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Project title:  Effectiveness of Policy Instruments for Cross Border Advancement in Heritage - EPICAH

Funder: Interreg Europe

Co-financing: Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs and KÜSK

Project duration
1st phase: January 2017-December 2019
2nd phase: January 2020-December 2021

Project manager: Margit Säre; margitsare @ gmail.com

Project international web site: https://www.interregeurope.eu/epicah/


EPICAH aims to promote the improvement of the policy instruments for crossborder cooperation processes in the natural and cultural heritage protection. The objective of the project is also to develop the management of the border by using it as a tourist attraction factor. It shall improve the effectiveness of tourism activity in managing the organization and valorisation of these assets.

Results and outputs
The main result of the project corresponds to the improvement of the efficiency of the policies and CBC programmes for better management and development of cultural and natural heritage shared by border regions, promoting the border as a differentiating and competitive factor of the crossborder territory holding that heritage.


- 7 regional reports (to identify the main problems crossborder natural and cultural heritage management are facing in each project border)
-joint report about how it is being enhanced the border effect in the protection and development of natural and cultural crossborder heritage in Europe
-6 study visits to partners regions (in order to know in situ each other reality regarding each one of the policy instruments addresses by EPICAH)
-thematic seminars
-internal workshops (dissemination knowledge actions for the partners staff)
-crossborder workshops (dissemination knowledge actions for members of the partners and their border counterparts)
- regional action plans (for the improvement of policies and policy instruments associated with management of crossborder natural and cultural heritage in each of the project territories)
-interparliamentary forum
- strategic communication plan (to enhance the impact of communication activities and expand the results dissemination and the transfer of knowledge generated by the project)
- 6instruments for CBC policies (Interreg A) more effective in actions regarding the protection, preservation and development of crossborder natural and cultural heritage
- ROP instrument more effective in actions regarding the protection, preservation and development of crossborder natural and cultural heritage.

International project team events

20.02.2017 - Project kick off meeting, in Porto

24-26 October 2017.EPICAh meeting in Empoli, Tuscany, Italy organised by  ASEV 

18-19 April 2018.
EPICAH project seminar in Zamora, Spain and filed trip to  Spanish-Portugese border region in Douro valley

5-6 June 2018
EPICAH project seminar in Kastoria, Greece

25-27 September 
EPICAH project seminar in Tokaji win region, Hungary

Activities in the Estonian-Latvian border area

31.10.2018 - Valga/Valka cross border cooperation seminar
Read 31 Oct. seminar report

21.05.2018 - short video on EPICAH project activities in Estonian-Latvian border region

 #EPICAH project team participates at debate on European cultural heritage during Europe Day celebration in Valga. We are introducing EPICAH  project main findings and challenges related to natural and cultural heritage programmes in European border regions.
Europe Day is celebrated in various towns in Estonia and this is part of European Year of CultuValkaral heritage 2018 activities.

02.01.2018 -
EPICAH State of the Art report describing background, main policy instruments, best practices in the field of cross border cultural and natural heritage in the Latvian-Estonian border are is ready

21.12.2017 - 
 Our EPICAH project team was present at  celebrations of 10th anniversary for joining Schengen area in Estonia-Latvia twin towns  Valga / Valka.

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis attended the celebration ceremony at a former border crossing between Valka in Latvia and Valga in Estonia, on December 21. Historically, twin towns Valga-Valka had been developing as one town; while after the states re-independence, the border regime was established in 1991.On December 21, 2007 Estonia and Latvia acceded to the Schengen Agreement and the border crossing points were removed.

On her speech, President Kaljulaid stressed the role of the Schengen in promoting cooperation between communities in the border region. The heads of state also visited the local vocational education center which offers courses to Estonians as well as Latvians.

17.11.2017 -
EPICAH project presentation and focus group meeting in Pärnu, vis-à-vis with West-Estonia tourism conference

01.11.2017 -
EPICAH Online Survey about Natural and Cultural Cross Border Heritage and Tourism in the Estonian-Latvian border area is completed

15.09.2017 -
Local stakeholder workshop in Roosta

01.11.2017 - 
EPICAH Online Survey about Natural and Cultural Cross Border Heritage and Tourism in the Estonian-Latvian border area is completed

27.05.2017 EPICAH project  team participated at cultural heritage day in the Koiva-Gauja heritage culture and conservation area, in the Estonian-Latvian border area (


The day was organized by Estonian State Forest Management Centre.

Koiva-Gauja heritage area aims to introduce the varied cultural heritage objects such as old farm and manor buildings, mills, boundary markers, notable wooded meadows, sacrificial stones and pines. The cross border cultural heritage area is located on the banks of the border river Koiva/Gauja. The route runs along river side, through the forests and meadows, where you can walk or ride bikes.

EPICAH project first Estonian stakeholder meeting  in Tartu.
13 participants from county development agencies, tourism foundations, NGOs gathered to discuss cultural and nature tourism current status and challenges in South Estonia.
South-Estonia has rich natural and cultural heritage and important  initiator for local development is seen through sustainable tourism.
Still, the number of visitors is not enough and need to be increased at least
10%. The participants agreed that main problems getting tourists here are lack
of resources for development the objects and bad transport connection with
South-Estonia – no good air connection, no good train connection between
Latvian capital Riga and Tartu (so called South Estonian capital)
Participants also introduced their new initiatives and project in the filed of cultural and natural tourism.

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