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Photograph: freeimages.com/Krzysztof (Kriss) Szkurlatowski

The European Commission on Tuesday adopted a cross-border cooperation programme between Italy and Croatia and 201 million euro of the 237 million euro worth programme will be secured from the European Union Regional Development Fund.

This is the first such cross-border cooperation programme between Croatia and Italy and it involves a total of 33 regions in Croatia: Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Lika-Senj, Zadar, Sibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia, Istria, Dubrovnik-Neretva and Karlovac counties.  The Italian regions encompassed by the programme are: Teramo, Pescara, Chieti, Campobasso, Brindisi, Lecce, Foggia, Bari, Barletta-Andria-Trani, Venice, Padua, Rovigo, Pordenone, Udine, Gorizia, Trieste, Ferrara, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena, Rimini, Pesaro e Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, Ascoli Piceno and Fermo.

The aim of the programme is to assist both countries to use the potential of blue growth which relates to developing aqua-culture, fisheries, blue bio-technology and sea services.

The programme envisages increasing the innovation capacities of local small businesses, preserving natural and cultural resources to develop sustainable tourism activities, improving cross-border connectivity and labour mobility, promoting enhanced cooperation between public institutions and civil organisations and encouraging the joint management of natural risks.

"Our Interreg programmes are tangible examples of how the EU is working to help citizens address common challenges and tap into shared potential, while promoting solidarity beyond regional borders," Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu said.

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