Estonian county governments in international cooperation organizations

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In cooperation between Geomedia and the Estonian Ministry of the Interior the participation of county governments in international cooperation organizations and networks was mapped out. The payment of membership fee (CPMR, B7, ESIN, IIGA, NGO Euregio Pskov-Livonia and the economic cooperative of Valge county and Jämtland, Sweden) was taken as the main criterion of membership in international cooperation organizations. Additionally, the activities of the NGO Helsinki Tallinn Euregio were analyzed (it's an organisation which has by now closed down its operation). As international cooperation takes place in multiple forms (in addition to legal entities with fixed membership there are networks, twinning associations and project basaed partnerships, which are based on cooperation agreements), the research does not cover the entire picture. Even though county governments do not hold the mandate of self governance, they are currently the best advocates and representatives of the interests of their county as a whole: being a neutral party towards the stakeholders inside the county they can bring together the interests of local municipalities and other partners. A proposal will presented on how to support county governments engagement in international cooperation networks.

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