Nature as our common treasure – European cooperation in St. Petersburg
The European Cooperation Day is celebrated annually on 21 September, with different countries supporting the event with local activities. This year, the celebrations in St. Petersburg took place on 25 September in the premises of the water company Vodokanal’s youth environmental centre.
The event gathered authorities from the Russian Federation and the EU Member States and young people from St. Petersburg to discuss how cooperation programmes and projects can further contribute to making the Baltic Sea Region a healthier place to live. The event was organized by four funding programmes: Interreg Baltic Sea Region together with cross-border programmes, each respectively linking Russia with Latvia, Estonia and South-East Finland.
The European Cooperation Day celebrations opened with welcoming speeches from the organizers and the Delegation of the European Union to Russia. The event featured a networking exhibition space for several selected projects to present their work and achievements and highlight the experience of cooperating with Russian stakeholders. An important part of the programme was devoted to the youth: more than 60 students from high schools and universities joined the event. Students were engaged in an intensive session, where they needed first to get familiar with the existing projects in the region, and then to hold a brainstorming session to come up with an idea for a project of their own. Enthusiastic participation in the networking with project representatives resulted in six youth projects from different perspectives to nature management and preservation.
BSR WATER platform had a stand at the exhibition and its representatives supplied both students and European and Russian decision-makers with information on the project activities on smart water management.