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MEMO/08/257

Brussels, 18 April 2008

Cross-border Cooperation Operational Programme Lithuania-Poland 2007-13

1. "Lithuania-Poland Cross-border Cooperation Programme" – Operational Programme under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

[ Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED ]

2. Overview

On 20 December 2007, the European Commission approved a Cross-border Cooperation Operational Programme between Lithuania and Poland for the period 2007-13. The Programme involves providing Community support as part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for specific Lithuanian and Polish regions that lie along their common border: the Lithanian regions of Marijampolės and Alytaus and Polish regions Białostocko-suwalski and Ełcki. The regions of Tauragės, Kauno and Vilniaus (excluding Vilniaus Municipality) in Lithuania, and Łomżyński and Olsztyński in Poland, can take part in projects as adjacent areas, i.e. receiving a maximum 20% of the ERDF funding allocated to the Programme.

The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and has a total budget of around €84.3 million. Community investment through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €71.7 million, which represents approximately 0.8% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy 2007-13.

3. Aim and purpose of the programme

The overall objective of the Programme is to foster sustainable development in the border region through enhanced economic, social and territorial cohesion. The Programme investments seek to establish a region which is competitive in a global economy as well as forward looking and attractive in terms of quality of life, social equality, the environment and communication links.

The cooperation area covers 104 km of common border in south-western Lithuania and north-eastern Poland. The region is home to 3.6 million people, with demographics showing an almost equal distribution between rural and urban areas. The border area is predominantly agricultural, however there has been recent dynamic growth in the service sector. Despite this, both the agricultural and industrial sectors still need investments for restructuring and modernisation. Even though the area has a number of international corridors (I (Via Baltica, Rail Baltica) and IX), it is poorly connected internally. Therefore investments are needed for developing border infrastructure such as local roads, border crossing points, communication and ICT networks, and an interconnected public transport system.

Given the potential offered by the region’s natural resources, investments will also target tourism development - rivers and lakes for water activities, and forests and farmsteads for eco and agro-tourism.

4. Expected impact of investments

The impact of the investments will be measured using indicators, including the number of new infrastructure developments (e.g. roads), new transport and IT connections, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, new jobs and higher rates of employment, new business support infrastructure and start-ups, networks created, new tourist attractions, increased tourist flows, better access to public services and joint initiatives undertaken by municipalities.

5. Priorities

The Operational Programme is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Competitiveness and Productivity Growth of the Cross-border Region [approximately 55% of total funding]

This priority will support actions designed to create jobs, improve the competitiveness of the area and generate sustainable business development, without harming the environment. It covers investment and support for areas such as small-scale economic infrastructure, the business environment, tourism and cultural/historical heritage.

Priority 2: Cross-border Cohesion and Enhanced Overall Quality of the Cross-border Area [approximately 39% of total funding]

This priority covers investment and support targeted at social and cultural networking and the living environment (where environmental protection will be a key focus).

Priority 3: Technical Assistance [approximately 6% of total funding]

The aim of this priority is to help the two countries implement the Programme as effectively as possible.

6. Managing Authority: Regional Policy Department - Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania – Vilnius, Lithuania

Contact details:

Regional Policy Department

Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania

Šventaragio str. 2

Vilnius, LT-01510

Lithuania

Telephone: +370 5 271 7074

Fax: +370 5 271 8782

E-mail: vilnius.rpd.rastine@vrm.lt

Website: www.vrm.lt

7. Title: Operational Programme "Cross-border Cooperation Programme Lithuania-Poland"

Type of intervention: Operational Programme

CCI No.: 2007CB163PO031

No. of decision: C(2007) 6530

Final approval date: 20/12/2007

8. Breakdown of financing by priority (in euros)

Priority
EU Contribution
National Public
Contribution
Total Public
Contribution
1. Competitiveness and Productivity Growth of the Cross-border Region
39 428 868
6 958 036
46 386 904
2. Cross-border Cohesion and Enhanced Overall Quality of the Cross-border Area
27 958 651
4 933 879
32 892 530
3. Technical Assistance
4 301 331
759 058
5 060 389
TOTAL
71 688 850
12 650 973
84 339 823


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