On Tuesday, October 9, 2018, the Annual Event of the Poland-Russia CBC Programme 2014-2020 was held at the Robert’s Port Hotel, Mikołajki (Poland). The event was directed at Polish and Russian institutions and aimed at presenting the current state of the Programme at the Polish-Russian border, the summary of the call for proposals and the examples of good practices of cross-border project implementation. It was also an opportunity for the applicants to establish contacts and to get to know more about each other.
The event attracted a lot of interest. It was attended by approximately 160 people, including representatives of Polish and Russian national, regional and local authorities, non-governmental organizations, research institutions, etc. The conference was inaugurated with speeches delivered by Mr Leszek Jan Buller, Director of the Center of European Projects, Ms Małgorzata Chętko, representative of the Managing Authority of the Programme, and Ms Syuzanna Vatfa, representative of the National Authority of the Russian Federation.
"We are here to build friendship on both sides of the border. The Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 gives us an opportunity to enrich the border regions. Not only regarding development of infrastructure – e.g. construction of bridges, but also in terms of developing relations between people and strengthening bonds between both nations," said Mr Leszek Jan Buller, while opening the conference.
"The Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 is an excellent example of how the border can unite, not divide. The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation is always ready to offer its assistance to the regions. I wish the participants of the projects success and achievement of the intended goals," said Ms Syuzanna Vatfa. She also informed the participants that the Russian Federation had just ratified the Agreement on financing and implementation of the Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020.
"The Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme involves more than 5.5 million people whom we may offer 62.47 million euro of co-financing. We will support the implementation of two types of projects, including Large Infrastructure Projects, which have a special strategic importance," emphasized Ms Małgorzata Chętko.
During the event, three Large Infrastructure Projects were presented, which are waiting approval of the European Commission. Afterwards, a discussion panel was held. Among the guests of the panel, there were beneficiaries of the previous Lithuania-Poland-Russia 2007-2013 Programme. The panel started with a speech by Mr Paweł Molenda, TESIM ENI CBC Expert. He emphasized the importance of caring for good relations and trust among the partners as they are required throughout the planning, implementation and settlement of the project. The participants of the discussion panel had an opportunity to share their experience in such fields as search for partners, benefits from the implementation of projects and coordination of cooperation. Mr Pavel Elizarov, Advisor to the Head of Ozersk Municipality on Cross-border Cooperation, stressed the importance of cross-border projects as they bring people together and provide an opportunity to develop infrastructure as well as to improve the life of residents, for example, in public healthcare.
Ms Katarzyna Bartnik, Head of the Joint Technical Secretariat of the Poland-Russia Programme 2014-2020, and Mr Krzysztof Maryl, Minister’s Counsellor at the Department of Territorial Cooperation (Ministry of Investment and Economic Development of the Republic of Poland), presented the conducted call for proposals within the Programme. The amount of requested co-financing of the submitted application forms exceeded the amount available for the call for proposals fourfold. At the moment, all application forms submitted within the Heritage priority are being assessed. In the middle of January 2019, a meeting of the Joint Monitoring Committee on the selection of projects is planned to be held.
After the conference, the participants of the event took part in a networking session during a ship cruise on the Mikołajskie Lake. The session allowed the participants, including the applicants who will be jointly implementing their projects, to socialize with each other.
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