How it all started?

The Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020 has been prepared by the Task Force in line with the relevant legislation, submitted for approval by the Managing Authority on 29 July 2015 and approved by Commission Implementing Decision (C(2015)8447) on 24 November 2015. The 2.0 version of the Cooperation Programme is available here, together with annexes.

The process of partner involvement and preparation of the cooperation programme was coordinated by the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds of the Republic of Croatia as well as the Task Force in charge for the preparation of the Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020

The process of partner involvement included:

  • Eight (8) meetings of the Task Force for the preparation of the Programme
  • Online survey on the programme thematic priorities
  • Two rounds of stakeholder consultation workshops held in Croatia and Montenegro in May 2014 and in Bosnia and Herzegovina in August 2014
  • One online public consultations opened from 1 to 31 August2014
  • Public consultation meetings conducted within the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process in September and November 2014 and March 2015

Task Force meetings and workshops

The Task Force consisted of the representatives on national/entity and regional/local level of all partner countries. This ensured that the regional/local level was actively involved in the programming process. All Task Force members were actively involved in the decision-making process and preparation of all programme documents.

Online survey on the programme thematic priorities

Online survey on programme thematic priorities was launched on 6 March 2014 and it was closed on 28 March 2014. The online survey was performed on the basis of questionnaire for the selection of thematic priorities sent to 2007-2013 programmes (IPA CBC Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina and IPA CBC Croatia – Montenegro) potential and actual beneficiaries. The questionnaire was sent to approximately 500 contacts from IPA CBC Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina 2007-2013 programme mailing list that included development agencies, counties, entrepreneurship centres, towns, municipalities, civil society sector, county chambers, chambers of commerce, tourist offices and employment centres. Furthermore, the questionnaire was sent to nearly 400 potential and actual beneficiaries of the IPA CBC Croatia – Montenegro 2007-2013 programme that included educational institutions, towns, municipalities, civil society sector, national ministerial authorities, entrepreneurs, public utility companies, health and social care institutions, development agencies, libraries and museums.

The main result of the questionnaire was the indicative ranking list of thematic priorities from the most to the least important as scored by 39 institutions that filled in the questionnaire for the selection of thematic priorities for the Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020.

Two rounds of stakeholder consultation workshops held in Croatia and Montenegro in May 2014 and in Bosnia and Herzegovina in August 2014

The first round of public stakeholders workshops was organised in Gospić (Croatia) and Tivat (Montenegro) in May 2014. The list of invitees, compiled and verified by the Task Force members, consisted of 150 representative institutions per each participating country. In total, 450 institutions from the relevant sectors were invited to the first round of public stakeholders workshops. The institutions at the invitation list included the following institutions from the participating countries: national/entity ministerial authorities, local and regional governance authorities, towns, municipalities, chambers of commerce, touristic associations, educational institutions, health and social care institutions, public companies, institutions responsible for environment and nature, institutions responsible for culture, development agencies, business support institutions, CSOs, employers’ associations, and the national contact points for relevant macro regional strategies.

The second round of public stakeholders workshops was organised in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) on 28 August 2014. The list of invitees, compiled and verified by the Task Force members, consisted of 150 representative institutions per each participating country. In total, 450 institutions from the relevant sectors were invited to the second round of public stakeholders workshops. The institutions at the invitation list included the following institutions from the participating countries: national/entity ministerial authorities, local and regional governance authorities, towns, municipalities, chambers of commerce, touristic associations, educational institutions, business support institutions, health and social care institutions and the national contact points for relevant macroregional strategies.

One online public consultations opened from 1 to 31 August  2014

The Managing Authority informed the programme mailing list consisting of nearly 500 contacts form the relevant institutions from the participating countries and Task Force about the launch of the public online consultations for the following programming documents on its website: SWOT analysis, programme intervention logic (programme strategy) and draft Cooperation programme. Online public consultations were open form 1 August to 30 August 2014 and the relevant partners were invited to submit their written comments to the documents indicated above. There were no comments received within the online consultation deadline.

