Contract Award Ceremony for grant beneficiaries within the 3rd Call for Proposals under the IPA Cross-border Programme Serbia – Bosnia and Herzegovina 2007-2013 was held today in hotel Holiday in Sarajevo.
For the 3rd Call for Proposals under this Programme, by merging financial allocations from 2012 and 2013, 3.6 mil. € (1.8 mil. € per country) was available for projects related to the recovery and prevention of floods. After conducting the selection procedure, two projects were contracted so far and one or two more are expected to be contracted in the forthcoming period. 3Rd CfP presentation can be found here.
This event, organized by the Directorate for European Integration of Council of Ministers of BiH and European Integration Office of the Government of the Republic of Serbia with help provided by the Joint Technical Secretariat of the Programme and support from the EU Delegations to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Serbia, gathered nearly 100 participants – representatives of grant beneficiaries, public authorities, local communities and nongovernmental organisations from both countries.
Speaking at the ceremony, Massimo Mina, Head of the Operations Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH underlined the importance of such cooperation for the border regions. “The CBC Programme between Serbia and BiH is of great importance because it builds partnerships, connects communities from both sides of the border, as well as within the country. Now, the local communities and institutions can use this Programme as a tool to address common challenges and to cooperate in joint projects”, Mina said.
Mina also indicated the Programme’s successful outcomes demonstrated by the level of interest and the number of applications submitted. “One of indications of the Programme’s success is the total number of 255 applications submitted under the three published calls for the value of 60 million euro. Finally, 40 projects, including 2 in the pipeline, and 5 contracts dealing with the strategic documentation development were financed in the amount of 10 million euro. We have received a valuable feedback from our beneficiaries to continue providing support and further invest in capacity building, which can help us improve our selection and implementation procedures”, Mina concluded, adding that the new IPA financial perspective 2014 – 2020 aims at establishing stronger cooperation.
Zara Halilovi?, Assistant Director at the Directorate for European Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, commended the cooperation and dedication of all the parties involved in the Programme. “I would like to use this opportunity to underline that, if it was not for the EU financial contribution, this Programme could not have been successfully implemented, not excluding the participation of all those involved in the Programme, partnerships developed by the applicants from both sides of the border, quality preparation of projects’ applications, and the cooperation between the Operating Structures”, Halilovi? said.
Sandra Šimi?, Assistant Director of the Serbian European Integration Office, noted the key importance of such bilateral cooperation for long-term goals. “In addition to the benefits of the financial assistance under the CBC Programme, it is worth mentioning the long-time partnerships already built and the new ones to come in the future calls, as well as stronger cooperation in resolving common issues”, Šimi? noted.
One of the beneficiaries, Bratislav Stojiljkovi?, Project Manager of the ‘Joint Future’ project, noted that the cooperation between the four municipality beneficiaries in the project (Ljubovija, Bratunac, Srebrenica and Krupanj) contributed to the development of the local communities from both sides of the border. “The project has contributed to the sustainable development and prosperity of the local communities by managing their rivers and bringing together their capacities in terms of flood prevention and providing emergency response”, Stojiljkovi? concluded. Presentation about this project can be found here.
Project “ERNOW” was also presented. The project is implemented by Br?ko District and Municipality Šid with help of their partnes, Minicipality Brod and city of Sremska Mitrovica. Presentation about this project can be found here
Besides promotion of the grant beneficiaries and projects contracted within this Call, results and achievements of this Programme were also presented at this event. In addition, new IPA II Cross-border Programme Serbia – Bosnia and Herzegovina 2014-2020 was promoted.
About IPA CBC Programme Serbia – Bosnia and Herzegovina:
The overall objective of the Programme is to bring together the people, communities and economies of the border area to jointly participate in the development of a cooperative area, using its human, natural, cultural and economic resources and advantages. The Programme is being realized through grant schemes i.e. Calls for project proposals jointly prepared and implemented by partner organisations from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Cross-border Cooperation Programme Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina has brought financial support to the border region of the two countries in the value of EUR 12.8 million euro over the 2007-2013 period (7.3 million euro to Serbia, 5.5 million euro to BiH).
All the information about the Programme are available at www.srb-bih.org