'Slovenia, Croatia' IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013

‘Slovenia-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 27 February 2008 the European Commission approved a Cross-border Co-operation Programme between Slovenia 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 14 Slovenian and Croatian regions that lie along their common border (In Slovenia: Pomurska, Podravska, Savinjska, Spodnjeposavska, Jugovzhodna Slovenija, Notranjsko-kraška and Obalno-kraška; in Croatia: Međimurje, Varaždin, Krapina-Zagorje, Zagreb, Karlovac, Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Istria). Two areas may take part in projects as an adjacent area, i.e. receiving a maximum of 20% of the funding allocated to the programme (in Slovenia: Osrednjeslovenska; in Croatia: City of Zagreb).

Community funding for the programme over the period 2007-2011 is worth around €29 million, supplemented in turn by about €5 million of national funding from the two participating countries. The programme’s total value therefore is approximately €34 million.

1. The purpose and aim of the EU investment


The adopted Cross-border Co-operation Programme follows an INTERREG Community Initiative for the period 2000-2006. Its main purpose is to make the cross-border area between Croatia and Slovenia highly competitive and also to create sustainable living conditions and prosperity for its inhabitants by exploiting development opportunities arising out of joint cross-border actions.

The aims will be achieved by boosting the competitiveness of key sectors and supporting co-operation between these (tourism, SME development) as well as through the protection of nature, the environment and cultural heritage for sustainable development. The programming area has a key geostrategic location as a gateway between central-western and south-eastern Europe.

2. The expected impact of the investment


Programme enables inhabitants and the economy in the area to exploit the potential of the EU market. It also allows local and regional actors to address cross-border challenges jointly with their counterparts from across the border and overcome regional development disadvantages caused by national borders by means of joint cross-border actions. Moreover, it supports development and promotion of the cross-border area and a common identity and also invests in people, combat social exclusion and creates favourable living conditions.

The good results recorded by the previous programme in terms of forging genuine co-operation between partners in both countries will be built upon and taken further. A series of indicators, applicable to each of the programme’s priorities, has been developed by participating countries in order to evaluate the programme’s impact on, for instance, the population of the border area.

3. Priority axes


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

Priority 1 – Economic and social development [approximately 50% of total funding]
This priority is focused on three measures. The first, ‘Tourism and Rural Development’, is based on the programming area’s natural and cultural assets and aimed at creating cross-border tourism destinations, stimulating sustainable tourism development and generating additional income sources, especially in rural areas. The second, ‘Development of Entrepreneurship’, sets out to improve SMEs’ economic growth and competitiveness by promoting business co-operation and indirectly increasing cross-border trade. The third, ‘Fostering Culture and Social Exchanges’, aims to transfer know-how and also adjust and coordinate various cultural assets, systems and actions which are important for the everyday lives of inhabitants and for development within the programming area.

Priority 2 – Sustainable management of natural resources [approximately 40% of total funding]
This priority is focused on two measures. The first measure, ‘Environmental Protection’, is based on the richness of natural resources within the programming area and aimed at strengthening and increasing awareness among the local population about environmental protection. It also aims to reduce both environmental risks and pollution. The second measure, ‘Preservation of Protected Areas’, is aimed at strengthening regional identity through the preservation and revitalisation of natural and cultural resources by managing and developing the natural and cultural assets of the cross-border territory along sustainable lines.

Priority 3: Technical assistance [approximately 10% of total funding]
There is also provision for technical assistance in order to implement the programme. Financial support is available to cover administration, monitoring, evaluation and control.

In addition to these priorities, the programme’s two horizontal themes – ‘Human Resources Development’ and ‘Information Society’ – are being integrated wherever deemed appropriate. Human resources development relates to formal and informal types of education and training for project participants (partners, target groups). The programme encourages the use of information technology, not only in business but also for the management and protection of the environment, the preservation and revitalisation of nature and culture, and the setting-up and implementation of coordination mechanisms.

Financial and Technical information

'Slovenia, Croatia' IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Economic and social development 14 473 485 2 554 145 17 027 630
Sustainable management of natural resources 11 578 788 2 043 316 13 622 104
Technical Assistance 2 894 697 510 829 3 405 526
Total 28 946 970 5 108 290 34 055 260