Kyiv (Ukraine), June 24, 2019 – Kyiv hosted the leaders of 29 cross-border teams under Belarus – Ukraine and Moldova – Ukraine Territorial Cooperation Programmes funded by the European Union to summarize the results of successful grant projects implementation.
Cross-border projects under the two programmes were aimed at local and regional development of the border regions, boosting economic growth, addressing common cross-border challenges and contributing to improving the living conditions of local communities.
In the framework of the Belarus – Ukraine Territorial Cooperation Programme, 13 joint projects were implemented in the neighbouring regions, namely: in Ukraine – Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts, in Belarus – Brest and Gomel regions. Also, 16 joint projects were implemented under the Moldova – Ukraine Territorial Cooperation Programme: in Odesa, Vinnytsia and Chernivtsi oblasts of Ukraine, and on the whole territory of Moldova.
At the summarising press conference, Hanna Bilokolos, Head of Ukrainian delegation, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, Head of Ukrainian delegation, highlighted: "The cross-border cooperation programme is an important tool for the development of border areas. Not only it stimulates the implementation of joint cross-border activities but also provides additional opportunities for participation in the EU programmes for the regions of Ukraine that are not involved in cross-border cooperation programmes, in particular, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr and Kyiv oblasts. "
In his turn, Lucian Jega, Programme Manager, European Commission (DG NEAR), underlined: "The European Commission supports the cross-border cooperation vector. The programmes launched four years ago aimed at developing partnerships with other Eastern Partnership countries. It is important to note that the Programme was focused on taking into account bilateral interests and strengthening partnerships in the cross-border area. "
The Head of Belarusian delegation, Mikhail Batsenko, mentioned that “13 projects under the Belarus –Ukraine programme received funding and achieved the –planned results. Even more – they surpassed expectations in some way, which demonstrates a rather high level of interest from both Belarusian participants and their Ukrainian partners.”
Emilia Cebotari, State Chancellery of the Republic of Moldova, Head of Moldovan delegation, emphasized: "The territorial cooperation program implemented jointly by the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine represents a valuable instrument offered by the European Commission that helped us to identify and jointly address common challenges in the region towards ensuring sustainable economic and social development at local level. The activities supported by the Program directly mobilized a large number of institutions and organizations coming from different levels of government and various civil society sectors. We can definitely state that with small steps we are building and achieving tangible results."
In conclusion, Erk Roeloffs, Team Leader, EaPTC Managing Authority – GIZ, expressed his support to the initiatives of all three countries related to the continuation of the EaPTC Programme: "This program is just the beginning, the base for the next steps. Considering the significant achievements and successful results of the grant projects implementation, we hope for the continuation of the Programme by the EU. The dialogue between the partner countries and the European Commission on the future of the Programme has already started."
Participants of the event acknowledged and appreciated the impact of joint projects and successful implementation of two territorial cooperation programmes – “Belarus – Ukraine” and “Moldova – Ukraine”.
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