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Parliamentary questions
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9 April 2021
Question for written answer  E-001921/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Liudas Mažylis (PPE)
 Subject: Possible EU funding of heritage destruction in Kaliningrad

On 19 December 2016, the Commission approved the Lithuania-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 under the European Neighbourhood Instrument. The programme gives priority to projects focusing on the adaptation and renovation of historical and natural heritage, the promotion of cultural links and the development of tourism. More than EUR 17 million in EU funding has been allocated to the programme’s implementation. The problem is that the funds allocated to the project are potentially being used to destroy, rather than preserve, historic heritage sites and to soak up as much money as possible from EU-funded projects.

The determined local population of the Kaliningrad region is fighting to preserve the cultural heritage created by the pre-World War II Prussian population. Activists realise that not much will now be preserved, but they are most upset about what happened to the unique Green Theatre, which was disfigured by the Soviet government and destroyed during the implementation of EU projects: old stonework has been bulldozed and imitation stones are being laid in tiles. In addition, local politicians are taking credit for completed EU projects to boost their own political popularity. Activists point the finger at politicians from Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party who took part in the Kaliningrad Regional Council elections in autumn 2020.

In light of the foregoing:

1. Are any checks in place to ensure that such practices do not occur during the implementation of EU heritage projects? If so, what are these checks?

2. What is the situation with regard to the Green Theatre, which is an important part of Europe’s heritage?

Original language of question: LT
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