Public consultation meetings conducted within the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process in September and November 2014

The process of Strategic Environmental Assessment was coordinated by the Managing Authority, in cooperation with Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Directorate for European Integration in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration in Montenegro as well as with SEA experts.

Strategic Environmental Assessment procedure started in July 2014 and finished on 20 Joly 2015 when Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection notified the Managing Authority that the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Programme was conducted in line with Directive 2001/42/EZ and Croatian Law on Environmental Protection.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

The Strategic Environmental Assessment procedure for the Programme consisted of the following steps performed in Croatia:

  1. Step 1– Main acceptability assessment for the ecological network;
  2. Step 2 – SEA Scoping report;
  3. Step 3 – SEA Study.

Within Step 1, the official letter of Request for determination of Main acceptability assessment of the Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020for the ecological network containing summary of the programme priority axes in Croatian language was submitted to the Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection on 7 July 2014. Following formal consultation process with the State Institute for Nature Protection, Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection issued Decision on the necessity of inclusion of main acceptability assessment of the programme for the ecological network on 1 August 2014.

Following Step 1, Decision on the start of Strategic Environmental Assessment for Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020 (written in Croatian language) was issued by the Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds and sent to Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection on 19 August 2014 marking the official start of SEA procedure for the Programme. The Decision consisted of the following parts: initial formal legal part of a decision enlisting SEA steps, summary of the Programme priority axes, detailed instructions for all SEA procedure steps and the list of national authorities to be invited to participate in the SEA procedure.

Within Step 2, the procedure on the scope of the SEA Study was launched on 20 August 2014 by sending the relevant documents (Information on the procedure of determining the scope of strategic study for the Programme in Croatian language, SEA Scoping Report in English language, Cooperation Programme summary in English and Croatian language and draft Cooperation Programme in English language) to 18 relevant Directorates of the following Croatian ministries: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Pension System, Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts and Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. The documentation was also published online at the MRDEUF’s website and available for commenting by 19 September 2014.

In order to harmonize the submitted opinions on the content and scope of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Study and to determine the final content of SEA Study, MRDEUF organized a public consultation meeting during the scoping phase of the SEA procedure where the presentations were delivered in Croatian language whereas the written materials were delivered in English language. The following institutions were present at the consultation meeting conducted on 12 September 2014 in Zagreb: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. All relevant comments received during the SEA Scoping step were taken into account.

Within Step 3, the SEA Study procedure was open from 20 October 2014 to 19 November 2014. The MRDEUF launched the SEA Study procedure in Croatia by sending the relevant documents (Decision on launching the public consultations on SEA study for Interreg IPA CBC Croatia- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020, SEA Study, non-technical summary in English and Croatian and draft Cooperation Programme in English language) to 18 relevant Directorates of the following Croatian ministries: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Pension System, Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts and Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. The documentation was also published online at the MRDEUF’s website and available for commenting by 19 November 2014.

In order to harmonize the submitted opinions on the SEA Study, MRDEUF organised a public consultation meeting in Zagreb on 12 November 2014 where the presentations were delivered in Croatian language whereas the written materials were delivered in English language. The following institutions were present at the consultation meeting: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Ministry of Agriculture and Inland navigation development centre Ltd.

During the SEA Study phase, the following Croatian institutions provided their comments in writing: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Culture. The following Croatian institutions provided their positive opinions: Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Science, Education and Sports.  All relevant comments received during the SEA Study step were taken into account.

Montenegro

In Montenegro, Strategic Environmental Assessment procedure for Interreg IPA CBC programme Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020 consisted of the SEA Study step.

The SEA consultations were launched from 21 October 2014 to 21 November 2014. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro launched the SEA Study procedure in Montenegro by sending the relevant documents (SEA Study, non-technical summary and draft Cooperation Programme in English language) to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and Environmental Protection Agency of Montenegro on 22 October 2014. The documentation was also published online at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro’s website and available for commenting by 19 November 2014.

