Starting with October 2019, in order to ensure a transparent framework for institutional collaboration, the Ministry of Development, Public Works and Administration (MDPWA) organized consultations with key actors in the Programme area and published on the Programme website (www.romania-serbia.net/), all documents related to the programming process, for public consultation.
The Interreg IPA Romania-Serbia Programme was the first Interreg IPA Programme, in the EU, to be approved by the European Commission, on the 19th of July 2022.
The first meeting of the Monitoring Committee took place on the 19th of September 2022 and the Monitoring Committee approved all the needed documents in order to be able to launch the Call for Proposals.
The Programme area includes three counties in Romania (Timiș, Caraș-Severin and Mehedinţi), as well as six districts in Serbia (Severno Banatski, Srednje Banatski, Južno Banatski, Braničevski, Borski și Podunavski).
In the 2021-2027 programming period, the Ministry of Development, Public Works and Administration is acting as Managing Authority for the Interreg IPA Romania-Serbia Programme, which will have a total budget of 87.725.681 EUR and will finance projects on environmental protection and adaptation to climate change, healthcare and education, tourism and culture and border management.
The funding for these priorities will be 85% from the Instrument for Pre-Accession assistance (IPA III), 13% Romanian state budget co-financing and 2% as own contribution of the Romanian beneficiaries. Serbian beneficiaries will provide 15% co-financing as their own contribution.
A strong emphasis is put in this Programme on climate objectives (35% of the financial allocation) and on projects of strategic importance and large infrastructure projects, dedicated to health, border management, tourism and culture, risk management and protection against disasters. These projects are not important only due to their financial size, but also due to their activities planned to be implemented in the border area, which will have a very high impact, by improving people’s health and quality of life while, boosting the economy of the border area and turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities.
Potential beneficiaries will exclusively use the JEMS electronic system for the transmission of documents and will benefit from simplified cost options for the reimbursement of expenses, respectively, a simplification of the project implementation system.
Projects must dedicate at least 50% of their budget to investment activities: works, infrastructure, non-removable installations, fixed and intangible assets, new or renovated building, equipment and software, investments in access to services;
Projects have to fall within the scope of the types of actions defined in the Programme, under each Specific Objective – The types of actions have been assessed as compatible with the DNSH (Do No Significant Harm) principle since they are not expected to have any significant negative environmental impact due to their nature.
Even though the financial resources of Interreg IPA Romania – Serbia Programme are limited, the results have great impact on the lives of the communities in the border area, as it can be seen from the results of the projects implemented so far during the previous programming periods.
It has been our experience that the border regions are working as a whole in tackling those challenges that are being faced by the population living in that specific area, whether we are talking about rehabilitation of roads and buildings, equipment for emergency intervention centres, rehabilitation and endowment for hospitals and social centres or support for development of cross-border tourism.
The Programme authorities rely on the citizens and communities of the border area from both countries to have a dedicated involvement and strong cooperation in order to deliver on the objectives of the new Programme and to implement good projects.