TALLINN - The Estonia-Latvia 2021-2027 program has opened its first round of applications aimed at finding sustainable and innovative project ideas in the areas of cooperation, entrepreneurship, innovation, environment and tourism.
The program, funded from the European Regional Development Fund, is aimed at cooperation projects from southern and western Estonia and northern and western Latvia where there are partners from both countries, the secretariat of the Estonia-Latvia program said.
Head of Interreg programs in Latvia Sandis Cakuls said that during the previous program period, many Latvian and Estonian local governments, agencies and organizations formed good neighborly relations and partnership networks as well as developed business projects and joint tourism products.
"It creates a good basis for follow-up activities as well as for new cooperation ideas, which as very welcome at the first application round of Interreg's new Estonia-Latvia program," he said.
During the 2021-2027 period, the European Regional Development Fund will make 24.3 million euros available for Interreg's Estonia-Latvia program. The program has four priority directions which support the implementation of the European Union's strategic objectives.
Estonian Minister of Public Administration Riina Solman pointed out that the priority to foster greater development of shared services in cross-border areas provides an opportunity for local governments and organizations in the region to better adapt public services in border areas and look for solutions to problems in the local community by testing different pilot activities.
"Such initiatives help us pursue the goal of having well-functioning areas between Estonia and Latvia," She said.
Project applications can be submitted under all four priorities of the program in the first round. 3.41 million euros has been made available for developing more cooperation in cross-border regions and services. Funding for supporting jointly and smartly growing businesses totals 5.7 million euros. Efforts to maintain and ensure a sustainable and resilient program area will get 9.97 million euros and the development of sustainable and accessible cross-border tourism products will receive 5.22 million euros.
No minimum size has been set for the support. Co-financing from the program will equal up to 80 percent of eligible costs.
The application round opens on Nov. 7 and closes at 2 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2023. Applications are submitted electronically through the JEMS environment. A virtual seminar introducing the application round will take place on Nov. 22.