The Webinar - workshop on cross-border cooperation jointly organized by LDA Subotica and LDA Knjazevac within the EU funded project Regional Youth Compact for Europe encouraged discussion and exchange about the role of Local governments, Regional Development Agencies and CSOs in Cross-border cooperation.
Bojana Lanc from the Regional Development Agency RDA Srem and Dragan Milutinovic from the Regional Development Agency for Eastern Serbia RARIS presented examples of local community development through improving the concept of regional development within cross-border cooperation programmes, focusing on Croatia-Serbia and Bulgaria-Serbia programmes.
Examples of sustainable local development through the use of EU funds from IPA cross-border cooperation programmes were presented to better connect border areas, improve socio-economic development of local communities, increase youth employment, strengthen cultural ties with neighbors and promote social cohesion.
The importance of cross-border programmes was also emphasized in terms of opportunities for professional development of young people, through project management and their preparation.
On the other hand, some of the main challenges in the implementation of the IPA CBC programmes are problems with co-financing and pre-financing, problems in communicating with the interested public, lack of strategic documents and action plans, but also language barriers and human resources.
Despite these challenges, it was agreed that cross-border cooperation programs offer invaluable opportunities for the development of border regions, in terms of infrastructure, tourism, environmental protection, but also cultural, business, educational, research ties on both sides of the border.