Why do we need cross-border cooperation and what does it give to us all? These questions were brough to the roundtable discussion “Cross-Border Cooperation – In Action for Border Regions!” held by three CBC Programmes “South-East Finland – Russia”, “Kolarctic” and “Karelia” in the framework of All-Russia Forum XXI on the 25th of October 2021.
All-Russia Forum is the major arena for discussing methods and mechanisms of strategic planning as well as the most topical ssues of regional development. Cross-border cooperation is traditionally in the spotlights of the Forum – it is recognized as a well-functioning tool to boost regional growth and facilitate neighboring countries in finding better solutions for business development, innovation, education, environmental protection, cultural activities, transport connections of bordering regions, and much more.
The first session of the CBC Round table was focused at strategic issues. Representatives of National authorities from Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, European Commission, EU Delegation to Russia and CBC Programmes exchanged views on the current CBC programmes results and development targets. The participants emphasized the importance of building people-to-people links, supporting youth cooperation, nature and biodiversity conservation, developing digital solutions for sustainable development, increasing coordination between different programmes and finding synergies with other development instruments. The discussion is a valuable contribution to mutual understanding how to make future cooperation even more effective and beneficial for the involved regions.
The second session gave floor to the regional development organizations, educational institutions and business support organizations acting as the projects’ implementers. The stories about results and benefits generated by the projects gave a comprehensive picture of opportunities that CBC provides for development in different areas of expertise. It was pointed out an added value of the CBC Programmes as a tool which brings improvements not only to a local life, but serves as a feed for cooperation at the national levels. The discussion has also revealed high demand in comprehensive analysis of the projects’ results to spread them among regional stakeholders and beyond.
All participants agreed that cross-border cooperation is an effective platform for new project initiatives, technologies and maintaining trust between neighboring countries.
The recording of the Round Table discussion is available on YouTube:
In English: https://youtu.be/Ai4MtovHwwc
The best evidence of projects’ effectiveness is their results, which were demonstrated at the Forum venue in St. Petersburg. 9 projects selected for the exhibition echoed the thematic areas of the Forum: greener and smarter future, cross-border collaboration as the behavior transformer, matchmaking science, business and people, and empowering synergies. For the projects, the exhibition has become an excellent opportunity to declare their results to the relevant stakeholders, to share the first-hand information about the benefits of cooperation for the regions and people.
You can learn more about the exhibited projects at the virtual exhibition in YouTube.
Photo from www.forumstrategov.ru