Large scale projects (also called LSPs) are projects that are not based on open calls like the projects funded under our thematic calls. The projects and Lead Partners are pre-determined by the Joint Monitoring Committee. The projects are centered on major investments that have direct cross-border benefits and are closely related to the objectives and aims of the Programme.
Our JMC has decided that there will be a total of five LSPs in our Programme and approximately one third of Programme funds have been allocated for them. I am happy to say that the acceptance and contracting processes for these projects are proceeding rapidly. The Joint Monitoring Committee has accepted all five applications, while the European Commission has accepted three of them and the process is still pending for the remaining two projects in the EC. If the contracting process goes well, all five projects should be running by the end of November 2012.
So far only one of them has been contracted and commenced: Fennoscandian Green Belt, with Metsähallitus, Natural Heritage Services, Ostrobothnia as the Lead Partner. The aim of the project is to improve the quality and service level in natural parks on both sides of the border. The parks include Oulanka (FI), Paanajärvi (RU), Kalevala Parks (FI & RU), Friendship Park (FI), Kostamuksha (RU), Koli (FI) and Petkeljärvi (FI). The activities focus on investments and enhancement of cooperation between the parks.
More information about the LSPs can be found at our website after the projects have started.