Cross border cooperation in western Balkans- a comparative analysis of cross border experiences between Albania Kosovo and Albania Greece

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The instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA) is one of the main supporting tools for countries aspiring to join the EU. IPA II 2014-2020 programme strategy was approved and supports primarily Western-Balkan Countries in cross-cutting areas in order to prepare for EU-accession. As part of the strategy, territorial cooperation is also supported. Cross-border cooperation in the area is one of the main strands of territorial cooperation where different programs between the countries have been set. This paper investigates through a comparative analysis the experience of cross-border cooperation between Albania and Kosovo and Albania-Greece. The analysis spans not only at the analysis of the relative different projects and the ability of countries to make use of the program, but also looks at different and emerging themes in terms of cross border planning and governance. The analysis will delve into the first programing period 2007-2013 as well as the activities that have been held during the new programming period. The choice of the two different programs comes due to their distinctive characteristics, where on the one side one can find an EU member (Greece) cooperating with a non-EU member (Albania) and on the other side two non-EU states which have the same language, as well as Kosovo being a particular case study of state formation. The Albania-Kosovo case study is important to analyze also due to current development and cooperation between the two governments. So far, there have been two intergovernmental meetings between Albania and Kosovo to foster partnerships and greater collaboration between the two countries. Thus, it becomes very interesting to analyze whether the increase in cooperation between the two states is also reflected in the territorial cooperation programs, as well as their performance in terms of cross border cooperation.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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