Cooperation through the eyes of journalists in the East


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Cooperation through the eyes of journalists in the East

  1. 1. FOREWORD FOREWORD A flavour of A flavour of Neighbourhood neighbourhood cooperation cooperation “What exactly are you achieving with all this money?” This is a key question we are asked on a daily basis when we talk about cooperation with our Neighbours in public. Explaining projects in their specific context is difficult enough. But what is even more difficult is to show the concrete added value of our Regional cooperation. Our best link to the public in the Neighbourhood countries is the media that can capture, analyse, and finally, tell a story. I’m therefore proud to present this first story magazine, written through the ENPI Info Centre under the Regional Information and Communication Programme. The Partnership through “the eyes of the journalists” is meant to give readers a flavour of our cooperation in the 16 countries benefiting from the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument. And, hopefully, it will help to give an answer to the recurrent question on what exactly we achieve. Marcus Cornaro Director Europe, Southern Mediterranean, Middle-East and Neighbourhood Policy EuropeAid Development and Co-operation Directorate-General2 Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours 3
  2. 2. Index No political boundaries for forests Interview with Alexei Grigoriev 43 Saving the Black Sea by Ilona Iarmoliuk – Ukraine 44A flavour of Neighbourhood cooperation 3 Purer water for the Caspian Sea by Shahin Abbasov – Azerbaijan 47Regional cooperation through the eyes of journalists 6Our network of journalists 8 EnergyPeople Carbon footprints leading into the future by Iryna Tuz – Ukraine 51Education with European standards South Caucasus united by common electricity gridby Shahin Abbasov – Azerbaijan 11 by Maia Edilashvili – Georgia 55Students, parents and teachers to heal Blending loans and grants to finance investmentsthe wounds of Chernobyl for the Neighbourhoodby ITAR TASS/ENPI Info Centre – Belarus 14 Interview with Richard Weber 58BikeLand is transforming Ukrainian Carpathiansby Irina Tuz – Ukraine 17Working across borders to bring people togetherInterview with Bodil Person 20 TransportWill Europe save the old house in Vladimir? First TRACECA Investment Forum may help propelby ITAR TASS/ENPI Info Centre – Russia 22 Moldovan apples to European supermarkets by ENPI Info Centre – Moldova 61Local authorities – a bridge across the neighbourhoodInterview with Frank Samol 25 Safer ports in cleaner waters: towards international standards of maritime safety by Shahin Abbasov – Azerbaijan 64 Maritime highways to unlock a key transport route Environment Interview with Marc Abeille 67 Borders Divide Countries not Rivers Better regulations for safer air travel in TRACECA Partner by Irina Severin – Moldova 27 Interview with Thibault Raisson 68 Rivers to bridge the Caucasus divide At the cross-roads of development by Aghavni Harutyunyan – Armenia 30 by Shahin Abbasov – Azerbaijan 69 Managing water resources The big IDEA: coordination for an ambitious programme by Iryna Tuz – Ukraine 33 Interview with Ashraf Hamed 73 Water quality at stake A faster and safer railway for Armenia Interview with Steve Warren 36 by Aghavni Harutyunyan – Armenia 74 Forest protection and cranberry pies TRACECA training: teaching the teachers to teach by ITAR-TASS/ENPI Info Centre – Russia 37 Interview with Rene Meeuws 77 Moldovan Forest under EU Protection by Dmitri KALAK – Moldova 40 Find out more 78
  3. 3. Regional cooperationthrough the eyesof journalists Cooperation between the European Union and the countries participating in Telling the story the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and benefiting from the Euro- The ENPI Info Centre, in cooperation with journalists and photog- pean Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI) exists on two levels. raphers in the partner countries, has tracked down, written about The first is the political. The meetings where leaders get together to decide the and photographed some of the projects funded. The journalists re- All the stories are available on the “Feature policy areas on which emphasis should be given. The second deals with turning searched projects’ activities and spoke to the people who have ben- Section” of the ENPI Info Centre’s website these decisions into actions on the ground, through the funding of projects, of- efited from them about their experiences, what they have gained, in English, French, fering the Partners practical support in their efforts to bring about change and Russian and Arabic, depending on the their considerations and thoughts about the future. On their part, modernization. country. the photographers captured the story with their lens. This support is given to Partners mainly on a bilateral level. However, there is Detailed information on and news from the This magazine includes stories covered in 2010, and gives a flavour Regional projects funded is also available a regional dimension, whereby funds are allocated to projects involving more on the ENPI Info Centre Website. of Neighbourhood Cooperation on the ground. The reportages are than one Neighbourhood country. This regional cooperation programme is divided into four main categories: people, energy, environment, managed by EuropeAid. transport. It brings partner countries around the table to discuss and act upon issues of They tell the story of a Partnership. common interest, be they economic, political or cultural. It supports over 80 programmes and projects in both the Eastern European Neighbour countries and in the Southern Neighbours. These programmes have a direct or indirect impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. Through the projects funded, new poli- cies and actions are promoted within the countries themselves, an on-going dialogue is maintained and relationships and networks are built. Regional cooperation is truly a “Channel of Change” in 16 countries, namely: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Russia, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine. 6 Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours 7
