The INTERREG IPA Cross-border cooperation programme, among other numerous programmes initiated by the European Union, offers ample opportunities for cooperation and social and economic development of neighbouring countries. Within the IPA CBC Romania-Serbia programme, the eligible area for joint action and financing includes three Romanian counties and five Serbian districts, empowering various institutions, local authorities and private non-profit organizations to develop new partnerships and projects to benefit the local and regional economy. The paper aims to assess the territorial impact of the cross-border cooperation programme at the Romanian-Serbian border, with focus on the tourism sector, focusing on the economic, social and cultural outputs of the projects, such as investments, key statistical tourism data, cultural events, local community benefits. Within the two programming periods, 2007-2013 and 2014-2020, tourism was ranked among the main pillars of development, either as a measure within the first priority axis during the first period, or as a major priority axis – Attractiveness for sustainable tourism during the latter. Thus, there were financed 30 tourism related projects, totalling some 15 mil US$, where local authorities were the leader for most projects during the first programming period, while after 2014, the non-governmental organisations account for almost half of the projects leaders. Not always, the municipalities with highest inflows of finances are those with the highest increase in the number of tourists, nights spent or significant visibility.
Cross-border cooperation programmes – from premises to achievements. Tourism within Romania-Serbia border region as case study