Bringing candidate countries closer to the EU with cross-border cooperation: Commission adopts a programme for Italy, Albania and Montenegro

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Yesterday the European Commission adopted the new cross-border cooperation programme for Italy, Montenegro and Albania, worth nearly €93 million, with almost €79 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund and the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). This is the last cross-border cooperation programme to be adopted in 2015.

In line with the EU Strategy for the Adriatic Ionian Region, the programme focuses on five priorities:

1) Strengthening the cross-border cooperation and competitiveness of SMEs: support will be provided to local small businesses to contribute to their internationalisation and develop cross-border markets.

2) Smart management of the border region's natural and cultural heritage: under this priority the programme will invest in the development of environmentally friendly tourism activities and in new cultural products and services.

3) Environment protection, risk management and low-carbon strategy: EU investments will support a strategic and cross-border approach on water landscapes, innovative practices and tools to reduce carbon gas emissions and improved energy efficiency in public buildings.

4) Improving cross-border connectivity and promoting sustainable transport systems

5) Technical assistance, to ensure the sound and effective implementation of the programme.

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