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General information

The implementation of the current CBC Programme will be financed by the new "European Territorial Cooperation" objective through the IPA Fund and co-financed by Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia through contributions from state budgets. The resulting single pot of money will have to be spent according to a single set of rules and on the basis of a common benefit approach which requires the involvement of joint programming and management structures. Thus IPA will promote enhanced cooperation and progressive economic integration and coherence between EU and candidate countries.

The programming document drafted jointly by the two countries through a large partnership with national, regional and local stakehloders was approved by the European Commission on 14 December 2007. It sets out the general framework of intervention of IPA in the Programme cross-border area.

The eligible area for the CBC Programme between Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia covers a territory of 18 736 sq. km with total population of 1 065 605 people. The overall borderline length is 165 km.

The border area of Bulgaria comprises the districts of Blagoevgrad and Kyustendil (NUTS III), covering 9 501 sq. km (8.6% of the total country territory) and with population of 486 291 people (6.3% of the total country population). It consists of 23 municipalities (NUTS IV) and 462 settlements:

  • District of Blagoevgrad: 14 municipalities - Bansko, Belica, Blagoevgrad, Gotce Delchev, Garmen, Kresna, Petrich, Razlog, Sandanski, Satovcha, Simitli, Strumiani, Hadjidimovo, Yakoruda;
  • District of Kyustendil: 9 municipalities - Bobovdol, Boboshevo, Dupnitza, Kocherinovo, Kyustendil, Nevestino, Rila, Sapareva Banya, Trekliano.

The border area of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia comprises the North-East, the East and the South-East NUTS III statistical regions covering 9 235 sq. km (35,9 % of the total country territory) and with population of 579 314 people (28.6 % of the total country population). It consists of 29 municipalities (NUTS IV), including 641 settlements:

  • North-East region: 6 municipalities - Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Rankovce, Kumanovo, Lipkovo and Staro Nagoricane;
  • South-East region: 10 municipalities - Valandovo, Gevgelija, Bogdanci, Dojran, Radovis, Konce, Strumica, Bosilovo, Vasilevo and Novo Selo;
  • East region: 11 municipalities - Berovo, Pehcevo, Vinica, Kocani, Cesinovo - Oblesevo, Zrnovci, Probistip, Stip, Karbinci, Delcevo, Makedonska Kamenica.

The programme for cross-border cooperation presents a coherent and effective response to the constraints and weaknesses of the region and defines suitable strategies for a common future development of the border region on the basis of the experiences of the last programming period and the conclusions from the regional analysis. The strategy includes an overall strategic objective of the programme and identifies specific objectives to be reached by the measures under the chosen priority axes of the programme.

The global objective of the regional co-operation across sectors and administrative units that has to be reached by the definition of the Programme is:

Sustainable Development in the Border Region in Support of the WiderEuropean Cooperation and Integration Efforts.

In order to increase the efficiency of the interventions, the programme intends to concentrate the funds on a limited number of strategically selected specific objectives with promising growth potentials and opportunities for development: