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History of cooperation

The Cross-border Cooperation Programme Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2007-2013, under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), continues and broadens the cooperation in the border zone areas of the three countries, which was previously developed by the Neighbourhood Programme Poland-Belarus-Ukraine INTERREG III A/Tacis CBC 2004–2006 (Neighbourhood Programme).

The Polish ministry responsible for regional development managed the Neighbourhood Programme and its Joint Technical Secretariat was established in Poland. All stages of the management and implementation of the Neighbourhood Programme were conducted in close cooperation with the Belarusian and Ukrainian partners. In spite of differences in the financing of projects from ERDF and Tacis funds, a number of joint activities and enterprises of a visibly cross-border character were undertaken successfully in the programme area. The ENPI envisages the establishment of a cross-border cooperation programme under which the participating countries are subject to the same rules and have equal access to a single, shared budget.

The Neighbourhood Programme supported joint activities in numerous fields under three priorities: competitiveness of the border area through the modernisation and development of the cross-border infrastructure, human capital and institutional crossborder cooperation including security at the European Union’s borders, and technical assistance.

The ERDF budget consisted of three priorities:

Priority 1

Increasing the competitiveness of the border area through modernisation and
development of the cross-border infrastructure - 21 477 930 EUR

Priority 2

Developing the human capital and institutional cross-border cooperation
including security at the European Union’s borders - 14 068 619 EUR

Priority 3

Technical Assistance - 2 272 321 EUR

In the case, of the Tacis CBC Programme, the funds were not divided into particular priorities.
The Project, implemented under the Programme could last up to 24 months, with 1 000 000 EUR maximum founding. The ERDF projects were covered with the 75% founding of eligible costs. The Tacis CBC projects could be co-financed up to 90% of the eligible costs. Only Polish applicants could apply for the ERDF co-financing. The Tacis CBC Programme was available for Polish, Belarusian and Ukrainian beneficiaries. All activities realized within the TACIS CBC projects, had to be implemented in Belarus or Ukraine. The financial support was given only to non-commercial activities in the eligible area.

The JTS in Warsaw had received 776 applications, and almost half of them (46%, 358 projects) had passed the technical assessment and evaluation. Unfortunately, due to the limited financing of the Programme, it was impossible to give the financial support to all of the applicants, recommended by experts. The Steering Committee approved 164 projects to be co-financed. 

In Total, 158 projects were fully implemented (without additional contracting in 2009). The most of them was co-financed under the EFRD (139 projects). There were also 13 projects, implemented under the Tacis CBC Programme and 6 shared projects (co-financed under both EFRD and Tacis CBC).

The largest group of beneficiaries consisted of local authorities. Also cultural centres, schools, headquarters of the state fire services, research centres, state forests’ and national roads’ holdings and non-governmental organizations (associations and foundations) were present among the Programme beneficiaries.

The first two calls were dominated mostly by large scale projects (modernizing of communicational infrastructure, environmental protection and the tourism infrastructure development). That caused the run out of the financial sources predicted for implementing Projects with the Priority I in April 2006. The third call was addressed only to ‘soft-projects’(mostly on the field of culture, research and development of the entrepreneurship in the border area), implemented under measure 2.1. During the last fourth call the applicants could apply for implementing projects under all measures. However, because of the small number of financial sources under the thirst priority, it was decided to approve only non-investment projects to be co-financed (such as studies and development strategies, technical documentations, feasibility studies as well as environmental assessment reports for the future investments).