  4. 4. Our networkof journalistsJournalists collaborating with the ENPI Info Centre. Iryna Tuz is a Ukrainian journalist andPartner news agencies: CNA/ITARTASS. correspondent of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Kyiv. Prior to Maia Edilashvili is a Georgian journalist this she worked as an presently working as assistant editor Information Expert of and contributor with the EU-funded project the Tbilisi-based “The Implementation of Twinning English bimonthly Operations in Ukraine”. magazine Investor. ge. She attended Ilona Iarmoliuk is a Ukrainian journalist based several international in Kyiv. She is a correspondent for the “Ukrainian training programmes News” nationwide news agency focusing on in journalism. international relations. Prior to that she worked for an Internet Daily newspaper, proUA, which specializes in Ukraine’s domestic policy. Aghavni Harutyunyan is an Armenian journalist based in Yerevan. She attended several local and foreign training programmes in journalism. Since 2001, Aghavni Harutyunyan has Irina Severin is a Moldovan freelance been covering regional issues, conflicts journalist based in Chisinau. She is a in South Caucasus, regular contributor to RFE/RL broadcasts legal and human rights and a communications consultant. issues working for the Her professional experience also includes AZG Armenian Daily. work as a columnist for the Analytique newspaper in Chisinau and a TACIS Communications Expert for the “Border Management – Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures Shahin Abbasov is an Azerbaijani in Moldova” Project. journalist and correspondent of Eurasianet, a New York based on-line resource in Azerbaijan. Previously he contributed to Country Forecast Dmitri Сalaс is a Moldovan journalist on Azerbaijan for EIU (Economist based in Chisinau. He is deputy editor- Intelligence Unit, London) and worked as in-chief of “Ekonomicheskoe obozrenie” a correspondent and editor-in-chief for (Economic Survey), a weekly private several leading Azerbaijani newspapers. newspaper. Dmitri Calac attended He attended several several training programmes for international programmes journalists including a course offered for researchers and by the Berlin Institute for European journalists in the US, Politics (2003) and Germany, France, a summer school Morocco, Turkey and on investigative Ukraine. journalism in St-Petersburg (2002). 8 Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours 9
  5. 5. People AzERbAijAn Education withEnergy European standardsEnvironment “It was just cool,” says Zaur Mutallimov, a student from the Azerbaijan Tourism Institute on his return from an exchange programme in Portugal. “I really enjoyed studying and being in touch with young people from many European countries. It turned me into a more open-minded person, aware of European culture and values.” About 100 people from Azerbaijan have benefited from the country’s participation in the EU-funded Erasmus Mundus programme over the last three years – enough to launch an Alumni Network of EU education programmes in the country.Transport Text and photos by Shahin Abbasov Baku – More than 20 projects worth €6 million have been implemented in Azerbaijan since 1995 under the EU-funded programmes Tempus and Erasmus Mundus. Thanks to Tempus, says Parviz Bagirov, head of the National Tempus Office in Azerbaijan, universities have enriched their curriculums in engineering, oil and gas, civic avia- tion, management of emergency situations, environmental studies, economy, for- eign languages, ICT subjects and European studies. And what’s important, he adds, “I really sectors and subjects for cooperation have been chosen by the Azerbaijani side. enjoyed The European Union Tempus programme offers many forms of cooperation, which studying include experience sharing in European education standards, elaboration of educa- and being in tional agendas, provision of modern teaching literature, professional training, stud- touch with ies abroad, improvement of university management and reform. young people The Azerbaijani State Oil Academy and the State University of Sumgayit have im- from many plemented a joint project with the University of Cologne (Germany) to improve the European teaching of energy resources management. “It was a long and successful project, countries. approved and renewed by the EU several times,” Bagirov said. Finally the work re- It turned me ceived support of the Azerbaijani government and ‘Energy resources management’ N The EU-funded immunology into a more became a separate subject at graduate level. lab at the Azerbaijan Medical University is the first such facility open-minded in Azerbaijan. person, aware Tempus success story of European Another Tempus success story is the establishment of an culture and immunology laboratory at the Azerbaijan Medical Univer- values” sity (AMU). “It is the only research lab on immunology, not just at AMU but in Azerbaijan as a whole,” Parviz Bagirov said. “Before, there was no immunology lab at the AMU,” said Professor Gulnara Nasrullayeva, head of immunology at the Azerbaijan Medical University. AMU joined Tempus in 2003 along with universities from Georgia, Armenia, UK, France and Italy. As a result, the EU funded the establishment of the first immunology lab in Azerbaijan. “The facility is equipped 10 Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours 11
