Annual event “Enjoy the Hansa route through Latvia, Estonia and Russia!” in the framework of Estonia-Latvia-Russia cross border cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership instrument 2007-2013

On 10th June in Sigulda – the main tourist centre in Latvia – the fourth annual event “Enjoy the Hansa route through Latvia, Estonia and Russia!” was held. Delegations from three countries participating in Estonia-Latvia-Russia cross border cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership instrument 2007-2013 gathered in Latvia. This year the Annual Conference was devoted to development of tourism as the best instrument to promote cross-border cooperation.

On June 10 the Conference „Support to the Cross Border Cultural and Active Tourism in Latvia, Estonia and Russia” was opened with welcome speeches by official representatives of three countries – Priidu Ristkok, Head of Regional Development Department of the Estonian Ministry of the Interior, Dace Grūberte, Head of Joint Managing Authority of the Programme and Svetlana Bibichkova, Specialist-expert of the Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation. The speakers expressed the wish to expand further cooperation in development of cross-border territories, in strengthening partnerships, and noted positive experience achieved in this direction.

More than 220 representatives of national and regional governmental institutions, project partners, non-governmental organisations, small and medium enterprises, educational, healthcare, cultural institutions as well as mass media from Latvia, Estonia and Russia took part in the Conference. Ms Dace Grūberte, Head of Joint Managing Authority of the Programme, spoke on the topic “Role of Estonia-Latvia-Russia CBC Prorgamme in the socio-economic development of border regions: progress and achieved results”. In her speech she stressed the importance of regional cooperation between three countries and the role of the Programme in achievement of main objectives and tasks: development of competitiveness of the regions, improvement of their investment climate and improving the living standards of the population in the cross-border territories. Dace Grūberte quoted the words of Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success” that characterise not only the event itself but also common work between the countries and in the projects supported by the Programme. The Conference participants were given an opportunity to visit project sites in Sigulda as well.

On June 11 an Open – Air Exhibition „Enjoy the Hansa Route through Latvia, Estonia and Russia!” placed on the territory of the Sigulda Castle of the Livonian Order was presented to the Conference participants, local population and guests of Sigulda. The exhibition aim was to offer for those present the possibilities for visiting the tourist route “Via Hanseatica”. More than 18 projects presented their interim results, shared experience about work in the Programme and discussed future plans. Exhibition visitors could listen the folk music, taste national dishes, get acquainted with the work of each project and vote for the project presentation they liked most.

At the exhibition Narva and Ivangorod represented three common projects on one stand devoted to tourism development. The projects were supported by the Estonia-Latvia-Russia Programme and at present are being implemented in Narva-Ivangorod cross-border area: “Unique Estonian-Russian fortresses ensemble development as a single tourist product. Stage II. / EstRusFortTour-2”, “Development of historical riverside protection area in Narva/Estonia and Ivangorod/Russia II stage” and “Development of the unique Narva-Ivangorod trans-border fortresses ensemble as a single cultural and tourist object – LSP6”. The projects presented the achieved results and information about tourist possibilities in Narva and Ivangorod. About 420 people (projects’ participants, tourists, local population and city guests) visited the exhibition.

During closing the Programme annual event its results were summed up and projects that actively participated in the exhibition were awarded with special prizes. The Programme Joint Secretariat highlighted active and well-organized work of Narva-Ivangorod projects’ joint team.

Estonia-Latvia-Russia CBC Programme within ENPI 2007-2013 has been launched in 2010. The strategic objective of the Programme is promotion of joint development to improve competitiveness of the Region using its socio-economic potential and beneficial location on the cross roads of the EU and the Russian Federation. The specific objective is to make the wider border area an attractive place for both inhabitants and businesses through activities aimed at improving the living standards and investment climate. The Programme website

Natalia Orava
“EstRusFortTour-2” project manager
+372 35 99085