First meeting of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the Estonia-Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014 – 2020 (the Programme) was held in Narva-Jõesuu, Estonia on 30 – 31 March 2016 to discuss the next steps for implementation of the Programme.

Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) has an overall responsibility for the qualitative preparation and effective implementation of the Programme.

JMC includes the representatives of different institutional levels of both Programme participating countries – Estonia and Russia. Representatives of the Managing Authority and involved TESIM experts made their tangible input in the discussions and taking decisions.

The meeting was chaired by Ms Julia Koger, Advisor of the European Territorial Cooperation Unit, Regional Development Department, Ministry of Finance of Estonia, and co-chaired by Mr Roman Bogatikov, Head of Unit for coordination and legal support of regional and cross-border cooperation, Department for Regional and Cross-Border Cooperation Development, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation – representing the national authorities of the Programme.

The aim of the meeting of the JMC was to reach decisions to ensure a smooth management of the Programme by taking into account the proposals of the national, regional and local level institutions nominated by the Programme participating countries – Estonia and Russia.

The meeting started with the approval of the Rules of Procedure of the JMC and the Annual Work Programme for the year 2016. In addition, the JMC took decision on the Technical Assistance budget for 2016 and agreed on terms of establishment of the Joint Technical Secretariat and on its Rules of Procedure.

Fruitful discussions took place on financing principles of the Large Infrastructure Projects and Guidelines for the Large Infrastructure Projects (LIPs) which will foster the project preparation process.