EU Funding: Montenegro - Border Crossing with Albania inaugurated at Bozay

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Support to participation of South-Eastern European countries in the stabilisation and association process (”Closed programme”)
 Assistance to the Candidate countries to support their progressive compliance with EU rules and policies, including the acquis communautaire if necessary, in preparation for their accession
 Assistance to support the candidate and potential candidate in cross-border cooperation

The Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Montenegro, Ambassador Leopold Maurer and the Minister of Interior and Public Administration, Jusuf Kalamperovic have opened the new Bozaj border crossing facilities on the border with Albania.The EU-funded project is managed by the European Agency for Reconstruction

At the ceremony Minister Kalamperovic spoke about the Government’s strategy to improve the country’s border crossing facilities.

The Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Montenegro, Ambassador Leopold Maurer, spoke about the local, national and regional aspect of border crossing. The Head of Centre of the European Agency for Reconstruction in Podgorica, Rainer Freund, pointed out that Bozay was a further stepping stone towards completing the network of Class 1 border posts at all of Montenegro’s international land borders – a primary objective of the Government’s Integrated Border Management Strategy.

Bozaj is the only border crossing between Albania and Montenegro which provides a 24 hour service for the processing of both passenger and commercial vehicles. The works have commenced in October 2007 with a total EU investment of €765,000.

The new facility provides reconstructed office accommodation and better working conditions for border police, customs and veterinary and phyto-sanitary personnel, upgraded inspection facilities and extended vehicle parking areas in line with EU standards.

The Government, through the Ministry of Interior, has provided an additional €200,000 for project preparation, supervision and further improvement of works to the main building. This contribution marks a continuation of the excellent cooperation with the Ministry during the past five years, which has seen the Government assume responsibility for project designs, land expropriation, and supervision of construction activities.

Safe borders for trade and movement of people

The Government’s Strategy for Integrated Border Management and its action plan for implementation define medium- and long-term goals for coordination and improvement of cooperation between those services and agencies responsible for the control and monitoring of international borders. It follows broadly the recommendations of the European Commission in its “Guidelines for Integrated Border Management in the Western Balkans”.

An effective and efficient management system will, on the one hand, ensure open but controlled and safe borders for trade and movement of people whilst, on the other hand, reduce the risk of criminal and other activities that may threaten the security of the country and of the region.

Since 2003, the European Union has supported the Government in its commitment to design and implement the IBM Strategy, by providing a total funding package in excess of €10 million from the CARDS assistance program (both regional and national). This investment has targeted the development of the strategy itself and the training of the Customs and Finance Administration (CARDS regional). It has also targeted, under the national action program, three priority areas of the Strategy: namely training of border police personnel, improving internal communications and upgrading border control infrastructure. Debelij Briegg and Scepan Polje, Class I border crossing points at the Croatian and BiH border respectively had been completed previously with EAR assistance.

European Agency for Reconstruction

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