Madona models cross-border partnership with Pskov

Despite recent escalations of tension in relations between Russia and the bloc of western European nations, the district of Madona is close to completing a tri-lateral cross-border cooperation project with the town of Pskov that aims to promote entrepreneurship and improve competitiveness in the region by exploiting their advantageous locations at the crossroads of the EU and Russia.

Organized as part of the closing phase of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia cross border cooperation Programme within the EU’s European Neighborhood and Partnership instrument 2007-2013, the €400,000 project managers told regional public television Vidzemes Televīzija (VTV) Tuesday that they were more than pleased with the outcome.

The project’s title – “Fostering social-economic development, business and cooperation in the border regions” – included activities like the setting up of environmental monitoring in the central town squares, tripartite exhibitions and international forums attended by delegations of Estonian, Russian and Latvian citizens, entrepreneurs and local government representatives.

“Pskov was especially welcoming to our craftspeople and food producers, and at our last meeting a few weeks ago our Russian partners invited us from Madona to take part in an exhibition on a healthy lifestyle. The activity is great and is growing. We’re being asked to take part in events outside the project and we’re always so warmly well-received,” project leader Dace Āriņa told VTV.

The organizers claim that, fortunately, the three-state project has gone smoothly without global politics getting in the way. Āriņa insists the Russian partners have been open to cooperation and predicted the remaining events would proceed as planned.
“Most of the activities are completed, all that is left is the project’s closure,” she remarked.

The joint website for maintaining business contacts at the cross-border level is the showpiece of the Programme. “Business partners meet up here virtually and exchange ideas, market their wares, look for cooperation partners, just chat, look at events calendars,” lists project coordinator Janīna Apsīte.

The Madona-Pskov project is not the only part of the Programme as a whole. One can only hope that other cross-border projects are proceeding as smoothly and in good spirits as this one.

 

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