Successful cross-border cooperation between Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina

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IPA Cross-border Programme Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro has been implemented since 2008. Through three public calls, 35 projects has been contracted so far with a total value of €8.3m, said ambassador Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic at the final conference of the IPA Cross-border Programme Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2007-2013.

As he said, the projects implemented in the areas of cross-border economic development with an emphasis on tourism and rural development in order to stimulate community development and neighbourhood relations improvement.

A total of 70 partners took advantage of the opportunities and possibilities provided by this programme. Out of them 29% are public institutions, 47% NGOs, 13% municipalities, 3% educational institutions and 8% international organisations.

Pejovic said that this programme had contributed to improving life quality of people in the border regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro through the implementation of joint projects in the areas of cross-border economic development with an emphasis on tourism and rural development, the environment with emphasis on protection, promotion and management of natural resources as well as in the field of social cohesion and cultural exchange”, Pejovic said.

“The special value of these programmes lies in the fact that some very valuable projects were implemented with the financial support from Brussels. For example, we have equipped the firefighting units in Niksic and Trebinje, provided opportunity to the children with disabilities to participate in cultural, sports and recreation programmes. We have also worked on the expansion of off-season tourism offer of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the mountain region”, said Pejovic.

He is convinced that the successful implementation of cross-border cooperation between the two countries would continue under the new financial perspective 2014–2020, during which the EU allocated €9.7m grants to the beneficiaries of this programme.

“These funds are allocated for projects aimed at stimulating employment, labour mobility and social and cultural inclusion on both sides of the border; environmental protection, encouraging climate change adaptation and mitigation, prevention and risk management; and promotion of tourism and cultural and natural heritage”, Pejovic said.

He also said that in the context of the new financial perspectives 2014–2020, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina cooperated within the framework of the three trans-national programmes. He stated that opportunities for customer support provided under the Interreg IPA Cross-border Programme Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014–2020 were particularly significant, adding that it amounted €67.2m including co-financing.

Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Montenegro, Djordje Latinovic, welcomed the holding of the conference and pointed out that the goal of cross-border cooperation was to develop good neighbourly relations and reduce existing differences in the economy of the border regions. He expressed his satisfaction with great interest of potential users and conveyed the expectation that the good cooperation would continue in the coming period through programmes involving the two countries, pointing out that it was particularly important for strengthening the overall capacities to implement the obligations of the EU accession process.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro