European Cooperation Days

The European Cooperation Day is an event dedicated to promoting territorial cooperation in Europe. It highlights positive results of projects implemented throughout different regions and different countries. The European Cooperation Day takes place as a local event in which the community can see first-hand how cooperating across borders improves life in and around Europe.

The European Cooperation Day is organized every year around 21 September. Hundreds of cross-border celebrations are organized every year by Interreg programmes both in EU and neighbouring countries, with the joint idea to share borders and bring our neighbours together.

The Managing Authority and Joint Secretariat are celebrating the European Cooperation Days every year. So far, we organized European Cooperation Days in Skradin (HR), Šibenik (HR) and Herceg Novi (MNE). Scroll down for more information on past celebrations. 

More info on the European Cooperation Day initiative can be found on the website


EC DAY 2022

The European Cooperation Day 2022 was celebrated on 30 September 2022 at High school Neum (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Programme organized this year’s celebration under the slogan „Youth in cooperation“ so the entire celebration was intended for the younger generation.
European Cooperation Day is dedicated to promoting and increasing the visibility of territorial cooperation across Europe and this year’s motto “Youth in cooperation” emphasized the role of young people in local communities and the region.
The theme of the event was sports and physical activities, so an interesting programme was prepared for the students of Neum High School and representatives of Managing Authority, Joint Secretariat and National Authorities, as they all competed in the “Games without borders”. The idea behind this year’s slogan was to provide an excellent opportunity for the students who participated, to gain insight into the importance of European youth for building a better future:
  • greener,
  • more inclusive and
  • more digital.
Besidies having fun and competitions in sports, this was an excellent occasion to see opportunities such as to learn, to share their vision, to meet people and participate in activities across Europe, which joint cooperation, Interreg and EU offers. We hope that we encouraged young people by giving them an insight into the fruitful cooperation between our three countries.

EC DAY 2021

The 10th edition of the European Cooperation Day was marked and celebrated in two ways:
  • with a local event held on 1 October 2021 in Bar, Montenegro, and
  • with an online campaign – poster competition “European Union for the Future”.
The all-day event in Bar, Montenegro was organized by the National Authority in Montenegro in cooperation with the Managing Authority and it encompassed various activities for over a hundred participants. On this occasion, Montenegro’s Chief EU Negotiator Ms Zorka Kordić, President of the Municipality of Bar Mr Dušan Raičević, and representatives of Managing Authority, Joint Secretariat and National Authorities visited elementary school Mrkojevići, which received a valuable donation of IT and musical equipment from our Programme. Furthermore, students of the elementary school Mrkojevići were invited to participate in the art workshop. They also joined other participants in visiting the locations in Stari Bar fortress, reconstructed and equipped with digital technology within the project FORTITUDE. The celebration was concluded with the ceremony held in King Nikola’s Palace in Bar, which included screening of promotional movie about EU cross-border projects implemented in the Municipality of Bar, as well as the exhibition of students’ paintings created for the poster competition “European Union for the Future”. Since joint public cross-border event could not be organized due to restrictions and circumstances of covid-19 pandemic, the poster competition “European Union for the Future” was also organised as an online campaign. Schoolchildren from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro were invited to create their vision of how the Europe will look like in the future, or, even more important, how it could look if we work together, and send their posters via e-mail. All received posters were published on Programme Facebook page and were available for voting from 24 September 2021 till 30 September 2021. The most liked poster was the one made by the students of elementary school Lipovac, who will be rewarded by valuable prizes.

The 2020 edition of “European Cooperation Day” was adapted to the unique cirmunstances of the COVID-19 global pandemic. This was also the year in which we celebrated 30 years of Interreg programmes in Europe, so the two celebrations combined into one campaign. The focus was on 3 topics:
  • We all have a neighbor
  • Youth
  • Green and climate neutral Europe – Greener Europe.
The Programme celebrated European Cooperation Day 2020 and Interreg 30 years by local planting trees events and through promotional online campaign “Discover your neighbourhood”! Within the online campaign we presented interesting touristic routes, sites and events in three countries, developed or improved within projects and we invited local people to visit them and take a picture or make a video. The invitation was shared on Programme web site and social media, and marked with the following hashtags: #ECDay2020 #InterregIPAHRBAME #cooperationyear #interreg30. With this campaign we wanted to remind the citizens that many good things come out when we join forces. 30 trees for 30 years of Interreg! Taking into account the topics of the Interreg 30 celebration, the Programme organized 3 local events during September and October 2020 and planted 30 trees for 30 years of Interreg. The first event was held on 30 September 2020 in Podgorica. The celebration was attended by the main negotiator and national IPA coordinator, Mr Aleksandar Drljević, Mr Herman Spic, Head of the Cooperation Department at the EU Delegation in Montenegro and the representatives from the National Authority in Montenegro – European Integration Office.

