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Euro millions for cross border cooperation

23 September 2012 / 15:09:22  GRReporter
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The European Union has approved 8.5 billion euro in financing for the programmes of Cross Border Cooperation within European territorial cooperation for the period 2014-2020, as reported by head of the Special Service for management of operational programs of the northern borders and the Balkans (INTERREG) Konstandinos Christodoulou.

According to him, in the last seven years between 2005 and 2012, the economic benefits for Greece from the project in cross-border cooperation have been enormous. Only in recent years in Greece, 600 million euro have been absorbed as a whole through INTERREG for the implementation of projects for infrastructure development in the particular cross-border cooperation, as well as for financing activities which concern cross-border cooperation, the development of relations between institutions, municipalities, hospitals, universities, etc. in neighbouring countries.

Christodoulou said: "The European Territorial Cooperation Programmes are strengthening the economic and social cohesion and are promoting the balanced development of competitiveness while at the same time the European territorial cooperation is contributing to the transformation of the European regions into strong economic and social poles by financing joint activities". According to him, the aim is increased growth and more jobs for all regions of the European Union through the promotion of cross-border, inter-state and trans- regional cooperation, and in parallel, general management plans are being performed in neighbouring European countries, relating to the management of land and water resources, such as rivers.

As mentioned by Christodoulou, in connection with the Cross Border Cooperation programme "Greece-Bulgaria 2007-2013" the European Commission has approved programmes with a total budget of 132,318,963 euro, of which 112,471,118 euro (85%) come from the European Fund for Regional development, while the remaining 19,847,845 euro (15%) are national participation.

The selected regions of the programme are the regions of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace (Evros, Kavala, Xanthi, Rodopi and Drama regions) and Central Macedonia (Thessaloniki and Serres regions) in Greece, as well as the regions of Blagoevgrad, Kardzhali and Haskovo in Bulgaria. The Kavala Region is included in the programme as an adjacent area.

In parallel, strategic projects and activities are approved and implemented with a budget of 30 million euro between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, referring to the regions of Serres, Pella, Kilkis and Florina, and aiming at the development of cooperation between the neighbouring mountain areas of the two countries.

"The European Territorial Cooperation represents an objective of the political cohesion and provides a framework for the exchange of experiences between institutions from different countries at regional and local level through the provision of regional cohesion and strengthening of competitiveness, as well as improving the lives of people who live in these areas", emphasises Christodoulou.

Tags: Cross Border Cooperation Greece Bulgaria
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