  6. 6. with modern medical equipment and has trained personnel,” Nasrullayeva said, add- ing the lab is part of the teaching process while also conducting modern research. In 2005, a special immunology course was introduced at AMU thanks to Tempus. Four top students from AMU went to the University of Westminster and to University“Erasmus College London in the UK to study immunology. Then two of them were trained inMundus is very France. Three of these students are now immunology teachers at AMU, Professor TEMPUS IV for higher educationpositive as it Nasrullayeva young Supports the modernisation of higher education, creates Thanks to contacts her university maintained with its European partners, a newAzerbaijanis a three-year grant agreement within Tempus was signed in 2010 that would help in- opportunities for cooperation among actors in the field andchance to visit troduce a distance learning method of teaching immunology to graduate students. enhances understandingEurope, to study The most successful students will be granted Masters’ diplomas of two universities Participating countries Objectivethere and be – AMU and the University of Westminster. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, The Trans-European Mobility Scheme formore attached Regional universities also benefit from the programme, for example in Ganja, Na- Moldova, Russia, Ukraine (East) Algeria, University Studies (Tempus) supports theto European kchivan, Sumgayit, Lankaran and Mingachevir, where they take an active part in the Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, effort of the Partner Countries to modernizevalues” process, Bagirov said. occupied Palestinian territory, Syria, Tunisia their higher education systems and creates Another EU-financed education programme, Erasmus Mundus, has been operation- (South) opportunities for cooperation among higher education actors of the EU and the al in Azerbaijan since 2007. It is a cooperation and mobility programme in the field Timeframe participating countries through joint projects. of higher education that supports student and teacher exchange and cooperation “Young people 2008-2013 It also enhances understanding between between the EU and local universities. change a lot cultures as it promotes a people-to-people for the better approach and promotes convergence with Budget Numbers to increase as a result of approximately € 35-39 million per year EU developments in higher education More young Azerbaijanis are pursuing a European education, with about 2,000 cur- Erasmus Mundus (ENPI) leading to more jobs and growth. rently at European universities. Azerbaijan’s Education Minister, Misir Mardanov, said exchanges. recently that the numbers would increase with the implementation of the State pro- They get new gramme on funding university studies abroad for 2008-2015. knowledge, skills, Erasmus Mundus is one of the vehicles providing additional possibilities to study in and learn to live Europe. in a multi-cultural A consortium of three universities, the Azerbaijan State Tourism Institute (ATI), Ganja environment” State University, and the private Khazar University, was established in Azerbaijan in Erasmus Mundus II – Action 2 Partnerships the frame of Erasmus Mundus. Nigar Abbaszade, head of International affairs and Promotes cooperation between higher education institutions through encouraging projects department at ATI, says similar consortia were established in Georgia and partnerships, mobility and exchanges of students, researchers and academic staff. Armenia, together with an international consortium of 18 universities from Azerbai- jan, Georgia, Armenia, Greece, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, Portugal, the Netherlands and France. Participating countries Objective Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, The Erasmus Mundus II - Action 2 About 100 people from Azerbaijan have benefited from the country’s participation Moldova, Russia, Ukraine (East) Algeria, Partnerships seeks to promote better in Erasmus Mundus in three years. Abbaszade says they are all professionals who will Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, understanding and mutual enrichment not have problems finding good jobs. Parviz Bagirov from the National Tempus office occupied Palestinian territory, Syria, between the EU and third countries and adds the Alumni Network of EU education programmes will be created in Azerbaijan Tunisia (South) in the medium term strengthens political,N A new secondary schoolin Baku – the government this year, and will “facilitate and promote exchanges within Erasmus Mundus.” cultural, educational and economic links.invests part of its oil revenues Timeframeinto education infrastructure “Erasmus Mundus is very positive as it gives young Azerbaijanis a chance to visit 2009-2010improvement. Europe, to study there and be more attached to European values,” Nigar Abbaszade from ATI said. She recalls a girl from an Budget IDP family who had grown up in a refugee € 29 million camp. Her father was killed during the Kara- bakh war. “Despite tough living conditions, she passed university exams, learned Eng- lish and took part in Erasmus Mundus. The programme changed her a lot – from a shy girl she turned into a young, self-confident Find out more leader,” Abbaszade said. Tempus IV It is not the only example. “Young people Tempus in Azerbaijan ENPI Info Centre webpage – Tempus change a lot for the better as a result of Er- ENPI Info Centre webpage – Erasmus Mundus II asmus Mundus exchanges. They get new knowledge, skills, and learn to live in a multi- cultural environment,” Abbaszade said. 12 Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours 13
