Ipa adriatic Cross-Border Programme




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IPA Adriatic Cross-Border Programme
Cross-border cooperation, represents traditional tool of the European Union segregating joint activities and achieving common objectives important to all beneficiary countries in the programme. In that light, the European Union is distributing funds aimed at cooperation strengthening in the area of economic and social development, environmental protection, natural and cultural heritage, fight against organized crime, provision of security and efficiency of border, etc. Those activities are completed in accordance with the „joint interest principle“according to which the neighboring countries have joint programmes, managing structures, as well as joint participation in project co-financing.
As for the number of participants, cross-border programmes may be bilateral or multilateral. In Montenegro, cross-border activities are covered by the second component ot the Pre-accession Instrument support (IPA), through the following four bilateral programmes (Montenegro – Serbia, Montenegro – Croatia, Montenegro – Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro - Albania); two transnational programmes (South East European Space (SEES) and Mediterranean programme), as well as through the IPA Adriatic cross-border program. IPA Adriatic cross-border program is a special program against other programmes, because eits implementation is done differently, i.e., shared management principle.
IPA Adriatic cross-border program 2007-2013 (hereinafter referred to as: the „Program“) was approved by the European Commission on 25th March 2008, as the follow up of the New Adriatic Neighboring Programme INTERREG IIIA and its financed through the IPA funds, with the objective of supporting accession process of candidate and potential candidate countries for the European Union membership. The basic objective of this programme is to improve cooperation between Adriatic countries, enabling them to define joint objectives and to undertake joint activities aimed at promoting sustainable development of their territories. Apart from aforementioned, the objective of the programme is to enable candidate and potential candidate countries to become more familiar with the rules of the Community, as well as application procedures.
The programme includes three member states (Italy, Greece and Slovenia); one candidate country (Croatia), as well as potential candidate countries (Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Aforementioned countries are fulfilling the territorial acceptability criteria, since each of them is exiting the Adriatic sea.


Objectives, priorities and measures of the IPA Adriatic Programme
The Strategy is foreseen in the general objective of the programme which is defined in the following manner:
Strengthening sustainable development possibilities of the Adriatic region through harmonized activity strategy among partners of acceptable territory.
The general objective is defined in a manner providing assistance to countries which are in the accession process, in the area of institutional building and ability to manage the European Union instruments. Moreover, through the programme strategy, objectives of the cohesion and regional policy of the EU are met, as well as creation of new types of integration and creating links between territories that will contribute the increase in competitiveness of the whole Adriatic region.
There are specific goals originating from general objective of the programme, so called priorities. The Adriatic programme has four following priorities:

Table 1. Review of priorities and measures within the Programme



IPA Adriatic Cross-border programme

Priority 1

Economic, social and cultural cooperation

Priority 2

Natural and cultural resources and risk prevention

Priority 3

Accessibility and network

Priority 4

Technical assistance

Measure 1.1 –

Research and innovation




Measure 2.1 –

Protection and improvement of sea and costal area



Measure 3.1-

Physical infrastructure




Measure 4.1 –

Administration and management




Measure 1.2 –

Financial support for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises



Measure 2.2 –

Natural and cultural resources management and prevention of natural and technological risks



Measure 3.2 –

Sustainable mobility system




Measure 4.2 –

Information, publicity and evaluation



Measure 1.3 –

Social, health and labor networks



Measure 2.3 –

Energy saving and renewable energy sources




Measure 3.3 –

Communication network







Measure 1.4 –

Institutional cooperation



Measure 2.4 –

Sustainable tourism











IPA Adriatic programme management structures
In the IPA Adriatic programme, following bodies have the leading role: Managing Authority - MA, Certifying Authority – CA and Audit Authority - AA. These bodies, established on the basis of the requirements set forth in the IPA Implementing Regulation (hereinafter referred to as: the “IPA IR“), are functioning on the principle of segregation of functions and they are haven’t hierarchal links in implementation of activities.
Apart from aforementioned bodies, having segregated functions there are following structures in the programme: Joint Monitoring Committee - JMC, Joint Steering Committee – JSC and Joint Technical Secretariat - JTS, carrying out activities on the different accountability level under the coordination of Managing Authority.
Managing Authority- MA is responsible for the programme management and implementation, while the Certifying Authority –CA is responsible for approval of implementation expenses and payments. Certifying Authority is responsible for receiving funds by the European Commission and further transfer to end users, through the lead partner. The Audit Authority – AA, is responsible for the functioning of the management and control system. The place of business of these three most important bodies of the programme is in Italy in Aquila.
Joint Monitoring Committee - JMC, together with the MA, is conducting evaluation of project effectiveness and implementation quality. Pursuant to the articles 110 and 111. IPA IR, the responsibility of the JMC includes, primarily: review and approval of criteria for the selection of activity to be finances, approval of the call for the submission of the bids, periodic checks over the progress in realizing specific objectives of the programme, verification of the implementation results against set objectives, review and approval of the report on implementation, approval of strategic project proposals, review and approval of the proposal on amendments to the programme, development of the draft rulebook on procedures of its work in accordance with institutional, legal and financial frameworks of beneficiary countries, etc.

JMC is composed of the representatives of central, i.e. local authority of beneficiary countries. Apart from these countries, the JMC member, on advisory basis, is the representative of the European Commission. Moreover, the representatives if the partnership for the environmental protection, as well as economic and social partnership, participate as observes in the work of JMC.


