Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013
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EUROPEAN COOPERATION DAY TOOK PLACE IN LAZDIJAI, LITHUANIA

2012-09-25
On the 21st of September the European Cooperation Day was celebrated all across Europe for the first time. More than 160 events took place where the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument programmes were presented.

The European Union finances joint projects of organisations from neighbouring countries through these programmes. These projects (over 20.000 since 1990) perfectly reflect the European integration, as the same ecological, security, unemployment and other problems transcending the national borders are tackled in cross-border way.

The project festival took place in Janaslavas village, Lazdijai district (by the Lithuanian-Polish) border. Three cooperation programmes were presented during the events:

• Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus Cross-border Cooperation Programme within the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument 2007-2013

• Lithuania, Poland and Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme within the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument 2007-2013

• European Territorial Cooperation Objective Cross-border Cooperation Programme Lithuania-Poland

Around 500 persons in the event were watching the first-time-in-history cooperation rally and wandered around in the project fair of the joint Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish, Belarusian and Russian projects.

Honourable guests

The speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, Ms. Irena Degutienė and the mayor of Lazdijai district, Mr. Artūras Margelis greeted the participants and spectators.  The representatives of the embassies of the Lithuania's neighbouring countries also took part in the event. The honourable guests took a look at the achievements of the projects, which had come to participate in the project fair. Mr.  Artūras Margelis took part in press conference organized in the new building of Lazdijai Tourist Information.

The European Cooperation Day festival started with the competition of creating the European Cooperation Day sign from extraordinary materials (paper, metal and even apples). Children from Lithuania and Belarus took part in the competition.
The European Cooperation Day festival started with the competition of creating the European Cooperation Day sign from extraordinary materials (paper, metal and even apples). Children from Lithuania and Belarus took part in the competition.

Spectacular race

Four symbolic representatives of Lithuania, Poland, Belarus and Russia took part in the cooperation rally. Lithuania was represented by the "Žemaitukų" breed horse, Poland – by 3 "Polski Fiat 126p" cars, Belarus – by the tractor "Belarus" and Russia – by "Volga 21" automobile.

"Žemaitukų" horse was the fastest, leaving behind its tail the Polish, Belarusian and Russian rivals. 

Shooting the basket without getting off the horse of the car was lucky for the "Polski Fiat 126p" . And the tractor "Belarus" left no hope for its competitors in cargo delivery event.

Joint projects fair

The firemen from Lithuania, Latvia and Poland presented their joint projects in Lazdijai. Surrounded by circle of spectators, they demonstrated the life-saving operation after the car accident using the modern equipment. This equipment enables the firemen to free the person stuck in the crashed automobile in just a few minutes.

The Polish customs officers and their trained dogs showed how the dogs help in finding the drugs or explosives and how they assist in arresting the trespassers.

The spectators could draw and play music trying the computer-tuned equipment of the Marijampolė "Multicentre". Also, the international volleyball competition was held and the craftsmen from Poland were presenting the Polish traditions.

Common performances and mass dances

The purpose of the celebration of the European Cooperation Day in Lazdijai by the Lithuanian border was not only presenting the achievements of the joint Lithuanian, Latvian, Belarusian, Polish and Russian projects, but also to invite the people from the neighbouring countries to celebrate and have fun together.

Joint performances were held by the ensembles and singers from Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Poland. And the best witness of the fact that the cross-border cooperation has become the significant and natural part of the living in the border region was the mass dancing lesson in the end of the event.

The pictures from the meeting
 

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