  7. 7. bElARusStudents, parents “Together, common people and authoritiesand teachers to are identifying and addressing the most urgent social by local authorities and residents proper. “The idea behind this project,” explains An-heal the wounds and economic drey Pinigin, the project manager, “is to improve quality of life through a specific problems of interaction between local communities and administrative bodies. Together, com- a particular mon people and authorities are identifying and addressing the most urgent social region” and economic problems of a particular region.” “What has been And thanks to the project, some of theses problems find an immediate solution. “The achieved hereof Chernobyl idea of a dynamic interaction between communities and administrations is quite thanks to the new,” continues Pinigin, “and that is why one of the most important elements of our joint efforts of initiative is the organisation of training sessions and workshops for all programme parents and participants. We hope that the interaction model we are establishing could in future teachers, as spread throughout Belarus.” well as local, But there is more to this project than community participation, says Pinigin: “The national and condition for including each initiative into the project was equal financial participa- international tion of the Belarusian side.” Local administrations, communities and international organizations,How do you deal with the consequences of such a disaster as Chernobyl after so donors have thus joined their efforts in support of something that is more than just is impressive: it a selection of initiatives, but a vision of local development. The project has been of- is a celebrationmany years? In a town in Belarus, some students, teachers and parents have joined ficially endorsed by the Government of Belarus, which has put in charge the Ministry of life”efforts and refurbished a school. In other villages, people have equipped their for Emergency Situations. Other partners are the Gomel Executive Committee, askindergarten, or opened a music school, or restored drinking water wells. well as executive committees of four administrative districts in Gomel region – Buda-This is how a joint EU-UNDP Programme – funded to minimize the consequences Koshelev, Vetka, Zhitkovichi and Hoiniki, where the project operates.of the Chernobyl accident – is bringing local communities and administrationstogether to heal the suffering and to improve the quality of life. School is our home! Out of the 60 initiatives submitted under the project, many have already been im-Text by ITAR TASS/ENPI Info Centre plemented. In the farming town of Krivsk a music school has been opened; an antiPhotos by ITAR TASS/UNDP flash-flood dam has been built in Zapesochiye; in five villages of Buda-Kosheleb, 27 drinking water wells have been restored, while in Velikiye Nemki the secondary school has changed beyond recognition as a result of a fundamental overhaul. N The opening of the In September 2010, three projects were completed in the same region: after ma- wells after renovation. jor refurbishing a school was opened in Minsk – Refurbishing a school; equipping a rehabilitation centre for children with Pyhan, a kindergarten in Vetka and the special needs; providing games and physiotherapeutic support to a kindergarten: in Centre for Correctional-Developmental a word, healing a suffering territory through community-based small scale projects, Training and Rehabilitation for children mainly addressing children and youth needs. This is the overall aim of a EU-UNDP with special needs was inaugurated in joint project, launched in August 2010 to the tune of €2.2 million to minimize the the town of Hoiniki. Thanks to the finan- consequences of the Chernobyl accident in the territory of the Republic of Belarus. cial support received, Vetka kindergar- ten has been provided with game sets Bringing together communities and local administrations aimed at helping children improve their The project took off in August 2010 and was due to be completed by the end of skills, as well as up-to-date physiothera- 2010. Sixty different initiatives are being implemented within the project frame- peutic equipment. Rooms were also work. Their overall purpose is to improve people’s life and to rehabilitate a territory refurbished, for a total disbursement of which has suffered enormously from the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. €22,600 from the EU and UN, while Be- What is peculiar about the project, is that individual initiatives are being suggested larusian partners matched the funding. 14 Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours 15
