INTERREG - IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Bulgaria – Turkey Programme (INTERREG-IPA CBC Bg-Tr Programme) 2014-2020:
This programme continues the evolution of the EU’s cross-border initiatives, reflected in the Bulgaria – Turkey IPA Cross-border Programme 2007 – 2013, External Border Initiative Programme and Phare Cross Border Co-operation Programme between Bulgaria and Turkey.
Overall aim of the programme is strengthening the Bulgaria-Turkey cross-border cooperation capacity in the field of nature protection and sustainable tourism, leading to enhancement of European territorial cohesion
The allocated fund for this programme is 29,642,894.12 Euro and 25,196,460 Euro of this amount will be provided by Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA II). Co-financing share of the approved budget for Bulgaria and Turkey is 15 % shared equally by two countries.
This programme is co-financed by the European Union through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance II and co- financed by Bulgaria and Turkey through contributions from state budgets and if applicable - from potential project beneficiaries. European Commission on 22.07.2015 (Decision No. C(2015) 5280). It sets out the general framework of intervention of IPA II in the Programme cross-border area.
The overall strategic goal of this Programme is to contribute directly to the EU and national strategic documents in line with the concept for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Smart growth is fostered amongst others through cooperative measure in the field of environment and low-carbon economy, as well as through activities in the field of tourism (measures in the area of natural and cultural heritage); strengthening the region’s youth – as backbone for future developments in the area, improving research and competitiveness and promoting R&D to mitigate brain drain are regarded as cross-cutting issues for synergies with the selected thematic priorities of the Programme.
Ministry for European Union Affairs conducts the operations regarding the administration and implementation of the Bulgaria-Turkey Cross Border Programme (Bg-Tr CBC Programme) under Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance for which the Ministry acts as the National Authority in Turkey.
Thematic Priorities of the Programme: In the new programming period, grants are going to be provided to the projects under the following thematic priorities;
1. Protecting the environment and promoting climate change adaptation and mitigation, risk prevention and management
2. Encouraging tourism and cultural and natural heritage.
Eligible Cross-border Area
The eligible cross-border co-operation area is determined in accordance with the IPA II rules set out in Regulation 231/2014 where only NUTS III regions (or respective equivalents) are eligible for cross-border co-operation programmes.
The eligible cross-border co-operation area includes the districts of Burgas, Yambol and Haskovo in Republic of Bulgaria and provinces of Edirne and Kırklareli in Republic of Turkey.
The area covers a territory of about 29 000 km² with total population of about 1,5 million inhabitants. Common Bulgarian – Turkish border stretches along 288 km and has 3 operating border crossing points.
Eligible NUTS III regions for Republic of Bulgaria:
- District of Burgas: 13 municipalities – Aitos, Burgas, Kameno, Karnobat, Malko Tarnovo, Nesebar, Pomorie, Primorsko, Ruen, Sozopol, Sredets, Sungurlare, Tsarevo;
- District of Yambol: 5 municipalities –Bolyarovo, Elhovo, Straldzha, Toundzha Yambol;
- District of Haskovo: 11 municipalities – Dimitrovgrad, Harmanli, Haskovo, Ivaylovgrad, Lyubimets, Madzharovo, Mineralni bani, Simeonovgrad, Stambolovo, Svilengrad, Topolovgrad.
Eligible NUTS III regions for Republic of Turkey:
- Province of Edirne: 9 districts - Edirne, Enez, Havsa, İpsala, Keşan, Lalapaşa, Meriç, Süloğlu, Uzunköprü;
- Province of Kırklareli: 8 districts – Babaeski, Demirköy, Kırklareli, Kofçaz, Lüleburgaz, Pehlivanköy, Pınarhisar, Vize.
The First Call for Proposals of INTERREG - IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Bulgaria – Turkey Call for proposal for the 2014-2020 period was launched on 16.11.2015 and Project proposals were received until 16.03.2016. The official ceremony for awarding of the first set of subsidy contracts under this programme was held on 21 March 2017 at the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works in Sofia, Bulgaria. The contracts were awarded by the Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works of Republic of Bulgaria – Mrs. Valentina Varbeva and the Director of “Financial cooperation” Directorate in the Ministry for EU Affairs of Republic of Turkey, Mrs. Beyza Turan.
In total 33 subsidy contracts, amounting to more than EUR 8 200 000, were awarded at the ceremony. The First draft of the Guidelines for applicants for the Second Call for project proposals under Interreg-IPA CBC Bulgaria - Turkey 2014-2020 Programme was published for public review. Potential applicants as well as other interested organizations and persons were invited to send their suggestions and comments on the application package by 07th of July 2017. The official Call for Proposals is going to be announced soon.
Bg-Tr CBC Programme 2007-2013: This programme had a budget of 32 million Euro for the years 2007-2013, and 27 million of this amount was provided from the EU budget while 4.8 million Euro was the contribution of both countries from their national budgets.
The overall strategic goal of the Bg-Tr CBC Programme was to achieve balanced sustainable development build upon the key strengths of the Bulgaria-Turkey cross-border co-operation area in contribution to stronger European co-operation and integrity.
Those projects contributing to boost sustainable economic development in the co-operation area and build on the comparative advantages, to improve overall social development and promote social cohesion among people and communities and to improve quality of life through the efficient use of shared natural resources as well as the protection of natural, cultural and historical heritage sites had been supported under the three Call for Proposals of the 2007-2013 Bg-Tr CBC Programme.
Under the scope of this Programme 143 projects had been contracted and 138 of these were completed as of 31.12.2016.