Lithuanian-Norwegian seminar on municipal cooperation
A Lithuanian-Norwegian seminar in Kaunas, Lithuania, on 13 November brought together municipalities eager to explore possibilities for developing bilateral projects ahead of Lithuania’s €17 million call in early 2008 and the launch of two regional funds.
The seminar was organised by the associations for local and regional authorities in Lithuania and Norway in cooperation with the City of Kaunas and the Norwegian embassy in Vilnius. Around 90 representatives from municipalities in Norway and Lithuania used the one-day workshop to discuss partnership projects aimed at transferring know-how and good practices between the two countries within the fields of conservation of cultural heritage, protection of the environment and social services.
A total €67.3 million has been allocated to Lithuania under the financial mechanisms, and the second and last call for individual projects of a total €17 million will be launched in spring 2008. Regional development and bilateral cooperation are given special attention by Lithuania and thee three donor states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. In addition to the funding made available through the open calls, two regional funds will enable institutions from Lithuania and the three donor states to draw on each others experiences.
A €3.5 million fund to promote cooperation between Lithuania and Norway, managed by the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment, has already been approved and will make grants to transfer of knowledge projects between the countries. Further details on this fund can be found by running a search for LT0009 in the project database. A €3.7 million fund to strengthen the administrative capacity and public services of Lithuanian local and regional authorities is currently in the pipeline, and is expected to go live in 2008. This fund will also offer possibilities for bilateral cooperation.