  8. 8. Now teachers at the kindergarten are able to put in place a comprehensive system for physical develop- ukRAinE ment and rehabilitation, using traditional and non- From skiers to cyclists: traditional physical exercise and herbal therapy. “These funds are As for the school in Pyhan, the project’s authors invested into our called their initiative “School is Our Home!”. Here, future: our kids” the students themselves, their parents and teach- ers – 50 volunteers all together – managed to raise BikeLand is the funds to match the international support. For the first time in 20 years, and thanks to the build- ing skills acquired by the volunteers, the school was refurbished, opening its door to enthusiastic pupilsN Young patients and staff transformingof the Centre for Correctional- who could proudly sit in rooms they themselves had helped to restore.Developmental Training in Finally, the 300 kids with special needs living in Hoiniki region will benefit immense-Hoiniki. ly from the new equipment acquired through the project by the Centre for Correc- tional-Developmental Training and Rehabilitation for children with special needs of Hoiniki town. Recently, the children from the Centre have won prizes in regional and the Ukrainian national arts festivals, including a ballet festival called “The Autumn Express”. Jumping on a trampoline to celebrate life Completing all three projects at once has been a big event for the local communi- ties. Adults and children have celebrated their accomplishment through a number Carpathians of fairs, concerts, theatre performances and competitions. In Hoiniki on inauguration day, guests visiting the Rehabilitation Centre ended up jumping on the trampoline Two years ago, people in with the children… Yaremche, Western Ukraine, started “These funds are invested into our future: our kids.” This is what Jean-Eric Holzapfel, Chargé d’affaires for the European Union in Belarus, thinking about an alternative to had to say about this project. “What has been achieved here thanks to the joint ef- the traditional skiing, and borrowed forts of parents and teachers, as well as local, national and international organiza- the idea of bicycle tourism from tions, is impressive: it is a celebration of life.” Europe. Several enthusiasts - supported by a Cross Border Cooperation programme funded by the EU to the tune of €512,000 - decided to lay out cycling routes, to publish the maps and to get local people interested in hosting cycling tourists. This is how the BikeLand project began. Area Based Development of the Text and photos by Iryna Tuz Chernobyl-Affected Areas of Belarus Specific socio-economic problems in the Chernobyl-affected areas of Belarus are addressed Yaremche – Dmitry Boiko is surrounded by bicycles through a participatory community development approach. Projects are selected thanks of all conceivable shapes and sizes. There are moun- to a dynamic interaction between local communities and administrations. International tain bikes, a white tandem bicycle, a battery-driven EU and UN funding are being matched by an equal participation of the Belarus side. bike, as well as children’s seats, gloves and helmets. Dmitry works at a bicycle rental agency called Velo- tur, which opened in May 2010 in the small town of Yaremche, in the Carpathian Mountains. Here jobs Participating countries Objective are available mostly in winter, when tourists come to Belarus (Minsk, The project aims to enhance the livelihoods of rural residents in the Chernobyl-affected areas of Belarus. ski. In the summer, the chance of finding an occupa- Mogilev and Gomel This is done through the promotion of participatory community development approach, meaning that tion is slim. But bicycle tours came to help. “Thanks districts) the planned output of the project is a working model of interaction and cooperation between the rural to the BikeLand project,” says Dmitry, “many tourists residents, the local authorities and other organizations and institutions. Timeframe find out about cycling sports for the first time. And 2009-2010 Find out more new employment opportunities are created.” Project fiche Budget Project results It is to everyone’s advantage €1,504,259 It is not by chance that the Carpathians were chosen: this region is undergoing a deep economic crisis. 16 Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours 17
  9. 9. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, logging stopped almost entirely, so What Victor Zagreba is aiming at is a deep cultural change: “I have been in Europe “Our main many Ukrainians have been forced to look for seasonal jobs in the EU or Russia. and the bicycle is part of European culture, part of everyday life there. Government challenge now“On a larger The overall objective of the EU-backed initiative is to attract Ukrainian and foreign officials and mayors all use bicycles. In Ukraine, it is not as popular yet, but our proj- is to makescale, our tourists through the creation of biking networks and facilities, and through an ap- ect is promoting the bicycle idea because it is great, cool and fashionable, it is a sure that themission is propriate information campaign. A highly competent and dedicated team of people democratic means of transport and recreation, and a pastime that is environmen- whole ideaeconomic was put together to manage the project. Many local associations have joined in, em- tally friendly and local culture conscious, as well as good for your health.” and networkdevelopment barking on the task of spreading the word about new tourism opportunities