The second event was held on 6 October 2020 in Karlovac. The celebration was attended by the Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds, Ms Nataša Tramišak, the Head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia, Mr Ognian Zlatev, the Director of REGEA Mr Julije Domac,, the Mayor of the City of Karlovac, Mr Damir Mandić and the Deputy Mayor of Karlovac County, Ms Vesna Hajsan Dolinar,

The third event was held on 27 October 2020 in Hutovo Blato. The celebration was attended by the representatives of Nature Park Hutovo Blato, Directorate for European Integration and Joint Secretariat.

Planting 30 trees in 3 participating countries is also sustainable reminder of successful cooperation and valuable results of the projects implemented within the Programme.

In 2019, the EC Day was organized on 18 October at the Kamena kuća, located in Banja Luka’s Kastel fortress.  

With the EC Day 2019 theme titled ‘Europe is you’, our idea was to acknowledge the role of citizens and the local community as most valuable partners of the European Union. Several hundred visitors joined our celebration and learned how our projects increase cultural understanding throughout our Programme area.

The program included an interactive exhibition about Interreg, our Programme and collages and paintings made as part of the EC Day 2018.

A project fair presented achievements of our projects: MELAdetect, Smart Schools and Fortress ReInvented.

Finally, a cycle cinema was set up on the second floor of Kamena kuća and welcomed visitors to cycle and in this way power generators that showed video clips about our projects, Interreg and past EC Days. A power-generating competition was organized also, in which prizes were given to cyclists producing the most energy.

Why this kind of program for an EC Day? Following this year’s theme, the exhibition invited visitors to express their thoughts about the EU and think of possibilities that it offers to citizens, giving citizens not only a participating role but also a role of designers of the exhibition. The project fair included projects that cooperated with the local community in innovative ways, such as introducing new tools for tracking personal health, providing better education for children and developing new tourism facilities. By organizing the cycle cinema, we wanted the visitors to become part of the event and contribute to screenings of videos, as well as to experience first-hand how energy can be produced in a clean, sustainable and fun way.

The European Cooperation Day 2018 was marked on 3 October with three children’s homes from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro in our very own cross-border art colony in Bijela, Montenegro.

This year’s idea was to help create a cooperative Europe by letting the children lead the way and paint our future together in a form of an art colony.

The event gathered children from three homes for children from Dubrovnik (HR), Mostar (BA) and Bijela (MNE). The program started with a theatre show performed by children of the Bijela home for children, who delivered an important message to protect our environment and preserve it for future generations. A show performed by professional facilitators followed and taught the children ideas of being caring, kind and considerate to our environment and friends. After the show, the event moved outdoors and made the colouring and painting activities more fun.

Groups of children from three countries participating in the Programme decorated the T-shirts branded with this year’s logo and painted canvases with natural elements of our programme area. The children also helped a professional street artist in painting a wall mural with elements of the three cities from which the children arrived – Kanli fortress of Herceg Novi, Mostar’s old bridge and the city walls of Dubrovnik. At the end of the event, Programme bodies provided gifts for homes for children participating in the event to remember the fun activities of European Cooperation Day 2018 in Herceg Novi.

Why an art colony? We believe it is the best way to highlight the role of children and young people in building the Europe they want. We believe it is the best way to tell the story of cooperation between Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro as well.

The European Cooperation Day 2017 was celebrated on 7 October at St Michael’s Fortress, one of Šibenik’s most important fortresses that was revitalized using EU funds in 2014. Ms Gabrijela Žalac, Minister of Regional Development and EU funds, and Ms Stella Arneri, Director of the Agency for Regional Development of the Republic of Croatia, welcomed visitors of the event and shared their thoughts on the accomplishments of the Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020 and Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020 Programmes. With the 1st Call for Proposals of the Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020 closing at that time, the event hosted signing of 4 new Subsidy Contracts – NeurNetRMPPICOMPETE PLAMET and STRONGER. After the formal part of the European Cooperation Day programme, visitors had the chance to enjoy traditional music and learn about the traditional cuisine of our Programme areas.

EC DAY 2016

The European Cooperation Day 2016 was organised on 23 September in Skradin, a small Mediterranean town set in Šibenik’s hinterland. A ceremony held at the Square of Mala Gospa welcomed participants of both the Interreg IPA CBC Programme Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020 and Interreg IPA CBC Programme Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020. After a short formal part of the ceremony, visitors listened to traditional Dalmatian music and took part in the “millennium photo”, which recorded the friendly relations between the countries participating in the two Programmes and cooperating across borders. Afterwards, participants visited the National Park Krka.

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