Grant programme for cooperation between the EU and Russia launched
The Delegation of the European Union to Russia has launched a call for proposals directed at the non-state actors and local authorities in the Baltic Sea region. The overall objective of this grant scheme with a total budget of 3.5 million euro is to support the cooperation between the EU and Russia by encouraging local stakeholders to participate more effectively in addressing common challenges and exploiting common opportunities. The first stage of the call runs until 10 March 2011.
The Baltic Sea region plays a strategic role in EU-Russia relations being the main gateway from Russia to Europe. Its prosperity, safety and security are of crucial importance not only for directly neighbouring regions and countries but for the whole of Russia and the EU.
Priority under this call for proposals will be given to small scale actions in the areas of energy efficiency, health and social protection, transport and logistics, and culture and tourism.
Participation is open to local authorities and Non-Governmental Organisations of the whole EU and Russia. Action should take place within the territory eligible for cooperation in the Baltic Sea region, i.e. St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad Oblast, Republic of Karelia, Oblasts of Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Novgorod and Pskov; and for projects addressing the Barents region - Arhangelsk Oblast, Komi Republic and Nenetsky Autonomous Okrug.
The EU Delegation to Russia will organise two information sessions for potential applicants in February 2011 to promote the call and explain its priorities and modalities.
The 3.5 million euro call for proposals "Non-State Actors and Local Authorities programme for the Baltic Sea region" is a part of a larger initiative "The EU Baltic Sea Strategy External Action Programme in favour of the Russian Federation". It was initiated by the European Parliament when in 2010 it made a total of 20 million euro available to support the external dimension of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy especially involving Russia. Other elements of the Programme include an additional contribution to the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership Support Fund and support for the implementation of the Helsinki Commission Baltic Sea Action Plan. The overall objective of the Programme is to make the Baltic region an attractive place to invest, work and live in.
The full text of the call including information on how to apply is available at http://ec.europa.eu/delegations/russia/funding_opportunities/grants/index_en.htm.