A total of 45 agreements, worth 1.2 euro million, on cross-border cooperation projects between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were handed to the beneficiaries at a ceremony held at Plitvice Lakes on Friday.
The documents were handed by EU Funds and Regional Development Minister Natasa Tramisak, who said that this cross-border cooperation programme regarding development projects in the social, utilities, environmental and cultural infrastructure contributed to the improvement of the living conditions of the Croats in the border area.
This also could help to turn around negative demographic trends in the border areas, she added.
In 2021, HRK 6 million (€800,000) was invested in those programmes and in 2022, the sum has increased to 9 million kuna.
The minister said that in 2023, the allocation would further rise to 17 million kuna (€2.3 million), due to a rising number of applications for this funding.
The head of the central state office for Croats living outside Croatia, Zvonko Milas, said at the ceremony that the programme was conducive to efforts to develop cooperation to the benefit of the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, their economic recovery, and to make sure that they can enjoy equality and their rights as a constituent people.
“We are one people, we live in the two countries, in the two homelands, we have our joint past, present and also the future,” said Milas.