Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013
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Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013 BW

Programme priorities

PRIORITY MEASURE
1. Contributing to solving common
    problems and challenges
 1.1. Sustainable use of
        environment
1.2. Accessibility improvement
2. Pursuing social, economic and
    spatial development  
2.1. Tourism development
2.2. Development of human potential
       by improvement of social conditions,
       governance and educational
       opportunities
2.3. Increasing competitiveness 
       of SMEs and development
       of the labour market
2.4. Joint spatial and socio-economic planning
3. Horizontal priority dedicated 
    to people-to-people cooperation
 

PRIOTITY 1: CONTRIBUTING TO SOLVING COMMON PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES

Strategic orientation

As a result of the socio-economic analysis, it is clear that the main problems of the Programme area are the preservation of natural heritage (Measure 1) and ensuring better connectivity (Measure 2). The actions under these two measures are aimed at creating a long term preconditions for sustainable development and territorial cohesion of the Programme area. Some of them would be of an investment character. i.e. aiming at preparation and implementation of investments. Such projects should be of a pilot nature (i.e. their experience should be important for and applicable in the other parts of the Programme area). Therefore such projects should have a strong promotional component ensuring proper dissemination of the knowledge and experience acquired. The broader partnership in such dissemination activities compared with the core (infrastructure oriented) actions would be strongly recommended.

Measure 1.1. Sustainable use of environment

High quality natural resources, national and regional parks and rich biodiversity are an important landmark of the Programme area. The environmental sector is of great socioeconomic importance in terms of stimulating the local economy and employment, particularly in tourism/recreational activities. However, the local environment still suffers from serious and still unsolved problems, causing threats both to the stability of economic development and to social welfare. Therefore, the focus should be placed on jointly addressing the Gothenburg Agenda objectives, in particular by diminishing the discharge of untreated waste waters, improving the quality of waste management and curbing air pollution by different measures, including energy saving and energy efficiency measures, enhancement of bioenergy production and other preventive types of activities. By preparing (and piloting) investments in e.g. such fields as bio-energy or wind power energy, the programme may contribute to the decrease of the green-house effects. The Programme is an adequate tool for sharing knowledge and developing joint action plans on renewable energy sources and energy saving. Sustainable development of the Programme area requires also actions to improve awareness of the general public about the value and importance of sustainable consumption (e.g. through eco-labelling). Such consumption should in consequence lead to more environment friendly production as well. The list of indicative actions under each measure is not exhaustive and closed and its aim is to signal examples of actions that could be financed in the Programme.

Indicative actions:

  • Sustainable cross-border waste water and waste management solutions including investments in modern waste water and waste management, in particular those improving directly and indirectly quality of the water of the Baltic Sea, as well as joint cross-border actions aimin  at decreasing the outflows of nutrients from small and diffuse sources.
  • Air and water monitoring, establishment of cross-border systems of exchange of environmental data and local investments diminishing air pollution of cross-border character.
  • Actions for land rehabilitation for sustainable use.
  • Development of cross-border strategies for preservation and use of natural and cultural heritage sites and landscapes and traditions for local and regional development.
  • More efficient use of energy and the promotion of renewable energy sources thus reducing the harmful impact on the environment and resulting in lower energy consumption (including in terms of costs), preparation and implementation of joint action plans for promoting renewable energy sources and energy saving and energy efficiency patterns, including small scale investments; improvement of energy management systems.
  • Competence building and co-operation between local and regional authorities in the field of local contingency planning.

Measure 1. 2. Accessibility improvement

As shown in the analysis, the connectivity is an important weakness of the Programme area. A good point of departure for further investigations is provided by transport development projects in the South Baltic area co-funded by the Baltic Sea Region Interreg IIIB Programme, such as South Baltic Arc or Baltic Gateway. The programme can further analyse the supply and demand sides of the transportation services and provide incentives for improvement of passenger transport services in the Programme area. However, the scale and magnitude of the assistance under the current programme are not sufficient to allow for implementation of a large scale transport infrastructure of national importance. Therefore the focus should be on practical solutions and on small-scale investments. Priority will be given to development of the existing border crossing points and the new ones for local residents and tourists (water, bike and pedestrian points) as well as local roads offering important cross-border effects and influence. Equally important is to integrate various transport modes and transport operators to make the passenger and cargo transit through the Programme area faster and more customer-oriented. Such solutions as a single ticket for several modes of transport, booking of transport services over the borders, speeding up of the custom and border control procedures in passenger transport, planning new cross-border bus, train and ship connections would be welcome. All initiatives and efforts improving transport accessibility shall be based on environmentally friendly solutions.

