Building a new life on the border

Three years ago, Jevgenia started a new life in Valka, a Latvian town on the border with Estonia. Valka's city center and Jevgenia's café have bloomed together in the past years, with the boost of two projects co-funded by the Interreg Estonia-Lavia programme.

By Katrin Juhanson, Estonia-Latvia programme www.estlat.euEstonia – Latvia programme
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Valka used to be one with the city of Valga, on the Estonian side of the border. Both cities share name, which means “city of walk”, and while they are now divided by a border, they both sport the slogan “one city, two countries”.

The joint development of these twin cities has been the aim of projects like Valga-Valka Centre and Valga-Valka recreational area. The Valga-Valka Centre project has worked to improve physical connectivity, unite both towns’ citizens, promote tourism and activate entrepreneurship. Its work has been continued by the Valga-Valka recreational area project, that develops and improves the recreational area around Pedele/Pedeli river and Konnaoja/ Varžupīte stream for citizens and guests of Valga-Valka to spend their leisure time or to do sports and to encourage integration of communities across the border.