Western Balkan Countries’ Cross-Border Cooperation

On Thursday, 20 October 2011, in Hotel Europe in Sarajevo, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina Renzo Daviddi and Director of the Directorate for European Integration Nevenka Savić opened the 12th Regional Coordination Meeting on IPA cross-border cooperation in the Western Balkans. gional coordination meetings have been organised every six months since 2007 as the joint platform for all relevant stakeholders from the region to discuss achievements and exchange experience and lessons learned with regard to the IPA cross-border cooperation process taking place through 11 programmes across the Western Balkan countries. e key objectives of the CBC programmes are to try to support reconciliation and good neighbourly relations in the Western Balkans, and to promote economic and social development in border areas, Mr Daviddi said. “This programme is important in terms of promoting a basic element of EU integration, and it helps the countries to familiarise themselves with the foundations of territorial co-operation under the Structural Fund,” he added. oss-border cooperation among the Western Balkan countries is taking place under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), and as Andre Lys, Head of Unit D1 Finance and Contract DG ELARG, pointed out, the European Commission has allocated over 100 million Euros  over seven years (2007-2013) for these activities. ght CBC programmes in Western Balkan countries were adopted in 2007 by the Commission.  In 2009, another two programmes joined the family. In the same year first calls for proposals were launched and most contracts were signed in 2010. Second calls for proposals were launched in 2010 and 2011. nzo Daviddi stressed that the challenging issues of programmes of this nature are the complex management structure with relatively limited resources as well as the small amount of time available to cover the overall scope of the work. He said a review of CBC programmes in November 2011 will reflect on allocations for 2012 and 2013. e Regional coordination meeting was organised under the auspices of CBIB – Cross Border Institution Building, a regional EU-funded and EC-managed Technical Assistance project that provides support for cross-border cooperation in the Western Balkans, in close cooperation with the European Commission. The meeting gathered representatives of national institutions from all the Western Balkan beneficiary countries responsible for joint cross-border programmes, as well as representatives of EU Delegations from the region and the EC Directorate-General for Enlargement.