Cross-border and transnational cooperation programmes are collectively referred to as territorial cooperation programmes or INTERREG programmes. By providing financial assistance, these programmes facilitate cooperation between border areas of neighbouring states (cross-border cooperation) or cooperation of parts and/or entire states (transnational cooperation) in solving issues of common interest such as waste management, service provision in various sectors, cultural and economy cooperation, tourism, transport, etc.
Serbian European Integration Office, through the Department for Cross-border and Transnational Cooperation Programmes, implements these projects in cooperation with Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and governments of countries taking part in such programmes. SEIO is supported by programme secretariats and their antennas, established together with partner countries.
In 2014-2020 period, Serbia takes part in eight cross-border and transnational cooperation programmes: Hungary-Serbia; Romania-Serbia; Bulgaria-Serbia; Croatia-Serbia; Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina; Serbia-Montenegro; Adriatic-Ionian transnational programme and Danube transnational programme.
Territorial cooperation programmes have been implemented since 1990 in the EU, whereas as of 2004, Interreg programmes have included non-EU countries as well, thus giving Serbia an opportunity to develop cross-border and transnational cooperation. To EU aspiring countries, the importance of such cooperation is invaluable. To Serbian citizens, the contribution is not measured merely in money – through projects implemented together with their neighbours, beneficiaries have had opportunity to solve their common issues, boost social and economic development and employment, gain experience in using EU-funds and achieving European standards, with final confirmation being realisation and spread of ideas and values shared with other EU Member States.
Since 2004, there have been over 3,500 project proposals submitted. Over 800 projects, implemented by some 500 Serbian organisations, have received funding. 35 public calls have been announced. Over €91 million have been contracted. Each €100 euros spent on cross-border cooperation attract additional €165.
Through projects implemented, children hailing from border areas in Serbia and its neighbouring countries have competed in volleyball, judo and football; hospitals, schools, kindergartens and zoos have been equipped; churches have been reconstructed; joint services have cooperated in both emergency situations and fight against drugs; border crossings, waste water treatment plants and cycle trails have been constructed; concerts, cycling races, regattas have been organised; while vulnerable groups have gained fresh impetus and faith for a better tomorrow.
All of this achieves the goal of cross-border and transnational cooperation – creating conditions for a higher quality of life of citizens across Europe.
For more information:
Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Serbia
Tel: +381 (0)11 30 83 200