The Hungary-Croatia IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme belongs to the “new generation” of cross- border co-operation programmes in the budgetary period 2007-2013. In this Programme the participating countries, Hungary and Croatia, have established their Programme management as “shared management system”.
The Hungarian-Croatian cross-border co-operation started in 2002, when local actors along the border initiated the creation of the Hungary-Croatia Pilot Small Projects Fund within the framework of the Hungarian National Phare Programme. The Pilot Small Projects Fund was then launched in 2003 as well. Being so-called INTERREG Phare Programmes, their main goal was to support non-profit cross-border co-operation and to prepare potential candidates for future INTERREG funding opportunities.
In the period of 2004-2006, the cross-border co-operation between Hungary and Croatia formed a trilateral co-operation completed with Slovenia in the Neighbourhood Programme.
The Neighbourhood Approach meant a significant development in co-operation along the external borders of the European Union, incorporating external (CARDS/PHARE for Croatia) and internal (ERDF) - EU financial sources in the same Programme. A major step forward for the Croatian partner organizations was that in this case the funds were opened to them as well, making them project participants in their own right (whereas the Pilot Small Projects Fund only allowed for co-operation-type projects with funding only on the Hungarian side).
The Hungary-Croatia IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013 was approved by the European Commission on the 13th March 2008. The Programme allocates 35.542.216 € of Community funding for the first five years. The Programme offers a wide range of opportunities to the potential beneficiaries in the frame of two priorities- Sustainable Environment and Tourism and Co-operative Economy and Intercommunity Human Resource Development.
Various activities can be eligible for financing, such as infrastructure developments serving the protection of nature and natural values; elaboration of joint programmes, studies, strategies for the improvement of environmental protection; construction and designation of new cycling routes; development of tourism attractions and of related infrastructural facilities; creating and promoting pathways to integration and re-entry into employment for disadvantaged people; development of infrastructural and equipment capacities in the field of research; preparation of joint feasibility studies; development of common curricula and of joint training facilities; people to people activities like organising festivals, performances, theatrical tours, concerts, exhibitions, art workshops, charity events, cross-border amateur sport championships and tournaments; and activities to reduce language barriers.