The ROTLBSARM project was implemented in the Skuodas Municipality, Lithuania, and in the Rucava Municipality, Latvia. These municipalities belong to the same ethnical Curonian land, so they are linked by joint history.
The project aimed to improve accessibility of the border region and make it more attractive for living and visiting. The project partners – the Skuodas and Rucava municipalities – were seeking to solve the existing common social problems in the border area such as low mobility of people, lack of tourists, inconvenient travelling due to insufficient road and transport infrastructure, and lack of cooperation between border region inhabitants and authorities. Cooperation between the municipalities was considered necessary and significant in order to ensure their successful development.
The three main activities of the project were:
Preparation of a technical project for building a bridge over the river Sventoji which separates the Lithuanian and Latvian territories.
Preparation of a feasibility study analysing the road and transport system in the cross-border area in Latvia and providing solutions to improve this system.
Organisation of a conference to present the feasibility studies and discuss the development of transport infrastructure in the cross-border area.
Implementation of the activities prepared the ground for improved road and transport infrastructure in the cross-border area. A new bridge would increase communication and traffic across the border as well as mobility of people and communication between Skuodas and Rucava Municipalities.
It would also have a positive effect on culture, sports, tourism development in the area, as these people were used to travel across the border for casual matters: shopping, visiting relatives and friends, going to the beach in Latvia and other leisure places in both countries, taking part in culture and sports events, picking up berries and mushrooms in the forest and etc.
Cooperation gives opportunities to share the newest information, learn from each other, organise events, take part in various training activities together and share experiences. The project paved the way for future communication and relationship development in the border area bringing in social and economic progress to the region.
Aspects of good practice
This project is an example of a relatively small-scale but integrated cross-border action which can have a catalytic effect for the future of the cross-border area.
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