The Kick-off conference on the occasion of the announcement of the 2nd Call for Proposals within the IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Program Montenegro – Kosovo 2014-2020 was held on 29 January 2019 in Prishtina.
The Head of the Operating Structure of Kosovo in the Ministry of Local Government Administration of the Republic of Kosovo, Rozafa Ukmeraj, welcomed the participants and emphasized that the cooperation between Montenegro and Kosovo started since 2010 and that there are concrete results of this cooperation today. She thanked the Operating Structures, the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, the European Union Office in Kosovo and the Joint Technical Secretariat, who put their efforts to achieve these results. She encouraged all potential applicants to consider establishment of the joint projects with municipalities and municipal institutions that are part of the Programme as they guarantee greater sustainability of projects after completion of implementation. Accordingly, she shared her expectation that also other potential applicants will apply within this CfP.
Vučić Četković, Head of the Operating Structure of Montenegro, stressed the importance of cross-border cooperation with Kosovo and expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the 2nd Call for Proposals within the IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Montenegro – Kosovo 2014-2020 is being promoted today. He assessed that good cooperation between these two countries resulted in contracting of seven projects within the 1st CfP amounting 2.02 million euro. He reminded the participants that within the First Call, a total of 75 project proposals were submitted with a request for 10 times more funds than those that were available, which showed the need and interest of potential beneficiaries on both sides of the border to jointly implement projects that will contribute to improving the standards and quality of people’s lives in the border area, which is also one of the basic objectives of the programme. He informed the participants that this Call is focused on two thematic priorities related to employment, labour mobility and social and cultural inclusion on both sides of the border, as well as the promotion of tourism and cultural and natural heritage, with total available funds of 2.04 million euros, as well as that the deadline for submission of the proposals is 15 April 2019.
On this occasion, Agron Hoti, representative of NIPAC office in the Ministry of European Integration of Kosovo, thanked all participants for their interest and expressed his hope that the trend of high interest of potential applicants will continue. He expects that within this call, there will be successful project ideas and projects that will be sustainable and that will bring benefits to the citizens living in the cross-border area.
On behalf of the Office of the European Union in Kosovo, Luigi Brusa, head of the Department for Cooperation Section, praised the continuing success of Montenegro in bilateral programmes, as this is already the third published CfP in a row within the new financial perspective. He added that it is particularly praiseworthy progress, bearing in mind that the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro, in cooperation with the European Integration Office, works to contract European funds in indirect management. He stressed that the Ministry of Local Government Administration of the Republic of Kosovo has been proved to be a successful partner and that there is good cooperation between the two countries. He informed the participants that the European Union for the 2014 – 2020 perspective has allocated EUR 8.4 million for support and projects within this Programme for thematic priorities related to employment, tourism and environmental protection.
After introductory speeches, Sanja Todorović, head of the Joint Technical Secretariat, briefly presented objectives, available funds, as well as the general rules for application within the Second call for Proposals.
The conference was attended in total by 119 participants from both side of the border representing Operating structures, municipalities and local and national institutions and enterprises, educational institutions, civil society sector and media.