Joint Steering Committee-JSC, carries out evaluation of the project proposals submitted by the JMC in its report, in the form of project list, ranked in accordance with previously set criteria. In conduct of operation, prescribed by the article 110. IPA IR, JSC is using the support of the JTS. As already mentioned, project evaluation is carried out on the basis of determined criteria that may be presented in the following manner: objectivity, transparency, professionalism, analysis and review of information submitted in the application. The selection and appointing of the members of the JSC is done by the JMC. However, JSC may be composed of the JMC members, with the help of external experts, if necessary.

Joint Technical Secretariat-JTS, with the place of business in Aquila, was established by the MA, with the agreement of the countries participating the programme. Its main task is to provide the support to other bodies in the programme, in conduct of operations for its area of competence.




Financial Plan
The following Table indicates the Financial Plan, showing the allocation of funds available up to 200, according to priorities:
Table 2. Financial allocation and funding sources according to priorities (2007-2009)1

Priority

Community contribution (85%)

National financing (15%)

Total financing

I

27.132.341

4.788.060

31.920.401,33

II

27.132.341

4.788.060

31.920.401,33

III

27.132.341

4.788.060

31.920.401,33

IV

9.044.114

1.596.020

10.640.134,00







Ukupno

106.401.338

The contribution of the European Union for financing of each project within the first three priorities, will amount to 85% of total value of the project, while the amount of 15% will be covered from national public funds, win relation to the member states, or by beneficiary in relation to the candidate/potential candidate countries.


The exception to the rule is the forth priority related to the technical assistance to the structures performing programme implementation and programme monitoring. For this priority should provide 15% of co-financing, originating exclusively from public funds, excluding the possibility of private sources co-financing.
Preparation, selection and project implementation
Acceptable projects in the Adriatic programme are considered projects which include at least one partner from the member state and at least one partner from the candidate country, or potential candidate country. The programme is implemented through two types of projects, i.e. common and strategic projects.
Common projects, represent the most important type for cooperation implementation. Each common project related to strictly defined measure within a priority. Unlike strategic projects where the amount of funds is significantly higher, common projects are allocated with lower amounts. The value of common projects usually ranges from 0.5 to 5 million €, whereas the longest implementation period may be 36. when using allocated funds, beneficiaries must bear in mind that the maximum amount for which they are entitled to, is in the amount of 60% of the total value of the project, while the minimum amount which can be available amounts to 100.000 €.
Strategic projects differ form common ones, because they can cover several measures and priorities, this type of projects are featured by the high level of co-financing and the intention to upgrade and generate the networks of participants conducting activities of general interest, long implementation deadline with active participation of highly –qualitative partners. The value of strategic projects, ranges from 5 to 12,5 million €. However, in order to provide adequate funds for realization of certain project, maximum value for strategic projects may increase on the basis of the Decision adopted by the Joint Monitoring Committee.
As for common projects, Managing Authority is publishing the call for the submission of financial bids. The call for the submission of proposals for common projects is done on the basis of priorities and comprises higher number of boxes related to one or several measures. Following the gathering of project proposals, on the basis of evaluation results, the ranking list is generated on the basis of which projects will be financed up to allocating total amounts of funds distributed for concrete call.
The procedure of selecting strategic partner is somewhat different. On the basis of the programme and appropriate legal solutions, strategic projects are divided into strategic projects selected on the basis of the call for the submission of bids and projects described in the article 95, IPA IR, providing possibility for finding joint activities for funding, regardless the call for the submission of bids.
Beneficiaries, partnerships and expenditure acceptability
In order to be eligible for the funds prescribed by the Adriatic programme, potential beneficiaries must have the legal status of public or private entity. Apart from aforementioned, it is necessary that they have signed partnership agreement, to appoint project leaders, as well as to have registered office on acceptable territory of the programme, during the whole duration of the programme. Apart from aforementioned, potential beneficiaries must fullfil conditions on the absebnce of conflict of interest, the absence of criminal proceedings against them, that they are not charged of submitting incorrect or uncompleted information required by the European Commission, etc.
In order to accept the partnership, each project must have at least one partner form the candidate country, or potential candidate country, and one partner from the member state, the exception to this rule is the cooperation between Greece and Albania and Slovenia and Croatia which are covered by other cooperation programmes.
Ob the basis of the rules set forth in the IPA IR, acceptable revenues are revenues paid between 1st January 2007 and 31st December of the third year following the last budgetary liability, for activities or part of activities implemented in the member states, which were realized following the signing of Financial Agreement for activities or part of activities implemented in beneficiary countries.
As already mentioned in the introduction part of the document, the IPA Adriatic programme is a continuation of the New Adriatic Neighboring programme INTERREG IIIA, through which Montenegro completed 11 projects.

Development of instruction for potential beneficiaries within the IPA Adriatic programme 2007-2013 is under implementation, and the publication of the first call for the submission of proposals of common projects is planned by the end of July of the current year. Following the development of aforementioned instruction, potential beneficiaries on the territory of Montenegro, will have more information and guidelines for their project proposals and selection of partners.


Mr. Milorad Samardžić, Independent Advisor III

Ms. Katarina Živković, Independent Advisor II
CFCU

1 EC Regulation No. 1085/2006 as of 17th July 2006.





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