Italy, Albania, and Montenegro are strengthening cross-border cooperation.

Institutions and organizations from the Italian regions of Puglia and Molise, Albania, and Montenegro are successfully collaborating within the Interreg IPA program for cross-border cooperation between Italy, Albania, and Montenegro. Even better results from trilateral cooperation are expected within the new Interreg IPA Adriatic-Ionian program.

This was stated in Kolasin, where meetings of the Joint Monitoring Committee for cross-border cooperation programs between the three states, within the perspective of 2014-2020, were held as well as the Steering Committee for the Adriatic-Ionian program, which is being implemented under the financial perspective of 2021-2027.

Delegations from Italy, Albania, and Montenegro, as well as the European Commission, attended the meetings.

“Through the Interreg IPA program for cross-border cooperation between Italy, Albania, and Montenegro 2014-2020, 100 projects with a total value of around 82.4 million euros were supported, of which around 70 million euros were allocated by the European Union,” said Bojan Vujović, acting General Director of the Directorate for European Funds in the Ministry of European Affairs of Montenegro.

As he noted, 81.3 million euros have been allocated for the new Interreg IPA Adriatic-Ionian program.

“This gives us an incentive to continue successful cooperation in order to solve common challenges and improve the quality of life in the Adriatic-Ionian region,” emphasized Vujović.

The meeting expressed satisfaction that a total of 128 project proposals were submitted to the first call of the Interreg IPA Adriatic-Ionian program, of which the most successful ones will be supported with a total of 5 million euros. In Montenegro, a total of 119 institutions and organizations expressed interest, of which 14 are in the position of the lead partner in project proposals.

“A large number of applications received shows that the Joint Secretariat of the Program, the Managing Authority, and national bodies have made a great effort to inform the public about the call. I am particularly pleased that partners from the IPA countries, Montenegro and Albania, are strongly represented in the project proposals. You can be proud of such a successful call,” said Gilles Kittel, representative of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) at the European Commission.

We made great efforts in promoting this call, both through national information days and numerous informative sessions on the internet. The effort really paid off,” said Mauro Novello from the Joint Secretariat of the Program, based in Bari.

During the meetings, discussions were held on the preparation of strategic projects within the Interreg IPA Adriatic-Ionian program, as well as the current status of the implementation of the 2014-2020 program, with emphasis on financial progress.