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Lithuania/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

The government does not have a special programme to support cross-border intercultural dialogue. However, the issue is included in the Government's Programme and Action Plan as well as in the Regulations and Strategic Plans of the Ministries. In practice, cross-border intercultural co-operation projects, initiated by regional or local authorities, twin cities, NGOs, neighbouring national communities are considered to be more flexible and dynamic.

In June 2005, the Steering Committee of the EU Baltic Sea Region Interreg III B Neighbourhood Programme agreed to finance the project "Baltic Euroregional Network" (BEN), with a budget of ca 1.4 million EUR. The project was launched in September 2006. The main goal of the project is to promote spatial development and territorial integration in the Baltic Sea Region by strengthening Euroregions as competent partners with national authorities and international institutions, and by building a network of Euroregions for continuous capacity-building and sharing of experience. The Lead Partner is the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania, and in total 35 partners from nine countries in the Baltic Sea Region take part in the project. During the period of 2007-2013 the INTERREG IIIA programmes are transforming into European Territorial Co-operation Objective cross-border co-operation programmes. One of the best examples of implementation of this programme is Lithuania and Poland cross-border co-operation. The overall strategic goal of the Programme is to foster the sustainable development of the border region through enhanced economic, social and territorial and cultural cohesion of the areas on both sides of the border.

The South Baltic Programme 2007-2013 was launched in 2006/2007 and is a multilateral cross-border cooperation programme created on the maritime border between the southern Baltic Sea regions. In practical terms, the South Baltic Programme is a completely new cooperation area where cross-border cooperation structures have not yet been fully established. Among the priority nr.2, "Sustainable use of natural and cultural heritage for regional development" of the Programme, cross-border strategies for preservation and use of natural and cultural heritage sites, areas, landscapes and traditions for regional development are planned.

In 2010, a call for proposals for actions within the Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus cross-border cooperation programme was issued by Lithuania's Interior Ministry, acting as the joint managing authority of the cooperation programme, which was a part of the European neighbourhood and partnership instrument 2007-2013 programme at the time. The Programme involved cooperation between the Latgale region in Latvia, Panevėžys, Utena, Vilnius, Alytus and Kaunas counties in Lithuania, Vitebsk, Mogilev, Minsk and Grodno oblasts and Minsk City. The project proposals had the aim to enhance the territorial cohesion of the Latvian, Lithuanian and Belarusian border regions, to help promote intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity, to secure a high level of environmental protection and provide economic and social welfare. The indicative total budget for the programme was EUR 8 million. Every action approved for funding is allocated no more than 90% of its total budget from EU funds.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section

Chapter published: 28-11-2014

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