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Accession Conference as Part of ECD 2013

Celebrating the year of Croatia’s Accession to the European Union, the HUHR (IPA) CBC Programme decided to commemorate this year’s European Co-operation Day by a large-scale programme event. The Accession Conference held on 20 September in Vukovar, Croatia,  was an opportunity to celebrate; a moment to take a look back at what has been achieved over the course of the programme period, and a look forward at what the Croatian European future has in store.

While last September the European Co-operation Day was supported by the Programme through the promotion of events organised by individual projects from Čakovec, the border crossing of Gola-Berzence, over Sopje/Virovitica to Osijek, Zlatna Greda and Kölked, this year the Programme was in the focus of celebration of European co-operation, acting as a forum for the promotion of the projects successfully implemented within its three calls for proposals.

The whole-day event included welcoming speeches by the representatives of the Croatian and Hungarian government, the European Commission, the programme implementing structures, the hosting County and City; presentations by the representatives of both, Croatian and Hungarian Ministries / Responsible Bodies in charge of implementation of the Programme and of planning the future of EU co-operation including the two countries; summarization of the results and objectives reached by the Programme given by the HU-HR JTS; and ended with a presentation of the best-practice projects successfully implemented within the Programme. 

The conference was opened by welcoming speeches given by Assistant Minister, Ms. Helga Bubanović-Devčić, representing the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds of the Republic of Croatia; Mr. Ferenc Márkus, Programme director, representing the Széchenyi Programme Office of the Hungarian Government; Ms. Agnes Monfret, Head of Unit, representing the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy and by Mr. Božo Galić, prefect of the hosting County 

The common feeling of all the presenters was one of positive experiences gathered during the implementation of the Programme and strong energies put in building it up from the beginning, and of enthusiasm for the joint future of collaboration. Special accent was put on the fact that, according to plans, the hosting county will in the future no longer be ‘just’ an adjacent area but it will have a chance to capitalise fully on all that the Programme has to offer to its (potential) participants. 

Around 200 people – representatives of programme implementing bodies, regional stakeholders, Lead Beneficiary and Project Partner organisations – took part in the conference, which was focused on the promotion of HU-HR CBC projects. Projects were not only presented live by the members of the JTS and the representatives of the projects’ Lead Beneficiaries, but also in the Programme booklet (Rivers Connecting Cross-border Region towards Croatian Accession to the European Union) containing 140 projects implemented within the Programme, while the results and outputs of all the projects were visually presented in a separate interactive exhibition room within the conference venue.

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