The Small Project Funds shall help the Slovak-Hungarian border region

The activities supported shall be focused on cultural exchange, human resources, planning and development studies, economic development, environment, tourism, communication, and other infrastructure.

Košice, April 12 (TASR) – By the year 2020 more than 7 million Euros could come through Small Project Fund into the Slovak-Hungarian border region comprising the Košice and Banská Bystrica Regions on the Slovak side.The Fund shall be backed by the European Union and by the budgets of both neighbouring countries.

The main target is to promote local initiatives and raise cross-boundary contacts by completing micro projects based on “people to people” activities. The cross-boundary project shall last till the year 2020. According to estimates, the initial call should be announced by the Small Project Fund in the end of this year. “During the whole period envisaged three or four calls should be announced piecemeal,” as TASR was informed by the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) Via Carpatia Limited which is responsible for the Fund control.

The Small Project Fund shall be financed by the European Regional Development Fund, by the national budget and by the means of EGTC Via Carpatia. The funds allocated shall reach approximately 7.3 million Euros. Public administrations, municipalities, non-profit organizations, or civic associations can apply for the means of the Fund.

The Fund is to be a tool for boosting the small-size projects at regional level. In particular, to support new activities with the impact on the territory supported, the activities tending to the development of cross-boundary cooperation and creation of new ties between subjects completing their activities which have a provable impact on the given border area. The amounts of individual project subsidy shall very from €5,000 to €45,000. The activities supported shall be oriented to the cultural exchange, human resources, planning and development studies, economic development, environment, tourism, communication, or other infrastructure.

“An example of such a small-size project can be marking of tourist trails along with summer houses and minor architecture, or cultural events, or preparation of various studies,” reports Julianna Orbán Máté, Director of the Office of EGTC Via Carpatia of the possibilities of existing cross-boundary cooperation. “The projects must be completed within one year and they must be within financial limits. In the projects that shall be a contribution for the border area must always be partners on both sides of the border.”

The EGTC Via Carpatia was founded in 2013 by the Košice Self-Governing Region together with the Hungarian Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County. In addition to, also the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region on the Slovak side and the Hungarian counties Heves, Nógrád and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg shall be partners within the Small Project Fund.

The EGTC Grouping aims to facilitate and support the cross-boundary, supranational, and interregional cooperation. Its existence is based on the European Parliament directive which supported inception of the legal form to be used for the cooperation of public and private bodies of different member states in cross-boundary projects using also public expenses.