European Cooperation Days

The European Cooperation Day is an event dedicated to promoting territorial cooperation in Europe. It highlights positive results of projects implemented throughout different regions and different countries. The European Cooperation Day takes place as a local event in which the community can see first-hand how cooperating across borders improves life in and around Europe.

The European Cooperation Day is organized every year around 21 September when hundreds of cross-border celebrations are organized by Interreg programmes both in EU and neighbouring countries, with the joint idea to share borders and bring our neighbours together.

The Managing Authority and Joint Secretariat facilitate Programmes’s celebration of the European Cooperation Days every year. So far we organized European Cooperation Day’s in Skradin (HR), Šibenik (HR) and Sombor (RS). Scroll down for more information on past celebrations.

More info on the European Cooperation Day initiative can be found on the website

EC DAY 2016

The European Cooperation Day 2016 was organised on 23 September in Skradin, a small Mediterranean town set in Šibenik’s hinterland. A ceremony held at the Square of Mala Gospa welcomed participants of both the Interreg IPA CBC Programme Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020 and the Interreg IPA CBC Programme Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020. After a short formal part of the ceremony, visitors listened to traditional Dalmatian music and took part in the “millennium photo”, which recorded the friendly relations between the countries participating in the two Programmes and cooperating across borders. Afterwards, participants visited the National Park Krka.

EC DAY 2017

The European Cooperation Day 2017 was celebrated on 7 October at St Michael’s Fortress, one of Šibenik’s most important fortresses that was revitalized using EU funds in 2014. Ms Gabrijela Žalac, Minister of Regional Development and EU funds, and Ms Stella Arneri, Director of the Agency for Regional Development of the Republic of Croatia, welcomed visitors of the event and shared their thoughts on the accomplishments of the Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020 Programmes and the Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020.

After the formal part of the European Cooperation Day programme, visitors had the chance to enjoy traditional music and learn about the traditional cuisine of our Programme areas.

EC DAY 2018

The European Cooperation Day 2018 was marked on 17 October with two children’s homes from Croatia and Serbia in Programme’s very own cross-border art project in Sombor, Serbia.

This year’s idea was to help create a cooperative Europe by letting the children lead the way and paint our future together in a form of a cross-border art project.

The event gathered children from SOS Children’s Village Ladimirevci (HR) and Home for Children Miroslav Mika Antić Sombor (RS). The program started with a theatre show performed by professional children facilitators, who delivered an important message to be caring, kind and considerate. After the show, the event moved outdoors and made the colouring and painting activities more fun. Groups of children from Croatia and Serbia decorated the T-shirts branded with this year’s logo, painted canvases with natural and cultural elements of our programme area and helped a professional street artist in painting a wall mural which depicted images of Sombor’s city house and Osijek’s secession bell and bridge over Drava. At the end of the event Programme provided gifts for all the children from participating homes to remember the fun times spent at European Cooperation day in Sombor.

Why have we chosen an event dedicated to children? We believe it’s the best way to highlight the role of children and young people in building the Europe they want. We believe it’s the best way to tell the story of cooperation between Croatia and Serbia as well.

EC DAY 2019

The European Cooperation Day 2019 under the slogan “Europe is YOU” was celebrated across Europe in September and October 2019.

Under the slogan “Eurpe is YOU”, the Programme launched video competition in order to hear people’s feedback, thoughts and feelings of how European Union benefits its citizens and to award the most original, innovative and creative way of showing what the European Union has done for its citizens.

Competition main target groups were high school, university and college students, but the competition was open to all citizens living in the Programme area.

Among creative and original videos showing the true spirit of the European Union, the video made by a team of students of the Nikola Tesla Technical School in Vukovar won of the competition.

The video tells a story of a school from Vukovar in a creative and original way and points out to the importance of the European Union in supporting education, as well as democratic values. For this reason, the video was awarded as the winning one. Please see the video below.

Managing Authority and National Authorities representatives visited the Nikola Tesla Technical School in Vukovar in December 2019 and awarded team of 11 students with ‘smart’ prizes and additional gifts from the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds of the Republic of Croatia, Ministry of European Integration of the Republic of Serbia and the Representation of the European Commission in Croatia.

In addition to visiting the school, a short program was organized at Lavoslav Ružička’s birth house in Vukovar. Lavoslav Ružička was a Croatian Nobel Prize winner awarded for chemistry in 1939. Today, the house hosts educational and cultural events and was recently modernized with a hologram of Lavoslav Ružička installed as part of the ViCTour project. During the visit, students watched the hologram and took part in experiments. The visit was used to showcase the importance of new technologies in rediscovering heritage, and also to point out to successful cross-border partnerships in the region of Vukovar.

EC DAY 2020

The 2020 edition of “European Cooperation Day” was adapted to the unique cirmunstances of the COVID-19 global pandemic. This was also the year in which we celebrated 30 years of Interreg programmes in Europe, so the two celebrations combined into one campaign. The focus was on 3 topics:

  1. We all have a neighbor
  2. Youth
  3. Green and climate neutral Europe – Greener Europe.

The Programme celebrated European Cooperation Day 2020 and Interreg 30 years by local planting trees events and through promotional online campaign “Discover your neighbourhood”!

Discover your neighborhood!

Within the online campaign we presented interesting touristic routes, sites and events in both countries, developed or improved within projects and we invited local people to visit them and take a picture or make a video. Each week we promoted one successful project related to tourism, 4 projects in total.

The invitation was shared on Programme web site and social media, and marked with the following hashtags: #ECDay2020 #InterregIPAHRRS #cooperationyear #interreg30.

With this campaign, we wanted to remind the citizens that many good things come out when we join forces.

30 trees for 30 years of Interreg!

Taking into account the topics of the Interreg 30 celebration, the Programme organized 2 local events during September 2020 and planted 30 trees for 30 years of Interreg.

The first event was held on 23 September 2020 in cooperation with the Nature Conservation Movement of Sremska Mitrovica and Ministry of European Integration of the Republic of Serbia (National Authority), in Zasavica Special Nature Reserve, Serbia.

The second event was held on 25 September 2020 in cooperation with the NGO Zeleni Osijek and Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds of the Republic of Croatia (Managing Authority & Joint Secretariat) in Zlatna Greda, Croatia.

Planting 30 trees in two participating countries is also sustainable reminder of successful cooperation and valuable results of the projects implemented within the Programme.

Zlatna Greda


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