Cross-border cooperation along the Serbian Bosnian border. Drina Euroregion

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1 Cross-border cooperation along the Serbian Bosnian border Drina Euroregion Anna Csiszár Molnár economist Regional Science Association Subotica, Serbia

2 Cross-border cooperation along the Serbian Bosnian border The case study was elaborated in December 2014 and January 2015 by three researchers of the Regional Science Association (RTT) from Subotica, Serbia

3

4 Figure 1. Map of the Drina Euroregion 07 Jan 2015 Footer 4

5 The estabilishing of the Euroregion The events preceding this initiative were related to preserving the Drina, since some Italian, German and American investors wanted to utilise the hydropower of the river. Their aim was also to create a spatial plan of the region. Finally, another important claim of the charter referred to the protection of an endemic species of predatory fish (drinska mladica, lat. Hucho hucho)

6 Geographic location geographic caracteristics Situated in the south-eastern part of Europe, the area of the Drina Euroregion consists of three highly diversified geographic parts: the northern part is a plain area along the rivers Sava and Drina; the central part of the area is hilly landscape, the southern part is mountainous

7 The Euroregion landscapes Drina river in Panonia Drina canyon 07 Jan 2015 Sutjeska National Park Foča the seat of Euroregion Footer 7

8 Hydrological power in the Euroregion Great water resources, uniform annual and perennial flow, a significant decline in the longitudinal river profiles and canyon gorge structure of some river valleys make the Drina suitable for building powerful concrete dams, to form artificial lakes. The economically exploitable water power of the river is estimated at 14.4 billion kwh, while there has been used less than 5 billion kwh so far, or about 35%. From the possible 40, there have been built only nine large hydropower plants on the Drina, Piva, Lim and Uvac rivers

9 Population of the Euroregion Ethnicity has played an important role in the recent history of the region and is reflected in the current profile of the Euroregion s area. In the 1990s extensive migrations of inhabitants took place between these countries on both sides of the borders. As a result, today s demographic picture in the border areas is significantly different from the one which existed before the war. These changes seem irreversible given the slow and difficult return of refugees. Most of the population fall is visible in rural areas along the borders

10 Table 1. Members of the Drina Euroregion, their area and population number

11 Figure 2. Population of the Euroregion Drina in 2011 (2013) 07 Jan 2015 Footer 11

12 Economy Thanks to the fertile soil in the valley basin, the main economic resource in the north of the Euroregion is good quality land suitable for all types of agricultural production, Bijeljina (BiH), Županja (Croatia) and Šabac (Serbia) are large centres for production and trade of food. The key industrial activities within the Euroregion are food processing, wood-processing and furniture manufacturing, chemical and light metal industry and textile industry. The western and southern parts of the region are favourable for tourism in summer (canyons of Tara, Piva and Sutjeska rivers, the Tara and Zlatibor mountains)

13 Organisational and institutional structure, operation The bodies of the Drina Euroregion are: 1. Assembly 2. President 3. Executive Board 4. Supervisory Board Since its establishment in 2012 the Drina Euroregion has its headquarters in Foča, BiH -Republika Srpska Foča, Republika Srpska, 77 Cara Dušana Street (Seat of the President and of the Secretariat of the Euroregion)

14 Main activity areas, profile ( ) There was founded an Initiative Committee of the Drina Euroregion on a meeting held in Foča, where the decision was made to establish the Preparatory Committee of the Drina Euroregion. A delegation of the Drina Euroregion visited the County of Istria in Croatia. The president of the Drina Euroregion, Zdravko Krsmanović participated at the International Conference titled Ecotourism in protected areas, held in St. Petersburg, Russia. He presented the potential that encompasses the area of the Drina Euroregion

15 Main activity areas, profile ( ) Meeting with representatives from EU (Italia, Bulgaria, Spain), the main subject of the discussion was the integral development of the Drina River area Euroregion Drina and OXFAM Italia in collaboration with the municipality of Bratunac organised a panel discussion titled The hydropower project Central Drina and its impact on the environment. 15

16 Main activity areas, profile (2014) Consideration and evaluation of the impacts of large hydro plants on the environment in the area of the Euroregion Consideration of the possibilities of utilising hydro potential on the middle flow of the Drina River between hydropower plants Activities related to the construction of small hydropower plants in the Sutjeska National Park - Montenegro. 16

17 Euroregion in the Western Balkan - South-East Europe All of these countries are involved in the IPA Adriatic Cross-border Cooperation Programme South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme 5 IPA cross-border programme areas Croatia Serbia; Serbia Bosnia and Herzegovina; Serbia Montenegro; Bosnia and Herzegovina Montenegro; Croatia Bosnia and Herzegovina. 07 Jan 2015 Footer 17

18 Figure 3. The territory of the Drina Euroregion covered by different IPA Cross-border Cooperation programme areas 07 Jan 2015 Footer 18

19 The reasons for choosing the Drina Euroregion as the example: the specific events of modern history taking place in the administrative units that have initiated this cooperation (Balkan wars of the 1990s) the geographic, demographic, geopolitical and socioeconomic changes resulting from setting new borders in this area the Drina River, which presents identical natural values on its both banks it unites territorial units of different administrative levels along the borders, which were set in the 1990s between four new countries a town from Croatia, a municipality from Montenegro, three towns and three municipalities from Serbia, a canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and eight Bosnian municipalities 19

20 Thanks for your attention! Anna Csiszár Molnár András Ricz Prof. Dr. Imre Nagy Regional Science Association,

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