Slovak, Ukrainian and Norwegian partners have successfully implemented the project “Through innovation – to effective cooperation” (“Information provision and implementation of innovative approaches to cross-border cooperation between Slovakia and Ukraine“).
The aim of the project is:
1) obtaining and analyzing authentic, high-quality and complete information on the forms, methods and results of the Barents Euro- Arctic Council and the Barenth Regional Council activity ;
2) development for the managing authorities from Slovakia and Ukraine the practical recommendations on its implementation/application to improve the efficiency of cross-border cooperation between border regions of these countries, in particular, and in cross-border region of the Carpathians, in general;
The Barents Euro-Arctic Council and the Barenth Regional Council – are the institutions of northern states and the EU, designed to promote cross-border cooperation in the Barents region. They were created in the early 90-s of the last century on the initiative of prominent Scandinavian policy – then Foreign Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg of Norway (incidentally, the father of the current Secretary General of NATO – Jens Stoltenberg). Despite his advanced age, Thorvald Stoltenberg and now keenly interested in European issues and cross-border cooperation was one of the initiators of the development of the draft project .
To explore the experience of cross-border cooperation in the North of Europe, the Barents region visited a group of Ukrainian project experts von the 8-12-th of November. The delegation was:
- Serhii Ustych, Ambassador, head of the department of international studies and social communications of Uzhhorod National university, Director of CBC (head of delegation);
- Oleksandr Bilak – Deputy Mayor of Uzhgorod City Council;
- Volodymyr Prykhodko – Head of the Department of International Economic Relations of Uzhgorod National University, Dr. of Economics, professor;
- Radmila Ustych – manager of the NGO “FORZA”;
- Olesia Benchak – lecturer in the department of international studies and social communications of Uzhhorod National university, project manager.
The program of delegations in the border town of Kirkenes Norway was very rich.
First, the delegation took the head of Sor-Varanger municipality, a veteran cross-border movement Ryune Rafaelsen. He described the long experience of cross-border cooperation and the current problems of the borderland. In particular, they talked about the crisis last year with more than 5 thousands of Syrian refugees who infiltrated the territory of Norway, Russia (photo).
Mr.Rafaelson and Mr.Bilak were agreed to establish links between the towns of Kirkenes and Uzhgorod (photo).
Mr. Rafaelsen showed guests transboundary cooperation – a unique hospital that is being built jointly by the Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Icelandic builders with finished modules coming from Germany ferry (photo).
The delegation also visited the modern multinational school, working on innovative teaching concept (pictured).
Ukrainian experts also met with the leaders of the Barents Institute – branch of the Norwegian Arctic University of Tromso city – Mariann Solem and Sveym Orheym. The Barents Institute engaged in research of transborder-cooperation. We talked about the joint development and publication of scientific Arctic Norwegian university, Uzhgorod National University and Safarik University of Kosice, exchange training of students and teachers (photo).
The central activities of the program was the delegation in structures that provide activities Barents Euro- Arctic Council and the Barenth Regional Council – the International Barents Secretariat and the Barents Secretariat. The first structure is a part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, located in Kirkenes and coordinating cross-border cooperation in the region. Its leaders – norwegian diplomats Neither Saalo and HeydiAndressen- offered guests from Ukraine rich information on a story about modern forms of cross-border cooperation and its prospects (photo).
Another intergovernmental organization is a structure that provides interaction northern partners and the EU in the development of cross-border cooperation. About CBC achievements in the Barents region Ukrainian delegation in detail informed the leaders of the International Barents Secretariat Swedish and Finnish diplomats Hallberh Thomas and Laura Quist (photo).
At all meetings of experts, also was introduced the interlocutors with CBC positive experience gained in Ukraine, particularly in cross-border region of the Carpathians.
Unfortunately, the reasons of health of Mr.Stoltenberha, delegation failed to meet with him, as it was planned. But he gave Ukrainian experts heartfelt congratulations and assured that he has a great desire to come to Transcarpathia and Kosice in March, for the international scientific conference on the results of the project (photo).
In general a visit of Ukrainian experts to Norway allowed to study the latest and most effective forms of cross-border cooperation practiced in Northern Europe. This is the key to achieve good project “Through innovation – to effective cooperation” objectives.
Group of Ukrainian Experts