Indicative actions:

  • Investments in border crossing points serving mainly tourists and local population and improvement of existing border crossing points.
  • Improvements of the local transport infrastructure (local infrastructure means the roads of municipal, county and regional importance as well as railway lines which provide access to national roads and railways leading to border crossing points) offering substantial cross-border impact and influence or improving external and internal accessibility of the Programme area.
  • Preparation and implementation of the transport and infrastructure plans as elements of broader strategies of development of the areas on both sides of the border.
  • Preparation and implementation of feasibility studies for transport bottlenecks and missing links hindering formation of a coherent multimodal transport system in the Programme area based on a prioritised list of investments offering the strongest cross-border effect and influence,
  • Joint actions of infrastructure owners, cargo owners, border and custom administration and traffic operators dedicated to quality improvement of transport connections and better co-operation between different modes of transport and transport providers.
  • Provision of practical solutions to increase sustainability and quality of passenger transport services in the Programme area.

PRIORITY 2: PURSUING SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT

Strategic orientation

As a result of the socio-economic analysis, it is clear that the main potentials of the Programme area are the human capital and tourism. The region might also be a laboratory for co-operation between the EU and Russia in innovation fostering and development. However, the socio-economic potentials of the Programme area are fragmented by the existing borders and are poorly bound with one another by means of the transport infrastructure and regional development policies. As described in the analysis of the present situation, these factors speaks for coordinated effort in socio-economic and spatial planning (Measure 4) as well as development and management of key assets of the Programme area: labour, entrepreneurship and innovativeness (Measure 3), human potential and social capital (Measure 2) and tourist attractions (Measure1). Such approach will improve integration of the Programme area by focusing energy and resources of the people around joint tasks with clear synergetic effects and benefits for all co-operating parties (win-win situations). It will contribute to diminishing discrepancies indicated in the analysis and will pave the way for market forces to strengthen the efforts of the public agents in the further course of development of the Programme area. Taking into account the limited funds of the programme, activities with hardly cross-border impact and/or possible for implementation without cross-border approach should not be funded (e.g. renovation of cultural heritage of local importance only).

Measure 2.1. Tourism development

Tourism plays an important role in the economy of the Programme area and demonstrates the potential to be even more developed due to the high quality of the natural and cultural heritage and traditions (e.g. food, dances, festivals etc.). Tourism creates essential opportunities especially in coastal and rural areas. However, underdeveloped tourism infrastructure as well as low transport accessibility were identified as one of the main weaknesses in the sector, seriously hampering its growth and limiting the number of incoming and local tourists. Also, poor marketing, lack of integrated tourist products, lack of proper labelling and certification makes the Programme area less attractive especially for foreign tourists. Therefore it is important to develop both tourism infrastructure and diverse and attractive tourist products. Equally important is a better dissemination of tourism information and promotion of the joint tourist products. Development of the tourism infrastructure should be treated as a shared responsibility of the public and private sector. Public sector should focus on accessibility of the assets or restoration of cultural sites, whereas private sector should improve quality and availability of accommodation and catering services. The method of labelling and certification can be an important instrument to that end. While implementing tourist-related actions, environmental sustainability shall be taken into account to prevent degradation of the territory, large parts of which are protected under NATURA 2000 directives (Directive of the Council 79/409/EEC on conservation of wild birds and Directive of the Council 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora).

Indicative actions:

  • Joint creation as well as preparation and implementation of feasibility studies on cross-border tourist products (e.g. cross-border thematic routes cross-border agro tourist products) respecting protection needs for natural and cultural heritage.
  • Preparation and implementation of small-scale investments enhancing tourism infrastructure in the Programme area (e.g. joint IT systems for presenting and selling common tourist products, restoration of the local cultural heritage sites as part of the broader cross-border tourist product, improving access to the sites whenever found necessary for creation of common cross-border tourist products, construction of missing fragments of the bike routes of cross-border character, or marinas complementing the existing chain of the marina network of the Programme area).
  • Renovation of the culture heritage infrastructure, which leads to creation of a tourist attraction for the whole Programme area.
  • Joint actions promoting common tourist products.
  • Joint labelling and certifying of tourist destinations.

