Eastern partnership territorial cooperation within the context of the local governance programme South Caucasus

Project description

Project title: Eastern partnership territorial cooperation (EaPTC) within the context of the local governance programme South Caucasus
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine
Lead executing agencies: Armenia: Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development; Azerbaijan: Ministry of Economy; Belarus: Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Georgia: Ministry for Regional Development and Infrastructure; Ukraine: Ministry of Economic Development and Trade; Moldova: State Chancellery
Overall term: 2014 to 2018

Context
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, there was a strong decline in cooperation between the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Ukraine, between Ukraine and Belarus, between Georgia and Armenia, and between Georgia and Azerbaijan. The result is that cooperation is only rudimentary today. These direct neighbours of the European Union are developing in very different ways and are beset with major economic problems, especially in the border regions.

Objective
Cross-border cooperation between local bodies, municipal authorities and civil society in the border regions of the partner countries has increased and has continued to develop. The institutions are in a position to participate in EU calls for project proposals.

Approach
The European Commission supports cross-border cooperation between the Eastern Partnership countries in order to promote sustainable economic development – thereby reducing economic disparities between the regions – and to improve living conditions. To this end it has initiated four bilateral programmes: Armenia-Georgia, Azerbaijan-Georgia, Belarus-Ukraine and Moldova-Ukraine.

Local authorities and organisations take part in tendering for grants from the European Commission in order to implement cross-border projects in various fields, including the environment, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and youth. The institutions are to be strengthened so that they can participate in the EU-financed programmes and carry out projects in line with the EU planning tool Project Cycle Management (PCM).

GIZ has been commissioned by the European Commission to act as managing authority for the whole process from its offices in Tbilisi and Kyiv. It is responsible for preparing and conducting the calls for proposals in cooperation with the partner countries and monitoring the projects.

The basic documents have been drawn up jointly by bodies representing the participating partner countries and confirmed by the European Commission