Cross border cooperation policy is about establishing links across national boundaries to enable joint approaches to common problems and opportunities. The present Programme constitutes a set of proposals for the interventions envisaged under the terms of the cross border cooperation of European Territorial Cooperation for the period 2014-2020 and the IPA II specific objectives on the regional integration and territorial cooperation involving EU Member States and IPA II beneficiary countries. The Interreg IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Programme “Greece – Albania 2014-2020” has been approved by the European Commission decision C(2015) 5482 final of 30th July 2015.
As the successor to the IPA Cross-Border Programme “Greece – Albania 2007-2013” it will attempt to capitalize on the experience gained and the lessons learned by the participants and the implementing structures in order to bring cooperation to a new level.
The global objective of the programme is “to find the balance between sustainable regional development and enhancement of cross-border cooperation among local population & regional institutions, in accordance with EU & national policies, in order to address common challenges through joint interventions”.
2.2 Regions participating in the Interreg IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Programme “Greece – Albania 2014-2020”
The eligible cross-border area spreads from the Ionian Sea to the Prespa lakes, and includes:
the Regional Units of Grevena, Kastoria, Florina, Arta, Thesprotia, Ioannina, Preveza, Zakynthos, Kerkyra, Kefallinia and Lefkada in Greece, and
the Region of Vlorë, the Region of Gjirokastër, the Region of Korçë and the Region of Berat in Albania.
Beneficiaries from the Regional Unit of Kozani in Greece, will also be eligible as per the flexibility rule as stipulated in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 447/2014, Art. 44, paragraph 2b, “the total amount allocated under the Cross Border Cooperation Programme to operations located outside the Programme area does not exceed the 20% of the support from the Union at Programme level”. Programme & Project Manual of the Interreg IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Programme “Greece-Albania 2014-2020”
The eligible cross border area is determined in accordance to the IPA II rules set out in Regulation (EU) No 231/2014 where only Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) III regions are eligible for cross-border cooperation programmes referred to in point (a) of Article 27, without prejudice to potential adjustments needed to ensure the coherence and continuity with 2007-2013 programs.
The eligible cross- border area covers an area of 28,526 km² (17.445 km2 for Greece cross- border area and 11.081 km2 for Albania cross- border area) with a total population of 1,339,804 inhabitants (729.687 inhabitants for Greece cross- border area and 610.117 inhabitants for Albania cross- border area) (census data of 2011).
|Table 1: Eligible Area TABLE 1: ELIGIBLE AREA|
|NUTS level III regions (or equivalent regions in the non-MS) covered by the cross-border cooperation programme|| 11 GREEK REGIONAL UNITS:
4 ALBANIAN REGIONS:
The Programme cross- border eligible area is illustrated on the map below:
Map 1: Greece-Albania 2014 – 2020 eligible area