On 29-31 October in Strasbourg, France, the Latvia-Russia CBC programme together with 6 other ENI CBC programmes met the Council of Europe for a first-ever introduction of the CBC programmes operating on the external borders of the European Union. The Council of Europe is the organization of European countries that seeks to protect democracy and human rights and to promote European unity by fostering cooperation on legal, cultural, and social issues.
During the 37th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (Congress), the ENI CBC programmes’ event was focused in particular on 7 programmes involving EU Member States and the Russian Federation to represent a unique tool for cooperation between national, local and regional bodies which jointly address common challenges of border regions in the areas of environment, health, business support, mobility and people-to-people cooperation.
The diversity of cross-border cooperation was highlighted by presentation of programme-financed activities in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Norway and Russia to the participants of the seminar and visitors of the ENI CBC exhibition stand. Later, an official reception took place to reach participants of other Congress sessions.
The uniqueness and value created over the 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 programming periods has proven the significance of the cross-border cooperation between EU Member States and the Russian Federation:
It is very important to maintain strong relations on the field of regional and local authorities on both sides of the borders, and the cross-border cooperation with Russia is of particular importance. I hope this cooperation will continue successfully in a real win-win concept thanks to all what has been done in the past and what has the important consequences for the daily life of peoples, – Mr Karl-Heinz Lambertz Vice-President of the Chamber of Regions.
For us, for the Russian Federation, cross-border cooperation is a synergy of economic, cultural, and environmental projects. This is an opportunity to engage people living in the cross-border regions in active solution of problems associated with the establishment of friendly relations with people living in the neighbouring regions and neighbouring countries, – Mr Alexander Drozdenko Head of the Russian delegation to the Congress, Governor of Leningrad Region.
Three fruitful days at the Council of Europe gave the opportunity to the ENI CBC programmes to talk to ca. 300 participants of the Congress and to showcase the common work being done in the European and Russian border regions.