Меasure 2.2 Development of human potential by improvement of social conditions, governance and educational opportunities.

The educational system is important for eliminating mental and cultural barriers for integration of the Programme area. However, due to the limited resources only projects with high and clear multiplier effects may be supported within this theme. The pure exchange of students or teachers done at ad hoc basis should be avoided as well as projects limited to scholarship granting. A joint work on new forms of education, on readjustment of the educational systems and curricula in response to the changing requirements of the labour market will be promoted. Equally important is developing and spreading out in the participating regions the knowledge on the neighbours from the other side of the national border. The programme can also look at the accessibility of educational centres and cater for expansion of the educational infrastructure (wherever it is economically justified) and for new forms of education (e.g. e-learning) in order to facilitate the access to education at each level. While enhancing cross-border integration attention should be paid to the social sphere. Decreasing mental barriers and prejudices is impossible without cultural exchange. Combating communicable diseases is an important task in the Programme area. It is also necessary to orientate the co-operation schemes in the social sphere towards key issues essential for civil society formation such as: combating social exclusion, local community and democracy development, efficient provision of social and health services, intercultural dialogue and understanding, promotion of equal opportunities, increasing working mobility, exchange of culture and, last but not least, prevention of pathology among young people. Good governance is an important prerequisite for removing barriers of cross-border integration. Co-operation on governance will also contribute to establishing a political of mutual trust, the lack of which was mentioned as an important threat for the long term integration of the Programme area. As a consequence of the personal contacts between concrete peoples from regional and local authorities from both sides of the borders a mutual learning should appear. If successful such co-operation will lead not only to the exchange of good practices or competence building through benchmarking but also to policy coordination, whenever this might be beneficial for the development of the Programme area (e.g. combating organized crime).

Indicative actions:

  • Development of practical solutions to improve the accessibility of educational centres and the availability of new forms of education (e.g. e-learning, exchange courses for researchers) covering problems of joint importance for the Programme area.
  • Multi-annual programmes for teachers and researchers to learn about the development of the neighbouring cross-border regions and to share this knowledge on a more permanent basis with students and other teachers and researchers in their home institutions.
  • Improvement of the quality of education and increase of accessibility to lifelong learning through joint cross-border efforts.
  • Joint efforts in adjusting the educational systems to the changing demands of the labour markets.
  • Co-operation in the field of health care, in particular joint common actions for TB and AIDS control, preventive programmes, education for good health, e-health care.
  • Strengthening social and cultural integration of border territories.
  • Preparation of pilot and innovative projects focusing on common social challenges such as: innovative forms of services for the elderly and socially vulnerable groups of population, preventing youth migration.
  • Strengthening local democracy and civil society formation e.g. participation of people in decision making and development at local level, local community and democracy development, combating social exclusion, efficient provision of social services, intercultural dialogue and understanding, promotion of equal opportunities, youth inclusion.
  • Strengthening good governance, in particular enhancement of participatory strategic socio-economic planning and programming.
  • Coordination of regional and local government policies in the field of combating organized crime.

Measure 2.3. Increasing competitiveness of SMEs and development of the labour market

The development of the programme area, at least on the EU side, is dependent on a sound and active SME sector. In Kaliningrad as well as in some regions of Poland and Lithuania larger enterprises play a more prominent role. This is an excellent opportunity for searching for synergies between large and small firms. Despite restriction in granting support to private entities the Programme may still enhance the entrepreneurial development by supporting platforms and networks for liaising between the area's small and middle-sized enterprises. It can also enhance co-operation between intermediary support structures for SMEs aimed at strengthening cross-border co-operation of the business sector. The Programme can also support the improvement of the effectiveness of the research and development (R&D) system to make it more oriented towards the business community and more responsive to public policy needs. Equally important for business development are marketing campaigns to attract foreign direct investments, the improvement of the labour market and the availability of updated and reliable information necessary for settling down new businesses.

