People living in five border regions in Greece and four regions in FYROM will benefit from a new EU supported cross border program adopted on Friday, August 7, by the European Commission. The “Interreg IPA” program, is worth more than 45 million euros, with a contribution from the European Union of nearly 39 million euros from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
The five regions in Greece involved in the Interreg IPA CBC Greece-FYROM program are Florina, Pella, Kilkis, Serres and Thessaloniki. The regions in FYROM involved are Pelagonia, Vardar, Southeast and Southwest.
The main priorities of the program include the development and support of local economy and the protection of the environment – transportation.
According to an announcement by the Commission, the program will help create jobs, improve public transport and healthcare as well as protecting the environment and the regions’ natural heritage.
The program will also help the regions work together to promote tourism in the cross border area and create new jobs in the sector. Investments will also be focused on upgrading public infrastructure to improve travel time.
Environmental measures to be taken under the program will support sustainable waste management as well as protecting ecosystems and biodiversity. The program will also help to prevent, mitigate and manage the risk of natural disasters.
“Our cross border programs provide both concrete measures to improve the quality of life and offer new economic opportunities and jobs to people living in the border regions of the European Union and its neighbors”, Corina Cretu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, said.
“These programs are an opportunity for regions to find common solutions to shared challenges.”
The program is managed by the Greek Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism.