It’s done! The first round of ENI CBC projects has been approved during the month of June. The importance of this milestone – also from a symbolic point of view – is unquestionable. Throughout the community substantial progress is being made, letting assume that many more will join the ranks of approved projects before the end of the year.
Approved projects in detail
The first programme to take the award decision was Kolarctic, which selected eleven projects, representing 12 Mio€ of programme financing, during the Joint Monitoring Committee held in Oslo on 8-9 June. Against an increasing trend of bilateral cooperation, a very interesting feature in this programme is that seven out of the eleven selected projects involve the four participating countries, the rest being trilateral. The themes covered are also quite diverse, ranging from growth and employability to transport and logistics, agro-forestry and bioremediation. But not only have they selected projects: our colleagues from Rovaniemi have also launched the second call, which will remain open until 29 September 2017. Many information events will take place during the month of August in all participating countries.
A week later, the Joint Monitoring Committee of Karelia gathered in Sortavala and selected fourteen micro-projects for contracting: ten promoting cross-border business cooperation and four contributing to rendering Karelia a cleaner and more comfortable region to live in. Quite relevant is the involvement of the private sector in some of these projects, a feature we will certainly explore in future bulletins. In view of the quality and number of proposals received, the programme also decided to increase the financial envelope for the running calls and the one on business cooperation has already moved to the next phase, with 23 pre-selected proposals invited to participate.
Since there is no two without three, South-East Finland-Russia selected ten projects during the Committee held in Lappeenranta on 20 June. Detailed information on the proposals is not yet available, so we will have to wait a bit to know more. But also in this case things do not stop here! The second call closed on 30 June, and 51 applications have been received. News about the third call will be provided in autumn.
What to say? Mid-summer seems a real call for action. Congratulations for these achievements!
Gradually, Estonia-Russia, Latvia-Lithuania-Belarus and Poland-Belarus-Ukraine progress in the selection process. They are now joined by Black Sea Basin, who has received an impressive amount (301) of proposals by the deadline of the first call.
On the promotional end, close to 250 participants attended the information seminars on the contents and the application procedures of the call for proposals that were organised during the month of June by Latvia-Russia in Valmiera, Rezekne, St. Petersburg and Pskov. TESIM actively contributed to these events and we have experienced live the interest raised by the programme in the eligible regions. This will also be the case for Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine, which is holding information events this week in all participating countries. The event in Satu Mare will be organised together with Romania-Ukraine, an experience to be further enhanced. With Palestine having signed the Financing Agreement in June, nearly everything is ready for the launching of the first call of Mediterranean Sea Basin. In their first six information events, all of them held in Member States, the total number of registered participants has exceeded the quota of 500, with a sound balance in terms of institutional profile of participants. We are sure that the events in the Partner Countries will be equally successful!
Both Romania-Ukraine and Romania-Moldova have launched the public consultations on the guidelines for applicants; the consultation is open until 10 July and after that date a decision on the launching of the first call will be taken. And on 21 July, Italy-Tunisia will hold a technical meeting in order to discuss the key features of its application pack.
And the two last programmes to join the community are taking actions to reach the same level of advancement as those adopted in 2015. Poland-Russia organised on 22 June an information seminar at the premises of the Marshal Office of the Pomorskie Voivodship in Gdańsk, which counted the participation of almost 90 representatives of local and regional government units, public offices, non-governmental organisations and academia. On that same day the first Joint Monitoring Committee meeting of Lithuania-Russia took place in Sokolniki; with this meeting, all active ENI CBC programmes have now accomplished this step.
As you can see, many things are happening all around the ENI CBC community. And this is just a summary overview of news related to the calls for proposals. Many other news dealing with other subjects have not found their space in this article. And this is actually a good sign!
For further news on specific issues, please visit the relevant section of the TESIM website.