A conference was held in Split on Thursday to mark the launch of an Interreg IPA cooperation programme between Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro which envisages EUR 67 million in European Union funds for cross-border projects in an area covering 87,000 square kilometres and has a population of 5.5 million.
The programme covers 12 counties in Croatia, 109 municipalities and the Brcko district in Bosnia, and ten municipalities in Montenegro. Implementation is in the remit of the Croatian Regional Development Agency.
Olja Georis of the Agency 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 yesterday for the submission of draft projects that would receive EUR 25 million of the EUR 67 million envisaged by the programme. She said contracting would begin early next year.
Assistant Regional Development and EU Funds Minister 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 project is aimed at improving social and health services, environment and nature protection, flood and fire prevention, energy efficiency, the development of tourism and the cultural and natural heritage, as well as the competitiveness and development of the business environment.
Aside from this project, Croatia is participating in four other cross-border cooperation projects aimed at drawing EU funds with Slovenia, Italy, Serbia and Hungary.