in the of BikeLand isof the region” region. And two years down the road – the project started in 2008 and ended in July Bicycle as a vehicle preserved” 2010– local residents welcome cycling as a good source of income. For Yuri Karpin, Head of the Recreation Department in Yaremche District Council, Natalya, the owner of a guesthouse, has been putting up tourists for six years; last the bicycle is a nice way to spend time with family and friends, as well as a means year her usual skiers were supplemented by cyclists. Her B&B ‘Nastusya’ is equipped to keep fit. According to him, local people have recently changed their attitude to to receive cyclists. This means tourists who come with their own bikes can leave the bicycle. They have realized that cyclists are tourists them in a special parking space and wash them after a trip in rainy weather. This who can bring profit. Bike rentals are being opened status has been granted to her guesthouse as a result of a competition, which was “The bicycle for holiday-makers, and the number of people who conducted by the BikeLand project. “The winners of the competition,” she says, “were makes tourists come with their own bicycles has grown about three given Karcher washers, an allowance for building a bike-parking station, and were stay in the times since the start of the project, although official included in the tourist catalogue which gives information about the region, advises Carpathians data is not yet available. “The bicycle makes tourists on what to see and where to stay and have a meal.” longer” stay in the Carpathians longer,” says Karpin. “One day they can go on a walking tour, the next day they can Cycling enthusiasts drive a quadro-cycle, and on the third rent a bicycle.” “Four wheels carry the body, two wheels carry the soul.” This is the motto of Vic- BikeLand was at first designed for the Carpathians, tor Zagreba, BikeLand’s project leader. He was among the enthusiasts who began where bicycle tourism was given a powerful impetus. developing bicycle tourism in western Ukraine: “In winter, the Carpathians do not Now the organizers are sure that it will cross these need any advertising,” Victor explains, adding: “Everywhere you look, you see tourists boundaries. One day everybody in Ukraine will mount with skis on their shoulders. While in summer the cottages stay empty. This is how their bicycles and the country will turn into a BikeLand we came upon the idea of the project – increasing the influx of tourists in between in the true sense of the word – this is what Victor Za- the skiing seasons. On a larger scale, our mission is economic development of the greba and his team believe in. region.” In order to achieve their aim, Zagreba’s team followed two parallel tracks: creating N The beauty of the Carpathian mountains is one of the major attractions “hard” and “soft” infrastructure. The first category includes cycling routes and the for bicycle tourists to visit. BikeLand network, incorporating guesthouses and recreational facilities. The second involves disseminating information on what has been done and promoting active lifestyle in general. “We have published quite a number of maps, brochures, cata- logues and magazines in Ukrainian, Russian and English, as well as calendars, stick- ers, advertisements in the media and press-tours,” says Zagreba. However, the project leader feels there is more to be done: “The financial support BikeLand Project from the EU ended in July 2010, and it was obvious that our overall objective could Helps attract Ukrainian and foreign tourists to ecologically safe, accessible and active not be achieved within the two-year duration of the project. Our main challenge recreation in the Carpathian region during the non-winter season now is to make sure that the whole idea and network of BikeLand is preserved.”N Velotur bicycle rental’s shop in the smalltown of Yaremche, in theCarpathian Mountains. Participating countries Objective Romania, Ukraine The project aims to create and maintain a network of biking and hiking routes and facilities for bicycle tourists; by doing so it seeks to create new opportunities for local economic activity Timeframe 2008-2010 Find out more ENPI Info Centre webpage – Environment Budget ENPI Info Centre webpage – Economy € 572680 (EU co- EU Neighbourhood Programme - Romania-Ukraine funding € 512680 under PHARE Cross Border Cooperation and TACIS) 18 Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours 19
  10. 10. Interview with Bodil PerssonWorking “Cross-border co-operation is “The idea is to help develop the only initiative with third “Large scale investment projects neighbouring regions by tackling countries embracing fully such as road construction have a common challenges in fields such as environment, education and health,across balanced participation between very direct impact on the citizens” Member States and the secure borders and boost people-to- Partner Countries” people exchanges”borders to Q: What are the programmes trying to achieve? Bodil Persson Cross-Border Cooperation under the ENP (called ENPI CBC) is a whole family of programmes, whose Is CBC run from Brussels? Not at all, it is a shared management system, with neighbou- ring Partner Countries on an equal footing with Member What is the expected impact on the citizens of Partner Countries? The main beneficiaries of the projects are local and regionalbring main objective should be seen in the context of the EU’s big States. They take joint decisions on how to spend