Project title

East-West Spatial Planning Forum for sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region


3 - Promotion of institution building, strengthening transnational spatial development

Lead applicant

Lead applicant country

Contact person 1

Elena Belova


Leontief Centre





per. Antonenko 6, 190000-St. Petersburg, Russia


+7812 3199626




+7812 3199814

Contact person 2

Irina Karelina


Leontief Centre





per. Antonenko 6, 190000-St. Petersburg, Russia


+7812 3144119




+7812 3199814

Key word 1

Macroregional strategies

Key word 2  

Institution building

Key word 3  


Project description

BSR is our common home. So we have to co-operate to make it better and more suitable. But this co-operation at least in spatial planning is still uneven. Russian  and Belarussian partners are put aside . They do not share common Baltic interests and concerns. The do not see Baltic Region as opportunity for them. But vice versa the Russian Baltic neighbours hardly know how to co-operate with us, how to use our potential for the sake of the BSR development.


So EAST West link should be strengthened for benefit of both sides. This is the core of the project.


The proposed project will involve politicians, practitioners and trainers in the field of regional and national spatial planning and development from all BSR countries.


The project is composed of the TACIS and INTERREG part.


Under the TACIS part, the focus is placed on training and capacity building in Russia, strengthening dialogue between Russian civil servants and regional decision-makers (politicians). The West practitioner will share with the EAST politicians and civil servants how to use spatial planning and transnational co-operation for solving internal Russian problems. The final result will be creation in the North West Russia the excellence centers capable to bring Russia to the future INTERREG projects.


The main idea for the INTERREG part is to identify and develop future partnerships between E-BSR and W-BSR regions for new INTERREG III B projects, and to provide 'centres of excellence' in Russia established within TACIS project with the possibility to develop their agenda, using the method 'learning by doing'.


The project is pretty matured:

1. TACIS Application has been already  prepared and send to Brussels its approval is expected in June.

2. The Application to the BSR Interred IIIB Seed Money has been also approved. The seed project is obliged to initiate the project activities before 1 October 2003.


The project is supported by highest political level:

  1. It was prioritised by VASAB for its work in 2002-2003 as strongly related to the Wismar Declaration,

  2. Ms Ulla Koski the Chairperson of the Committee on Spatial Development in the BSR has send to all Ministers responsible for  Spatial Planing in the BSRCountries the letter informing them about project progress,

  3. Also the financial and expert support for project elaboration were provided by the Committee

  4. The project was included by the CBSS as possible candidate to the Northern Dimension Action Programme 2004-2006,

  5. The project as also prioritised by the Russian Federal Government who issued a support letter.

The Russian National Subcommittee on INTERREG III B declared a project importance for development of the whole region.

Central objectives

The East-West Forum project is aimed to stimulate a dialogue between BSR countries and North-West Regions of Russia and to develop effective institution framework conditions by:
  • Providing an exchange of experience in strategic planning and policy making and stimulating spatial development approaches and partnerships between Russian experts and other BSR counterparts;

  • Enhancing the understanding of VASAB 2010 Plus and current EU Spatial Integration Programs by presenting concrete projects, cases (i.e. good practices);

  • Enhancing professional links, networking among Russian and foreign (BSR) participants and their institutions, exploiting advanced Internet technologies for better spatial integration;

  • Establishing excellence centres capable to bring Russia to the INTERREG projects strengthening Institutional Framework for transnational cooperation and sustainable BSR development;

  • Supporting and promoting joint investment projects involving North-West region of Russia; identifying priority areas of technical assistance and partnerships for future common BSR co-operation projects, providing synergy between EU financing instruments (TACIS, PHARE, INTERREG)

Expected benefits

The cohesion and spatial development (spatial order) of the BSR can not be achieved without an active participation of the Russia and Belaruss. Such transnational (from their nature) issues as transport corridors, strategic development zones important for transnational integration within BSR, co-operation of urban regions on key issues of sustainable development, integrated development of coastal zones can not been solved/developed properly without Russian and Belarussian participation.

Neglecting that fact we will risk a new East-West divide in the region. In particular it is important to integrate Kaliningrad exclave with the neighbouring countries to avoid existence of an isolated island of depression and dissatisfaction.

So the proposed East-West Forum project is equally important for the entire BSR as it is for North West Russian regions. Realisation of the project will allow achieving following expected benefits:

  1. Building of mutual understanding and improving co-ordination of national/regional spatial plans in the BSR

  • The Nort-West local and regional politicians improved their understanding about the usefulness of the transnational developmental projects and transnational co-operation (in the BSR regions) for implementation of developmental strategies and programmes of their own regions and municipalities.

  • The West BSR actors received the better access to the knowledge about developmental problems of the Russian regions which in turn will help them in regional and national planning in their own countries,

  1. Identifying joint spatial development projects

  • Priority areas of technical assistance and partnerships identified for future projects through concertation of VASAB 2010 Plus and current EU Spatial Integration Programs with Russia, Belorussian, Estonian and Finish regional authorities and other Baltic stakeholders;

  • Professional links, networking among Russian and foreign participants and their institutions, exploiting advanced Internet technologies, contributing to the stability of the transnational co-operation in the region and resulting in numerous joint spatial development projects carried on in the future to develop entire BSR,

  1. Improving institutional framework, strengthening the capacity for spatial development activities in BSR

  • North-West excellence centres network established supporting participation of the local and regional governments from the NW Russia in implementation of joint international BSR projects, using the resources of TACIS, PHARE, INTERREG.

Partners found


Finland: Uusimaa Regional Council 

Russia: The North-West Federal District: Leningrad oblast - Committee for External Economic and International Relations, St. Petersburg ICSER Leontief Center, Arkhangelsk oblast, Murmansk oblast, Kaliningrad oblast, Republic of Karelia

Poland: Office of the President of the Pomeranian Region

Sweden: Stockholm Regional Council

Norway: Telemark Country Council

Partners searched

EU: Germany, Denmark,

CEC: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Estimated budget

Interreg III B 500,000 Euro,
Tacis CBC Programme 200,000 Euro.