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Bringing Croatia to Europe

It is not hard to understand that for the Hungary-Croatia Cross-border Co-operation Programme the moment of the Croatian Accession to the European Union has a special significance, knowing that, as an IPA funded programme, the preparation of the country for the European integration has been one of its main objectives.

Following the establishment of IPA, with its main objective clearly stated in the name itself – Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance – the Hungary-Croatia Cross-border Co-operation Programme as one of the fund’s beneficiaries set out to work on decreasing the differences between the two countries, preparing them for the transition towards a joint future within the integrated Europe. 

In line with the EU regional policy, one of the objectives set by the Programme was to decrease the negative influences of the soon-to-be internal borders and to encourage closer co-operation of the local communities along the border, building their capacities to face the challenges and to accept the opportunities the single European market is about to bring.

Building strongly on the support and experience of Hungary as a Member State, the Programme was at the same time a capacity building exercise for the institutional structures in Croatia, as well as a tool for development of the border regions through the support provided to a wide palette of different projects,  ranging from RDI initiatives between the region’s research centres and universities, over people-to-people projects with the participation of numerous educational institutions and a wide range of NGOs, to large investments into infrastructure for the improvement of living conditions of many border communities.

Recognising the potential of the border region that is residing in its natural and cultural heritage, the Programme specifically supported development projects in the field of tourism as a stepping stone for the further development of the border area as a single destination of excellence in the future.

The Programme can in many ways be seen as an investment into the joint European future, where the experience gathered, lessons learned and human and institutional capacities built during its implementation will be a strong foundation for the continuation of tight co-operation of the two EU Member States in joint European development initiatives.

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