A total of 17 projects worth more than EUR 6.5 million were agreed within the IPA (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) Cross-border Programme Croatia-Montenegro 2007-2013, it was said in Podgorica on Monday.

Speaking at the programme's closing news conference, Montenegro's national coordinator for the European Union, Aleksandar Pejovic, said that 80 partners - public institutions, NGOs, municipalities and counties, educational institutions, business associations, development agencies, international organisations and sport clubs from Croatia and Montenegro - had applied for funding under this programme.

Important projects were implemented in the areas of environmental protection, natural and cultural heritage, socio-economic development, with emphasis on tourism, cooperation between institutions, citizens and representatives of civil society, and in the areas of culture, education and sports, the purpose being encouraging the development of communities and good neighbourly relations.

The head of Croatia's Agency for Regional Development, Ines Kos, underlined the high degree of contracted and absorbed funds, which she said showed that the job had been done well.

The Montenegrin Foreign Ministry said in a statement that cooperation between the two neighbouring countries would continue within a new trilateral IPA programme covering Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro for the period 2014-2020.

That programme will make available to potential users EU grants in the amount of EUR 57.1 million, while its total value, with national co-financing, is EUR 67.2 million.

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