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Kolarctic and Karelia CBC programmes ratified


On 26th July the State Duma of the Russian Federation ratified the Financing Agreements of the Cross-Border Cooperation Programmes.

The Monitoring Committee of the Kolarctic CBC programme has approved totally 18 standard projects during two Calls for Proposals, says Marjaana Lahdenranta, CBC expert from the Regional Council of Lapland in Rovaniemi.

Eeach single project concerns tens to hundreds of people, who either work in the project, contributing to achieving its goals, or are the projects’ target group in one way or another. A lot of people will get training or education on the topics of the projects, which vary from environmental knowledge to competence in food production and business development. Larger group of people will be affected by exhibitions, films, improved public transport. Many will be employed in the industries that participate in the projects.

The standard projects that have been approved so far (18) have presented budgets of totally 42 Million Euros, including EU, Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and own contributions of the participating organisations. The Managing Authority has carried out financial negotiations in order to optimize the size of the projects and the negotiations are still on-going.
The Managing Authority can probably sign the first Grant Contracts in October, because the ratification comes into force then. Each standard project, regardless the thematic objective, will be contracted as soon as its budget and financing plan have been confirmed and all other formalities and documents are in place. The so called Large Infrastructure Project proposals are still “in process” in the European Commission and will start at a later stage. 
From the perspective of Barents cooperation projects, prepared by the Barents Working Groups, involving all four countries, are of importance. One to mention is "Barents Region Transport and Logistics" project, coordinated by Kainuu region, aiming at increasing awareness about the main transport corridors and understanding of "Green Transport" concept in the Region. Also the WG on Environment has prepared two Kolarctic CBC projects.

Marjaana Lahdenranta highlights that the selected projects are now more specialized than e.g. 15 years ago, when organizations and industries were building relations and “testing” different ways of cooperation. The approved projects will develop cross-border cooperation in among other things energy efficiency of buildings, food production and environmental protection. The 3rd Call for Proposals will be launched on 21 September and closed on 21st December 2018. In case of Karelia CBC Programme the next call will be open from 27 August to 15 October (first phase).

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