While the overall objective of the project is to enhance good neighbourly relations and prosperity in the Western Balkans through improved cooperation between border regions, the project purpose is to enhance regional coordination and harmonisation of approaches and mechanisms in the field of cross-border cooperation at intra-Western Balkan borders in line with EU frameworks and guidelines in the area of territorial cooperation and support a smooth transition from IPA I to IPA II and later IPA II to IPA III.
Paving the way for harmonious regional policies
Regular regional coordination meetings provide opportunities for exchange of experience, good practices and knowledge, facilitating common problem solving and the creation of synergies, partnerships and networks across countries, cultures, borders and thematic sectors.
CBIB+ phase 4 keeps on supporting the organisation of CBC Regional Consultative Forums, that is, a platform for permanent dialogue between the WB Region and the European Commission. It ensures the inclusive participation of relevant stakeholders for a better understanding of joint challenges and the application of common solutions. This ultimately has an empowering impact, increasing CBC programme ownership and sustainability. Under the auspices of the Forums, CBIB+ phase 4 mentors topic-oriented technical working groups offering solutions to concrete challenges in programme implementation.
Ensuring a long-lasting empowerment effect on stakeholders
Project capacity building efforts are aimed at both national and joint structures, responsible for programme management and implementation. CBIB+ phase 3 seeks to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the IPA CBC programmes 2014-2020, to simplify the access to available funds and safeguard their sound usage. The following advisory actions are therefore implemented:
- preparation of guidelines/manuals
- delivery of targeted tailor-made training workshops
- organisation of specific, purpose driven exchanges of staff
- flexible mechanism for coping with the provision of demand-driven technical expertise
- promotion of linkages with other EU-funded initiatives in the field of territorial cooperation.
Impact on the life of citizens as ultimate goal
Experience with CBC programme implementation in the WB has been growing fast and it is now necessary and appropriate to fully exploit it. This knowledge has to be assessed and compared with the achievements of ETC. CBIB+ phase 4 is thus engaged in the preparation of a capitalisation platform. Furthermore, a WB IPA II CBC monitoring is set in order to establish systematic data collection and result/impact measurement. The capitalisation platform and WB IPA II CBC monitoring system will enable us to catch those changes the programmes have made in the life of citizens.
Simple e-tools to ease the access to and the knowledge about EU funds
In order to promote best practice culture, cross-fertilisation of experience, facilitate knowledge sharing, management and implementation of CBC programmes and projects in line with EU standards and IPA requirements in a simplified, but at the same time harmonised manner throughout the region, the following e-tools will continue to be available: e-library, e-forums, database of best practice project examples.
Making CBC visible in WB and beyond
The capacity building efforts are complemented with horizontal, cross-cutting activities on information dissemination that ensure professional communication and visibility of CBC programmes within the WB region itself, but also beyond its borders. The following communication tools have been developed: website, the newsletter Yellow&Blue, regular e-flash news, discussion forums and social media, researches and studies, various booklets and leaflets.