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Cross-border cooperation (CBC) 2007-2013

Cross-border cooperation (CBC) with the European Union's (EU) neighbouring countries aims at promoting a coherent and integrated approach to regional development, dealing with common challenges, guaranteeing effectiveness and security at the external borders and encouraging local cooperation. The strategy paper for the period 2007-2013 and the regional indicative programme for the period 2007-2010 set out the details of implementation (programmes, beneficiaries, financial allocations).

ACT

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument - Cross-border cooperation strategy paper 2007-2013, Indicative Programme 2007-2010 .

SUMMARY

Cross-border cooperation (CBC) is a priority of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and of the strategic partnership with Russia. It focuses on the Member States and the countries benefiting from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). It concerns both land and maritime borders, even if geographical eligibility is defined by the ENPI.

The CBC concerns Eastern Europe, the southern Caucasus and the Southern Mediterranean specifically Algeria, Armenia, the Palestinian Authority, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Moldova, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine and Russia.

Objectives and programmes

Despite their differences and socio-economic disparities, frontier regions face several common challenges. These constitute the priorities and key objectives of the CBC, namely:

  • to promote harmonious economic and social development in regions located on either side of common frontiers. Special attention is given to local trade and investments, the promotion of joint enterprises, tourism, investments in local infrastructure and cooperation in the energy, transport and communications sectors;
  • to deal with common challenges in areas such as the environment, public health and prevention and fight against organised crime. Actions include joint planning and surveillance activities, improved management of natural resources, fisheries resources and waste. The water pollution issue is essential within the context of shared sea basins, i.e. the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas. Actions also include measures to encourage cooperation in the surveillance and treatment of communicable diseases and increased cooperation in the fight against corruption, illegal immigration and human trafficking;
  • to guarantee secure and efficient borders by improving operations and procedures for managing borders, strengthening the security of the international logistics chain or even by improving infrastructures and equipment at borders;
  • to promote local people-to people actions at cross-border level by improving civil society contacts. Educational, social and cultural cooperation can play an essential role in promoting democracy and EU values.

The CBC covers two categories of programmes, i.e. programmes concerning:

  • Land borders and sea routes for regions located along important land borders or sea routes. These programmes can involve two or more countries. Nine programmes have been drawn up for land borders and concern the following: Kolartic/Russia, Karelia/Russia, South-East Finland/Russia, Estonia/Latvia/Russia, Lithuania/Poland/Russia, Hungary/Slovakia/Romania/Ukraine. Three programmes have been drawn up for sea routes: the Spain/Morocco and Italy/Tunisia programmes and the CBC Atlantic programme;
  • sea basins for regions located at the external frontiers of the EU, along one of the three sea basins (Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas).

The initiatives can be based on existing infrastructures such as intergovernmental cross-border cooperation committees (Finland and Russia organise such meetings on a regular basis, as do Poland and Ukraine), intergovernmental regional cooperation bodies (Council of the Baltic Sea States, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, etc.) or other associations and networks created to promote regional or border cooperation (Eurocities, Euroregions, etc.).

Arrangements

The partners draw up joint programmes at local, regional and national level which they propose to the Commission. They are responsible not only for detailed programming but also for the management and implementation of these programmes. Political and institutional willingness to achieve and embrace the objectives is therefore essential to guarantee the effectiveness of CBC. Involvement and participation of civil society in these programmes are also of fundamental importance.

Funding is ensured by the ENPI for beneficiary countries and by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for Member States. Funding for the period 2007-2010 amounts to 583.28 million (ENPI-ERDF). For the period 2011-2013, it will amount to 535.15 million. A mid-term evaluation, scheduled for 2010, will allow adaptation and re-evaluation of resources, if necessary.

The following three types of results are expected:

  • the results of the programme as a whole, such as the achievement of objectives, ways of improving coordination, the effectiveness of contributions;
  • results associated with the implementation of key objectives such as sustainable economic and social development, strengthening of administrative practices, identification of challenges and a suitable and effective response to these challenges;
  • the specific results of the programmes drawn up by partners such as long-term cooperation links, strengthening of networks and enhanced commitment.

In order to measure the impact, the partners will set out indicators as programmes are being drawn up. Indicators are programme-specific for each of the objectives relating to regional trade, social development, statistics or border operations or cooperation opportunities created. Other indicators are general, such as the number of partners, the number of CBC projects implemented successfully, etc.

Background

CBC pursues cross-border cooperation programmes launched under previous programmes (Tacis, MEDA, Phare, Interreg). On the basis of the lessons learnt from those programmes, CBC, under the ENPI, assigns more responsibility to the players involved by decentralising programing, management and implementation. In this way, CBC supplements the achievement of ENP objectives at bilateral level.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EC) No 951/2007 of 9 August 2007 laying down implementing rules for cross-border cooperation programmes financed under Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument [Official Journal L 210 of 10.8.2007].
The Regulation provides details on the scope, content, structure and also financial management and evaluation of cross-border cooperation programmes.

Last updated: 21.12.2007
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