On 3 November 2022 the European Commission approved the Interreg VI-A IPA programme Croatia -Serbia, to be implemented in the financial period 2021-2027.
The programme will support cooperation projects with over 38.000.000,00 euros, which are available from the European Regional Development Fund and the IPA III Fund.
The new Programme represents the continuation of the successful cooperation between the two countries and has as its main goal the sustainable development of the Programme area through smart, green, and socially innovative projects. In addition to further strengthening the social, economic, and territorial development of the cross-border area, the Programme aims to encourage and support cross-border cooperation in order to make the area more resistant to common challenges (processes of economic transition, climate change and long-term socioeconomic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic), through the implementation of joint projects and the activities to be supported under the three selected European policy objectives.
The Programme area is identical to the one from the previous programme period 2014-2020 and is defined by NUTS 3 regions – four counties in Croatia: Osijek-Baranja, Vukovar-Srijem, Brod-Posavina, Požega-Slavonia and five districts in Serbia: Northern Bačka, Western Bačka, Southern Bačka, Srem and Mačva.
The Programme area covers 25,505 km2, which represents 18.4% of the Croatian territory and 17% of the Serbian territory. The total population of the area is about 2.1 million people (based on 2019 estimates). The Programme area has significant potential and numerous advantages, but it also faces various challenges that affect sustainable development, such as climate change, environmental degradation and the transition to a climate-neutral economy. The results of the Programme will contribute to the achievement of the goals set by the European Green Plan, which are emphasized by the United Nations Programme on Sustainable Development until 2030.
The programme is directly linked to the European Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) and the European Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR).
This Interreg programme is also in line with the general objective of IPA III, which is to support beneficiaries in adopting and implementing the political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms required by these beneficiaries in order to be in line with the values of the Union. The publication of the first call for submission of project proposals is expected at the beginning of 2023. Information on publication of the first call for proposals and all documentation required for project application will be available on Programme website.