EU-funded projects for cooperation between Montenegro and Kosovo

Kosovo-Montenegro cooperation

Cross-border cooperation between various institutions and organizations from Montenegro and Kosovo, with financial backing from the European Union, has led to the successful execution of projects aimed at enhancing the quality of life for citizens in the region. These efforts are set to continue under the IPA III program framework.

Shared challenges and opportunities

During the Final Conference of the IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Program Montenegro–Kosovo 2014-2020, held in Pristina, Montenegro’s Minister of European Affairs, Maida Gorčević, highlighted the significance of collaboration within this program, emphasizing its ability to address shared challenges across borders.

“Under the IPA II program from 2014 to 2020, a total of 24 projects spanning employment, social inclusion, environmental protection, climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, and tourism development received support totaling over €9 million,” Gorčević stated. “I am optimistic that our cooperation will intensify further in the future, enabling Montenegro and Kosovo to leverage additional European funds through joint projects.”

Neighborly relations

Elbert Krasniqi, Minister of Local Government Administration of the Republic of Kosovo, described the cooperation between Montenegro and Kosovo as a success story in fostering interstate and neighborly relations.

“The Cross-Border Cooperation Program Montenegro—Kosovo 2014-2020 has undoubtedly contributed to improving standards and quality of life in the program area through sustainable economic, environmental, and social development, while respecting common cultural and natural heritage,” Krasniqi remarked. “I express gratitude to all partners for their successful project implementations and encourage ongoing coordination and cooperation to achieve even greater impacts in cross-border areas.”

Alessandro Bianciardi, Deputy Head of the Cooperation section at the EU office in Kosovo, underscored the program’s effectiveness in addressing common challenges and leveraging development opportunities across borders.

“The EU’s cross-border programs in the Western Balkans, including the cooperation between Montenegro and Kosovo, have proven to be highly effective support mechanisms, yielding tangible benefits for social, economic, and territorial development in the region,” Bianciardi commented.

“Through investments in employment, environment, tourism, and cultural heritage, these programs foster stronger ties among neighboring nations, demonstrating the EU’s commitment to a united, prosperous, and peaceful Europe.”

As part of the Final Conference, a Bilateral Agreement between Montenegro and the Republic of Kosovo was signed, outlining cooperation within the IPA III Program for Cross-Border Cooperation Montenegro–Kosovo 2021-2027. This agreement was signed by Montenegro’s Minister of European Affairs, Maida Gorčević, and the First Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration, Development, and Dialogue of the Republic of Kosovo, Besnik Bislimi.

For the new IPA III Program for Cross-Border Cooperation Montenegro–Kosovo 2021-2027, €8.4 million from EU funds have been allocated. This program will support projects focusing on employment, social inclusion, particularly for vulnerable groups, as well as initiatives promoting tourism and cultural and natural heritage.

The announcement of the First Call for Proposals under the new program is anticipated later this year, as disclosed during the conference.”