On the 20th and 21st of September 2019, a cross-border bike ride took place. It was organised by the Joint Technical Secretariat of the Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 together with the Association of Active Tourism Center ‘KOŁODROM’. In this way, the Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 joined the celebration of this year’s 8th edition of the European Cooperation Day (ECDay). The main objective of the bike ride was to present the achievements of European regions and countries cooperating beyond national borders. The events related to the celebration of ECDay were organised as a part of programmes of territorial cooperation in over 30 countries.
The bike ride started with a visit to the Boyen Fortress – a place where the project ‘Giżycko and Sovetsk – cooperation for the development of preservation of the historical, cultural and natural heritage of the cross-border area’, approved by the Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 will be implemented. After visiting the fortress, participants were cycling from Giżycko to Gołdap, covering a distance of over 60 kilometres. On the following day, attendees cycled through the Polish-Russian border (Gołdap-Gusiew) and reached Oziersk where they visited the historical buildings which will also be modernised within the Programme in the project entitled ’15 seconds of history through the eyes of young people. Castles, barracks and legends’. Then, participants travelled to the International Center for the Development of Creativity of Children and Youth in Oziersk, renovated from the funds of the Lithuania-Poland-Russia Programme 2007-2013, where the bike ride was officially completed.
“The Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 is an excellent example that a border can connect, not divide. From the perspective of a bike, it is easy to see how close we are to each other and how we develop and modernise the reality that surrounds us. During the bike ride, we all saw examples of projects which have already been implemented in the programme’s previous edition and visited the beneficiaries whose projects will be implemented in the future years. This shows how important our actions are and encourages us to effective work on the success of all of the implemented projects.” – said Ewa Termena-Chyży, representative of the Programme’s Managing Authority.
"Every year, the Poland-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme celebrates the European Cooperation Day. In this way, we want to emphasize that the role of the programmes, such as our Programme, is larger than only the development of infrastructure or the improvement of the border regions. Indeed, we support the inhabitants of the Polish-Russian border region who experience the benefits of the investments, implemented within the Programme, on a daily basis. But our goal is also to develop relationships between people and strengthen ties between nations. We are here to build friendships on both sides of the border.” – emphasized Katarzyna Maria Bartnik, Head of the Joint Technical Secretariat of the Poland-Russia Programme 2014-2020
A total of 40 participants from Poland and Russia cycled together along the bike ride route, including representatives of the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development of the Republic of Poland (Managing Authority), representatives of the Euroregion, the Programme’s beneficiaries and representatives of other institutions cooperating with the Programme.