This year, Lviv was the center of discussions about the heritage of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine, in the regard of EU cross-border projects. More than 200 people from three countries took part in the second edition of the Cross-border Academy of Development, which took place on 19th September. Once again, potential applicants could listen to the lectures on cultural and natural heritage given by the independent experts. First of all, they could learn more about how and for what purpose they can obtain EU funds.
This year's Cross-border Academy of Development was held under the heading „Heritage – let’s discover together”. Like in the first edition, which was held in December 2016 in Janów Podlaski, the independent experts provided the most important information on obtaining EU grants for small projects under the ENI Cross-border Cooperation Programme Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2014-2020. These meetings are designed to, inter alia, bring together the world of science, business, all levels of government, to exchange views, but also to give the inspiration for potential applicants by the representatives of science – explained Phd Leszek Buller, Director of The Center of European Projects.
In the 2014-2020 financial perspective, special support under the Programme will be provided for small projects worth up to 60 thousand euro. The total amount of grants for this type of cross-border projects is 5 million 200 thousand euro. These grants are dedicated to projects related to the common cultural heritage of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus, as well as the natural heritage, projects which will promote common values of the borderland of these three countries. – We can call the heritage everything that was produced by our ancestors. This is the material heritage and the intangible heritage. These are songs, testimonies and legends of all kinds. Speaking of the heritage, we often think about objects such as a castle or a palace. But we should also think about the nature, for example about trees or animals. Actually, we should think about all that surrounds us – said dr hab. Rafał Wiśniewski - Director of the National Centre for Culture Poland.
The issue of the cultural and architectural heritage was the most frequently discussed during the Cross-border Academy of Development in Lviv. - In these cross-border areas the same architects have worked, here is also the potential for cooperation, establishing relations and contacts in the field of the theater, music and folk art - said prof. Aliaksandr Kapilau - Rector of the Institute of Contemporary Knowledge in Minsk.
More than 200 people from Poland, Ukraine and Belarus listened to the lectures of the Cross-border Academy of Development. For some of them it was the first opportunity to learn more how to apply for small cross-border projects grants. - All this information is very substantive, only after the seminar we will be able to analyze it calmly and adjust it to our needs. We would like to establish the cooperation which will serve the common good - stated Urszula Pakuła from the Self-government Cultural Center in the Commune of Komarów-Osada.
The participants of the academy of development confirmed that they didn’t lacked the willingness to act together or to implement ideas. Moreover, many of them intend to submit applications forms for trilateral projects, and not just projects concerning only two countries. - We have plenty of ideas. First and foremost, our Volyn Region is located on the Polish and Belarussian borders, so we create a specific triangle. We would like to focus on either soft projects and infrastructure projects that will develop the infrastructure and, as a result, will create the Polish-Ukrainian-Belarusian cultural environment - said Elena Bokhenska from Ratne.
Importantly, the participants know very well that the exchange of views and experiences concerning joint projects do not end just after the academy of development – It was very interesting conference. We have supplemented our lacks in theoretical knowledge - the participant from Belarus said after listening to the lectures.
The projects implemented in the previous financing perspective, from 2007 to 2013, confirm the fact that every meeting, such as the Cross-border Academy of Development, brings the results. Previous projects were dedicated mainly to the border security, infrastructure development and cultural activities. Opening of the call for proposals for the small projects is scheduled for September 2018. In the autumn of next year it will be known what common ideas will be implemented actually.