Cross-Border Cooperation

Life in cross border areas is specific and can bring benefits, but also challenges for its citizens. They usually have similar way of living and share same habits, culture and tradition, even goods and land. That is why Cross Border Cooperation (CBC) is a key element of the EU policy towards its neighbours. It is developed to support promoting good neighbourly relations, fostering EU integration and enhancing socio-economic development.

The CBC programmes between Montenegro and its neighbouring countries are the result of joint planning efforts made by the governments and other stakeholders of the programmes’ areas. Montenegro participates actively in 5 trilateral or transnational programmes and 4 bilateral CBC programmes: with Albania, Kosovo*, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. To support this, the EU has invested €52 million in both sides of the border since 2007: CBC Montenegro-Albania: €16.6 million; CBC Montenegro-Kosovo: €10.2 million; CBC Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro €12.6 million; CBC Serbia-Montenegro €12.6 million.  Projects conducted within these programmes are implemented at local level and promote exchange of knowledge and experience between neighbours, new skills and enhanced territorial cooperation. They aim at finding common solutions to shared challenges, in a sustainable manner.

EU assistance in CBC Programmes contributes to: promoting employment, labour mobility and social and cultural inclusion across the border; protecting the environment, promoting climate change, adaptation and mitigation, risk prevention and management; encouraging tourism and cultural and natural heritage. EU assistance for CBC programmes will continue in the future, with an aim to promote reconciliation, confidence building and good neighbourly relations in the Western Balkans region.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.


Tourism is an important source of income for every country and it helps developing mutual understanding, sharing and collaboration among countries. Child friendly tourism, as part of the tourism industry, can support community sustainable development.
Successful engagement of young people in the labour market is significant not just for their own well-being and economic prospects, but also for social cohesion and economic growth of the society. Therefore, it is important to support youth inclusion in the society and the labour market, as well as youth entrepreneurship, especially through entrepreneurship education and training activities.
Zero waste protects the environment, benefits the economy and promotes social equity. That is why it is important to raise awareness about the negative health and environmental impacts of trash, and all the benefits that zero waste approach brings to society.
Montenegro and Albania share common water resources which are very significant for sustainable development, environmental protection, economy, tourism and culture of both countries. Cross-border cooperation is essential when it comes to their protection, especially in the Skadar Lake area.
Floods and fires have been dominant risks with disastrous consequences on the environment, people’s lives and property, cultural heritage and economic assets in both Montenegro and Albania. This project is aimed at improving the protection of their cross-border area from the risks of disasters.
Gastronomy, as the essence of culture and a major element of intangible heritage worldwide, is a growing driver for tourists. Gastronomy tourism helps to brand and market destinations; and assists in maintaining and preserving local tradition and diversity, harnessing and rewarding authenticity.
Montenegro and Albania are countries exposed to a wide range of hazards, including floods. As the level of disaster risk is high in both countries, this project was focused on improving protection from hazards, in the first place floods, through capacity building, awareness raising and cross-border cooperation in disaster risk reduction (DRR). It targeted the area of Montenegrin municipalities Podgorica, Bar and Ulcinj, and Shkodra region in Albania.
As tourist destinations, both Montenegro and Albania are committed to further developing their tourism offers. Taking into account that some areas in mountainous zones in both countries have become more attractive for investments, this project identified as of utmost importance to prevent devastation and preserve both cultural and natural heritage of such zones, while developing sustainable tourism at the same time.
Solid waste collection systems are designed to improve conditions in cities worldwide and are of crucial importance for efficient protection of the environment. This project was aimed at establishing an efficient and integrated waste collection system in the Municipalities of Berane (Montenegro) and Malesi e Madhe (Albania), in order to contribute to a better environmental protection in these areas.
The increase of labour force participation of women represents one of the most important components of development, economic growth and fight against unemployment in every society. This project was aimed at promoting cross border cooperation, as well as enhancing employability in Ulcinj (Montenegro) and Region of Lezha (Albania) through the empowerment of women as wage earners and job creators.
Beekeeping is a profitable enterprise, which helps self-employment and poverty reduction, and does not have a negative impact on the environment. This project was aimed at developing beekeeping as a good opportunity for self-employment of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the border regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Cultural heritage is perceived as a common good of great significance and that is why its preservation is very important. This project was aimed at creating and promoting joint cross-border tourism products by encouraging partnerships in culture and tourism, and restoring neglected cultural and historical heritage in Municipalities Niksic and Pluzine in Montenegro, and Municipalities Trebinje and Bileca in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Cycling tourism is becoming an increasingly important part of the tourism sector, especially when it comes to contributing to sustainable tourism development. This project aims to support development and promotion of cycling and outdoor tourism offer in specific rural areas of cross border regions of Montenegro and Herzegovina, as well as its integration into the overall tourism offer of Adriatic Hinterland.
Tourism is one of the major economic drivers in both Montenegro and Kosovo. This project is focused on two mountainous zones in these countries, which are very attractive, but minimally utilized for outdoor tourism, due to the fact there are no basic services there. Therefore, this project aims to develop culture and nature oriented tourism offers in the cross-border area by creating two tourism hubs in Andrijevica and Decani.
On the one hand, both Kosovo and Montenegro are facing the fact that their youth is leaving rural areas to seek jobs in cities. On the other hand, both countries have growing youth unemployment rates and ageing farmers.
Cultural heritage tourism provides an opportunity for people to experience authentic activities, artifacts, food, clothing, and music. It provides tourists with genuine experiences and as such has a positive economic impact in each society.
Transhumance is the traditional movement of farmers and their livestock in the mountains, looking for better pastures and setting up temporary settlements called katuns. These katuns are usually in high altitudes, have no infrastructure and people live in harmony with nature. This is an ancient tradition in the cross-border area of Kosovo and Montenegro, practiced widely even today.
Education and training should match the labour market needs. Also, theoretical knowledge should be in line with its practical application. They are like two sides of the same coin. Employers want employees with both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills.
Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system. To maintain one’s reproductive health, people need access to accurate information and quality health services. Unfortunately, breast and cervical cancers are among major causes of suffering and death of women throughout the world, including Montenegro and Kosovo.
Green jobs are central to sustainable development. This project was dedicated to generating new job opportunities in the agricultural sector in the cross-border region. It was focused on enhancing the level of knowledge and upgrading technical skills of local farmers, as well as promoting the farming sector as a viable opportunity for employment and self-employment in the targeted area, especially for young unemployed people.
The development of rural tourism has strong potential for diversifying the rural economy of both Montenegro and Kosovo. This project is created with a goal of strengthening the sustainable development of their cross-border region through valorization of joint tourism potentials, based on natural and cultural heritage..
Social innovation leads to new or improved capabilities and better use of assets and resources. This project is focused on building and strengthening the skills and competencies of young people in the cross-border area for socially innovative practices and participation in the digital economy sector. With the project are established hackerspaces in the targeted area.
Outdoor tourism represents an important aspect of sustainable tourism delivery in every country. This project will support further development of the cross border area “Bjeshket e Nemuna/Prokletije” as an outdoor tourism destination. It will improve tourism infrastructure and increase the visibility of an area which is very rich in biodiversity and geological diversity.
Pollution represents one of the biggest threats of today, both for the environment and human health. It affects everyone and that is why it is important to take actions to reduce it.