the money administrations, but NGOs and civil society organizations – enlargement in 2004 and within the identified priorities, and select the projects them- from women’s groups to chambers of commerce – benefit 2007. When the new Member States joined the EU, an ini- selves. The role of the European Commission is to monitor as well. It’s their initiatives that largely underlie the project tiative was needed to prevent new dividing lines emerging the implementation of the programmes. Each of our 13 pro- proposals. Those organisations act on behalf of the localpeople in Europe. So ENPI CBC was launched, building on the Inter- grammes has a Joint Managing Authority (often hosted by communities whose life eventually improves if a hospital is reg model of cross-border cooperation within the EU itself. a local or regional administration), which is responsible for renovated or pollution is reduced due to CBC funding. And The underlying concept is cooperation among regions defi- launching the calls for proposals, the selection of projects, of course large-scale investment projects like road construc- ned around a border rather than divided by a border. signing the contracts and managing the projects. For the tion have a very direct impact on the citizens. What are thetogether time being, all of them are based in EU- Member States, as challenges the CBC programmes face today? One challenge What is the focus of ENPI CBC? you need the technical capacities and experience to run a is the sheer magnitude of the programmes, with so many We work with 13 main programmes along the EU’s external programme. But in the next generation of CBC program- countries involved. Another is that regionalism and free- border; each programme will manage hundred of projects. mes, we would like to see Joint Managing Authorities being dom of initiative are instrumental for successful CBC under- The idea is to fund and help to develop border regions. In based also in the neighbouring Partner Countries. Each of takings. But that kind of culture is relatively new in neigh- particular by: contributing to economic and social deve- the programmes answers to a Joint Monitoring Committee, bouring countries. Co-operation experience and capacities lopment; assisting Partner Countries in tackling common which includes all the participating countries. In fact, the evolve over time. For example, challenges in fields such as the environment, education CBC programmes are based on a fully balanced participa- when we started with Moldova in the late 90s, they came up and health; helping to ensure efficient and secure borders tion between EU Member States and Partner Countries. It with 3-4 project proposals under each call. Now lots of ideas while enhancing communication across those borders; and is this body that decides when calls for proposals should be are being generated and lots of proposals coming from Mol-To prevent the EU’s new external borders finally boosting people-to-people exchanges. Our aim is to held, how much money to allocate for different types of pro- dovan organisations. The same happens in other countries.from turning into dividing lines, the help local administrations in the border regions to deve- jects and after the call, which projects should be funded. People need time to build up experience. lop the necessary skills and capacities. These programmesEU put in place the comprehensive range from the North to the South and currently includeEuropean Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) 15 EU member states, 13 neighbouring Partner Countriesincluding an ambitious initiative focusing and Norway and Turkey in three types of programmes: land border, sea crossing and sea basin programmes.on cross-border cooperation (CBC)between outlying EU Member States and How are such complex programmes funded? The total budget is €1 billion for the period 2007-2013 CBC - Cross-border cooperationtheir neighbours. While the European CBC, a key priority of the ENPI, seeks to reinforce cooperation between (10% of the ENP budget). Those funds come from the Eu-Neighbourhood Policy targets external ropean Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) EU Member States and Partner Countries along the external EU borders.relations with the neighbouring countries as well as from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In fact, it is the first time that we are able toas a whole, the CBC programmes put the regional- merge allocations coming from two different budget lines.focus on equal cooperation across borders There are also contributions from the participating coun- cooperation/enpi-cross-border/index_en.htmat local and regional level, explains Head of tries, which in some cases can be very substantial. Russia for example has decided to put €103 million into the CBC “pot”,CBC Sector at the European Commission almost 40% of the EU’s contribution for the programmes inBodil Persson in an interview with the which it participates. Russia differs from other neighbours, ENPI Participating Countries Objectives Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, CBC aims to promote economic and social development in borderENPI Info Centre: “It is a true partnership as it is not part of the ENP but wants to see its relations with Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Palestinian areas. It strives to address common challenges, ensure efficient and the EU as a strategic partnership. Russia’s matching of CBCprogramme. Partners take joint decisions Authority, Russia, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine. secure borders and promote peopletopeople cooperation. funding reflects these ambitions. The ENPI CBC programmeon how to spend the money within the budgets go to everything from smaller people to people Timeframe Find out moreidentified priorities, and jointly select the networking projects to large-scale projects investing in 2007-2013 ENPI Info Centre CBC fiche > technical equipment, improving border crossings, and roadprojects themselves.” construction, etc. Projects are selected through calls being Budget Regional Capacity Building Initiative > launched throughout 2010 to 2012 or awarded directly in €1,1 billion the case of the large scale projects. However, the division of INTERACT ENPI > the budget and the types of projects vary from programme to programme. 