The Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Ambassador Oana Cristina Popa, paid her first official visit to the municipality of Herceg Novi. Ms Popa talked to local government leaders and project beneficiaries about the current EU support and future development needs of the local community. At present, the local government, institutions and organisations in Herceg Novi are implementing a total of 16 cross-border EU-funded projects worth more than €17 million.

“Through these projects, the EU is helping create new opportunities in tourism, support local businesses, develop port infrastructure, protect natural and cultural heritage, promote energy efficiency and build resilience to natural disasters,” said Ambassador Popa.

During her visit to Jadran Swimming and Water Polo Club, the Ambassador noted that Herceg Novi has every reason to be proud of this sports club, which is not only home to exceptional athletes, but also a very successful beneficiary of a number of EU-funded projects fostering regional cultural exchange and environmental protection.

Ambassador Popa also visited Ivo Andrić’s Mansion in Herceg Novi, which has been refurbished thanks to the EU support as part of a cross-border project worth over a million euros.

“It is a beautiful place, which contributes greatly to the cultural life of the town,” she pointed out.

In order to find a durable and sustainable solution for accommodating 36 most vulnerable refugee families residing in collective or temporary housing facilities in Herceg Novi, the European Union has provided more than one million euros for the purchase of residential apartments. So far 25 apartments have been purchased, with the first tenants already having moved in, while the purchase of another 11 apartments is under way.

“The EU is also happy to work with the local community to support those most in need. Herceg Novi has been one of the most open and most hospitable communities in Montenegro for displaced persons from the region. The people of this town have clearly shown that they have a big heart and readiness to help those most in need in difficult times,” the Ambassador said.

In Herceg Novi, the EU has also been supporting the efforts of local organisations to fight against domestic violence, promote women’s rights and gender equality and improve services provided to children with disabilities.

“These projects are making a real difference in the local community, bringing tangible benefits to the quality of life of all local residents, and in particular to those with specific needs. We will continue to support the efforts of the people of Herceg Novi to build a better and more prosperous future in this beautiful coastal town,” the Ambassador concluded.