'Hungary-Croatia' IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013

‘Hungary-Croatia IPA Cross-border Programme’, receiving Community assistance from the cross-border co-operation component of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)


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On 13 March 2008 the European Commission approved a Cross-border Co-operation Programme between Hungary and Croatia for the period 2007-2013, which is adopted under and co-financed by the cross-border co-operation component of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). The programme involves Community support for specific Hungarian and Croatian regions that lie along their common border: the Hungarian regions of Zala, Somogy and Baranya and Croatian regions Menjimurska, Koprivničko-Križevačka, Virovitičko-Podravska and Osječko-Baranjska. The Croatian areas of Varaždinska, Bjelovarsko-bilogorska, Požesko-slavonska and Vukovarsko-srijemska may take part in projects as an adjacent area, i.e. receiving a maximum 20% of the funding allocated to the programme.

Community funding for the programme over the period 2007-2011 amounts to around €35.5 million. This is supplemented by about €9.2 million of national funding from the two participating countries. The programme’s total value therefore is approximately €44.7 million.

The purpose and aim of the EU investment

The area’s most important common resource is the natural heritage within the Danube-Drava area and the rural nature of the surroundings on both sides of the border. This offers potential for eco-activity and rural tourism as a possible source of economic development. Therefore, the long-term overall objective of the programme is defined as culture and knowledge-based development founded on successful management of the region’s natural and cultural heritage and socio-economic interaction between the two sides of the border.
This overall aim has been broken down into specific objectives for the period 2007-2013:
- Increasing the environmental stability and attractiveness of the Drava Valley and its surrounding natural and rural areas;
- Creating sustainable joint regional tourism products in the Mura-Drava-Danube area as well as in surrounding natural and rural areas;
- Synergetic and co-operative economies on both sides of the border;
- Developing and managing a common cultural heritage to promote cultural values and traditions and also to develop tourism;
- Utilising the advantages of intensive cultural and educational interactions, both between people and at educational and civic levels.

2. The expected impact of the investment

A series of indicators, applicable to each of the programme’s priorities, has been developed by the participating countries to allow evaluation of progress in the course of the programme’s implementation. Results will be measured in terms of the landscape developed, visitors and tourists, investment in the tourism sector, new business contacts, new cross-border jobs, joint planning by local authorities, educational institutions and/or their associations, etc.

3. Priority axes

In order to achieve its specific and global objectives, the programme works on two main thematic priorities, with a third priority dedicated to the programme’s management (‘technical assistance’ priority). The Hungary-Croatia IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013 is subdivided into the following priority actions:

Priority 1: Sustainable environment and tourism [approximately 56% of total funding]
The aim of this first priority is to foster environmental sustainability in the border region, as well as eco-tourism development within the Mura-Drava-Danube river area and its immediate surroundings. As a result, a joint eco-tourism product has been created on the basis of the region’s sustainable and precious natural and cultural heritage. Support is being provided for environmental planning activities to improve the quality of the environment in natural areas and for the development of infrastructures relevant to the border river’s eco-system.

Priority 2: Co-operative economy and cross-community human resources development [approximately 28% of total funding]
This second priority targets at co-operative economic measures which are vital for the future of the border region. These measures support local actors as they rebuild severed ties in the border region in order to create organic, coherent and vibrant socio-economic relations. Support is provided for cross-border business partner searches and cross-border labour mobility incentive schemes. There are also a number of activities related to joint research, development and innovation. In addition, co-operation receives firm encouragement through the joint development of cross-border education, training and exchange projects. Moreover, financial support is given to projects aimed at promoting people-to-people connections and bilingual actions.

Priority 3: Technical assistance [approximately 16% of total funding]
This priority supports activities in connection with project preparation, selection and evaluation. Technical assistance is also used to prepare, manage, implement, monitor, control and evaluate the programme and to support joint structures, information and publicity activities.

Financial and Technical information

'Hungary-Croatia' IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

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Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Sustainable Environment and Tourism 21 325 330 3 763 294 25 088 624
Co-operative Economy and Intercommunity Human Resources Development 10 662 665 1 881 647 12 544 312
Technical Assistance 3 554 221 3 554 221 7 108 442
Total 35 542 216 9 199 162 44 741 378