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Estonia-Latvia-Russia Programme Celebrates Magic of CBC in the Closing Conference

Success of cross border cooperation (CBC) in frame of Estonia-Latvia-Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership instrument 2007-2013 (hereafter – Programme) was celebrated in the Programme Closing Event “Magic of CBC” held on 23 September 2015 in Riga, Latvia. The conference has given also insights to new opportunities for the cross border cooperation till the year 2020.


Event gathered more than 130 participants representing European Commission, state institutions, regional and local authorities and project implementers from Estonia, Latvia and Russia.


The Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia Mr Kaspars Gerhards opened the event with warm welcome to the participants. In his speech it was stressed that each euro invested in the projects was targeted to increasing living standards of local population in border regions. Minister concluded that the Programme in its great diversity of activities carried out and outcomes reached have greatly promoted development of border regions.




Remarkable results achieved by trilateral Programme, its supported projects and overall contribution to regional development in three countries were highlighted by various speakers of the conference.


“The cooperation with neighbouring regions is most helpful as it is often more efficient to tackle similar problems together. Environmental protection as well as quick border crossing can be achieved only if both sides unify their efforts,” was concluded by the Minister of Public Administration of Estonia Mr Arto Aas.




“Regional cooperation of Russia and the EU member states should stay as constructive and fruitful as it always was for the sake of regional prosperity and preservation of common historical legacy and traditions,” said Deputy Head of Department for Regional and Cross Border Cooperation Development of Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Mr Vladimir Kuchiev.


Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia Ms Inna Šteinbuka in opening words stated: “Through the supported projects, partners have joined forces to solve common problems and ultimately increase the prosperity of their regions. In doing so, they have overcome borders and language differences. This is, I believe, testimony to the success of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme.”


Positive impact and significance of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia Programme in development of people to people cooperation, establishment of new infrastructure and realisation of innovative solutions in various spheres in border regions was stressed by participants of the panel discussion - representatives of National and Regional Authorities, European Commission and local municipalities.


Review and life cycle of the Programme has been also gathered and reflected in newly issued colourful and vivid Programme photo album “8 years in 300 pages” which was presented by the Head of the Joint Managing Authority, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia Mr Sandis Cakuls. With compliments for collaboration the book was given to participants of the event.


       


European Cooperation Day greetings were delivered by Liaison Manager of INTERACT II Programme Ms Aisling Walsh who stressed the importance to turn attention to joint positive achievements and actions of the cross border cooperation in nowadays Europe.


Official Programme Awarding Ceremony accentuated distinguished projects in 7 nominations: Best Project Manager, Best Project Site, Best Promoter, Best Partnership, Best Impact for Future, Best Solutions, Life Changing Story. See the list of nominees here.

    

  

Musical performances were presented by various well-known Latvian musicians. The evening part of the Conference was opened by concert of internationally acknowledged cello band “Da Gamba” and mixed choir “Juventus”.



Further cross border cooperation between Estonia, Latvia and Russia will be implemented two bilateral programmes under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), for the period 2014 – 2020 – Estonia-Russia Programme and Latvia-Russia Programme.


Three regional final events of the ENPI Estonia-Latvia-Russia CBC Programme 2007-2013 were held on 28-29 April in Pskov, Russia, on 27-28 May in Tartu, Estonia and on 10-11 June 2015 in Gulbene, Latvia.


Altogether 50 cross-border cooperation projects have been supported by the ENPI Estonia-Latvia-Russia CBC Programme 2007-2013 with the overall budget of 58,89 MEUR involving 241 partners from three countries.


Photos of event by Kaspars Garda.


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