Indicative actions:

  • Strengthening of intermediary support structures for SMEs (development agencies, business foundations, chambers of commerce and industry, chambers of crafts, technological parks, business incubators etc.) and SME networks for better liaising between small and medium sized enterprises in the Programme area.
  • Joint initiatives of intermediary support structures for SMEs aimed at improving cross-border co-operation of SMEs.
  • Enhancement of research networks (universities and R&D institutions) towards their better linkages to enterprises and local and regional governments.
  • Joint innovation fostering and development.
  • Stimulation of trade and investments by joint training and marketing.
  • Development and pooling of labour market in border areas e.g. through the creation of common data bases, joint training etc.
  • Strengthening the development of rural areas in the Programme area by training of farmers, organisation of exchange of experience for them on diversification of rural activities, realisation of demonstration projects.
  • Promotion of a temporary exchange of the professionals with the specific skills and qualifications to transfer the know-how and good experience missing in the recipient region.

Measure 2.4 Joint spatial and socio-economic planning

More complex projects focusing on preconditions for the sustainable development of cross-border functional areas and addressing simultaneously several fields, like: business, tourism development, as well as sustainable use of environment and/or connectivity might be welcome under this measure. Some projects might facilitate implementation of the previously agreed cross-border strategies for the most sensitive cross-border areas requiring integrated (multisectoral) and joint interventions on both sides of the borders. Typical examples of such areas are Vistula/Kaliningrad Lagoon, Curonian (Kuršių) Lagoon, Nemunas/Niemen/Neman delta calling for joint management plans.

Indicative actions:

  • Development of cross-border sea use plans, such as: Vistula/Kaliningrad and Curonian (Kuršių) lagoons.
  • Spatial planning and socio economic planning of functional cross-border areas in particular rural areas.
  • Cross-border coordination of regional and local socio-economic strategies and spatial plans.
  • Practical actions in support to joint planning.
  • Joint researches for regional development.

There will be also a horizontal priority within the Programme devoted to the people to people co-operation and implemented through so called micro-projects. Such projects are essential to bridge people in order to lower mental and cultural barriers for integration. However, such people-to-people actions might also bring important synergetic effects accelerating sustainable growth in the Programme area in the long run. The implementation of this kind of activities in the Programme area started in 1994. One of the tools was PHARE Small Project Facility. Then the actions were undertaken through the Small Project Fund operating in Poland and Lithuania. Both programmes were warmly welcomed by the local populations. Under the Neighbourhood Programme Lithuania-Poland-Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation 2004-2006 actions on the local level were implemented within the measure 2.1 Support for the local community initiatives. However there was no special mechanism foreseen for the micro-projects.

The programme will offer ground for developing co-operation networks at the crossborder level with broad involvement of local communities, NGOs and the media. The programme will support efforts to create a broader anchoring of the cross-border co-operation with the involvement of a broader public. The general purpose of supporting local initiatives is the development and intensification of cooperation between communities on both sides of the border, that in the future should improve the situation in the fields of culture, education, tourism and sports as well as in the social and economic spheres. Such networks will materialise the institutional co-operation that has often been conducted for a long time, but there were no formal financial instruments supporting it. Thanks to micro-projects, the promotion of social and economic activities and consequently the creation of better conditions for the further development of the border region will be achieved. Foreseen actions will aim at strengthening the regional identity and mutual understanding, as well as overcoming the existing barriers. The success of the Programme will be possible only when local communities cooperate in as many areas as possible on a regular basis, establishing durable contacts and networks. However, an important prerequisite is that the contacts established through the assistance will be of a durable (non-ad hoc) character, contributing to the integration of the Programme area even after the project completion.

In order to promote micro-projects, under each priority an indicative amount of money will be reserved for them by decision of the Joint Monitoring Committee. The microproject will be mainly identified by the size of the budget, and their people to people character. Under those projects a leadership first of all of euroregions, local governments, non-governmental organizations, education facilities and religious congregations is expected. Special credit will be given to projects of innovative character (with none or hardly any replication of previously implemented actions) and those creating durable co-operation networks to be continued after the project closure. To facilitate the management of the microprojects within the Programme, so called umbrella projects, run by experienc d partners and composed of smaller projects unified by a common theme, will be welcomed.



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