Stopover Celebration 2022
On 9 September 2022 we celebrated the results of the 2014-2020 programme and 55 supported projects, and looked into the future perspectives and new programme of 2021-2027. For a brief stopover between the two programmes, 80 people from programme authorities and beneficiaries' organisations came together in Liepaja Concert Hall (Lielais Dzintars), close to the water and a harbour that provides calm waters for gathering the strenght to continue the journey of the Estonia-Latvia programme and cooperation.
The day started with lovely keynote speech by Ieva Ilves, who shared her personal story in relation to Estonia, the intertwined history of the two countries and the current joint challenges. Ieva Ilves emphasised that even though today in the global world we can go everywhere and be everything, we more and more enjoy living locally. And this is why neigbours and Estonian-Latvian cooperation is so important.
Four project managers Aleksander Tõnnisson (SectroScreen), Jana Kalve (Industrial Heritage), Katrin Juhanson (Energy Advice and Green Public Events) and Liina Härm (EASTBALTIC HARBOURS) shared their experience of cooperation, challenges and rewards of cross-border cooperation in very different fields of life.
The Head of the Joint Secretariat, Helena Järviste provided an insight to the achievements and impact of the 2014-2020 programme. Helena Järviste was proud to state that when 10 years ago they started writing this programme, one of the aims was also that the programme is friendly and accessible to all interested parties.
The day continued with panel discussion. The Head of the Grants Development department in SSSC Urmo Merila moderated a lively discussion on the implementation of the 2014-2020 programme from point of view of the European Commission, DG Regio, represented by Nathalie Verschelde, Valga Municipality, represented by PhD Jiri Tintera, NGO Latvian Rural Tourism Association, represented by Asnate Ziemele and the Monitoring Committee, represented by Ansis Berzinš.
Video greetings to the programme were sent by:
Riina Solman, the Estonian Minister of Public Administration:
"Together we have developed interesting new solutions and we have also created a better quality of life. This is important. The impact of Estonia-Latvia programme and its projects on the region is noticable for the local population and attracts tourists and consumers of services from further afield. I believe that cooperation between Estonians and Latvians that started in the projects will continue after their completion. This is how we will be successful, as long as there are ideas and plans for the future."
Watch the greeting on YouTube
Arturs Toms Plešs, Latvian Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development:
“I appreciate that many partnerships are established between our countries and many innovative ideas are fulfilled within the cross-border cooperation projects. However, the challenges we have been facing over the past two years have stressed the need to adapt to new realities, invent new approaches and respond to crisis in brand-new light. We all have learned a lot, adapted and above all continued collaborating despite all the difficulties. Estonia-Latvia programme managed to smoothly continue its mission.”
Watch the greeting on YouTube
and Merike Niitepõld, the Head of the Managing Authority of the Central Baltic Programme.
After listening to the video greetings the event continued with looking into the future. The new priorities of the Interreg VI-A Estonia-Latvia Programme 2021-2027 were introduced and discussed by Anna Škabireva, the representative of the Latvian National Authority, and Hannes Nagel, the representative of the Estonian National Authority.
In the end to finalise the event the Managing Authority of the programme Ege Ello, Külli Kaare and Anu Roomere ackowledged the people behind the 55 projects and handed over small project info-boards as gifts for dedicated work, cooperation spirit and remarkable results.
The day was led by energtic and witty Barbara Lehtna, journalist, art director and performer. And the opening and closing dance act was very creatively framed and performed by young Latvian dancers, impersonating the familiar EstLat characters.
View the full gallery on Facebook.