in every possible way.

Photos of the event can be viewed at the Gallery.

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