“IPA III (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) will be the most important tool for the European Union in its enlargement policy in the coming years. With a historic budget of more than €14 billion, the EU has reaffirmed its commitment to support the Western Balkan countries with their reform agenda and to progress on their European integration,” said Croatian MEP Željana Zovko, vice-chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and co-rapporteur on IPA III.
She noted that these funds were very important for cross-border cooperation between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“It will be possible to use IPA III funding for the border areas of Split-Dalmatia County in Croatia and the neighboring three cantons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and now we have an opportunity to use these funds. It is up to us to prepare ourselves and that’s why we organized this conference,” Zovko said.
She said that the bulk of the money will go towards economic development and investment to create jobs, improve infrastructure and strengthen human and social resources. This will include education and youth employment projects to prevent further brain drain, she added.
The conference was attended by the mayor of Split, the prefect of Split-Dalmatia County, and the heads of government of the three adjacent cantons in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, West Herzegovina Canton, and Herceg-Bosna Canton.
For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.