On 24 November 2016, Latvia-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 (hereinafter – Programme) held the official Launch event and Partner Search Forum in Daugavpils, Latvia.
Over 150 stakeholders and potential applicants from Latvia and Russia were greeted by the public officials from both countries. Jānis Eglīts, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia, stressed: “Latvia-Russia CBC programme is an important basis for cooperation, which helps us work together to solve a variety of important issues relevant for inhabitants of border area such as promotion of entrepreneurship, environmental protection and border management.”
“We can be proud of the achievements of the joint projects implemented in the previous programming period. The new programme demonstrates that two neighbouring countries are willing to continue the work started in the period 2007-2013 to contribute to the development of the Programme territory,” emphasised the Parliamentary Secretary.
Ilya Subbotin, Head of the Department of European cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the Russian Federation, in his welcome speech said, “We highly appreciate the CBC programmes for their all-weather character and non-dependency on the current political situation. Moreover, we would like to extend the philosophy of the cross-border cooperation to the entire spectrum of relations with our European neighbours. Russia and Europe have lived alongside each other for centuries and it is within our common interest for the borders not to divide us but to bring us closer.”
Mr Subbotin shared the view of his colleague from Latvia saying, “We count on the current Programme to inherit all the positive traits of the previous generation in particular the “Estonia – Latvia – Russia” CBC Programme. We also hope that the positive experience of the previous programming period will increase the efficiency of program implementation.”
Also the mayor of Daugavpils City, Jānis Lāčplēsis, in his speech highlighted the great importance of cross-border cooperation to boost neighbourly relations and regional development. “Today we are doing our best to develop cross-border cooperation in various fields like culture, health, education and, of course, business,” he said.
Deputy Head of the Joint Managing Authority, Iruma Kravale, gave a general overview of the Programme, as well as introduced the participants with the potential timeline for the 1st Call of Proposals. While Natalija Kulakova, a senior expert of Latvia-Russia Programme Unit, Development Instruments Department, presented the project summaries of all four Direct Award Project proposals.
To inspire innovative project ideas, a session on how to develop cross border cooperation project ideas was delivered by Iveta Puzo, senior expert of TESIM (Technical Support to the Implementation and Management of ENI CBC programmes).
The official ceremony was followed by Partner Search Forum, where potential applicants were encouraged to share their project ideas and find like-minded partners to apply jointly for Latvia-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme financing. The Partner Forum helped to build shared understanding on the recent developments in the areas of Programme’s support, as well as provided tips on how to find project partners and form long-lasting partnerships. Methodological support for the Forum was provided by the TESIM experts Iveta Puzo and Edmunds Snikeris.
The call for proposals will be opened in the beginning of 1st quarter of next year leaving enough time for partners to plan the projects wisely and be ready to succeed in competing for Programme support.
The presentations delivered at the conference are published HERE.