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Latvia and Lithuania agree on common priorities for cross border cooperation
Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis at the meeting with the Viceminister of Interior Sigitas Šiupšinskas and Viceminister of Environment Stanislovas Šriūbenas of the Republic of Lithuania and other Latvian and Lithuanian officials agreed on the priority issues and possible solutions for enhancement of cross-border cooperation. The meeting was held on 30 September 2011 in Jelgava within the session of Latvia and Lithuania Intergovernmental Commission for the promotion of cross border cooperation.

Both sides agreed on the need to establish a new expert working groups to address issues of ensuring the implementation of fire and rescue operations, develop or recover several rail lines, as well as contribute to social and welfare issues.

It was also decided to support the idea of a common river basin management plan for the future development of the necessary flood protection structure identification, as well as driven the need for close cooperation between two countries and exchange of experience in development of flood maps.

In the field of cross border road issues the need to exchange the information between responsible authorities on priority border roads requiring reconstruction were indicated as well as ensure the progress of this issue. At the same time it is necessary to develop a joint action plan between local and state authorities of both countries by reaching the agreement on restoration of border roads which were dug before the Schengen Agreement entered into force.

In addition representatives of both countries were informed about the successful implementation of the joint projects within education and cross-border tourism fields which are financed by the Latvia–Lithuania Cross Border Cooperation Programme (hereinafter – Programme).

Currently 73 cooperation projects are in its implementation stage within the Programme in the fields of business support, research, transport, environment, education, culture and social development. 172 project applications submitted within the 4th call for proposals are being assessed and decision on their approval will be made by the Programme’s Joint Monitoring and Steering Committee at its meeting at the end of November 2011.

Both countries now are working on preparation for the next programming period and it is anticipated that such cross border cooperation will be continued and supported by the European Union in the period of the years 2014-2020.