20 Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours 21
  11. 11. Veneto Region (Italy), stressed that, “the RussiA European Union is actively expanding its dialogue with Russia in search of new fields for cooperation, where EuropeanWill Europe save experience could come in handy”. The meeting brought together experts, municipal staff, scholars and public of- ficials from six SPINE countries.that old house European know-how in a historical setting The aim of integrating energy-efficient technologies is a pressing issue. Elvira “This project will Gasanova, project manager from thein Vladimir? contribute to the EU Delegation to Russia, pointed out preservation of that one of the discussion points at the cultural heritage recent EU-Russia summit in Rostov-on- in Vladimir Don concerned the Partnership for Modernization initiative, which also involves N The Vladimir puppet theatre - one of the candidates for the oblast... EU support in developing energy efficiency. “SPINE serves directly to apply ener- SPINE project. Its success gy-efficient technologies in historical buildings,” she says. Most importantly, while largely depends being changed inside, they do not change on the outside. Gasanova is sure “thisWhen reconstructing a historical building, experts are often faced with the challenge on effective project will contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage in Vladimir oblast”.of finding the right balance between using energy-efficient technologies and interaction “Its success largely depends on effective interaction between all partners,” Gasano-preserving the building’s authenticity. This is precisely what the EU-funded Energy between all va says. “We rely on active involvement of local administration and other stake- “The overall goalEfficiency and Urban Development Planning Programme (SPINE) is trying to partners” holders”. of the projectachieve. It helps the EU’s neighbouring countries learn from European experience The total project cost is €752 581, to be distributed among the participating coun- is to establishto breathe new life into old historical buildings using cutting-edge energy saving tries. “This will cover the cost of proposal preparation, situation and strategy as- an active sessment, recommendations, as well as implementation of the necessary mea-technologies. In Russia, Vladimir oblast has become the site of a pilot project. partnership sures and pilot initiatives,” said Lyudmila Sushkova, deputy head of the work team, network which Head of the Department of Bio-Medical Engineering, Vladimir State University. “InText by ITAR-TASS/ENPI Info Centre will continue future we will have to find our own funding sources.”photos by ITAR-TASS work after the Russia’s case is peculiar in that architects of the past mainly focused on religious project cycle is buildings. According to Sushkova, “with religious monuments it is easier – the Vladimir – This magnificent town with its white-stone cathedrals and civil architec- over” Church now takes care of them”. But the situation for civil monuments is more dif- ture is one of the most ancient urban settlements in Russia. It towers on the high ficult. One of SPINE’s tasks is summarizing the experience of various countries – for Klyazma bank, 180km northeast of Moscow. The task today is to prevent Vladimir’s instance, that of Italy, which has a vast heritage of civil architecture. historic landscape from being submerged by modern construction. Vladimir State University and Vladimir Regional Administration have taken a lead, forming a partnership in the framework of the EU-funded Energy Efficiency and Ur- ban Development Planning Programme (SPINE), together with municipalities from Italy, Serbia, Croatia, Turkey and Ukraine. Together they will identify one building out of Vladimir’s numerous historical sites. The building will be restored using new solutions that will make it possible to pre- N The city of Vladimir, serve its authentic character and apply energy-saving technologies. The project is inside the puppet theatre. the expected to help fund restoration of historical buildings and objects of cultural heritage elsewhere in Russia, particularly in smaller towns. SPINE is part of the €14 million EU-funded CIUDAD programme, aimed at helping local authorities in the EU’s neighbourhood to address urban development problems in a sustainable manner. At a presentation of the project in Vladimir in early July, Andrea Baggioli, the representative of Union- camere del Veneto - the Association of the Cham- bers of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture of 22 Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours Projects in Action – Eastern Neighbours 23