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BULGARIA - FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
IPA CROSS-BORDER PROGRAMME

Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works of the Republic of Bulgaria 

(Managing Authority) 

in cooperation with 

Ministry of Local Self Government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
(National Authority)

 

This programme is financed by the European Union through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) and co-financed by Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia through contributions from state budgets and if applicable - from project beneficiaries. 

The programming document drafted jointly by the two countries through a large partnership with national, regional and local stakeholders was approved by the European Commission on 14 December 2007 (Decision no. 6298). It sets out the general framework of intervention of IPA in the Programme cross-border area. 

The programme continues the evolution of the EU’s cross-border initiatives, reflected in Neighbourhood Programme PHARE CBC /CARDS from 2004 to 2006. 

IPA replaces the five previously existing pre-accession instruments, PHARE, ISPA, SAPARD, Turkey instrument, and CARDS, thus uniting under a single legal basis all pre accession assistance. IPA has also been designed to better adapt to the different objectives and progresses of each beneficiary concerned, thus providing a targeted and effective support according to their needs and evolution. 

Border regions are often facing disadvantages due to their peripheral geographical locations and relative isolation from national economies. At the same time the development of the internal market within the Union (and the free movement of people, goods, services and capital) also brought out the need for the balanced development and integration of the European territory. 

The aim of this Programme is to promote stronger integration of the territory thus providing a balanced and sustainable development throughout the entire cross-border region. The main purpose of the interventions to be funded by the programme in the CBC area is to support activities for economic development, by investing in the necessary small-scale infrastructures, human potential and supporting favourable business environment and social inclusion. 

ELIGIBLE CROSS-BORDER AREA
The border area of Bulgaria comprises the districts of Blagoevgrad and Kyustendil (NUTS III), covering 9 501 sq. km (8.6% of the total country territory) and with population of 486 291 people (6.3% of the total country population). It consists of 23 municipalities (NUTS IV) and 462 settlements: 

  • District of Blagoevgrad: 14 municipalities - Bansko, Belica, Blagoevgrad, Gotce Delchev, Garmen, Kresna, Petrich, Razlog, Sandanski, Satovcha, Simitli, Strumiani, Hadjidimovo, Yakoruda;
  • District of Kyustendil: 9 municipalities - Bobovdol, Boboshevo, Dupnitza, Kocherinovo, Kyustendil, Nevestino, Rila, Sapareva Banya, Trekliano. 

The border area of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia comprises the North-East, the East and the South-East NUTS III statistical regions covering 9 235 sq. km (35,9 % of the total country territory) and with population of 579 314 people (28.6 % of the total country population). It consists of 29 municipalities (NUTS IV), including 641 settlements: 

  • North-East region: 6 municipalities - Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Rankovce, Kumanovo, Lipkovo and Staro Nagoricane;
  • South-East region: 10 municipalities - Valandovo, Gevgelija, Bogdanci, Dojran, Radovis, Konce, Strumica, Bosilovo, Vasilevo and Novo Selo;
  • East region: 11 municipalities - Berovo, Pehcevo, Vinica, Kocani, Cesinovo - Oblesevo, Zrnovci, Probistip, Stip, Karbinci, Delcevo, Makedonska Kamenica. 

The programme for cross-border cooperation presents a coherent and effective response to the constraints and weaknesses of the region and defines suitable strategies for a common future development of the border region on the basis of the experiences of the last programming period and the conclusions from the regional analysis. The strategy includes an overall strategic objective of the programme and identifies specific objectives to be reached by the measures under the chosen priority axes of the programme.

The global objective of the regional co-operation across sectors and administrative units that has to be reached by the definition of the Programme is:

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE BORDER REGION IN SUPPORT OF THE WIDEREUROPEAN COOPERATION AND INTEGRATION EFFORTS. 

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES OF THE IPA CBC PROGRAMME 

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE N. 1:
To foster the sustainable economic growth in the cross-border region

Diversification of the current economic activities, support for the region to evolve into an economically strong region with high standard of living; development of new value chains; stimulus for research and development cooperation; clustering and business-support services; support to new technologies and innovations.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE N. 2:
To promote social cohesion and cross-border cooperation 

Investment in human resource development; people to people actions; labour market initiatives; cultural exchanges; support for raising the adaptability of the labour force to the market demands; cross-border networks at all levels and sectors of activity, incl. support for preparation of mutually benefiting project proposals.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE N. 3:
To further develop the attractiveness and quality of life in the cross-border area

Balanced regional development based on protection and wise use of natural and cultural resources in the region; preservation of the ecological and cultural diversity; support for development of tourism based on the adequate and reasonable exploitation of the existing environmental and cultural assets in the target area. 

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