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

Eligible area

The Programme area includes the following NUTS III units:

  • in Lithuania: Klaipėda, Marijampolė and Tauragė counties and as adjacent: Alytus, Kaunas, Telšiai and Šiauliai counties.

  • in Russian Federation: Kaliningrad Oblast (region).

  • in Poland: Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot, Gdański, Elbląski, Olsztyński, Ełcki, Białostocko-Suwalski sub-regions and as adjacent Słupski, Bydgoski, Toruńsko-Włocławski, Łomżyński, Ciechanowsko-Płocki, Ostrołęcko-Siedlecki. Those sub regions (NUTSIII) belong to five Polish provinces (NUTSII): Pomorskie, Podlaskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie and Mazowieckie Voivodships (regions).

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The total Programme area encompasses 156.1 thousand sq. km (including 77 751 sq. km of adjacent regions).

The main obstacles to cooperation are of political and socio-economic nature. The existing visa and custom regimes between the EU and Russia hamper flows of goods and people within the eligible area, which affects the natural communication routes and lines, the transit between Kaliningrad and Russian mainland but also EU internal transit between Poland and Lithuania. Economic differences, reflected in different price levels and tax regimes, result in administrative limitations regarding the amount of duty free import and export and translate into cumbersome border controls.

The co-operating regions also differ with regard to their administrative status. Kaliningrad is a self-governmental region with a strong federal influence and special incentives for enterprises to be actively engaged in foreign trade (special economic zone).Polish regions (voivodships) are of self-government nature with directly elected regional assemblies and regional boards headed by elected marshals. Governors, representing the state government in the region, perform mainly control functions. In Lithuania the situation is different, the heads of the regions (governors) are appointed directly by the government. The regional development councils (regiono pletros taryba) are not directly elected but composed of the representatives of county's municipalities and the county governor, and their tasks are mainly of a consultative nature.

In Poland and Lithuania local authorities enjoy high discretionary power in their field of competences. In Russia they are financially dependent from the regional and national authorities, although the Russian federal authorities encourage regional participation and regional decision making process with regard to the CBC programmes.

The differences in the governance systems can be also illustrated by the willingness of local population to join non-governmental organizations. For instance in Polish regions there are 23 to 30 NGOs per 10 000 citizens whereas in Kaliningrad around 15.

Geographical conditions of the Programme area (mainly high percentage of forest and woodland and numerous lakes) influence the settlement structure, which is characterised by a low population density in most of the regions and long distances between large cities within the Programme area. The average population density is 72 people per sq. km much below the EU average of 114 inhabitants per sq km. The highest values are found in the metropolitan sub-region of Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot (1809 person per sq. km) in Poland, while the lowest values characterise mostly Lithuanian regions such as Taurage county (30 persons per sq. km).

The economic active population is concentrated in the largest urban centres, which are the motors for the socio-economic development. Only Tri-city agglomeration (Gdańsk- Gdynia- Sopot) has been considered as a metropolitan region in a European scale (MEGA). However, the Programme area is featured with important cities playing a prominent role in the Baltic co-operation (so called Baltic cities according to the VASAB typology). Among them are Kaunas, Klaipeda and Siauliai (second, third and fourth city in Lithuania as far as population is concerned), Kaliningrad, Olsztyn, Białystok and Elbląg as well as Bydgoszcz andToruń in the adjacent area.

The settlement structure of the Programme area might create some challenges for sustainable development. Concentration of economic and social development in large cities creates unfavourable conditions for the socio-economic development in rural areas and small urban centres. This in turn might induce migration to urban areas and depopulation of rural areas. Therefore in situ urbanisation and rural economic restructuring might become an important developmental option for the analysed territory. From the ecological perspective the fragmented settlement pattern and low population density on one hand lowers the ecological pressure in the rural areas but on the other hand it may cause problems in the rational utilisation / expansion of the environmental protection infrastructure (e.g. waste water treatment plants, landfills, recycling plants) and the efficient use of available energy.



The Lithuania – Poland – Russia Programme
is co-financed with the funds from the European Union
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