On 7 October 2017, partners and guests of the two Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programmes 2014- 2020, Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro and Croatia – Serbia, celebrated the European Cooperation Day organised by the Agency for Regional Development and EU Funds of the Republic of Croatia (Managing Authority) in Šibenik at the revitalized St Michael’s Fortress, as a part of the agenda of the Days of Regional Development and EU Funds organised by the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds.
The European Cooperation Day celebrates the achievements of territorial cooperation throughout Europe. European Territorial Cooperation, known as Interreg, is the EU policy encouraging the EU regions to cooperate and learn together. It is aimed at reducing disparities between regions, reinforcing cohesion and supporting optimal economic development. Interreg addresses issues of daily life, such as tourism, education, energy, healthcare and environmental protection.
Welcome words were held by Ms Gabrijela Žalac, Minister of Regional Development and EU funds, and Ms Stella Arneri, Acting Director of the Agency for Regional Development of the Republic of Croatia and Head of the Managing Authority, expressing their support to the implementation of the projects contracted within the 1st Call for Proposals.
The Agency for Regional Development of the Republic of Croatia, as the Managing Authority, signed four Subsidy Contracts with the Lead Partners amounting to about EUR 4 million, for the following projects within the framework of the Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014 – 2020:
- NeurNet facilitating the issues of patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy and patients in advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease;
- RMPPI mobilizing research and innovation capacity for solving key renewable energy issues;
- COMPETE PLAMET enhancing institutional support and services offered by business support institutions and SMEs in metal and plastic sector; and
- STRONGER providing education programmes with advisory services to business support institutions and SMEs joined into a cross-border cluster in herb growth, collecting and processing.
Mr Kristijan Futač, Head of the Joint Secretariat Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro, and Mr Davor Skočibušić, Head of the Joint Secretariat Croatia – Serbia, presented the results from the 1st Call for Proposals and announced the plans for the future. Within the framework of these two Programmes 47 projects were contracted with planned investments amounting to EUR 11 million. The total value of EUR 8.5 million will be purchased and about 200 trainings are planned to include more than 3 500 persons.
As the last item on the agenda, the guests were given an opportunity to jointly learn about the traditional cuisine of the programme areas. They were provided with a chance to share, discuss and connect with their partners gathering around the table and rediscovering different cultures.