In order to harmonize the submitted opinions on the SEA Study, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro organised consultation workshop on 14 November 2014 in Podgorica. The following national, regional and local level institutions were represented at the meeting: Ministry of the Interior, Tourist Organization of Cetinje, Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro, ”Mediteran” University, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Ministry of Finance, NGO Green Home, Environmental Protection Agency, Capital City of Podgorica, Port Authority, Tourist Organization of Podgorica, NGO Expeditio – Center  for Sustainable Development- Kotor, Tourist Organization of Tivat, Hydrometeorological and Seismological Service of Montenegro, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Municipality of Kotor, Water Supply and Sewerage of Cetinje, Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, Coast Regional Water Supply, The Royal Theatre “Zetski dom”, Employment Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, National Library of Montenegro “Đurđe Crnojević“, Cetinje, NGO European Movement, Water Supply and Sewerage, Kotor, Montenegro Chamber of Skilled Crafts and Entrepreneurship, Municipality of Nikšić and Montenegro Bussines Alliance.

During the SEA Study phase, the following Montenegrin institution provided comments in writing: NGO Green Home. All relevant comments received during the SEA Study step were taken into account.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Strategic Environmental Assessment procedure for Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020 consisted of the SEA Study step.

The SEA consultations were launched from 25 February 2015 to 24 March 2015. The Directorate for European Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina launched the SEA Study procedure in Bosnia and Herzegovina by sending the relevant documents (SEA Study in English language, non-technical summary in English and languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina and draft Cooperation Programme in English language) to the following ministries: Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Environment and Tourism of  Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Physical Planning of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of Republika Srpska and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska on 23 February 2015. The documentation was also published online at the Directorate for European Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s website and available for commenting by 24 March 2015. During the SEA Study phase, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina in its coordination role provided comments in writing encompassing all comments collected from the above mentioned ministries. All relevant comments received during the SEA Study step were taken into account.

SEA procedure conclusion

Detailed summary of the relevant comments received during the SEA public consultations for Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020 is given in Annex 6 to Cooperation Programme (Response sheet for SEA comments).

Taking into account relevant comments and proposals received during the SEA consultations procedure, revised versions of relevant documents (SEA Study in English language, non-technical summary in national languages) were prepared and published at the MA webpage on 1 June 2015, on the webpage of Directorate for European Integration on 11 June 2015 and on webpage of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration on 18 June 2015.

Furthermore, Directorate for European Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina informed relevant environmental authorities from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina) on the outcome of the SEA procedure by sending them relevant documentation (revised SEA Study, including non-technical summary in national languages and revised Cooperation Programme) on 8 June 2015 and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro informed relevant environmental authorities from Montenegro on the outcome of the SEA procedure by sending them relevant documentation (revised SEA Study, including non-technical summary in national languages and revised Cooperation Programme) on 18 June 2015.

In order to finalize the SEA procedure in line with the Decision on the start of Strategic Environmental Assessment for Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020, the MA sent relevant documentation (Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020 (Cooperation Programme version 2.0), SEA Study, Summary of the conducted SEA procedure given in Section 5.7 of the Cooperation Programme, the official letters with comments on SEA Study and CP received from the authorities and a summary (table) of relevant comments received and the method of their implementation into SEA Study and Cooperation Programme) and Request for the opinion on the conducted SEA procedure to the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection on 2 July 2015. The Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection issued positive opinion to the MA on 20 July 2015.

Based on the received comments and proposals during the public hearing, final versions of relevant SEA documents were prepared Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020:

Final version of Strategic Environmental Assessment (including non-technical summary in English language)
Non-technical summary in English language

Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection notified the Managing Authority on 9 June 2015 that the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Programme was conducted in line with Directive 2001/42/EZ and Croatian Law on Environmental Protection.

New Visibility Guidelines published

The 2.0 version of the Visibility Guidelines provides more useful information on how to ensure visibility of projects. Also, new templates have been developed for

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