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Cross-border cooperation programme

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Cross-border cooperation programme

This Regulation implements a cross-border cooperation programme under the Phare programme and is designed to promote cooperation between the border regions of central and eastern Europe and adjacent regions of the Community and other applicant countries of central and eastern Europe.


Commission Regulation (EC) No 2760/98 of 18 December 1998 concerning the implementation of a programme for cross-border cooperation in the framework of the Phare programme [See amending acts ].


This Regulation replaces Commission Regulation (EC) No 1628/94 of 4 July 1994 establishing the first cross-border cooperation programme and pursues similar aims, in particular economic development in the border regions of central and eastern European countries and greater convergence of their level of development with that of the European Union. It extends the programme's geographical scope and improves the way it works by increasing the number of projects of a typically cross-border nature and stepping up the pace of implementation. The programme must be conducted in coordination with the Community's structural policies and the Interreg programme. From 1 January 2007 it will be replaced by the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), which is a single financial framework for candidate countries (and for the potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans) for the period 2007-2013.

The borders eligible for this programme are those:

  • between Romania, on the one hand, and Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova and Serbia and Montenegro, on the other;
  • between Bulgaria, on the one hand, and Greece, Romania, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro, on the other.

The Regulation lays down the criteria for the distribution of funds between the recipient countries (population, GDP per capita and surface area of the regions concerned).

Projects funded by grants under this programme must have the following aims:

  • to promote cooperation between border regions in countries in central and eastern Europe and adjacent regions and thus to help them overcome their specific development problems;
  • to promote the creation and development of cooperation networks between border regions and the establishment of links between these networks and wider Community networks.

Actions eligible for funding under the cross-border cooperation programme include:

  • alleviation of the administrative and institutional obstacles to the free flow of persons, products or services across borders;
  • improvement of infrastructures and the provision of local water, gas and electricity supplies;
  • environmental protection;
  • agricultural and rural development;
  • measures in the fields of energy and transport aimed at the development of trans-European networks;
  • justice and home affairs;
  • promotion of business cooperation, enterprise development, financial cooperation and cooperation between institutions representing the business and industrial sector;
  • aid to investment and provision of supporting services and facilities;
  • training and employment measures;
  • local economic development;
  • measures to promote cooperation in health;
  • the development and establishment of facilities and resources to improve the flow of information and communications between border regions;
  • cultural exchanges;
  • local employment, education and training initiatives.

The last five categories may be financed only under a fund which may be established in each of the regions concerned. This fund will receive a limited percentage of the appropriations for the programme with a view to encouraging joint small-scale actions involving local actors from the border regions.

The Community contribution is provided in principle as a grant. Where the Community grant contributes to the financing of revenue-generating activities, the Commission may, in consultation with the authorities involved, provide for co-financing from project revenues or reimbursement of the initial grants.

As regards management, a Joint Cooperation Committee will be set up in each of the border regions consisting of representatives of the countries concerned and the Commission. It will prepare a joint cross-border programming document in a multiannual perspective, which will identify priorities and development strategies for the region and lay down provisions for their implementation. On the basis of this document, the Committee will draw up a common set of projects once a year. Recommendations for projects will be transmitted to the Commission by the government of the country in central and eastern Europe concerned.

On the basis of the joint cross-border programming document and project recommendations, the Commission will formulate a programme proposal for each border region. The amount of the grant for a given project will be established in accordance with the procedure laid down by Council Regulation (EEC) No 3906/89 of 18 December 1989 (Phare). That Regulation lays down the aid management procedures followed by the Commission. Wherever possible, joint monitoring structures will be set up to facilitate the implementation of the programmes.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 2760/98



OJ L 345 of 19.12.1998

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1596/2002



OJ L 240 of 07.09.2002

Regulation (EC) No 1822/2003



OJ L 267 of 17.10.2003


Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

This Regulation is intended to enhance coordination between the different aid components through the creation of a single framework for assistance: the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). This framework integrates the structure of all the pre-accession programmes (and the stabilisation and association process), including the cross-border cooperation programme.

Last updated: 24.01.2007