In early May, the cities of Chernivtsy, Vinnytsia and Odesa held “Information Days” in support of the EU territorial cooperation programme between Ukraine and Moldova. This was just one series of events implemented as part of a wider Eastern Partnership Territorial Cooperation (EaPTC) programme.
There is now an open call for proposals within the Ukraine-Moldova programme with a deadline of July 14. Potential applicants are invited to submit applications for grants in support of projects that involve cooperation between the two countries. The project’s intent is to improve the living conditions of local communities in the border regions through joint projects to support economic and social development, and problem solving in the areas of environment, employment, health, culture, and education.
The Information Days events aim at explaining to potential applicants the conditions of participation in the programme, selection criteria, and how to compile an effective application. Over 300 potential grantees took part in the three Information Days in Ukraine. In late April, similar events took place in Moldova.
Alina Zhyhareva from Odesa represents the NGO “Agricola”.
-“We are engaged in eco-tourism,” says Shyfareva. “We already have several partners in Moldova with which we work on other projects, but we plan to look for new partners as well. Ukraine and Moldova indeed have a lot of common problems and possible areas for cooperation, including green tourism. Our application will be focused on that topic.”
Liudmyla Syritska took part in the Information Day event in Vinnytsia. She is from the village of Serebria in the Mohyliv-Podolsk district of Vinnitsa oblast.
– “We live right on the border. We have already partnered with Moldova and signed a treaty with the government of the neighboring village across the border,” she says. “We want to develop a joint project that will strengthen our cooperation.”
The territorial cooperation programme between Moldova and Ukraine has a budget of €3.3 million. Grants vary from €60,000 to €300,000. Ten percent of the project cost must be covered by the participants themselves; however, recipients can apply to other sources for grants to cover the remaining sum.
EaPTC is the first EU territorial cooperation programme implemented by Eastern Partnership countries without participation of EU partners.
– “In this case, partners from Ukraine and Moldova, are able to solve shared problems as they see them,” says Liubov Palyvoda, an expert working on the EaPTC support programme. “This is a unique experience that will further encourage local communities to apply for other, perhaps larger-scale projects.”
It is expected that the cooperation programme will receive about 120 applications in response to its call for proposals.
The EaPTC’s total budget is over €12 million. In addition to the Ukraine-Moldova programme, there are three other territorial cooperation programmes: between Ukraine and Belarus, between Armenia and Georgia, and between Azerbaijan and Georgia.