Pannon EGTC

Preparation of the joint Hungarian-Croatian Interreg programme framework for 2021-27 has arrived at half-time

The preparation of the joint Hungarian-Croatian Interreg programme framework for the next EU development period for 2021-27 July has reached its halfway point. The aim of the work is to promote effective, joint developments by evaluating experience to date, conducting detailed research, and thoroughly assessing needs and opportunities.

In September 2019, the Pannon European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation launched a large-scale, two-year project entitled “CBJointStrategy - Supporting the development of the HU-HR border region by a common strategy jointly formulated by the various actors of the cross-border area”. The project sets out the key priorities for the joint Hungarian-Croatian development programs for the next EU budget period. This will be the result of an extremely complex, multi-stakeholder process involving central government bodies, local authorities, regional and business development professionals from both countries.

The preparatory and strategy work, with a total budget of € 290,000, is carried out by the Pannon European Territorial Association. This umbrella organization brings together 63 Hungarian, Croatian and Slovenian municipalities, universities and national parks. The first part of the work is the analysis of the current situation and the examination of the experiences of the two Hungarian-Croatian Interreg program periods so far.

Data collection was both personal and electronic. A large number of responses to the online questionnaire were received from all relevant border counties in both countries. Three workshops were held on the Hungarian side and four in Croatia, with dozens of participants each. The participants were from key players in the local economy and politics who had first-hand, accurate and credible information on the tasks to be performed and the priorities.

In parallel, an impact assessment summarizing the results of the previous period's Interreg projects was completed, separating the results from other developments in parallel. Joint projects were extremely diverse, including bike path improvements, monument renovations, the search for and destruction of civil war remnants, vocational training programs, and sporting and cultural events.

The ultimate goal is to create a common development strategy that is in line with the national development goals of both countries. This will require additional questionnaire surveys, expected online workshops and in-depth interviews with key players. A document will be completed by the end of the project in August 2021, containing a detailed presentation of at least five complex strategic project proposals that will benefit both countries.

Based on these materials, the application opportunities for the third Hungarian-Croatian Interreg period will open.

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