Border regions of six countries participating in the Eastern Partnership, including those of Azerbaijan and Georgia, will be able to realize joint development projects within the program, the Eastern Partnership Territorial Cooperation (EaPTC) Support Program Team Leader, Alexei Sekarev said.
He made the remarks on July 4 in Tbilisi, addressing a conference dedicated to the opening of the EaPTC Support Program.
Sekarev said the European Commission will organize tenders as part of the project, and the tenders' winners will receive grants.
"Bilateral Azerbaijan-Georgia, Georgia-Armenia, Moldova-Ukraine and Belarus-Ukraine territorial programs will be implemented within the project," Sekarev told reporters.
He said any non-profit organization form participating countries can take part in these programs.
"The main prerequisite is that the partners from two neighboring states, and especially from their border regions, must take part in each project claiming for funds," Sekarev stressed.
He said the EaPTC intends to work permanently to inform the public in the participating countries, and to hold corresponding trainings for the project's prospective participants to easily gather relevant documents for submitting applications.
Touching upon the Azerbaijan-Georgia territorial program, Sekarev said the Sheki-Zagatala and Ganja-Gazakh economic regions will take part in it from the Azerbaijani side, while the Kvemo-Kartli and Kakheti regions will join the program from the Georgian side.
Sekarev said that according to preliminary estimates the size of grants will vary from 20,000 to 250,000 euros.
"We expect that the projects planned by partners from two countries will be not so much infrastructural, but mainly directed at somehow 'blurring of boundaries' in these regions, what will allow the people in these places to get to know each other better, to find reliable partners and make something for regional development," Sekarev stressed.
He also said the EaPTC Support Program is being implemented on the basis of similar projects that were carried out at the internal borders of the EU.
"Territorial programs are totally apolitical and have only economic and humanitarian goals, so the political or religious organizations will not be able to participate in them. There can be absolutely varying projects for participation in the EaPTC Support Program - the participants are free to choose goals. These can be environmental, social, youth, and other projects," Sekarev added.
The project will cost 12.5 million euros. Some 1.35 million euros of these funds have been allocated for the Azerbaijan-Georgia territorial program.
The program will be administered by GIZ - the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH).
The program covers a period until late 2016.