Our Services

Our Services

CESCI Balkans provides expertise in:

  • applied research on cross-border issues
  • cross-border strategic planning and development of methodologies related to planning
  • institution and project development
  • mediation between the different levels of governance on CB issues,
  • development of knowledge sharing tools, publication of brochures and methodologies,
  • organisation of professional events, trainings and conferences


Research on cross-border issues

Cross-border cooperation might be considered as the "laboratory of the European structure" (Paul Lamassoure, MEP). It is obvious, that all achievements of the European integration (such as the free movement of goods, services, labour and capital) appear the most transparent way in the open border regions. Similarly every obstacle hindering the development of a deeper integration of the Union occurs in closed border areas. Forms and structures of cross-border cooperation thus serve as a model, as a smaller version of the EU, as a kind of laboratory which demonstrates how the European Community works. Consequently, cross-border studies are beneficial not only because peripheral border regions need to be more open for the sake of a better use of their territorial capital but at the same time it is in the common interest of the EU to follow and examine and even learn from the processes on the ground.

CESCI Balkans provides the following services:

  • implementation of research projects on territorial cooperation
  • research on particular border regions
  • analyses of the professional and legal documents of cohesion policy of the EU
  • professional contribution to the decision preparatory activities of national and EU level institutions
  • networking activities
  • organisation of conferences, workshops
  • printing publications
  • organisation of training courses
  • providing information on CBC issues. 


Cross-border strategic planning

The biggest obstacle hindering the use of territorial capital in border regions is the dividing effect of the frontiers. Borders limit the area of influence of larger cities thus creating truncated urban areas. Borders lead to double peripheries in rural areas where the roads end, where the infrastructure is underdeveloped and from where the population move away because of the lack of working opportunities.

Cross-border planning and developing work fulfils its mission if it results in reducing to minimum or abolishing these unfavourable impacts.

CESCI has developed a new methodology of cross-border strategic planning which focuses on enhancing territorial, economic and social cohesion. Instead of a state-of-play analysis we elaborate a cohesion analysis seeking for the factors boosting and hindering three aspects of cohesion. Instead of a sector-based strategy we work out an integrated, cross-sectoral strategy which focuses on cohesion. By using this new method we aim at opening the borders and bringing stakeholders from both sides of these borders closer to one another.

In the field of strategic planning CESCI Balkans offers its services as follows:

  • development of methodologies and guides for planning
  • strategic planning in border regions
  • development of cross-border integrated territorial investments
  • development of cross-border territorial data bases, plotting of maps (GIS)
  • elaborating territorial analyses and studies
  • organisation of professional events
  • realisation of network building projects.


Institution and project development

In recent years a bad practice of cross-border project development and implementation has taken root in the Balkans. Local actors use cross-border cooperation programmes for satisfying their own, local development needs. Consequently, sustainable, long-term institutionalised and strategic cooperation cannot be developed. The parties meet in an ad-hoc way for the sake of a single project. Following the project implementation the partners deal with maintaining only their own project package, the joint elements are fading out.

The mission of CESCI Balkans is to transform this bad practice into a good one, that of strategically based long-term forms of cooperation. Integrated projects can ensure the joint development of the projects and the long-term sustainability of the results thereof.

Institutionalised cooperation might guarantee a strategic approach in planning and financing.

In this field CESCI Balkans provides support in:

  • developing institutional frameworks for long-term cooperation (e.g. preparation, establishment and registration of EGTCs)
  • capacity building at the level of stakeholders interested in CBC activities
  • preparing and developing integrated projects
  • organization of training courses and workshops facilitating smarter project development at local level
  • sharing experiences and information related to institutionalised, strategically based cooperation. 



Part of the CESCI Balkans mission is mediation between the local, the national and the European level. Mediation is crucial because without this proper information on policy documents and legal provisions under preparation related to cross-border cooperation at national and EU level cannot reach local stakeholders who will be responsible for the implementation of those regulations; and vica versa: the preparation of decisions will be inadequate without the knowledge of interests and capacities of local stakeholders. Our association takes part in several professional networks and platforms in Europe.

As a service provider CESCI helps cooperation by:

  • providing access to a wide range of information
  • managing workshop of EGTCs in the Balkans
  • taking part in the preparatory phase of decision-making at national and EU level
  • preparing policy background papers, analyses and proposals
  • organisation professional events, conferences and training courses related to cross-border activities
  • developing partnerships.