The European Cooperation Day in Lithuania started with cooperation rally and ended with mass dancing lessons on the border.
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 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, which is responsible for the implementation of the cooperation programmes in Lithuania and the Joint Technical Secretariat, established by the ministry, welcomed everybody to the celebration of the European Cooperation Day by the two borders of Lithuania with neighbouring countries: Latvia and Poland. One event was organised in the Sėlių square of Zarasai (by the Lithuanian-Latvian) border. The other 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 each 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.
The speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, Ms. Irena Degutienė and the mayor of Lazdijai district, Mr. Artūras Margelis greeted the participants and spectators in Lazdijai. In Zarasai, the vice-minister of the Interior Mr. Sigitas Šiupšinskas and the mayor of Zarasai district, Mr. Arnoldas Abramavičius welcomed the audience. 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.
The information officer of the Joint Technical Secretariat Giedrius Surplys hosted the event in Lithuanian and Russian in Zarasai. In Lazdijai, the other employee of the Joint Technical Secretariat, Krzysztof Kolanowski acted as presenter and spoke Lithuanian, Polish and Russian.
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.
In Lazdijai, 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.
In Zarasai, the Lithuanian "Žemaitukų" breed horse was challenged by the Belarusian tractor "Belarus" and the Latvian make ambulance "RAF Latvija".
The racers competed in the drag race, basketball shooting and cargo events. In Lazdijai, "Žemaitukų" horse was the fastest, leaving behind its tail the Polish, Belarusian and Russian rivals. In Zarasai, the Latvian "RAF Latvija" managed to beat the horse and the Belarusian tractor in speed.
Shooting the basket without getting off the horse of the car was lucky for the Lithuanian horse in Zarasai and for the "Polski Fiat 126p" in Lazdijai. And the tractor "Belarus" left no hope for its competitors in cargo delivery event in Lazdijai and Zarasai.
Joint projects fair
The firemen from Lithuania, Latvia and Poland presented their joint projects in Zarasai and 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 in Lazdijai and the Lithuanian and Latvian border-guards in Zarasai and their trained dogs showed how the dogs help in finding the drugs or explosives and how they assist in arresting the trespassers.
A huge specialised van awaited every woman in Zarasai, interested in her health. Using the EU funding, the van is equipped as a medical breast-cancer examination cabinet. The "Mobile mammograph" was very popular among women. According to the representatives of Daugavpils hospital (Latvia), who brought the mammograph to Zarasai, they would have spent 3 days in Zarasai if they had to examine all the women who had signed up for medical examination. The doctors invited the ladies to come for examination to Daugavpils, which is just 35 kilometres away from Zarasai.
There were plenty of other attractions in Zarasai. The Euroregion "Country of Lakes" demonstrated the gymnastic exercises of the backs of the Lithuanian and Belarusian breed horses. The Latgale development agency invited the Latvian craftsmen to show their skills and the Administration of Utena district municipality brought the XIXth century stage-coach, which was standing exactly by the historic Warsaw-Sankt Petersburg track during the festival.
In Lazdijai 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 two places 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 lessons in the end of the events in Zarasai and Lazdijai. In Zarasai, the entire Sėlių square was filled by people from Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus, who were dancing to one rhythm.
The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania and the Public Establishment Joint Technical Secretariat kindly invite you to celebrate the European Day of Cooperation together with the whole Europe on the 21st of September 2012. The European Cooperation Day is initiated by the European Commission for the 20th anniversary of the territorial cooperation policy.
With the purpose of presenting the European cooperation programmes to the general public, the extraordinary Cooperation Rally will take place by the Lithuanian state border with its European Union neighbours Latvia and Poland. It will be a speed, might and power competition of the symbolic representatives of Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Belarus and Russia:
Lithuania – a horse of Lithuanian Žemaitukų breed,
Poland – automobile „Polski Fiat 126 p“, also known as „Maluch“,
Latvia – an ambulance car „RAF Latvija“,
Belarus – a tractor „Belarus“,
Russia – an automobile „Volga 21“.
A project fair will also be organised during the event, where the projects representing the following programmes will present their achievements:
European Territorial Co-operation Objective Lithuania-Poland Cross-border Co-operation Programme
2007-2013 Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus Cross-border Cooperation Programme within the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)
2007-2013 Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Cooperation Programme
CBC 2004-2006 Lithuania-Poland-Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation Neighbourhood Programme
PHARE 2003 Cross Border Cooperation Programme
You will see a drawing robot, common programme by the firemen, the performance of trained dogs, and the archaeological and tourist camps. The women will be able to examine their health against the breast cancer with the modern equipment. The joint performances of Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish and Belarusian ensembles will be held and various competitions will be organised. The evening will end with massive dance lessons. The porridge will be served for all the spectators.
You are also invited to present your achievements and products of territorial cooperation projects.
The European Cooperation Day events will be free of charge. Their date and time:
September 21 2012, 15:00-19:00 Sėlių square, Zarasai, Lithuania.
September 21 2012, 15:00-19:00 Lazdijai tourism information centre by the Lithuanian-Polish state border, Janaslavas, Lazdijai district, Lithuania.
We shall be waiting for your arrival. We would appreciate if you would inform us about your arrival by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: (+370 5) 261 0477.
ZARASAI AGENDA LAZDIJAI AGENDA