The Assessment of the INTERREG VA Program: Support for the Polish-Slovak Cross-Border Projects

The Assessment of the INTERREG VA Program: Support for the Polish-Slovak Cross-Border Projects

Joanna Kurowska-Pysz (University of Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland), Antonio Paulo Cargnin (State Government of Rio Grande do Sul, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), Bruno de Oliveira Lemos (State Government of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) and Aldomar Arnaldo Rückert (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2513-5.ch003
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Abstract

The chapter concerns the implementation assessment of cross-border projects supported by the INTERREG VA Poland - Slovakia 2014-2020 Program. The authors diagnosed the state of implementation of the Program (2018), and analyzed the conditions for managing cross-border projects on the Polish-Slovak borderland. The chapter outlines the role of a cross-border project in management of borderland development, and presents the life cycle of a cross-border project. The authors drew special attention to the results of projects and the administrative burden related to their implementation. The authors carried out quantitative and qualitative research with the participation of Polish and Slovak beneficiaries of the Program to achieve the objectives of the work. The research was supplemented by the desk research analysis covering the selected documents and statistical data (2014 – 2018). The conclusions and recommendations can be useful in the process of programming rules for implementing cross-border projects on the Polish-Slovak borderland and other borderlands after 2020.
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Introduction

Cross-border projects support the implementation of structural policy of the European Union (EU). The structural policy has a significant impact on both pace and directions of development of border regions and their cohesion. The term: cross-border region denotes a system of border areas connected by the same social and cultural affinities and/or social and economic co-dependence (BUFON, 2013). At cross-border areas there is a need for cross-border co-operation at a certain level among local actors (e.g. cross-border management of catchment areas, cross-border labour force-migration). The nature and type of cross-border areas is changing both spatially and temporally. During recent decades, dynamic changes in the capacity of borders to separate have been typical, especially in Central Europe (JASCHITZ, 2013).

Cross-border cooperation develops on the borderland and consists in creating a network of connections that help develop socio-economic cooperation and give way to cultural and social barriers in local communities (PERKOWSKI, 2010, KUROWSKA-PYSZ, 2015). Cross-border cooperation creates wide opportunities for establishing new neighbourhood relations and expanding the existing contacts between local communities on the border, through a series of activities aimed at achieving common goals, e.g. promotion of the region, attracting investors, development of tourism, etc.

The functioning of various types of connections in the cross-border region contributes, among others to: eliminating negative aspects of peripheral location of border areas, using development opportunities resulting from the proximity of a neighbouring country, developing European integration and international cooperation, penetrating socio-cultural influences, spreading innovation (PROBST, BÜCHEL, 1997)

The essence of cross-border cooperation is an establishment of new social and economic relations, as well as expansion of previous contacts between borderland communities, through a series of actions that allow for achieving common goals, for example through the promotion of the region, attracting investors, the development of tourism, but also the creation of clusters. The partners themselves define the scope and objectives of the cooperation, according to their needs and in line with their expectations. Bilateral cooperation and networking, in various forms, can be carried on, among others, by the following entities at cross-border market (SZROMNIK, 2010): governments at all levels; public utility companies, government entities; companies and holding companies; NGOs: associations, clubs, foundations, etc.; clusters.

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