Each year, more applications are being submitted by Bosnian and Herzegovinian organizations and institutions for the available EU programmes, providing the country with the opportunity to improve cooperation and strengthen the sectors of culture, education, research and innovations, entrepreneurship and many others.
With the aim to present the opportunities available through EU programmes, the EU Info Centre organized four Info Days “From an Idea to Reality” in Banja Luka, Mostar, Tuzla and Sarajevo in cooperation with Creative Europe Desk BiH and Ministries of Justice and Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“EU programmes encompass many areas and sectors, including education, culture, research and democratic principles, all very important policies of the European Union. They aim to build and develop the capacities of organizations and provide funds and ideas for further growth of BiH. It is important that BiH, as a potential candidate country, has the opportunity to benefit from these programmes, which were in the beginning only available for EU member states. It is a big opportunity to receive additional funds, on top of those already committed by the EU, and to promote cooperation through projects with member states,” said Nicolas Bizel, Head of Operations Section for Justice and Home Affairs and Public Administration Reform of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Through the presentation of Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens and Horizon 2020, national contact points for the programmes, Aida Kalender, Goran Kučera and Dalibor Drljača highlighted the importance of preparedness for the application process so that the BiH organizations and institutions are capable to successfully compete for the funds. The contact points noted that significant results have already been achieved, but that there are many more opportunities, especially considering the upcoming funding period 2021-2027 during which funds for majority of programmes will be increased.
“In order to participate, BiH needs to sign the Memorandum of Understanding and pay an annual entry fee, which is being co-funded from the IPA programme. It is important that the country signs the next Memorandum in time for the next funding period so that the projects can run smoothly and more funds can be attracted. The importance of participation in Creative Europe is enormous for the culture sector in BiH, it is our window into the world of culture,” remarked Kalender.
By participating in EU programmes, Bosnia and Herzegovina has had the opportunity to familiarize with different EU policies and priorities, work of the EU institutions and their practical implementation. Participation in EU programmes and lessons learned have proved to be very useful to candidate and potential candidate countries as part of their preparation for utilizing available EU funds.