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Opinions & Interviews

29 Jan 2020

Schuebel: Contacts at local level help boost Belarus-EU cooperation

Schuebel: Contacts at local level help boost Belarus-EU cooperation
Dirk Schuebel

MOGILEV, 29 January (BelTA) – Contacts with regions help enhance cooperation between Belarus and the European Union, Head of the European Union's Delegation to Belarus Dirk Schuebel said as he took part in the information meeting “EU-Belarus cooperation: Mogilev Oblast”, BelTA has learned.

Chairman of the Mogilev Oblast Council of Deputies Dmitry Kharitonchik and Head of the European Union's Delegation to Belarus Dirk Schuebel

“Regional development, environmental protection, promotion of small business and tourism, healthcare and social integration are among the most important areas of our cooperation. We focus on small and medium-sized towns because it is important to create all conditions for their stable economic growth and development. Cooperation at the local level and contacts with regions will help advance interaction between Belarus and the European Union,” Dirk Schuebel said.

So far, projects worth a total of over €2 million have been or are being implemented in Mogilev Oblast. A project in the power industry that is worth €700,000 wrapped up in Chausy District several days ago. In 2020, a business incubator is set to open in Bykhov. It will provide guidance and advice to local residents on how to start and run a business. It will be a one-stop shop for those who want to turn their business idea into reality. The project budget will be around €100,000.

The Belarus Regional Investment and Competitiveness Program for 2020-2024 provides for allocating €18 million for projects in Mogilev Oblast, Vitebsk Oblast, and Gomel Oblast.

Another example of a joint Belarus-EU project in Mogilev Oblast is the initiative of the Slavgorod District Executive Committee “At the crossroads of taste”. The project is meant to bring together cheese-makers of Slavgorod District, Cherikov District, and Krasnopolye District and launch joint production of cheese in Mogilev Oblast under a single trademark. The initiative was among the winners of the Fair of Local Initiatives for Local Development that took place in Bykhov in October 2019. Six winners of the event received a total of €72,000 in grant support.

Representative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Olga Kuznetsova

“Belarus and the EU are going through one of the best periods in their relations. In cooperation with local authorities we can now implement projects that seemed impossible several years ago. Huge work is in progress not only at the national but also at the local level. Thanks to our projects, ideas, and initiatives, residents of Mogilev Oblast get not only financial support but also consultations from Belarusian and foreign specialists as well as help with opening their own businesses,” Dirk Schuebel noted.

Mogilev was the fourth city to host a regional informational meeting organized by the European Union's Delegation to Belarus. In 2019 similar events were held in Brest, Grodno, and Vitebsk.

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