The “CATCH” project is approved in the framework of the Interreg V-A Hungary-Croatia Co-operation Programme 2014-2020, one of the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) programmes.

ETC programmes contribute to the overall economic, social and territorial cohesion of the European Union by tackling issues which cross the borders between countries and regions.

The Lead Beneficiary is the Government Office of Somogy County, while the State Administration Office in Međimurje County and the State Administration Office in Osijek-Baranja County are Beneficiaries. The project is based on the cross-border cooperation of the aforementioned beneficiaries as a continuation of the promotion of bilateral relations between the Croatian and Hungarian public administrations.

The supporting partners of the project are the Ministry of Public Administration in Croatia and the Prime Minister’s Office in Hungary.

Whereas project partners work on a daily basis with direct contact with citizens, businesses and non-governmental organizations, their activities have a direct impact on the daily lives of people living in their area. The need to improve public administration services in the cross-border area has increased in the last years after the more intense movement of citizens between the two countries. The main problems that need to be addressed in this project are insufficient linkage and effectiveness of procedures in cross-border areas, changes in citizen and enterprise expectations towards public services, and lack of knowledge and experience on how to manage cross-border procedures and services, while meeting local requirements.

Beyond the project goal of mutual experience exchange, other aim is to ensure the increasing efficiency of administration proceedings and protocols of all Partners.

Specific objectives of the project are:

  • to create a co-ordination framework to manage joint activities during and outside the project lifecycle,
  • to increase co-operation between public administrations at a practical level in order to promote exchanges of experience in specific topics related to public administration reform and
  • to review public administration procedures at county level in order to improve cross-border co-operation and remove existing barriers in such procedures, as well as ensure access to information on procedures and services.

The direct target group of the project are civil servants working in public administrations of Croatia and Hungary. Capacity building and joint development activities will have an impact on civil servants in general, and especially on those involved in cross-border proceedings.

The indirect target groups of the project are citizens and businesses firms, which will have benefit from enhanced public administration co-operation on both sides of the border through the better public service availability and more effective and transparent public administration procedures.

The project’s implementation period is 16 month long (June 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018).

Project Activities:

  1. Project Management and Administration,
  2. Information and Promotion,
  3. Professional cooperation,
  4. Actions of the working group,
  5. Process and service analysis,
  6. Joint learning and training,
  7. Joint development of procedures and initiatives,
  8. A collection of good practices and
  9. A Citizen’s Guide.

The project represents a new approach to public services, using a new generation of tools in the information technology, which seeks to increase the use of electronic forms and exchange of data via electronic means. Through the project, partners will explore options for the wider use of registers and databases run by public administration bodies on both sides of the border. Also, as mentioned above, one of the goals is to revise several procedures of the public authorities and to find practical solutions that will make the procedures simpler (e.g. filing applications without travel to neighboring countries) in order to better serve citizens and businesses firms and to improve the exchange of information between public administrations (e.g. e-forms exchange).

The results of this project should have a practical impact on other public authorities along the border on both sides, while at the national level, it should generally increase awareness of the needs of citizens and the possibilities for cross-border development.