Cross-Border Cooperation under Magnifying Glass: An Assessment of the Projects Implemented at the Romanian-Hungarian Border in the 2004-2013 Period

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Throughout history, the Romanian-Hungarian border can be characterized as a closed, cold, exclusionary border, more precisely a border with a low degree of communication between Romania and Hungary. This being the result of the international relations existing in different periods that reflected on the inter-state communication and implicitly on the cross-border relations. At the Romanian-Hungarian border a series of cross-border projects have operated over time, be they social, economic, educational or other. After 1989, with the fall of communism in Romania, the collaboration intensified between the two, a crucial factor being the evolution of the two countries towards the great European family, the European Union, here intervening financial instruments of cross-border cooperation. The target period we will focus on is between 2004 and 2013, which we will split into two distinct parts. More precisely, the point of reference will be the year 2007 when Romania became a member of the European Union, together with Bulgaria. The two periods on which we will carry out our quantitative study will be 2004- 2006, the period of pre-accession of Romania, at which time at the Romanian- Hungarian border operated the PHARE CBC cross-border cooperation program 2004 - 2006, and starting since 2007, for the period 2007-2013 we discuss the functionality of the Hungary-Romania Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2007- 2013 (HU-R0 2007-2013). Thus, during the years 2004-2013 we will undertake an ex-post quantitative evaluation of the implementation of cross-border projects at the Romanian- Hungarian border through European cross-border financial instruments, while monitoring the added value created by these projects in eligible regions, highlighting the degree of cross-border cooperation at the level of the territorial administrative units at the border, as well as at institutional level. The target group that we will evaluate will be the cross-border counties that are located on both sides of the Romanian-Hungarian border, in total being analyzed 8 counties (4 counties on the Romanian side: Bihor, Satu Mare, Timiș and Arad and on the Hungarian side the counties are: Hajdú-Bihar, Szatmár-Bereg, Békés and Csongrád). In our ex-post quantitative evaluation we will establish those relevant indicators of the two programs through which we can highlight the efficiency of the two programs at the Romanian-Hungarian border, the results brought by the two European cross- border financial instruments, the evaluation also revealing the degree of cross- border cooperation at the level of the 8 counties, at the institutional level as well as at the level of the cross-border communities.
CBC, Romanian - Hungarian border, Cross - border project, Evaluation