EU Adopts First Balkan-Mediterranean Cooperation ProgrammeEU | September 28, 2015, Monday // 17:56| views
European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu. Photo EPA/BGNES
The first EU programme for transnational cooperation covering the Balkan Peninsula and the Eastern Mediterranean region has been adopted, the European Commission announced on Monday.
The programme brings together EU member states Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus and membership candidates Albania and Macedonia, the EU Commission said on its website.
Focus will be on boosting the competitiveness of the regional economy through supporting entrepreneurship and innovation and on preserving the region's natural and cultural heritage across the whole Balkan-Mediterranean region during the 2014-2020 period.
Corina Cretu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy commented: “This programme has been created out of a strong will of the participating countries to pool resources together and tackle joint challenges. By cooperating to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, the region can increase its attractiveness for investors and business.”
The programme, which was adopted on Friday, will be financed with over EUR 28 M from the European Regional Development Fund and more than EUR 5 M from the EU’s Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance.
With national co-financing included, the programme’s total budget is EUR 39.7 M.
Activities of project partners will be co-financed by up to 85%. Bulgaria has secured national co-financing in the amount of 15% from its central government budget.
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