EU to invest EUR 1 billion in cross-border cooperation programs

Newsroom 07/01/2016 | 17:17

The European Commission (EC) has adopted a series of cross-border cooperation programs with a total budget of EUR 1 billion that are destined to support the social and economic development of those regions situated on both sides of the external borders of the European Union, according to a statement from the EC.

An example of such a cross-border project in Romania is the “Fluviul curat” (Clean River) one, which Romania and Ukraine are participating in and benefits from a budget of EUR 3.8 million. Through this project, the European Neighborhood Instrument will contribute to safeguarding the ecological value of the Danube River by consolidating cooperation when it comes to handling manmade disasters, as detailed on the EC website.

This type of cross-border cooperation is an important element of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), which will prioritize those projects that support sustainable development along the EU’s external borders, thus reducing the differences in living standards and taking on common challenges existing on both sides of these borders. Each participating country has chosen up to four main focus areas, such as the development of SMEs, culture, environment and climate change, combatting poverty, education and research, energy, or border access and management, said the EC.

The purpose of these programs is also to create more integrated and long-lasting regional development of neighboring border regions and a more harmonious territorial cooperation in the area of the EU’s external borders, according to Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for ENP & Enlargement Negotiations. Moreover, these programs are concrete ways in which the EU can help boost local economies’ level of competitiveness, said Corina Cretu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy.

Andreea Tint

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