The official launch of the trilateral Programme of Crossborder Cooperation between Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina marked by the Interreg Conference, has been launched on March the 10th at the Croatian city of Split.
The Programme foresees funding of 67 milion €, for crossborder projects (with €57 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance/IPA) in an area covering 87,000 square kilometres with a population of 5.5 million. EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said:
“Our cross-border programmes provide concrete measures to improve the quality of life and offer new economic opportunities and jobs to people living in the border regions of the European Union and its neighbours. These programmes are an opportunity for regions to find common solutions to shared challenges.”
The programme will also help reach the objectives of the South East Europe 2020 Strategy, of the EU macro-regional Strategy for the Danube Region and of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region.
The “Interreg-IPA CBC Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro” programme includes 12 NUTS III regions in Croatia, 10 municipalities in Montenegro, and the Brčko District of BiH alongside 109 municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The five main priorities of the programme are:
- Improving the quality of services in public health and social care in the programme area;
- Protecting the environment, improving risk prevention, flood and fire prevention,and promoting energy efficiency;
- Contributing to the development of tourism and to the preservation of the region’s cultural and natural heritage;
- Enhancing the economic competitiveness of the region;
- Providing technical assistance to increase the efficiency of the management and implementation of the Programme.
Olja Georis of the Croatian Regional Development Agency (also Head of Managing Authority) called on the Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin representatives at the conference to submit joint cross-border cooperation projects for EU financing, saying cooperation was necessary to use the funds as well as possible. She recalled that a call was published on 9th of March for the submission of draft projects that would receive €25 million of the €67 million envisaged by the programme. She said contracting is planned to begin early next year.
Assistant Regional Development and EU Funds Minister (HR) Marija Vuckovic said the ministry’s role was to back the partners in the realisation of this cross-border project, notably in Croatian border areas. The representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Coordination Board (from the Direcorate of European Integration of Council of Ministers of BiH) Mrs. Nada Bojanić emphasized that BiH stakeholders are prepared for the implementation of the Programme and that it will hopefuly lead to the spreading of the crossborder impact and also highlited excellent cooperation with all counterparts especially with Croatian who offered to share their recent experience in negotiations with EU, which is important for Bosnia and Herzegovina since it is on its European integration path.
The conference was attended by more than 200 national, regional, local and other relevant stakeholders from all three countries participating in the Programme.
Download the presentations delivered at the conference:
The 1st Call for Proposal can be also downloaded here: