How it all started?

The Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Serbia 2014-2020 was prepared by the Task Force in line with the relevant legislation, submitted for approval by the Managing Authority on 2 June 2015 and approved by Commission Implementing Decision (C(2015)6026) on 24 August 2015. Here is the link to the first version of the Cooperation Programme. The amended version of the Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020 (version 2.1) introducing performance framework was adopted on 21 July 2017:
Cooperation Programme (version 2.1)
Cooperation Programme annexes

The programming process was coordinated by the Managing Authority, in close cooperation with the Task Force, the body established in order to prepare the Interreg IPA Cross-border cooperation Programme Croatia – Serbia 2014 – 2020.

The programming process included:

  • Ten (10) meetings of the Task Force for the preparation of the Programme
  • Online survey on the programme thematic priorities
  • Two rounds of stakeholder consultation workshops held in Croatia and Serbia in April 2014 and in Serbia in September 2014
  • One online public consultations opened from 1 August to 1 September 2014
  • Public consultation meetings conducted within the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process in September and November 2014
  1. Ten (10) meetings of the Task Force for the preparation of the Programme

The Task Force consisted of the representatives on national and regional/local level of all partner countries. This ensured that the regional/local level was actively involved in decision making and the preparation of all programme documents: Situation analysis, SWOT analysis, programme strategy and Cooperation Programme.

Task Force consisted of the representatives from the following Croatian institutions: Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds (MRDEUF), Osijek-Baranja County, Vukovar-Srijem County, Požega-Slavonia County and Brod-Posavina County and from the following Serbian institutions: Serbian European Integration Office, Government of Vojvodina and Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia.

All Task Force members were actively involved in the decision-making process and preparation of all programme documents.

  1. Online survey on the programme thematic priorities

The online survey was performed on the basis of questionnaire for the selection of thematic priorities sent to Interreg IPA CBC programme Croatia – Serbia 2007-2013 potential and actual beneficiaries. Two online surveys were conducted separately in each country.

Online survey on thematic priorities for Serbian beneficiaries was launched on 14 August 2013 and it was closed on 16 September 2013. The questionnaire was sent to approximately 200 contacts from IPA CBC Croatia-Serbia 2007-2013 programme mailing list that included local and regional government units, civil society sector, educational institutions, chambers, regional agencies, tourism and environmental organizations.

Online survey for Croatian stakeholders was launched on 6 December 2013 and it was closed on 7 January 2014. The questionnaire was sent to approximately 200 contacts from IPA CBC Croatia – Serbia 2007-2013 programme mailing list that included regional development agencies, counties, towns, municipalities, civil society sector, county chambers, public institutions, educational institutions and employment offices.

The main result of the questionnaire was the indicative ranking list of thematic priorities from the most to the least important as scored by 138 beneficiaries that filled in the questionnaire for the selection of thematic priorities for the Interreg IPA CBC Croatia –Serbia 2014-2020. The results of the ranking list were taken into account by the Task Force during decision making process.

  1. Two rounds of stakeholder consultation workshops held in Croatia and Serbia in April 2014 and in Serbia in September 2014

The first round of public stakeholders workshops was organised in Osijek (Croatia) regarding thematic priorities 1, 7 and 8 and in Sombor (Serbia) for thematic priorities 2 and 4 in April 2014. The list of invitees, compiled and verified by the Task Force members, consisted of 90 representative institutions per participating country. In total, 180 institutions from the relevant sectors were invited to the first round of public stakeholders workshops. The institutions at the invitation list included the following institutions from the participating countries: national/entity ministerial authorities, local and regional governance authorities, towns, municipalities, regional agencies, touristic associations, educational institutions, business support institutions, public institutions and civil society organisations.

The second round of public stakeholders workshops was organised in Novi Sad (Serbia) on 8 September 2014. The list of invitees, compiled and verified by the Task Force members, consisted of 90 representative institutions per each participating country. In total, 180 institutions from the relevant sectors were invited to the second round of public stakeholders workshops. The institutions at the invitation list included the following institutions from the participating countries: national/entity ministerial authorities, local and regional governance authorities, towns, municipalities, regional agencies, touristic associations, educational institutions, business support institutions, public institutions and civil society organisations.

Participants contributed to further formulate the types of actions to be supported within each thematic priority/priority axis. This was useful as the partners discussed and suggested further improvements in the types of actions thus enabling the programme to focus on the operational and need-based types of actions able to generate concrete and measurable results.

  1. One online public consultations opened from 1 August to 1 September 2014

The Managing Authority informed the programme mailing list consisting of nearly 200 contacts form the relevant institutions from the participating countries and Task Force about the launch of the public online consultations for the following programming documents on its website: SWOT analysis, programme intervention logic (programme strategy) and draft Cooperation Programme. Online public consultations were open form 1 August to 1 September 2014 and the relevant partners were invited to submit their written comments to the documents indicated above. Comments were received from the following institutions: 1 NGO and 1 regional development agency. Comments that were substantiated with the reliable data were taken into consideration, discussed by the Task Force and finally implemented. The comments not substantiated with reliable data or sources were not taken into account.

  1. Public consultation meetings conducted within the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process in September and November 2014 

The process of Strategic Environmental Assessment was coordinated by the Managing Authority, in cooperation with Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, EU Integration Office of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, as well as with SEA experts.

Strategic Environmental Assessment procedure started in July 2014 and finished on 9 June 2015 when Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection notified the Managing Authority that the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Programme was conducted in line with Directive 2001/42/EZ and Croatian Law on Environmental Protection.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Following the consultations with Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Strategic Environmental Assessment procedure for Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020 consisted of the following steps performed in Croatia:

  1. Step 1– Main acceptability assessment for the ecological network;
  2. Step 2 – SEA Scoping report;
  3. Step 3 – SEA Study.

Within Step 1, the official letter of Request for determination of Main acceptability assessment of the Interreg IPA CBC programme Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020 for the ecological network containing summary of the programme priority axes in Croatian language was submitted to the Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection on 7 July 2014. Following formal consultation process with the State Institute for Nature Protection, Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection issued Decision on the necessity of inclusion of main acceptability assessment of the programme for the ecological network on 1 August 2014.

Following Step 1, Decision on the start of Strategic Environmental Assessment for Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020 (written in Croatian language) was issued by the Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds and sent to Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection on 19 August 2014 marking the official start of SEA procedure for the Programme. The Decision consisted of the following parts: initial formal legal part of a decision enlisting SEA steps, summary of the Programme priority axes, detailed instructions for all SEA procedure steps and the list of national authorities to be invited to participate in the SEA procedure.

Within Step 2, the procedure on the scope of the SEA Study was launched on 20 August 2014 by sending the relevant documents (Information on the procedure of determining the scope of strategic study for the Programme in Croatian language, SEA Scoping Report in English language, Cooperation Programme summary in English and Croatian language and draft Cooperation Programme in English language) to 18 relevant Directorates of the following Croatian ministries: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Pension System, Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts and Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. The documentation was also published online at the MRDEUF‘s website and available for commenting by 19 September 2014.

In order to harmonize the submitted opinions on the content and scope of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Study and to determine the final content of SEA Study, MRDEUF organized a public consultation meeting during the scoping phase of the SEA procedure where the presentations were delivered in Croatian language whereas the written materials were delivered in English language. The following institutions were present at the consultation meeting conducted on 12 September 2014 in Zagreb: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. All relevant comments received during the SEA Scoping step were taken into account.

Within Step 3, the SEA Study procedure was open from 20 October 2014 to 19 November 2014. The MRDEUF launched the SEA Study procedure in Croatia by sending the relevant documents (Decision on launching the public consultations on SEA study for Interreg IPA CBC Croatia-Serbia 2014-2020, SEA Study, non-technical summary in English and Croatian and draft Cooperation Programme in English language) to 18 relevant Directorates of the following Croatian ministries: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Pension System, Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts and Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. The documentation was also published online at the MRDEUF’s website and available for commenting by 19 November 2014.

In order to harmonize the submitted opinions on the SEA Study, MRDEUF organised a public consultation meeting in Zagreb on 12 November 2014 where the presentations were delivered in Croatian language whereas the written materials were delivered in English language. The following institutions were present at the consultation meeting: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Ministry of Agriculture and Inland navigation development centre Ltd.

During the SEA Study phase, the following Croatian institutions provided their comments in writing: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Culture. The following institutions provided their positive opinions: Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. All relevant comments received during the SEA Study step were taken into account.

For the Republic of Serbia Strategic Environmental Assessment procedure consisted of the following steps:

  1. Step 1 – Scoping SEA report;
  2. Step 2 – SEA Study.

Prior to start of SEA process, European Integration Office in capacity of National Authority (NA) for territorial cooperation programmes, requested the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia to nominate SEA contact person for the all six ETC programmes Serbia participates in the period 2014-2020. All steps in implementation of SEA procedure in Serbia were implemented following the instructions and recommendations provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia.

Within Step 1, SEA Scoping Report in English language was sent for consultations to the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry gave positive opinion on SEA Scoping report.

Within Step 2, the list of relevant authorities that should be consulted in the process of SEA was provided by Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia.

The European Integration Office of the Republic of Serbia (SEIO) launched the SEA public consultation procedure in Serbia on 22 October 2014 by publishing the relevant documents on the SEIO’s website and information on the date and venue of SEA consultation meeting.

The documents published on SEIO’s website were the following: non-technical summary in Serbian and English language, SEA Study in English language and draft Cooperation Programme in English language. The deadline for providing comments was set on 19 November 2014.

Furthermore, in line with Article 18 paragraph 1 of the Law on Strategic Environmental Assessment (“Official Gazette RS”, No. 135/2004 and 88/2010), SEIO sent relevant documents (SEA Study in English language, non-technical summary in English and Serbian and draft Cooperation Programme in English language) to the following Serbian institutions: Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection; Secretariat for Urbanism, Construction and Environmental Protection of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina; Hydro-meteorological Service of the Republic of Serbia; Institute for Nature Protection of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina; Agency for Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia; Agency of Spatial Planning of the Republic of Serbia. Deadline for providing their opinions on abovementioned documents was 18 November 2014. All institutions gave their positive opinion regarding relevant SEA documentation.

On 3 November 2014, the Serbian European Integration Office received recommendations and positive opinion from the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection on the SEA Environmental Report based on the fact that it is in line with Articles 12-17 of the Law on SEA (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, no. 135/04 and 88/10).

European Integration Office of the Republic of Serbia organized a public consultation meeting in Belgrade on 13 November 2014 where the oral presentations were prepared in Serbian language whereas the written materials were prepared in English language. The public did not express any opinion at the public consultation meeting nor in writing within the set deadline.

SEA procedure conclusion

Detailed summary of the relevant comments received during the SEA public consultations for Interreg IPA CBC programme Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020 is given in Annex 6 to Cooperation Programme (Response sheet for SEA comments).

Taking into account relevant comments and proposals received during the SEA consultations procedure, revised versions of relevant documents (SEA Study in English language, non-technical summary in Croatian language) were prepared and published at the MA webpage (http://www.arr.hr/eu-programi-2014-2020/ipa-program-prekogranicne-suradnje-hrvatska-srbija) on 20 May 2015.

Furthermore, in line with the Decision on the start of Strategic Environmental Assessment for Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020, the MA sent relevant documentation (Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020 (Cooperation Programme version 2.0), SEA Study, non-technical summary in Croatian language, summary of the conducted SEA procedure given in Section 5.7 of the Cooperation Programme, the official letters with comments on SEA Study and CP received from the authorities and a summary (table) of relevant comments received and the method of their implementation into SEA Study and Cooperation Programme) and Request for the opinion on the conducted SEA procedure to the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection on 7 May 2015.

Also, Serbian European Integration Office published revised SEA Study and non-technical summary in Serbian language on their website: (http://www.evropa.gov.rs/CBC/PublicSite/NewsAndEvents.aspx) on 22 May 2015.

In order to consult relevant authorities in Serbia, Serbian European Integration Office sent relevant documentation (Interreg IPA CBC Croatia-Serbia 2014-2020 (Cooperation Programme version 2.0), SEA Study, non-technical summary in Serbian language and a summary (table) of relevant comments received and the method of their implementation into SEA Study and Cooperation Programme) to the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection on 22 May 2015.

Based on the received comments and proposals during the public hearing, final versions of relevant SEA documents were prepared for Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Serbia 2014-2020:

Final version of Strategic Environmental Assessment (including non-technical summary in English language)

Non-technical summary in Croatian language

Non-technical summary in Serbian language

Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection notified the Managing Authority on 9 June 2015 that the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Programme was conducted in line with Directive 2001/42/EZ and Croatian Law on Environmental Protection.

Project

ECO WET – Project Closing conference

EcoWet Final Conference was organized on 13 June 2019 in Osijek with the purpose of presenting results achieved during two years implementation of the project

Programme

4th Forum of EUSAIR in Budva

4th Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) and 2nd Fora of the Adriatic and Ionian Chambers of Commerce, Cities and Universities,

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