I SHG meeting for the CBR “Drina-Sava”, Brcko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 5th March 2013

The Mayors or their deputies from 17 Municipalities from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia confirmed their heir willingness and readiness for participation in the process of mutual cooperation and joint actions for development of the “DRINA-SAVA” cross-border region.

The ceremony for signing of the Memorandum of Understanding took place on the 5st of March 2013 in Hotel “Jelena” in Brcko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event was hosted by D-r Ante Domic, the Mayor of Brcko. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the participants were welcomed by Mr. Dusan Neskovic, Assistant to the Minister and SWG Delegate.

The aim of the MoU is to promote the mutual understanding and cooperation among the stakeholders as well as the regional ownership of the actions to be implemented in function to sustainable economic growth of the concerned cross-border regions and they express the willingness and readiness for participation in the process of mutual cooperation and joint actions for development of the cross-border regions.

This document is a result of the previous activities realized within the scope of preparations for implementation of the Area Based Development Approach (ABDA) in the Western Balkan countries; Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between participating municipalities and cities from the four (4) selected cross-border regions were prepared.

The participants were introduced with the concept of Area Based Development (ABD) Approach and with the Baseline Study and Strategic Framework for economic development of this region.

After the presentations, the 1st Meeting of the Stakeholder’s Group was held.

DRINA-SAVA Region is among the four (4) vulnerable cross-border areas of the Western Balkans, where the application of the concept of ABDA can help to overcome development barriers and limitations. The region was selected by the SWG Assembly.

Geographically, the area is positioned in the north-east of Croatia (eastern Slavonia), the north-west of Serbia (south-west Vojvodina and north-west Central Serbia) and north-east Bosnia and Herzegovina (Semberija). In total 17 municipalities, five from Croatia and Serbia and 7 from Bosnia and Herzegovina are representing the region.

The Baseline Study and Strategic Framework for economic development and cross-border cooperation implementing the Area Based Development Approach (ABDA) was prepared by the SWG in close cooperation with the stakeholders from the CB regions and was financed by the European Commission. At the same time, structures for local participation in the ABDA process, through the Stakeholder Group representing local authorities, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and business sector have been created.

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