Information about the Programme
The Hungary-Serbia IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme belongs to the “new generation” of cross-border co-operation programmes in the budgetary period 2007-2013. In this Programme the participating countries, Hungary and Serbia, have established their Programme management as “shared management system”.
Cross-border co-operation between Hungary and Serbia started in 2003 in the framework of the Hungary-Serbia Pilot Small Projects Fund (PSPF) under the Hungarian National Phare Programme. The PSPF aimed at supporting people-to-people actions and at facilitating institution building projects of non-profit organisations along the Hungarian-Serbian border, as well as preparing potential applicants for future INTERREG funding opportunities.
In the period 2004-2006, the Neighbourhood Programme Hungary-Serbia and Montenegro 2004-2006 within the framework of the trilateral Hungary-Romania and Hungary-Serbia and Montenegro Cross-border Co-operation Programme was implemented. The Neighbourhood Approach meant a significant development in co-operation along the external borders of the European Union, incorporating external (CARDS) and internal (ERDF) EU financial instruments in the programme. A major step forward for the partner organisations from Serbia was that in this case the funds were opened to them as well, making them applicants in their own right.
The Hungary–Serbia IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme is implemented within the 2007 – 2013 Europan Union financial framework under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). Established by the Council Regulation No. 1085/2006 and implemented according to Commission Regulation (EC) 718/2007, this new instrument for pre-accession assistance serves as a financial source both for candidate and potential candidate (among them Serbia) countries. Assisstance will be used to support both the adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire and the preparation for the implementation and management of the Community's common policies.
The assistance is implemented through five components which are the following:
(a) Transition Assistance and Institution Building
(b) Cross-border Co-operation (CBC)
(c) Regional Development
(d) Human Resources Development
(e) Rural Development
The CBC component has the objective of promoting good neighbourly relations, fostering stability, security and prosperity in the mutual interest of all countries concerned, and of encouraging their harmonic, balanced and sustainable development.
In the current Programme, Hungary and Serbia co-operate in the frame of the CBC component of IPA in a joint structure through shared management and joint decision making, with common financial resources available.
The Hungary–Serbia IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme was adopted by the European Commission on 25th March 2008. The indicative financial allocation (IPA contribution) is 50,1 million € for the seven years period (2007 – 2013).
The Programme offers a wide range of opportunities to the potential beneficiaries in the frame of two priorities: Infrastructure and Environment and Economy, Education and Culture.
Various activities can be eligible for financing, such as infrastructure developments serving the protection of nature and natural values; rehabilitation of small roads leading to and crossing the border, planning transport lines, harmonisation of public transport schedules, minor actions in the field of water management in order to help prevent floods and inland inundations, elaboration of joint programmes, studies and strategies, construction and designation of new cycling routes; development of tourism attractions and of related infrastructural facilities; creating and promoting pathways to integration and re-entry into employment for disadvantaged people; development of infrastructural and equipment capacities in the field of research; preparation of joint feasibility studies; development of common curricula and of joint training facilities; exchange of good practice between institutions, authorities and promoting best available technologies, joint conferences, vocational trainings and workshops in the relevant field, people to people activities like organising festivals, performances, theatrical tours, concerts, exhibitions, art workshops, charity events, cross-border amateur sport championships and tournaments; and activities to reduce language barriers.
Important features of the Programme
The Lead Beneficiary principle
The Lead Beneficiary principle is a basic requirement in all operations financed from the Programme. The project will be represented by the Lead Beneficiary, who will act as the only direct contact between the project and the joint management bodies of the Programme. It is the responsibility of the Lead Beneficiary to create a well working consortium among the project partners based on a partnership agreement.
In order to have joint projects with real cross-border effect, projects partners from both sides of the border should be involved. Projects have to be planned and implemented according to the joint co-operation criteria: joint planning, joint staffing, joint financing and joint implementation of projects. Project results should have impact on both sides of the border.
The public procurement in the whole area of the cross-border Programme, both on Hungarian and Serbian territory will be carried out according to the contract procedures for EC external actions.