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3 Feb 2016

Interest in EU-sponsored Belarus-Ukraine territorial cooperation program

GOMEL, 3 February (BelTA) – Regions of Belarus show interest in the Belarus-Ukraine territorial cooperation program that will be implemented with assistance of the European Union. The statement was made by Alexei Sekarev, head of the expert group of the territorial cooperation assistance program of the Eastern Partnership Initiative, during a press conference in Gomel on 3 February, BelTA has learned.

Alexei Sekarev remarked that the conclusion can be made after experts met with potential participants of the program in Brest, Pinsk, and Gomel. “Over 400 people representing municipal government agencies, public organizations and other non-for-profit organizations took part in these meetings. Judging by the questions they were asking many of them already had experience of implementing such projects and it seems they have partners in Ukraine. It inspires optimism,” he said.

In the program Belarus will be represented by Brest Oblast and Gomel Oblast. Ukraine will be represented by Chernigov Oblast, Kiev Oblast, Zhitomir Oblast, Rovno Oblast, and Volyn Oblast.

The European Union will allocate €3.3 million for bolstering territorial cooperation between bordering regions of Belarus and Ukraine. Representatives of the two countries will have to file joint applications for project implementation by 19 April 2016. Initiatives beneficial to a large number of people will be prioritized, for instance, initiatives targeting healthcare, small and medium businesses, culture, sport, tourism, and ecology. The budget of a Belarusian-Ukrainian project will vary from €60,000 to €250,000.

The contest of project proposals in the Belarus-Ukraine territorial cooperation program began on 20 January. Experts will also meet with potential participants and will help fill in applications in the Ukrainian cities of Chernigov, Kiev, Zhitomir, Rovno, and Lutsk.

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