During the period of Croatia’s accession to the EU, national ministries and agencies first met with the independent management of EU funds and the opening of larger amounts of funding to the regional and local level through cross-border cooperation programs (2007-2013). There was a need to develop knowledge and procedures in the relevant ministry and counties and to help their agencies to start project realization.
Over a period of 2 years, Apsolon’s experts supported institutions in developing strategic programs for cooperation with neighboring countries and shaping procedures for joint management of cross-border cooperation programs. In order to establish the system, a plan of organization, employment, and education of persons engaged in joint technical secretariats of the program was prepared, and experts and lecturers at the regional level were trained.
Six cross-border programs have been prepared and procedures and documents for their implementation have been developed. Three joint technical secretariats were established and 10 persons who still work in them were trained, directing users of funds over a period of 7 years. A group of 30 regional experts has been trained and 10 years later, they are the cornerstones of the use of EU funds in their counties, leading people of the regional development agencies and heads of EU departments. Cross-border cooperation programs brought Croatian organizations over € 110 million over 7 years of implementation.